Aussie Nuclear Industry: "renewables won’t get us across the line"

Susquehanna steam electric nuclear power station

Susquehanna steam electric nuclear power station

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

The nuclear industry has announced plans to lobby the Australian government, to advocate nuclear power as an affordable, practical alternative to renewables.

According to The Guardian;

The Australian Nuclear Association (ANA) will accompany Danny Roderick, chief executive of the leading US nuclear technology firm Westinghouse, to talk to government ministers and business leaders in Canberra and Sydney next week.

Roderick said nuclear power could help produce “clean, reliable, affordable electricity for more people”.

“We’d like to help Australia explore ways to create jobs and economic opportunity that are also good for the environment,” he said.

“My concern is that renewables won’t get us across the line in terms of emissions reduction,” said Rob Parker, the president of the ANA. “Nuclear is more reliable and it has a smaller resources footprint than renewables.

“Until we approach the issue of carbon abatement honestly, we won’t replace coal because it is the cheapest fuel we have. Nuclear is dead until we acknowledge carbon abatement is the main issue. We already pay a premium for renewables but we need to go further or we’ll just keep burning coal.”

Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/sep/29/nuclear-industry-to-push-for-australia-to-adopt-clean-affordable-power

In my opinion, the last thing Australia needs is any form of new energy infrastructure investment, except where driven by economic demand. In one decade, Australia went from paying one of the cheapest electricity rates in the world, to paying some of the most expensive rates in the world, thanks largely to government green energy initiatives.

If Australia’s newly greened government is determined to waste taxpayer’s money on CO2 emissions reduction, nuclear power at least has the advantage that it works. You can convert a modern economy to nuclear power without ruining it. France for example, generates around 75% of their electricity from nuclear power.

By contrast, spending money on renewables is unlikely to deliver any value whatsoever. According to a report produced by top Google engineers, major scientific advances would be required to make renewable energy useful.

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thingadonta

I say use large-scale nuclear energy in the stable Australian outback to extract C02 from air. I don’t know why this isn’t a viable option.
It consumes large amounts of energy, but nuclear energy can supply it. It can be converted into lime or some other variant.
The Haber process which takes nitrogen from air took years to develop, but it eventually came good. Why not CO2 from air?

Louis Hunt

Why? Is there a profitable market for extracting CO2 from the air and converting it into lime or some other variant?

thingadonta

No there is no real market, other than perhaps the savings on endless climate change UN/IPCC conferences which might not be necessary if C02 levels come down.
But there is no ‘market’ for cleaning up an oil spill either, but it still has to be done, so it would qualify as a pollution control/response.

John_in_oz

Perhaps it could be converted to coal and then used to power the grid 🙂

AP

its a great idea if we can charge you other suckers for the CO2 credits.

no ‘market’ for cleaning up an oil spill either, but it still has to be done
=============================
oil spills are dramatic but not as long lasting as feared. microbes in the ocean consume the oil for its energy. water in diesel has been a huge problem in warm climates for years. microbes start growing on the boundary between the water and diesel and quickly turn the fuel into a black gummy mess that clogs filters and stops engines. a small amount of wood alcohol added to the fuel will work in a pinch to kill the microbes and help remove the water from the tanks.

MarkW

Oil spills are a demonstrable harm. CO2 on the other hand is demonstrably a good thing.

MarkW

Oh yea, I’ve seen studies that the efforts to clean up oil spills often does more ecological harm than the oil spill itself did.

RWturner

If we claim stupidity is a pollutant would that justify spending $trillions to remove it from the internet?

simple-touriste

Extracting carbon from sea water is much easier. You can make fossil-like fuels this way.

Why ? Don’t you think a greener world is a good thing ? That’s its only detectable effect
And , yes , there is a profitable market for CO2 — for green houses and grow ops among other things . I understand there are actually CO2 “mines” in Wyoming .

notfubar

..and Dry Ice for keeping my fish catch cold. Of course, it recycles after a while…

Leo Smith

Why take something out of the air that promotes plant growth, especially in arid areas?

Why would you take a trace gas which is vital for plant growth from the Air ? BTW It is not necessarily the Aussie nuclear industry making nuclear power promotion – though the bar has more to do with energy supply than any concern about fantasies of mankind altering planetary temperatures. http://ergosphere.blogspot.ca/2013/11/the-eos-grid-storage-system-and-nuclear.html

johnmarshall

CO2 extraction requires that it is adsorbed into another chemical like lime, which has had its CO2 removed by heat to the atmosphere. so a circular reaction going nowhere. Stupid idea, sorry. Let plants do it which is very efficient, costs nothing.
First question though, why remove a natural constituent of the atmosphere which does nothing but feed plants?

Samuel C. Cogar

Atmospheric CO2 feeds humans also, …. as well as all other terrestrial animals.
Atmospheric CO2 is at the very top of the “food chain”.
If the atmospheric CO2 starts decreasing …….. then the “dying off” begins.

Mark

Wait, what?

menicholas

Air is mostly nitrogen. Air has a tiny amount if CO2.
Fixed nitrogen is a valuable and essential commodity.
Lime produced for carbon dioxide reduction has to be buried somewhere, costing even more money.
Removing nitrogen from the air has no effect on anything, since it is mostly inert, ( except when fixed, by lightning or life forms)
Re moving CO2 in any appreciable amount will damage the biosphere and agriculture, and hence people, by robbing plants of their essential building block.
Are you criminally insane?

benofhouston

Come now, let’s drop the insults. He’s not insane, not evil, just wrong. There is nothing wrong with being wrong, so long as you listen to correction.
People who come and suggest solutions aren’t the enemy. They should be corrected, not attacked.

Ben of Houston

Thing, let me tell you a few things.
The costs of sequestering CO2 aren’t on the order of an oil spill. With oil, you spill approximately 0.1%-1% of the oil you drill, so you clean it up as a side-cost.
With CO2, burning the most efficient hydrocarbon, methane, just to take CO2 out of the air and compress it into workable pressures or liquid takes roughly 20-40% of the energy that you get from burning it in the first place (and that’s being optimistic). These aren’t “large” amounts of energy. These are astronomical levels of energy. The scale of such a project to make any meaningful impact on CO2 levels is truly breathtaking. Plus, you need a ready source of non-Lime calcium. Billions of tons of it if you want to make a difference, and it’s creation, preparation, and transport as well as any construction, reaction and secondary processing of the chemicals must be so energy-light that it doesn’t negate your actions. Note: Such a calcium source doesn’t exist, and if it did, the energy consumed by this process would far outstrip it’s CO2 capture abilities many times over, so we could stop here.
However, I will go further. To make something like this work, it has to make something productive. You can’t dedicate this kind of investment as a significant fraction of the economy to work that has no benefit. The problem with making lime is that it’s already dirt cheap. You are literally investing Trillions to make fill rock that is already in ample supply. People already have to pay money to get rid of it, and you are going to be making billions of extra tons? To compare, nitrogen fixation is easier and cheaper (due to being 80% of the atmospere instead of 0.4%) and produces ready nitrogen for fertilizer or chemistry, something that otherwise would be quite expensive. What are you going to do with this, build a mountain? Then, next time it rains, you are going to have the nasty fact that lime is water soluble and breaks right back down into CO2. Plus you just messed up your waterways by raising the pH of the stream to astronomical heights.
So, no it’s not an obvious solution. It’s a very bad one.

benofhouston

Sorry, I mistyped. CO2 is 0.04% of the atmosphere.

oeman50

Extracting CO2 from the air is highly inefficient. The concentration difference driving force for the reaction is a maximum of 400 PPM. If you get it from the stack of a coal power plant, it is 120,000 PPM. And then you have to expend the energy to move 300 times more gas to get the same number of pounds of CO2. In a power plant, the flue gas is moved as a consequence of generating electricity, so moving the gas is essentially free.

