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January 02, 2008

Comments

DaveMart

One way of storing energy and reducing the need for vast amounts of peak power is really simple.
We could insulate homes better, and provide heat pumps, air pumps in the UK and geothermal in the US, where they would also be useful for summer cooling.
That is power storage where it is most needed, and the foregone costs in generating peak power should be offset against the costs of upgrading homes and offices.
I haven't got a clue how to make even an approximation of the figures, but I wonder if insulation to Passivhaus standards, green roofs in cities to reduce heat island effects and heat pumps would reduce variability of energy use to, say, a factor of two from a factor of four

Mike

Nucbuddy,
Your screen name says it all.

I checked on your assertions and here is what another source says about the relative magnitudes of federal spending on nukes vs. renewables:

"
From 1947 to 1999, the US nuclear industry received over US$115 billion in direct taxpayer subsidies. Government subsidies for wind and solar energy for the same period only amounted to US$5.7 billion.

From 1948 to 1998, US federal spending on research and development amounted to US$74 billion for nuclear and only US$14.6 billion on renewables.

The situation in South Africa is similar. Eskom has a budget of R6 billion for atomic energy that dwarfs the R4.5 million equivalent for renewable energy sources.
"

This accords more with the reality that one sees on the ground. I don't think these figures include things like the Yucca mountain repository. All those research reactors, etc. are way more expensive than what I have seen the federal government spend on renewables.

You better not let your partisanship start to distort reality.

Cyril R.

The only plausible way that I can see total world power demand continue to grow exponentially for much longer is when population grows with it. We'd better hope that won't be the case as then there will be other bottlenecks than energy! Such as, food. I don't relish the idea of having to eat some kind of synthetic food produced by electricity in some factory because there isn't enough agricultural land available to feed every citizen of the world by solar photosynthesis.

There may be some reason for optimism. It's a common demographic trend that people have less children on average when they get richer. The average level of wealth worldwide is continuously improving. Hopefully that will lead to a point of a more or less stabilized (asymptotic?) worldwide population. Where that will be is a difficult question. Ten billion? Twenty billion? More?

DaveMart

Mike, have you got a source for that data?
Not that I am particularly agin it, but I like to check sources.
Thanks.

DaveMart

Cyril,
in the population reference spreadsheets fairly recent estimates for the population stabilising centred on 9billion.
However, latest thinking seems to be that this hypothesises too smooth a path to stable population on the part of those countries with high rates of growth, and that there will be more bumps on the road - look at the troubles in Kenya, which is the sort of thing which if continued for long can lead to instability and higher growth rates.
So we might perhaps be looking at around 10 billion or so, as far as anyone knows.
Lots more here:
http://www.prb.org/
I would be interested in your lights on my previous post in this thread, where I pointed out that some of the figures used by the IPCC for Global warming may be doubtful - there is a lot in the link I posted with it to take in though, so perhaps you might like to take a while to look at it all, if indeed you have time at all.

Cyril R.

The document you want is the Energy Policy Act 2005. Some of the stuff that made me frown:

*Extends the Price-Anderson Nuclear Industries Indemnity Act through 2025;

*Authorizes cost-overrun support of up to $2 billion total for up to six new nuclear power plants;

*Authorizes a production tax credit of up to $125 million total per year, estimated at 1.8 US¢/kWh during the first eight years of operation for the first 6.000 MW of capacity[3] ; consistent with renewables;

*Authorizes $1.25 billion for the Department of Energy to build a nuclear reactor to generate both electricity and hydrogen;

Cyril R.

Dave, didn't get that last bit about the climate yet. Maybe get back to you about it some other time. But just one thing: did you know that about half of the world's population receives water that originates from the Tibet area? It's plausible that AGW causes the flow of water to be much more irregular. Not a lot of +degrees needed I think. Just imagine how many people's existence would be at stake. Billions! There are already severe water resource conflicts emerging right now. That's one of the reasons why global warming is very serious.

I'll get back to you about the IPCC but really I'm not an expert on climatic matters (but then maybe that's impossible anyways...)

DaveMart

Thanks for the link, Cyril.
It's quite difficult to get at actual costs due to the tangled web of subsidies.
Personally my pet peeve tends to be the coal industry.
I often think that if they held the nuclear industry to the same standards, then no need for reprocessing or storage - just put the gunk up a chimney and distribute if over the country!
Similarly if they periodically shot random people in the industry, they might begin to approximate coal's fatality record! :-)
It's funny the different standards different industries are held to - far more attention is paid to deaths in aeroplanes than cars, and because we are used to it the coal industry can dump it's waste willy-nilly.
You might not have come across the European Union's attempt to put a price on the different externalities of different energy sources.
There are a lot of judgement calls involved of course, but it gives something to work from.
Since it is a pdf I will give the link where it is sourced.
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2006/12/22/202710/47

Mike

Dave,
Public Citizen has this information on its website citing a 1992 study.

http://www.citizen.org/documents/RenewableEnergy.pdf

It also makes intuitive sense that there would be this magnitude of spending on nuclear or greater given the high costs of building research reactors as well as all the safety issues. Relatively speaking building prototype windmills, solar cells or even demonstration solar thermal plants can be scaled down in ways that a nuke cannot.