Matt Bergin

There is no need to capture any CO2 because more CO2 is better than less CO2

Vboring

If you’re fixated on CO2, fission is the only viable option today. Even then, it is only viable under a rational regulatory environment. Nuclear in Korea costs $1/W for construction – about the same as a combined cycle gas plant. In the US, we’re about 5x that.
And if you’re going to build nuclear, it should be near the coast so you can use the low grade heat to drive multi effect distillation plants for desalination. A 1GW plant can produce enough water for a city of about 500k.

thingadonta

Too all the comments.
I dont think CO2 becomes a ‘pollutant’ until it actually does some negative damage, which I think is more likely above 1000-2000ppm in the atmosphere than below. But often the regulatory environment of mining and energy sets a very low (or high) bar for these things, (which is what all the fuss is about over CO2 and climate-a sense of proportion when it comes to ‘potential’/real pollution).
Mining and energy companies have to do this sort of ‘potential pollution mitigation’ all the time, even when things they are doing are not really ‘polluting’ at all, it’s often just ‘potential’ mitigation against ‘potential’ pollutants, and a cost of doing business. Providing such doesnt go beyond something like 5-10% of the cost of operating it usually comes out ‘ok’. (A rule of thumb is that many mining companies for example budget ~5% of their costs to local social/environmental issues as part of ‘doing business’.This ‘5%’ attracts of flies).
The idea of extracting CO2 then is ‘potential pollution mitigation’, partly to placate worst case scenarios; if one thinks this is entirely unnecessary, it is pretty much routine amongst most mining and energy projects, as a cost of doing business.
I’d just like to know the numbers of how much energy, and the cost, this would actually be, using nuclear energy for CO2 extraction, what the various logistical aspects are, and how much this would actually reduce CO2 (‘m talking very large scale-think Canadian tar sand type scale- over hundreds of years), which is likely the only energy option.

thingadonta

A paper on CO2 removal from air.
file:///C:/Users/Roger/My%20Documents/PNAS-2011-House-20428-33.pdf

thingadonta

Here is the proper link to a paper about CO2 extraction from air.
Assumes, amongst other things, “abundant and inexpensive non-carbon energy sources”
http://www.pnas.org/content/108/51/20428.full

Knute

The warmistas have a puzzling problem. They won the CO2 battle and would like to promote nuclear. They are having a hell of a time raising any kind of grass roots support or 1% money because of fukushima.
Nuclear may very well be a good idea but it’s not selling these days.

tmc77

Depends on where you look. China has just announce their resumption of inland reactor builds, 33 power stations with an average of 3 reactors per plant adds up to roughly 100 new reactors on top of the builds they already have in progress. That the equivalent of the entire American fleet, and that’s just the start.
http://focustaiwan.tw/news/aeco/201509270018.aspx

simple-touriste

Even before Fukushima, nuclear wasn’t very popular – Chernobyl effect.
It’s funny because the effects of Chernobyl contamination on the public couldn’t even be measured, except for the iodine.

Ian Macdonald

The safety problems with current reactors are down-to engineering methods rather than the basic physics. Use of zirconium metal fuel cladding, combined with pressurised water cooling, was the basic weakness at both Chernobyl and Fukushima. An intrinsically safe reactor would eliminate all inflammable or volatile materials from the core.
You would think they learned this lesson from the Windscale fire involving uranium metal, also inflammable if heated sufficiently. But no. They then went on to use oxide fuel, but clad in flashbulb metal. Take away one danger, replace it with another.

simple-touriste

The weakness of Chernobyl was fuel cladding? What is your source on that?

Ric Haldane

Iodine 129 has a half life of 15.7 million years.

MarkW

Chernobyl was an old design that was rejected by the west because it was inherently unsafe. It was adopted by the Soviets because it was cheap. To compound the error, they decided to save even more money by skipping the containment building.
Fukushima was an old design that isn’t being used any more. The reactor itself had already been scheduled to be decommissioned when the earthquake hit. Had the emergency generator been a few feet higher off the ground, or in a water tight building, there never would have been a problem there.

Silver ralph

Chernobyl was not much better than the original Manhattan graphite pile. Always suceptable to steam-graphite explosions and with no containment vessel. An accident waiting to happen. Typical of Soviet engineering. Their only sucesses came when copying Western designs.

Bob Burban

In 1959 there was a nuclear reactor meltdown at Santa Susana, on the outskirts of Los Angeles, in the 1950’s.

johnmarshall

The CO2 battle is still raging and the alarmists are loosing, they just don’t know it yet. Thorium reactors are safe, fuel cheap and the designs are easy because no cooling is required. Cheap to build, you could build one for the price of a gas power station.

Gamecock

Thorium reactors are . . . imaginary.

Ian Macdonald

So the thorium reactor they built and extensively tested in the 50’s, intended to power an aircraft that didn’t get built because they decided on subs instead, was multiplied by the square root of minus one?
Well, I never.

notfubar

Maybe Gamecock means that thorium reactors are actually uranium 233 reactors/breeders. I like the designs, especially those with liquid fuel.

Gamecock

Ian Macdonald
September 30, 2015 at 7:34 am
So the thorium reactor they built and extensively tested in the 50’s
====================
Never happened. Where did you get such a ridiculous idea?

Gamecock

notfubar
September 30, 2015 at 9:02 am
Maybe Gamecock means that thorium reactors are actually uranium 233 reactors/breeders.
===============
That’s part of it. “Thorium reactor” is an oxymoron; it’s not possible.

Leo Morgan

97 percent of Alarmists believe Nuclear is blasphemy. Its not about rational thought for most of them.

notfubar

…but if the idea does take hold, I’d be able to get a job in Australia! (now if only the Kiwis would quit their nuclear-phobia…)

Dawtgtomis

Nuclear power is the only practical energy source to bridge the gap from fossil fuels (should they be depleted) to fusion, or whatever the next source of dense energy is found to be.
The industrial nations owe it to the developing world, to pioneer and employ safe nuclear methods for the generation of electricity, while fostering the use of the cleanest, state-of-the-art coal power technology available to lift the third world into productivity and affluence.

It’s not selling because of the anti science green ideologues to start with. There’s a case of the most outrageous lying ever in the handicapping of the nuclear industry over the last seventy five years!

simple-touriste

“because of the anti science green ideologues to start with”
Yes and Big Coal/Oil/Methane has nothing to do with that?

menicholas

You seem to have chosen a very apropos name for your self, Simple.

“Big coal?” A joke, right? Oil doesn’t even compete with nuclear – get real.

simple-touriste

What do you mean?
That no electricity is or was made from oil?
That the coal lobby isn’t antinuclear, esp. in Australia?
Get real!

MarkW

The paranoia is strong with this one young padawan.

brians356

If the producers of “The China Syndrome” had not been so prescient (or lucky) to have cast Jack Lemmon as the hapless hero, it would never have had the lasting emotional impact it had on a generation of Planet Savers. Lemmon was perfect for that role, and sold it as only he could have. I wonder if he realized how harmful an effect that role had on our national energy security?

Jane Fonda too! She was just involved in the Shell protests in Oregon. Funny how her reputation has been managed to be wholesome in the face of her treasonous acts while visiting North Vietnam. Bill Cosby needs to hire her PR people!

Nucular is expensive. The UK blew a heap of money on their new plants. And after Gillard deindustrialised the country, we don’t need the power.
Build nothing. Our required generation is massively negative.

simple-touriste

“Nucular is expensive”
No it isn’t. Regulation is.
Do you have an idea about much is “1 mSv”? The regulatory limit for the public is 1 mSv from industrial sources. (From other sources nobody cares.)
Do you know what 20 mSv per year for workers means? A lot of constraints.
Do you realize what fear of popular protests imply?

Gamecock

+1
Excessive regulation is the problem.

Leo Smith

what is nucular? a hand cream?

menicholas

Hey, even Homer Simpson knows how to spell and pronounce “nuclear” properly.

EJ

Homer may know how to spell it and pronounce it,
but he doesn’t know much else.
I know a guy that has a large drawer with several individual bins. Each bin with its name of item inside. While noticing the very, very simple words spelt wrong on these bins (example : Faucit, should be Faucet) and other simple words, I also, at the same time, recognized the absolute brilliance of the this person while on the phone rattling off an 18 digit number from memory.
Knowing how to spell correctly for any given language means absolutely nothing as to the intelligence of the person making a mistake in their spelling.

Fusion power is not even close as of yet. Maybe in 50 years they say. I’ve been hearing that tail for over 60 years. Fission is the only power source known, that can supply industrial amounts of energy that society can afford. Same answer to the problem that has been available for over 50 years. The only thing that stands in the way is Liberal Progressive Ecoloons that have no concept of reality…pg

Ian Macdonald

Fusion has been demonstrated. It works. The next stage is to build a larger reactor that will produce breakeven energy output. Cash constraints are the problem here. The money being spent (wasted?) annually on renewables is many, many, times larger than the amount needed to build a production-scale reactor. Fusion, along with thorium and shale gas, is what the greenies fear because it would mean an end to their little gravy train. That is why Greenpeace and others have put out this kind of propaganda saying it can’t be done. It can, and that is what they don’t want to happen.

simple-touriste

Fusion produce fast neutrons that destroys fragile magnets.

Ian Macdonald

Tritium fusion, the easiest to do, produces very energetic neutrons which are hard to shield against. Not the only possible reaction though.

notfubar

Yes Ian, we have demonstrated our ability to create fusion in ridiculously large quantities. But all we have to show for it is a few dented atolls. The problem is we haven’t solved the materials issues needed to effectively contain it, keep it going, and gather the energy for useful purposes – like making enough electricity to pay for itself. A thorium based uranium 233 breeder will work, and could be made very cheap to operate (getting the first one thru the regulatory process in almost any western nation will be very expensive though).

simple-touriste

You mentioned France; here are a few remarks (in no well defined order) about French atomic energy.
The French nuclear program aim was “energy independence”, or less dependence on Middle East oil. Of course, France still needs oil (and methane) imports, but it doesn’t burn heavy oil to produce electricity (unlike Italy).
After year of playing different designs (UK-like CO2 cooled graphite reactors, one heavy water reactor, a few experimental sodium cooled fast spectrum reactors), France now only uses Westinghouse-like PWR designs for energy generation, with “gray bars” (control rods that don’t absorb too much neutrons) for better reactivity control and frequent water borification/purification to control output.
Cheap electricity and lots of advertising encouraged people to use electric heating a lot; France has a large electric power sensibility on temperature: each degree of colder temps implies a big rise of domestic electricity needs. This puts the grid near the limit during a few days every winter (record electric consumption is little more than 100 GW or 1.5 kW per person on average).
France enjoys a lot of hydro (most dams are on the Rhone) which makes production adjustment easier and also serves as a power reserve in case of a reactor going offline, or even a whole plant (this can happen when jellyfish attack!).
Switzerland with all its hydro is a big energy buffer and plays a very big role in Europe.
France usually exports power during the nights; and imports when it is very cold, mostly from Germany. France lacks cheap plants for peak production.
During summer, output of plants on rivers sometimes has to be lowered as the water temp rises. This causes much controversy every time as the plants are labeled as “unreliable” by activists for this reason.
French nuclear reactors are designed to do some pretty serious load following, of course not a as fast as plants designed for fast output variations like gas plants. Nuclear is NOT “inflexible” (as opponents like to say).
Nuclear plants are costly before they produce a single kWh (and then the marginal cost is very small) and going to higher nuclear energy proportion means that they produce less (more load following), which lowers the economic return.
At the end of the year, France is a net electric energy exporter. This pays the bill for uranium imports (France stopped mining its own uranium a long time ago).
French Academy of Sciences and the Academy of Medicine are opposed to the extrapolation of linear law to small radiation doses, and the absurd concept “collective doses” (they are hated by the “greens” for this reason). But the gov and gov controlled CEA (Commissariat à l’Energie Atomique) ignore the science and promote no threshold linear law, and IRSN (official source of nuclear science for the regulator, the ASN = Autorité de Sureté Nucléaire) promotes scare of naturally occurring radon in Bretagne (yet almost nobody cares about naturally occurring radon).
I think Prof Pierre Pellerin was one of the most hated person in France. After the Chernobyl accident, he said no particular safety measure was needed in France (he was right). The journalists invented a “quote” where Pellerin would have said that the “cloud stopped at the border”, which is BS, he never said anything vaguely similar to that; on the contrary, Pierre Pellerin went to TV to give average air radioactivity in France.
“cloud stopped at the border” is now one of the most commonly repeated quote in France. A made-up quote!
Another hated medical experts is André Aurengo, specialist of biophysics (see Chernobyl : The Effects on Public Health ?). He is hated because he knows what he is talking about! His expertise is mostly ignored by the French medias as well as politicians, of course.
With the new regulation established under the influence of “progressive” IRSN scientists, nobody knows how to build a reactor in a way that complies with the ASN rules, which requires theoretical perfection. Notably, the forge of Le Creusot wasn’t able to forge a containment vessel good enough (the containment vessels in existing plants probably all have these defects, perfection wasn’t required at the time!).
Europe has a low regulatory limit of radiation doses for nuclear workers of 20 mSv when US has 50 mSv per year. This can have a very significant impact on some maintenance activities which requires going next to a steam generator or other primary loop element.

mikewaite

Thank you, ST, for the useful lesson on the French nuclear industry . In UK we do not realise the extent to which we rely in the UK on its success. Typically , according to Gridwatch
http://www.gridwatch.templar.co.uk/france/
about 80% of France’s energy production is from nuclear. I am not aware of any significant (ie headlining) problems with it and I notice that today France is exporting 1.8GW of (mainly nuclear) energy to UK , which exceeds our own metered wind generated power (1.3GW) .
What are the future plans for the combined nuclear and hydro sectors in France , which together usually seem to fulfill all France’s internal power needs from the occasional visits I have made to the gridwatch site.
Are there any books on the history of the French nuclear industry that you can recommend to the general reader with a technical background ( I have spent time as a radiation protection supervisor)?

Norbert Twether

Please stop referring to the Chernobyl reactor meltdown as “an accident” – it was caused by human error.
“A series of operator actions, including the disabling of automatic shutdown mechanisms, preceded the attempted test early on 26 April. By the time that the operator moved to shut down the reactor, the reactor was in an extremely unstable condition.”
http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/Safety-and-Security/Safety-of-Plants/Chernobyl-Accident

Erik Magnuson

What was worse was that that shutdown actually triggered the even. The scram rods increased reactivity on initial insertion, which lead to a power increase causing steam bubbles to form. Since the reactor had a positive void coefficient of reactivity (a big no-no in the US from AEC days), this led to a further increase in power, wich led to even more voids being formed, and so on. On top of that, the reactor was near the end of core life and was mostly burning plutonium, which reduced the delayed neutron fraction, leading to a prompt critical excursion, massive steam explosion and melting of the fuel.
Chernobyl was more of a result of fundamental design flaws than operator error.

schitzree

If a car crashes we still call it an “accident”, even if they were driving a poorly maintained Pacer on two wheels in the wrong lane while texting. It’s only not an accident if it’s deliberate, and as dumb as they were they weren’t actually trying to blow it up… probably.

simple-touriste

They wanted to see: what happens when we disable the safety limitations, disable the emergency backup system, run the reactor in the most unstable state (too cold means danger in nuclear reactors), ignoring the instructions of the designers of this reactor.
And now they know.
Childs, don’t try that at home! Run your unsafe reactors at max power and max temperature or not at all!

simple-touriste

The control rods of RBMK are special:
– they move very slowly
– they are dual purpose: they slow down the nuclear reaction when inserted (most of the rod is a neutron absorber) but the tip is a reaction “accelerator” in layman terms (the tip of the rod is a neutron moderator)
During the insertion of the rods, the tip enters first between fuel units and moderates neutrons, worsening the excess of reactivity that was the reason the control rods needed to be inserted.

notfubar

ST, you are knowledgeable and well-educated for a tourist! Do they use something like the Westinghouse Boron Thermal Regeneration System in France to assist their load following? Both plants I worked at that had BTRS ripped them out as they had no motivation for load following. We just ran as close to 100% for as long as you could between refueling – we had lower fuel & O&M costs than anything else, so we were base load.

notfubar

PS – LNT is bogus, but just try to get funding for a study to find an optimal threshold. It would be harder than getting funding for a “CO2 is not a problem” study.

pat

Australia does not need nuclear.
26 Sept: UK Telegraph: Christopher Booker: Hinkley: a truly major national scandal
The new nuclear power station will be the costliest engineering project Britain has ever embarked on, and a total waste of money
Although it was originally claimed that Hinkley Point C would cost only £10 billion and be “cooking Christmas dinners by 2017”, its completion date is now likely to be well after 2023, and its cost has spiralled so fast it will be way over the current figure of £24.5 billion. This would already make it more expensive than the Channel Tunnel and half the estimated cost of the vast, as-yet unapproved HS2 rail project.
But all we might get for this colossal sum would be 3.2 gigawatts of heavily subsidised “low-carbon” electricity, when the latest £1 billion gas-fired power station at Pembroke can already provide 2GW of unsubsidised power at half the price and at less than a 20th of the capital cost…
Yet when Channel 4 News reported the story on Monday, Jon Snow could think of no one better to interview on it than that great energy expert Vivienne Westwood, the dress designer, who could only repeat that “renewables” are getting “ever cheaper”, while subsidies to fossil fuels (non-existent) are rising ever higher…
Yet when Channel 4 News reported the story on Monday, Jon Snow could think of no one better to interview on it than that great energy expert Vivienne Westwood, the dress designer, who could only repeat that “renewables” are getting “ever cheaper”, while subsidies to fossil fuels (non-existent) are rising ever higher.
592 COMMENTS
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/11893698/Hinkley-a-truly-major-national-scandal.html

simple-touriste

Yes, building a nuclear plant is costly, but then the “fuel” is cheap. A good deal if you can manage to finish the building phase.
AFAIK the aren’t financing that, the ratepayer will. (Unless it goes bankrupt.)

indefatigablefrog

The electricity bill payer will be financing the project via a commitment to over double the current wholesale electricity price for all electricity generated. This is a scandal. And such outrageous deals were only normalized in the public mind as a result of the recent craze for offering ten times the wholesale electricity price for renewables schemes.
On the downside, we are being exposed to the risks associated with nuclear power production.
On the other downside, we are being charge twice the going rate for the power produced.
And on the other downside, the profits of running the scheme and constructing the plant are going to the French and the Chinese.
Is their an upside? I can’t see one.

simple-touriste

When I learned about the tariff for EPR, I almost fell of my chair. £92/MWh … really? UK must be reliable-power desperate!
UK built nuclear reactors in the past. Where is the knowledge? Where is the experience?