DaveMart

Thanks for the link, Mike.
Part of the discrepancies come from the difficulties of disaggregating spend on nuclear weapons from the civil program.
It can also vary depending on whether one is based in America or Europe - your source refers to research spending on windmills, but the data is rather old.
A heck of a lot of support has come in Europe in recent years in the form of feed-in tariffs and so on, so that now when you buy a wind array in Kansas, say, the technology has benefited from a lot of expensive development in Denmark and Germany.
Likewise PV, where support in Germany and Japan has been a major factor in the technology's development.
I think I must be odd - I would tend to favour solar in the South-West in the US, if I lived in Chicago might think first of wind, and in sunless, crowded northern Europe nuclear takes some beating.

DaveMart

Climate variability is a concern, in fact the last 12,000 years seem to have been an unusually stable period in the Earth's climate history, and even then we have had episodes like the fall of the first Empire in Egypt in around 2200BC when the floods of the Nile totally failed - for around 200 years.
That is difficult enough without bodies like the IPCC recommending measures costing hundreds of billions without checking their source figures, or being willing to justify them.
The potential for misallocation of resources is massive, and should shortage of hydrocarbons rather than release of carbon be of greater concern then the appropriate engineering considerations would differ quite a lot.
There's sure a lot going on though, and it's pretty difficult to try to keep afloat!

Kit P

Mike, you failed to mention that the recommendations for RPS in the 1992 Public Citizen have been fulfilled.

Cyril, you failed to list the renewable energy incentives in the Energy Policy Act 2005.

Thanks to leadership of Governor Bush and now President Bush renewable energy projects are being built at the industrial capacity to build them. What more could you possible want?

The implication is that nuclear and coal are holding back renewable energy. The reality is that wind and solar are not very practical ways to make significant amounts of electricity at this time and may never be.

steve

Kit I have to laugh when you bash wind and solar but say how great Bush’s leadership is because he has supported it. I do now remember where I have read some of you posts before though. You posted under the name “Lone Beagle” in the “Saved by the Sun” forum. Pretty much the same MO. The Europeans are Socialists, you are the smartest person in the world and god bless George Bush.

Clee

Aw, when Mike didn't give me a URL on Solar Two running continuously for 7 days, I figured Kit P would tell me that's because it never happened. Well, that got me looking harder. I found a reference.

http://www.wipp.energy.gov/science/energy/powertower.htm

I'm a little disappointed that it didn't say much more than:
In one demonstration, it delivered power to the grid 24 hours per day for nearly 7 straight days before cloudy weather interrupted operation.

What time of year? What fraction of rated power delivered? Was it cloudy at all during those 7 days?

DaveMart

It was during July, Clee, for 153 hours.
Here is the pdf:
http://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy99osti/26642.pdf

DaveMart

Kit, what you say is strictly true, but it is perhaps not the most appropriate moment to carry out a full evaluation.
For wind, then it is true that it does not at the moment provide 'substantial' amounts of energy cost effectively, - but the technology has been developed and is cost effective in the best locations.
The US has a lot of very good locations, and the money has already been put into getting the research right for them to profit - it would seem daft for them not to take advantage of this!
As for solar, we are at this moment building plants which will test how economic the latest generation of solar thermal is, so to see how we do we need to wait for the results to come in.
At minimum, I would be very surprised if in the South-West of the US where the peak load is in good correlation with solar isolation that it would not be profitable to build solar - certainly more cheaply than nuclear, which is best suited to baseload, and natural gas seems likely to be in short supply and expensive, whilst coal tends to be cheap all the while you don't charge for spewing the wastes into the air,
Here is one attempt to cost externalities:
http://www.externe.info/expoltec.pdf
This isn't gospel, and other estimates can be made, but it would not seem sensible to dismiss an energy source with far lower emissions without giving it a good go.
I think what gets your goat is that their have been a lot of truly silly 'green power' initiatives - what springs to my mind is the attempt to supply German energy needs with PV!
It is nice of them to subsidise the development of PV for those who live in more southerly latitudes, like the poor Angelinos, but anyone who thinks it is practical in Germany has not looked at solar incidence in December and January! - it would be easier to move Germany further south!
For more sensible locations though, the rate of increase of the efficiency and cost of solar power can't be dismissed - as one approach, should Nanoflake technology work at reasonable cost, then solar PV would be economic almost everywhere in the States:
http://www.gizmag.com/nano-technology-to-boost-solar-efficiency/8540/
Anyway, just a few thoughts - I hope even if others do not agree with me, at least the links I have provided will be of interest! :-)

Kit P

Davemart, you continue to want me to comment on things I have not said.