Khwarizmi

I would like to see the public utilities back in public hands. I’m tired of being pimped out to corporations by politicians who don’t represent the wishes of the people.
Australians didn’t ask for or want their public utilities sold. Australians don’t want or need nuclear power, or a predatory private nuclear industry. (How’s that cleanup at Fukushima progressing, btw?)
If we had some democracy in our convict colony–and we don’t–we could get our stolen assets back, like they did in Hamburg. Most Australians would vote for that if given the chance.
Greedy corporations and our undemocratic system are the main problem with the Australian energy system, not CO2.
============
“The economic anarchy of capitalist society as it exists today is, in my opinion, the real source of the evil. ”
Albert Einstein
============
Electricity is free in Qatar. That’s an interesting fact that the western corporate media doesn’t broadcast. It wasn’t even mentioned during the climate confab in Doha.

simple-touriste

Why do you believe the region of Fukushima needs a cleanup?

Khwarizmi

It’s not what I believe: it’s what billions of dollars are being spent on now and for the foreseeable future:
http://fukushima.ans.org/report/cleanup
Maybe you can convince the Japanese that it’s just waste of money. Some of the sailors ordered to sweep radioactive snow off the deck of the U.S.S. Ronald Reagan might be interested in your reasoning:
http://nypost.com/2013/12/22/70-navy-sailors-left-sickened-by-radiation-after-japan-rescue/

simple-touriste

Do you have actual data about the U.S.S. Ronald Reagan sailors illnesses? Number of cases vs. expected, as usual.
Do you realize these boats are more a town than a normal boat? Do you realize that among tens of thousands of sailors, a few will have “rare” diseases a few year after (write here whatever event you find scary)?
Do you understand that they received minuscule radiation doses, less than people living in granitic areas, much less than people living at high altitude, much much less than aviation personnel?
Do you know that some sailors are complaining for … back pain?
Do you realize that nobody except people living in the US Justice system have linked such illnesses to radiations?
Don’t you see that this is the typical zero-proof-give-me-money ambulance-chasing lawyer scam?

MarkW

Wow, this guy will believe anything that agrees with his peculiar paranoia.

simple-touriste

“Maybe you can convince the Japanese that it’s just waste of money.”
Nobody can. They have been lied to. They have been told accidents are “impossible”.
Now they will believe anyone who says it’s worse than we thought.
But radiation effects have been studied a lot, maybe more than most other potentially noxious compound or physical phenomenons.
We know elevated background radiations is not linked to higher cancer rates. We have tons of data. We know even more than about the link between smoking and cancer.

old construction worker

“Electricity is free in Qatar” Spoken like a true progressive socialist. There are no free lunches. There trade offs such as higher taxes or selling government owned exports to cover the “free lunches”
Greedy corporations. So, corporation should loose money? Maybe you believe government should own everything and are the only ones that make a profit? If everybody works for Mickey D’s, Mickey D’s goes broke. The same for the government. It has been tried and has failed ever time.
Please don’t confuse crony capitalism with free market with corporations. The more governments tries to the pick winners and loosers the bigger crony capitalism problem becomes.

Khwarizmi

Spoken like a true progressive socialist.”
==================
Thanks for that ridiculous and meaningless right-wing rhetoric.
“Why Socialism” – by Albert Einstein:
http://monthlyreview.org/2009/05/01/why-socialism
(I’m not a socialist: I’m pragmatic.)
The “trade off” in Qatar is this
1) refined petroleum at around 11c a liter, and
2) a $50,000 cheque each year for being a loyal Qatari who doesn’t complain about the ruling caste family, a.k.a, “government”
I could live with that kind of generous bribery for living under our form of dictatorship.
Unfortunately, for some mysterious reason, resource-rich Australia doesn’t have any money in the bank to bribe the subjects, unlike resource-rich little Qatar:
https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/rankorder/2187rank.html
Why are you opposed to public-owned utilities, anyway?
Are you opposed to the kind of democracy they have in Hamburg that restored privatized power to public hands?

Khwarizmi

…bikie gangs, drugs, prostitution, a complete menagerie of criminals feasting on government money.
===============
Nice summary of how Australia works at every level.
I just want my public utilities back in public hands, like they democratically did in Hamburg.
That’s the sore point I keep highlighting that every response has overlooked in favor of promoting undemocratic forcing of the system. Einstein described that forcing most adequately in his rarely-mentioned essay that I referenced. That’s how we got shafted with the 2nd most expensive electricity on the planet.
If we had democracy we wouldn’t be in this situation, since the majority of the people didn’t want to be pimped out to corporations in the first place. Kennett couldn’t sell the idea in Victoria even when he was a popular “mover and shaker” in a stagnant state. So he simply ignored the wishes of the people, as all Australian politicians do when they fail to manufacture consent for bad policy.

MarkW

Socialism doesn’t work. But those who’s desire to control others will never admit that.

BFL

“Socialism doesn’t work. But those who’s desire to control others will never admit that.”
Another “all or nothing” reactionary. Some socialism is desirable, unless you don’t want or believe in such things as medicare or social security and want to work until you die on the job because you owe your life to a corporate entity that is allowed no rules whatsoever (re 1890’s early 1900’s). I agree that there can be an “excess” on either side and an “approved” balance is the stuff of regular political diatribe.

MarkW

BFL, I love the way socialists actually pretend that only govt is capable of providing health care or charity.
Perhaps it’s because most socialists are, at their core, extremely selfish people. So they naturally believe that no one else would give their own money for good causes. That’s why the govt is required to take money from other people (never the socialists) and give it to those who’s votes the govt wants to buy.

simple-touriste

“Why are you opposed to public-owned utilities, anyway?”
They are often badly run, with either very bad quality of services, too much personnel, salaries much higher than in similar jobs elsewhere, hyper-specialisation of personnel (you need several highly workers in SNCF, the French national rail company when one worker is able to handle many different tasks in Germany).
State owned companies are sometimes used to find jobs for incompetent retired, ridiculed, incompetent politicians (f.ex. French ministry of culture (who said people should use OpenOffice as a firewall) has been hired by France Telecom/Orange, the (mostly) state-owned telecom company, probably for her deep computer security knowledge).
Even when national companies insist that safety is their main priority, unlike cheaper alternatives, the facts often proves that is wrong (we saw that with Air France and SNCF).

Fukushima cleanup is goingwell. Area being repopulated. Relatively small area affected. Considering the fact that there have been exactly two nuclear accidents of consequnce over the past 60 years, with no fatalities and no excessive exposure, we know every other form of power production is far, fra more dangerous and deadly than nuclear. In just one year, more disabilities and deaths from installing solar roofs in California than have occurred in the entire nuclear industry over the past 50 years. Only morons like Kwarizmi can lie so blatantly about nuclear power. Australia needs carbon free power and that’s only going to come from nuclear. And current revised safety equipment requirments will make any Fukushima type acccident virtually impossible and Gen3 plus reactor designs now being deployed (Westinghouse AP1000) make even innoculous, non-deadly accidents like Fukushima impossible. People like Kwarizmi
are fossils who live in the past and make ignorant and stupid observations, and need to be purged from serious discussions of energy.

Khwarizmi

Only morons like Kwarizmi can lie so blatantly about nuclear power
===================
Can you quote my “lies”, verbatim?
I;d like to see them.

MarkW

We can start with the two articles you posted.

Khwarizmi

Oh – you mean to say that Albert Einstein and CBS were telling lies, and my provision of the links to their alleged lies –ones you can’t be bothered quoting, makes me complicit in those alleged lies?
Is that what you mean, Mark?
Is that why you didn’t quote a single example of one of my alleged “lies”?
Can I call you a liar whenever I feel like it without any evidence to support my case?
Would that be ethical behavior in your mind?

MarkW

So a man who knows a lot about physics is supposed to be an expert on economics?
It’s a lie to make such a claim.
Sorry you get so upset when your shortcomings are exposed.
They have self help groups for that.

MarkW

A few years ago, Steven Hawkins declared that unless we get CO2 under control, the planet will end up like Venus.

MarkW

Why don’t we turn over everything to the govt?
Since obviously no corporation can be trusted and govt would never, ever, do anything to hurt people.

Patrick

Will never happen in Australia due to decades of fear campaigns spat out by the uninformed, supported by ignorant and uninformed Govn’t and media. It’s rather sad because if CO2 is a problem, and our contribution is the driver of climate change, then nuclear is the ONLY viable option. It matters not what our domestic emissions are however, because Aus exports its emissions in the form of coal and gas primarily to China.

Chris Hanley

“… In one decade, Australia went from paying one of the cheapest electricity rates in the world, to paying some of the most expensive rates in the world, thanks largely to government green energy initiatives …”.
======================================
“South Korea and Taiwan are managing to produce cheaper power than Australia, even though they have to ship the Australian coal that fires their furnaces … in self-sufficient Australia, households are paying one-third more for electricity than those in Taiwan and South Korea – two of the biggest buyers of Australian coal …” (The Australian November 05 2010).
In many cases the power is generated in situ.
Go figure.

Iain Reid

Chernobyl’s accident wasn’t due to a design fault per se, but reckless testing to see how long the turbines would run if there was a total power failure. What they did for this test was to shut off the safety circuits which would (should?) have prevented the meltdown. Apparently had there been a containment cell this would have saved the worst of the disaster so in that instance was a design drawback but the fault was entirely due to the plant operators.

Tippy Hedron

Here’s a paper describing the dynamic instabilities in the Chernobyl reactor’s design, and a timeline for the accident.
https://jagger.berkeley.edu/~pack/me234/GSBode.pdf

Tippy Hedron

More detail: The dynamic instabilities was due, in part, to the use of graphite as a moderator. At certain power levels steam voids destabilize instead of stabilize the reaction. That instability caused the explosion, because the feedback control was unable to react quickly enough to keep everything stabilized.
Here’s the timeline from the paper:
• 1) Power had been brought down during the previous day to around 700 MWt, the edge of the legal low-power operating limit, ready to run the test.
• 2) A switchover was made to different flux detectors, better suited for power sensing at this low level, which was apparently a standard procedure. During the switchover, however, the operator neglected to engage the power-hold mode. This oversight set up the conditions for the accident.
• 3) Without automatic power hold, reactor power dropped rapidly to 30 MWt. The operator halted this drop and recovered to 200 MWt by withdrawing control rods.
• 4) With automatic control of power and manual control of feedwater, the plant successfully maintained 200 MWt. Because feedwater flow settings were high, however, the steam void in the reactor dropped to zero. Lower reactivity was compensated for by pulling even more control rods. Only six to eight rods remained in the reactor, far fewer than the minimum number (30) required by operating regulations.
• 5) To avoid automatic shutdown triggered by out-of range steam drum and feedwater signals, the operator disabled the associated automatic scram control circuits.
• 6) Recognizing excessive feedwater, the operator finally reduced pumping rates. The steam void recovered, producing increased reactivity. Automatic power controls responded to keep power regulated. This response was rate limited and barely stable.
• 7) Next, in preparation for the actual intended test, the operator disabled the automatic scram circuits associated with turbine trip signals.
• 8) Finally, the test was actually started. Steam was cut to the test turbine. The steam void began to rise [and with it dynamic instability], and the power controller responded by inserting all three available banks of control rods at maximum rates. This was too little control authority, applied too slowly. A huge power rise followed, up to an estimated 300,000 MWt (100 times rated capacity). The reactor was destroyed. Steam at primary working pressure was released into the reactor containment chamber. The 1,000-ton cover plate of the chamber blew off, and the entire radioactive debris was exposed to the environment
[Continuing.
Once the very hot graphite core-and-PU+radioactive-wastes was exposed to the atmospheric oxygen (because the cover plate was blown off and all water coolant was immediately flashed into steam/evaporated);
the graphite core heated up and began chemically burning;
this pulled more oxygen into the graphite core and its Pu and the embedded old waste radioactive debris;
which lifted it up into the lower atmosphere;
which the winds then distributed widely.
It was the only the uncontained chemical fire that allowed the radioactive wastes to be distributed so widely.
It was only a carbon (graphite) core that could sustain a fast neutron flux and reaction.
It was the only a fast neutron flux that could convert to available U238 into weapons-grade Pu239.
It was only the weapons-grade Pu239 that could be used for Soviet-era bombs.
It was a Soviet-era Communist philosophy that required nuclear weapons to be built with no containment, and required that civilian apartment buildings be heated with the waste hot water from a Plutonium weapons-production uncontained fast reactor.
If you cite a radiation problem from Chernobyl, cite the socialist government that built it that way.
.mod]

simple-touriste

“It was only the weapons-grade Pu239 that could be used for Soviet-era bombs”
@Mod
Do you have proof that that plant was actually used to produce weapon-grade plutonium?

dp

Oz has the government they deserve. They have the expenses they deserve. Nobody did this to them – this was all self-inflicted. The really funny thing is nothing they’re suffering for is going to make a dent in the CO2 because global fossil fuel production is going up. So long as that is true all the suffering going on in the land of Oz is a fool’s errand. Unintended consequences: jobs are being created over seas because the cost of business in Oz is stupid high relative to everywhere else thanks to these moronic policies. Those places Oz is sending their fossil fuels to are building the things that are too expense when built in Oz.
The US is next because the idiot in the whitehouse is afflicted with the same self-destructive gene that impairs Oz. We also deserve what we get because we vote like morons.

Brett Keane

When I think about it, Oz didn’t vote for greenacy when they voted Labour, who betrayed them for Green support, i.e. power. Nor did they vote for greenacy, far from it, when they elected Abbott’s mob, but are now in danger of being betrayed again. I would not expect my Oz neighbours to put up with that however, nosirree!

Tom in Florida

Brett Keane
September 30, 2015 at 12:53 am
“I would not expect my Oz neighbours to put up with that however, nosirree!”
Maybe but since the government took away all their guns, what are they really going to be able to do about it?

Australia has massive coal reserves and easy (rail and shipping) ways of moving it to power stations, so Oz does not have an electricity problem, it has a Green problem.
As an experiment they could allow Tasmania to go for 100% renewables, good luck with that.

Patrick

Australia has something like ~500 years of known reserves of coal at current consumption rates. Yet, the left leaning and “green” types in Australia think it best be left in the ground, y’know, for the benefit of humanity and all that crud!

Old MD

Read your history. The environmentalists killed nuclear power in the 70s. Society caved, and expanded coal. Then the environmentalists went after coal. Can’t have that, the environmentalists said. The response was to develop natural gas. Then the environmentalists went after NG: No frakking.
So, what do the enviros want? People living on digging in the dirt, maybe 500 million of them will be sustainable. They enviross are doing their part, only having one child, killing most of their unborn children, everybody needs to follow their example. It’s a death cult.

Climate Heretic

Nuclear is the only way to go and its going to happened whether we like it or not and the type of nuclear reactor will be thorium reactors.
Regards
Physgirl
PS I predict that Thorium reactors will eventually take over our current nuclear, gas and coal power stations.

Patrick

Not in Australia it won’t ‘coz once you mention Thorium is fertile and needs to be enriched with 1 neutron to become fissile, Aussies tremble at the knees and do something childish in their pants. It is remarkable to see a grown adult quiver when mentioning fissile fuel for power generation.

MarkW

I see emsnews is still trying to advance the notion that any increase in radiation, no matter how small is deadly.

HocusLocus

PS I predict that Thorium reactors will eventually take over our current nuclear, gas and coal power stations.

But the real question is, will the conditions for achieving this begin to occur within our lifetimes? Before say, a flash-crash correction of the world economy, and before mankind awakens too late from the decades-long nightmare of fronting so-called ‘renewable’ wind and solar sources that would never scale to power our modern industrial society?
In trying to promote and agitate at times for a Thorium renaissance in our time I’ve met resistance from some pretty odd directions. People seem to have been SOLD on the idea that wind and solar could scale to 7 billiion people at anything near today’s standard of living. The youngish weekend amateur who has sunk $30k into a system that provides some of their energy and allows them to sell some power back to the utility some of the time turns out to be an outspoken proponent of wind energy, and why? Because deep down their own experience has taught them that solar would not scale. And so they have to go for the ‘other’ thing, and wind is the ‘other’ thing. They find the thought of nuclear energy distasteful somehow and do not really know why, though some are very quick to defensively cut and paste the many radiation scare-snippets that circulate. But (sadly) it does not reveal evidence of having come to an independent conclusion, and (sadly) maintaining civilization at a modern level of convenience does not seem to be a priority. I have concluded that much of the fear of nuclear energy has been inherited — unquestioned — directly from a generation of parents for whom nuclear energy is irrationally equated with earth-rape and nuclear war.
That is why the same folks who obsess over measurable and traceable (yet insignificant) Cesium isotopes in fish, who do not grasp the extent of natural radiation, are blind to the chemically toxic disaster that would ensue with a full industrial scale-up of wind, solar and grid storage. Beside the fact that there would never be enough capital to make it work. They like hydroelectric power, don’t we all, and imagine there is still some river out there somewhere begging to be damned. They like geothermal, don’t we all, and are sure there’s some way to harness this corrosive and environmentally disastrous method. Fusion will arrive tomorrow so let us do nothing today. There’s a whole laundry list. Each has become a whole series of mindless distractions where they feel the need to divert the conversation away from nuclear energy, if even for a moment. As an optimist I have been brought kicking and screaming to this sad conclusion.
And in many cases it is hopeless. It is time for the wind and solar boondoggle to end. It is time to run the numbers and commit to finish the task of taming fire. It is my hope that we will ‘skip over’ this ‘lost’ fear-paralyzed generation if necessary, one that has brought us a continuation of the fossil fuel status quo by fixating on un-workable solutions, and put serious effort into next generation nuclear. Please kids, become engineers and set down to work.
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lG1YjDdI_c8%5D

emsnews

Fukushima continues to pour poisons into Japan and the entire Pacific Ocean and it is unstoppable and horrible.

richardscourtney

emsnews:
I live in Cornwall where the ground pours radioactive materials into the atmosphere of the entire Earth. This is as “unstoppable” and as “horrible” as the emissions you protest.
So, perhaps you could campaign about the emissions from the ground here in Cornwall? This may discourage some of the many who flock to Cornwall for their retirement with resulting pressures on our housing costs and infrastructure.
Thanking you in anticipation
Richard

emsnews

Failing to see the difference between Fukushima and natural conditions: this is a bad idea. Minimizing a very dangerous situation plays right into the hands of the warmists who are also rather delusional.

Khwarizmi

Richard Courtney,
Do British sailors have to scrub the radioactive fallout from that natural outpouring of radioactive materials off the decks of the British fleet from time to time?
==========
Sailors were ordered to scrub decks, stop drinking ship water and seal the ventilation system when the ship sailed into the nuclear plume.
“We sat in this plume for over 5 hours,” said Simmons.
All the while his commanders insisted there was no danger.
“I’ll be honest, I hit the ‘I believe’ button,” he said.
But within months, Simmons, once an avid hiker, began feeling weak and sick with uncontrolled fevers and severe night sweats. Soon he was in a wheelchair, unable to walk. He says military doctors would never tell him what was wrong.
Every one of them wanted to discredit radiation as a possible cause,” Simmons said.
http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2014/11/21/navy-sailors-report-radiation-sickness-japan-quake-tsunami-fukushima-nuclear-power-plant/
==========
Is it the same kind of radioactive material?

MarkW

emsnews: is it your contention that man made radiation is more deadly than natural radiation?
Or are you just an idiot?

Khwarizmi

MarkW,
Is it your contention that regardless of how much you get and at what frequencies, and regardless of what isotopes of what radioactive substances you might ingest, that all radiation is equal?
Or are you just an idiot?

MarkW

Khwarizmi, the fact that low levels of radiation are not harmful has been known for decades. Perhaps if you weren’t so freaking paranoid and actually bothered to learn something rather than merely repeat the pablum that has been spoon fed to you, you wouldn’t sound so incredibly moronic.

Ian Macdonald

The warmists/renewables peddlers despondently see humanity’s cup as half empty, and advise us to go shiver in the dark so as to eke-out what’s left in it. I see the cup as half full. I also think we can fill it to overflowing if we have the mind to succeed.
Funny enough if you ask any ‘new age’ person they will tell you that people create their own reality, so your attitude determines the outcome. Yet the Greens/Warmists, though basically in the same camp as the hippies, don’t seem to recognise the merit of this salutary advice. Basically if we want to succeed and have abundance, we need to take a positive attitude. Such an attitude prevailed in the Manhattan and Apollo projects. Against all odds, they succeeded. We can do thorium if we have the right attitude. We can do fusion too, with a positive approach to it.
OK, that’s my pep talk for the day.

Khwarizmi

“Khwarizmi, the fact that low levels of radiation are not harmful has been known for decades. Perhaps if you weren’t so freaking paranoid and actually bothered to learn something rather than merely repeat the pablum that has been spoon fed to you, you wouldn’t sound so incredibly moronic.”
============
Look at all these paranoid-freaks trying to get the low-level radiation off the U.S.S. Ronald Reagan for no reason at all.comment image
They must look so incredibly moronic to MarkW’s enlightened eye.

I’d point out it was Barry Commoner and that early founding of the Union of Concerned Scientists being shot into leadership of the “antiestablishmentarians” during the Vietnam War that led to the general mistrust of “scientists”. The late green endorsement of “the settled science” is a new position for them. They having generally always been on the side that the “consensus” considered loony, oversimplified, or fraudulent.

notfubar

“my people are destroyed for a lack of knowledge”

MarkW

Khwarizmi is apparently unaware that sailors swab the decks on a regular basis.
Just because he is paranoid and ignorant doesn’t mean everyone else has to be as well.

notfubar

Kwarmizmi / emsnews, please read up on Health Physics. In the meantime, try this from the New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/22/science/when-radiation-isnt-the-real-risk.html?_r=1

Hocus Locus

Failing to see the difference between Fukushima and natural conditions: this is a bad idea. Minimizing a very dangerous situation plays right into the hands of the warmists who are also rather delusional.

True enough, if we’re talking about some really risky business with little benefit. But so much of the story is left untold. Let’s look at the answer to question about Fukushima Daiichi that no one ever seems to ask: What is good about Fukushima Daiichi?
Its first reactor went on-line in March 1971 [cite] and 5 others followed up to 1979. Without accounting for cumulative downtime (hard to find), let’s keep it simple, cut everything here by a third if you like, I come up with a combined total of ~159.12 Gigawatt-years of electricity. That’s ~636.5 million tons of coal [cite] that did not have to be expensively imported and burned to help resource-poor Japan become the industrial giant it is today. Think of it as ~1.8 trillion tons of CO2 [cite] that did not enter the atmosphere, if you like. That’s just one nuclear power plant with reactors that are not big by today’s standards.
There is a great deal of hidden peril facing the entire human species that is a direct result of stalling the Industrial Revolution while we swept nuclear energy under the rug. And I won’t go on about that because Kirk Sorensen in the Thorium video presentation linked above says it so much better.

Fukushima continues to pour poisons into Japan and the entire Pacific Ocean and it is unstoppable and horrible.

Denver is also unstoppable and horrible, but not because it is more radioactive than Fukushima Prefecture. I won’t go on about that either.

Not Thorium reactors – they are primitive – molten salt reactors are safer with respect to proliferation and can burn nuclear wastes and can load follow and never expreinece meltdown.They are inherently safe. Molten salt reactors are being developed by TransatomicPower and Terrestrial Energy and will go commercial within this decade. The future of ALL power will bemolten salt reactors – cheaper than current nuclear and the cheapest power of all.

FWIW, the proposed thorium reactors ARE molten salt reactors – can’t breed 233U from thorium without continuous removal of neutron poison fission products, chiefly samarium and xenon.

simple-touriste

“molten salt reactors are safer with respect to proliferation”
Regular PWR are even safer. Nobody has ever made weapons from used fuel, and while it maybe possible, it is so difficult, anyone attempting that would just waste a lot of time.

Patrick

Here are some picture that get brought up by alarmists about nuclear. This is the energy we need to tap.
http://petapixel.com/2014/03/05/rapatronic-camera-atomic-blast-captured-11000000000th-second/

JJ, too.

Very interesting link. Thank you.

emsnews

Good grief, until we figure out how to stop nuclear disasters, it is highly dangerous.

MarkW

So unless we can figure out how to make the world 100% safe, we should never do anything?
Less than a dozen people have been killed in accidents involving nuclear power in the last 60 years or so.
Hundreds of more people have been killed mining coal and drilling for oil.
Heck, there have been more people killed working at fossil fuel power plants.
It is not highly dangerous, you are just paranoid beyond belief.

simple-touriste

Most effect of the nuclear disaster are created by fear of radiation, not radiation.

Phil B.

If they’re not talking about Thorium there’s no point listening.

rogerknights

Lightbridge has an innovation that would make both new and existing nuclear plants safer and more efficient:
http://seekingalpha.com/article/3540956

In my opinion, the last thing Australia needs is any form of new energy infrastructure investment, except where driven by economic demand.

But Australia already has the uranium. They’re rich in uranium. Nuclear power would be good fit for the country, in that it could be entirely domestic.

richard verney

There is no free market in energy.
The capatilistic system does not work, since it is a monopoly situation.
Bearing in mind the above, and given that energy is a basic and fundamental requirement, there is a strong case for public ownership of the energy companies (I am not talking about Oil producers such as Exxon, or Shell etc).
Governments should be mandated with producing energy for their citizens as cheaply and reliably as possible. It should be abundant and passed onto the customer at cost.

MarkW

Let’s see, you claim that monopolies are a problem, so everything should be turned over to the ultimate monopoly, govt.
BTW, the capitalistic system does work, and has for thousands of years. What doesn’t work is when govt starts interfering with the capitalistic system.
BTW, in the free market, monopolies are impossible, you need the intervention of govt to form those.

Bubba Cow

[Snip. This is the ‘David Socrates’ identity thief again, impersonating a legitimate commenter. ~mod.]

MarkW

Actually capitalism has been around ever since Og decided to trade some berries for Nog’s excess meat.
Capitalism is just another word for the free market, and the free market is what happens when individuals work together.

Bubba Cow

[Snip. This is the ‘David Socrates’ identity thief again, impersonating a legitimate commenter. ~mod.]

Khwarizmi

You should read Einstein’s essay “Why Socialism” for some insight into why unfettered “capitalism” system inevitably leads to monopolies. If reading Einstein doesn’t appeal to you, try a long dull game of Monopoly instead – it was designed to teach a simple lesson:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Landlord%27s_Game
Trading has worked for thousands of years, rarely free of interference from someone imposing tolls and tributes. But capitalism isn’t really about trading – it’s about putting capital and the people who have it above the people who actually produce it.
========
“Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration.
Abraham Lincoln, December 3, 1861
http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2015/08/the-two-core-beliefs-of-the-republican-party.html
========

MarkW

Sorry Bubba, but trading is most definitely part of capitalism.
In fact it is the core of capitalism. All sales are nothing more than trades. You trade your money for something that you want more.

MarkW

Khwarizmi is trying to spout his ignorance again.
Unfettered capitalism never leads to monopolies, that’s another one of the lies the socialists have been trying to sell for generations.
Every single monopoly that has ever formed, was the direct result of govt action.

Bubba Cow

[Snip. This is the ‘David Socrates’ identity thief again, impersonating a legitimate commenter. ~mod.]

ripshin

Meh…respond to Khwarizmi in the terms he himself uses. Capitalism is fundamentally the belief that the product of a man’s hands is his own. That is, a man’s labor is owned by the man, not by the many. So, the berries he raises are his to trade, or eat, as he pleases. Thriftiness results in an accumulation of the man’s labor…or as we call it, wealth. You might also refer to this as capital. Thus, he gets his capital because of his labor. The fact that we convert our labor into a fungible, fiat currency (dollars) does not altar this truth. Our dollars are our labor. Our capital is our accumulated labor.
[Rereading, I realized that I’ve waxed archaic. Please substitute “person” for “man” if you feel that my generic usage isn’t inclusive enough.]
See, now there’s no discord between the ideal and the real. 🙂
rip

MarkW

Bubba, in your opinion, the fact that the country is communist means that individuals within that society can’t behave in a capitalistic way?
Trading isn’t limited to “primitive” societies.
Every time you buy something, you are engaged in trading.
Please, try to learn something about the subject and stop making such a fool out of yourself.

MarkW

Let’s see, so far Khwarizmi has cited a physicist, a politician and a journalist to prove his point regarding economics.
I’m I the only one who sees a pattern here?

MarkW

Microsoft never had a monopoly, so nothing caused it.
There were always at least 3 to 4 other operating systems in operation. Apple, Unix, AIX to name a few.
This was also the same time that Linux was getting going.
Bubba, at no time did I ever declare that trading only occurs in capitalistic societies.
It’s not my fault that you are incapable of understanding a simple concept like that.
The fact that individuals may get away with trading amongst themselves in no way invalidates the fact that the govt and over all economic system is communism.
I should point out that most of those people trading amongst themselves under the communists would have been arrested had they been caught, since such activity was declared illegal.
The fact that even communists can’t completely eliminate the capitalistic urges of individuals is not proof that trading isn’t part of capitalism.
As to glass houses, your’s is broken beyond repair.

Bubba Cow

“Microsoft never had a monopoly”

HA HA HA HA HA.

1) …
…[And etc. This is the banned ‘David Socrates’ again, impersonating a legitimate commenter. ~mod.]

simple-touriste

MS Windows is a local monopoly: only MS Windows is MS Windows.
And this kind of stuff is even more an issue the clueless Supreme Court refuses to even hear the Google Java case.

simple-touriste

“Can you please tell me what “govt action” cause Microsoft’s OS monopoly?”
By cause do you mean “contributed” or “caused entirely”?
Do you believe all events have a single cause?

Bubba Cow

[Snip. This is the ‘David Socrates’ identity thief again, impersonating a legitimate commenter. ~mod.]

BFL

“The capatilistic system does not work, since it is a monopoly situation.”
Some monopolies in critical areas are actually beneficial as long as they have adequate oversight to prevent predatory abuse. Unfortunately in the US, historic “deregulation” didn’t bother keeping the oversight. Many examples since the 1980’s as in health care that was once relatively inexpensive basic hospitalization with a few insurers, then became wide open with no rules and hundreds of companies adding doctor, drug and dental payments to get clients (and push up consumer costs) and the companies were now allowed to disown expensive patients with cancer or previous health issues and could cancel policies on a whim (a side effect is now duel tiered rates at all levels, one for insurers and another for the uninsured making health care too expensive for them and/or resulting in non payment for care resulting in even higher costs for those that have insurance). The Savings and Loan scandal after dereg costing the taxpayer somewhat less than a billion and some 900+ people receiving jail time (unlike the 2008 banking scandals where only one got a slap on the wrist, probably because most of what they were doing had already been “legalized” by the fed/Greenspan). Enron and the rigging of electric rates in California (no oversight again), and many many others. However, since both parties are now in corporate hands and/or special interests, especially with the new Super PAC rules, no improvement is likely in the near future. So basically with a 2 party rigged system, their is really no one to vote for.

MarkW

Fascinating how people actually think that adding ever more layers of govt is some form of deregulation.
It is govt that made health care expensive.

BFL

“It is govt that made health care expensive.”
Well if you are a fan of “no laws or rules” for corporate then you need only look at the 1890’s and early 1900’s (oh how soon history is forgotten). Pre-teen children working 12 hour days and weekends with few safety provisions for anyone. Profits were king but products were cheap, at least monetarily, but at what human cost. Now I suppose you believe that today’s businesses would be above this kind of immorality, if so then you are impeded as all the recent historical evidence shows that they will use any advantage whatsoever (such as using foreign factories that have the same issues).
I do not also see how you can reason that insurance that attempts to cover almost every facet of health, which is what happened to health insurance BECAUSE of DEregulation/increased competition would reduce costs. The increased paper work alone significantly adds to the cost. It should be obvious that some industries do NOT benefit from total competition but that is never a consideration for the ‘all or nothing’ capitalists.

MarkW

Wow, in your insane little world, either the govt controls everything or there are no laws?
The fact of how medicare drove up the cost of health care is well documented, as is the role of state govt in mandating which services must be covered by insurance carriers.
As to Enron, I realize that you love to display your ignorance, but the idea that electric rates had been “deregulated” was one of the biggest lies of the last century. There were new regulations, and the total number of regulations increased.
Let’s put forth a scenario that should be simple enough for even you to understand.
If what Enron did was perfectly with the legal requirements of the time, why did so many people go to jail for doing it?

simple-touriste

“duel tiered rates at all levels, one for insurers and another for the uninsured making health care too expensive for them”
for who?
(Your whole comment doesn’t make much economic sense.)

simple-touriste

given that x is a basic and fundamental requirement, there is a strong case for public ownership of the x companies
Works for water, food, home, health care, even Internet access nowadays..
LOL.

higley7

Nuclear energy, particularly the newest generation of designs, including LIFR thorium reactors that can even burn already existing nuclear waste, getting the other 50% of the energy out of the spent fuel, is the greenest energy on the planet. Nuclear energy has the smallest footprint of all kinds, is reliable and safer than coal, which the most dangerous energy worldwide in terms of worker deaths (mainly while mining).
Of course, the fly in the ointment is that the radical environs do not want reliable, cheap energy. Rather, they want unreliable, expensive energy to degrade our standard of living, dismantle industry, and retire us to subsistence farming.

emsnews

Fukushima happened because of a natural disaster. We have no way to stop nuclear disasters once they commence. So long as this is true, all of humanity is endangered in all sorts of ways by nuclear power systems.
Let’s talk about a very obvious problem: WARS. Humanity can’t go even one year without some war somewhere and any war where there are nuclear reactors can swiftly become a very nasty business and a World War which happens with horrible regularity, will feature many nuclear power plants being blown up.
Look at how our leaders are demonizing Putin and trying desperately to egg us into a war with Russia!

Matt Bergin

Sorry I beg to differ. Fukushima happened because they were still running a 40 year old reactor design. If the reactor had been a third generation unit there wouldn’t have been a problem. The existing reactor also wouldn’t have had a problem if the generators were above ground level. They would not have been flooded out and been able to supply backup power.The neat fact is that even with a earthquake force 1000 times higher than they were designed for every reactor shut down properly. It wasn’t until the tsunami showed up that there was a problem. After the tsunami they needed a 30 mile long extension cord and not surprising they didn’t have one.

MarkW

Bubba, in your opinion, new cars are no better than cars made 40 years ago?
After all, the new cars just it the road and we have no idea what problems might exist in them.

BFL

“After all, the new cars just it the road and we have no idea what problems might exist in them.”
Well for many the computers are tied into other systems that can be hacked like WiFi, the radio, etc. Not all problems are obvious or are thought of in new designs, like the unexpected tsunami in Japan. If and when I buy a newer car with an on-off button, the first thing I will do is install an emergency fuel cutoff or cut-to-idle switch that is within easy reach.

Bubba Cow

[Snip. This is the ‘David Socrates’ identity thief again, impersonating a legitimate commenter. ~mod.]

MarkW

Bubba, I said nothing about value, I asked about quality.
Are you really going to admit that you don’t know the difference between the two?
A 40 year old car becomes valuable because it is a collectible. Not because it’s getting better with age.
Sheesh, basic stuff here.

MarkW

Wow, so much paranoia, so little actual intelligence.
Who are these leaders who want war with Russia? I’m guessing you are one of those fools who thinks that unless someone spends all his time praising Putin, than you must want to go to war?
As to your fears of nuclear power, I think your earlier claim that natural radiation isn’t harmful says all that need to be said on that score.

Molten salt reactors are the future. Cheaper, safer than any other means of power production. Can burn up our nuclear wastes.

Bubba Cow

[Snip. This is the ‘David Socrates’ identity thief again, impersonating a legitimate commenter. ~mod.]

Matt Bergin

The “Chernobyl disaster” was not an accident. They did it on purpose.

MarkW

They didn’t intend for it to blow up.

Matt Bergin

When you bypass so many safety systems and jumper safety devices the intent becomes very clouded and may end up looking purposeful rather than accidental.

To all those who wish to protest nuclear power on the foundation of what to do about the waste or accident: you need to understand that the genie is already out of the bottle and there is no putting it back in. We have to arrive at the technologies to render waste and proliferation manageable and harmless because there is no choice already! It’s arguing a point that is meaningless in the real world!

MarkW

The problem of waste was solved over 40 years ago.
Reprocessing.
Accident’s happen in every industry. In most industries it’s many small accidents that never make the news. With nuclear power it tends to be fewer but larger accidents that get blown entirely out of proportion by people who have agendas to grind.

Bubba it doesn’t change the fact that globally there is going to be a continuing need to dispose or make use of increasing amounts of fissile material. Having the dense efficient energy in the grid to maintain and expand a modern industrial society is the key to handling the issue! The mess at Hanford wouldn’t be nearly the cluster**** it is without the goofy rules that require everything be treated as a potentially dangerous contaminate of the worst sort that needs to be documented with insane amounts of paper work while all actual work stops. Another situation where bureaucrats with nothing else to do have created a morass where nothing can be done!

Or then again we could just let Pakistan and Iran be in charge of waste disposal

MarkW

Then burn the plutonium in reactors designed for that purpose.
Problem solved.
BTW, did anyone mention that Hanford was a govt run operation?

Bro. Steve

Meanwhile, every nuclear plant in the United States is under regulatory assault from bureaucrats who demand an endless stream of multimillion dollar modifications and backfits.

Be realistic. After Australian approval of rescinding their Nuclear Free Zone policy (which would take several years to rescind), then it would take a minimum of ~14 years to bring the first commercial nuclear plant online. In Australia one would expect a lot of antinuclear interveners during construction so add another several years to bringing the first nuclear plant online. So we are talking on the order of almost 20 years from present before the first commercial nuclear electricity is produced. That would only the first. One won’t solve their problem. It would take ten or more.
John

MarkW

Agreed, but it’s still no excuse not to get started.

MarkW on September 30, 2015 at 10:50 am
Agreed, but it’s still no excuse not to get started.

MarkW,
Yes, you are right. Austraila, Go Nuclear! But, it takes a far far view to accomplish and sustained will and consistent chains of leadership. But, I won’t be cynical so . . . Australia, Go Nuclear!
John

rogerknights

If the permitting and construction process would take so long, how about locating the plant offshore, on a ship or specially built floating platform?

rogerknights on October 3, 2015 at 2:07 am
If the permitting and construction process would take so long, how about locating the plant offshore, on a ship or specially built floating platform?

rogerknights,
It might be even more of a regulatory / intervener mess to put them offshore or in mobile barges. I would tend to think that if that hasn’t been done before in the commercial sector (and I think it hasn’t) then it is more difficult to accomplish than doing a normal land based plant that has been done hundreds of times. NOTE: Of course US Navy (and other nation’s navies) have had hundreds of mobile offshore nuclear plants in their subs and aircraft carriers for more than ~50+ years that are quickly and virtually automatically licensed without serious interveners; but that case hasn’t realistically applied so far to the non-military sector . . . . but it could and should at least be argued to apply to some not insignificant degree . . .
Hey, you stimulate the science fiction idea of building reactors in space and laser beaming the power output to very tall collection towers that go from the earth’s surface to near the height of lower earth orbit. Might be less of a nuclear safety concern, though crazy expensive at least for the first one or two.
John

Resourceguy

The problem with populist energy policy in Germany, Aus, U.S., and UK is that it tends toward the high-cost, inefficient first person rooftop approach over large scale of any type including utility-scale PV. Or it allows the policy green light opening the doors to special interests with similar high cost schemes like wind farms with no provisions for dismantling.

BFL September 30, 2015 at 8:18 am
“The capatilistic system does not work, since it is a monopoly situation.”
Some monopolies in critical areas are actually beneficial as long as they have adequate oversight to prevent predatory abuse. Unfortunately in the US, historic “deregulation” didn’t bother keeping the oversight. Many examples since the 1980’s as in health care that was once relatively inexpensive basic hospitalization with a few insurers, then became wide open with no rules and hundreds of companies adding doctor, drug and dental payments to get clients (and push up consumer costs) and the companies were now allowed to disown expensive patients with cancer or previous health issues and could cancel policies on a whim (a side effect is now duel tiered rates at all levels, one for insurers and another for the uninsured making health care too expensive for them and/or resulting in non payment for care resulting in even higher costs for those that have insurance). The Savings and Loan scandal after dereg costing the taxpayer somewhat less than a billion and some 900+ people receiving jail time (unlike the 2008 banking scandals where only one got a slap on the wrist, probably because most of what they were doing had already been “legalized” by the fed/Greenspan). Enron and the rigging of electric rates in California (no oversight again), and many many others. However, since both parties are now in corporate hands and/or special interests, especially with the new Super PAC rules, no improvement is likely in the near future. So basically with a 2 party rigged system, their is really no one to vote for.
Healthcare went down the tubes in the 80s becuase of regulations probiting interstate competiton and in effect creating small state level monopolies. Added to this was additional regulation setting limits on payments for state funded procedures, causing medical providers to get creative in looking for revenue. On top of that was stupid tort laws and spiraling cost of insurance. Finally, reporting regulations driving up administrative costs. Whenever government gets invilved you can be sure that the situation will get worse. Never forget the old punch line: “i’m from the government and I’m here to help”

BFL

Those rules you cite would reduce costs unless escape hatches were allowed. Insurance that attempts to cover almost every facet of health, which is what happened to health insurance BECAUSE of DEregulation/increased competition would massively increase costs, especially for those that can’t buy insurance and are stuck paying the much higher prices in the 2 tiered pricing system (one for insurance and another much higher one for those without). The increased paper work alone significantly adds to the cost. It should be obvious that some industries do NOT benefit from total competition but that is never a consideration for ‘all or nothing’ capitalists.
As far as tort actions, the costs are again associated with allowing the AMA to control their own, which doesn’t work well for any organization including unions. When the AMA gives regular wrist slaps to doctors that are regularly incompetent then one would expect a flood of lawsuits. Unfortunately their insurance rate increases are passed on to the public. Another case where a lack of independent third party oversight results in a undesirable outcome.

MarkW

It really is fascinating the way some people insist that anything less than 100% govt control, is deregulation.

Bob Burban

To be consistent, might we not expect folks to outlaw chemotherapy since this entails the use of radioactive materials?

BFL

Chemo is a process of hoping to kill the unwanted cancer cells before killing the patient.

ripshin

Does anyone else find it amusingly ironic that the picture heading the story is of a GE reactor, whilst the story itself is concerned only with Westinghouse? Cute.
rip

Jaroslaw Sobieski

Dr. Jaroslaw Sobieski Hampton VA
The US Navy and France are two examples of the large scale nuclear power utilized in a reliable and safe manner. Just say no to the scaremongers and go nuclear full bore. There is no rational reason to hesitate any longer.

Any remote possibility that Australia might have considered nuclear generation of electricity has been hit into a distant galaxy by the Turnbull coup de etat which is taking our Govt further left..

Khwarizmi

simple-touriste
September 30, 2015 at 2:23 pm
==============
“Maybe you can convince the Japanese that it’s just waste of money.” [me]
Nobody can. They have been lied to. [and, unlike the simple tourist, the Japanese are too stupid to recognize it] They have been told accidents are “impossible”. [really?]
Now they will believe anyone who says it’s worse than we thought. [anyone?]
But radiation effects have been studied a lot, maybe more than most other potentially noxious compound or physical phenomenons.
We know elevated background radiations is not linked to higher cancer rates.

===============
http://www.smh.com.au/content/dam/images/2/6/c/e/0/image.related.articleLeadwide.620×349.26c1k.png
“elevated background radiations”
simple-touriste
September 30, 2015 at 4:26 pm
==================
“Why are you opposed to public-owned utilities, anyway?” [me]
They are often badly run, with either very bad quality of services, too much personnel, salaries much higher than in similar jobs elsewhere, hyper-specialisation of personnel (you need several highly workers in SNCF, the French national rail company when one worker is able to handle many different tasks in Germany).
======================
You must have missed the fact that energy rich Australia has the 2nd highest electricity prices on the planet as a consequence of our politicians selling our public assets to their corporate mates against the wishes of the people.
And here we are just a few years later being Enroned like Californians, and you seem to think that’s the best way to do things, despite all historic evidence in Australia being to the contrary.

Hocus Locus

“elevated background radiations”
Why do you show a deathbed photo of Alexander Litvinenko? He was murdered, nothing background about that. Is there an angle here?

simple-touriste

OK with this photo of a dying man you went from lame propaganda parrot to extremely disgusting troll.
Mods, please do something!!!!
Anyway, you are using the photo of the result of an assassination, so you have disqualified yourself.