The data is in for the the US. Solar and wind does not work. I have checked. Wind does not produce electricity on hot days in the west. Solar does not produce electricity on cold days in the winter. If the solar and wind industry stopped producing electricity, it would have no negative affects on the US economy.

I think the wind and solar industries should have the opportunity to prove their merit. They have that opportunity now. For the last 30 years, they have failed and not for lack of opportunity. Pointing out that the wind and solar industries are a pack of lairs is not bashing the technology, it is just pointing out their failure. If the wind and solar industries want incentives from taxpayers, it fair to ask them to provide results which they do not provide.

Coal and nuclear does work for both base load and peaking. All 104 US reactors were designed when the US had cheap oil and used a lot of it to make electricity. They were designed to load follow. They would operate for about 10 months a year and shut down for 2 months in the spring and fall for refueling and maintenance. Nuke plants did not become very expensive until the OPEC oil crisis and interest rates went above 10%. Changing regulations slowed plant construction costing about a million dollars a day interest. When they did come on line, oil plants became the new peaking plants.

The other thing that happened since 104 US reactors were designed was the price of natural gas became very cheap. Natural gas was the lowest cost option for the US. However, the cost of natural gas has become very volatile in the last 10 years.

Assuming that the cost electricity from new nukes would be 5-6 cents/kwh, what would happen in future conditions caused new nukes load followed with a 50% capacity factor? The cost would be 10-12 cents/kwh.

So what is the electricity market going to be like in 2025? Judging from all the wrong guesses in the last 40 years, nobody knows. This is why we need incentives that support renewable energy and nuclear. Good energy policy supports both the practical and presently impractical.

DaveMart

Kit said:
'Davemart, you continue to want me to comment on things I have not said.'
I don't see how that is, and it was certainly not my intention to do so- sorry if it has come across as though I am misrepresenting you.
On the substantial issues of your post, I would pretty much agree with most of what you say.
The story of nuclear in the States is much the same as in the UK, save that in addition in the UK we went for a lot of one-off nuclear designs and added to our costs.
I don't think that nuclear needs any incentives - just that all the costs of externalities and risks be properly reflected in the taxes and incentives - see the report I linked to on externalities.
The true risks of nuclear are many times lower than for coal, and even lower than for windpower.
The new Westinghouse AP-1000 should do even better, and the Fuji would take nuclear power into new realms of capability:
http://advancednano.blogspot.com/search/label/thorium
I think where we differ is in our evaluations of coal and natural gas - I don't like gas because, and almost only because, there is not enough of it, and supply looks to become more and more precarious.
Coal is really my pet hate! On this subject I am inclined to agree with my compatriot, Edward I, who tried to ban it.
The pollution issues form this source are real and costly, although at present they fall on others than the consumers, knackering anyone with breathing difficulties, and if one gives any credence to man-made global warming, it has it's problems there too.
I think that with a combination of nuclear and renewables we can do better than that.
Anyway, I for one am enjoying the discussion Kit, and I hope you feel likewise!

DaveMart

Kit, you might like this link about the possible energy costs of wind power!
http://www.aweo.org/windbackup.html
:-)

Nucbuddy

DaveMart wrote: I think that with a combination of nuclear and [epithet deleted] we can do better than that.

Solar has a fatal flaw of being inherently unscalable. Even if we were to remove the earth's atmosphere, planetside-solar would only have a maximum theoretical power potential of 174,000 terawatts. Nuclear fission power, on the other hand, has far-higher inherent limits (and I don't know what these limits are, but they surely exist or even the smallest-yield fission explosives would have infinite brisance, or square-waveness; a perfect square-wave {i.e. infinite discretion}, by definition, would shatter the entire universe, leaving no tension {e.g. particles} and only discretion) on its scalability. Nuclear fission power has enough terrestrial fuel to scale up social power-generation at a 10-trillion-fold per millennium (~3.04% per year, or 20-fold per century) rate for more than half a century. At such a scaling rate, nuclear fissile power production at the half-century point would be 3.2 million times the current social power-generation level -- the latter which is around 16 terawatts -- or 51.2 million terawatts.

Nuclear fission's proven-achievable 51.2 million terawatts, dwarfs planetside-solar's theoretical maximum of only 174,000 terawatts. Therefore, we can conclude that planetside-solar is inherently unscalable.

DaveMart

Er, over what period of time?

DaveMart

So, nucbuddy, your plan if your figures are correct is to deploy several times the total solar flux upon the surface of the earth, all within the same planetary envelope?
And that won't make the place get hotter?
I assume, charitably, that you jest.

Nucbuddy

DaveMart wrote: over what period of time?

Tapping only the terrestrial resource of ~200 trillion tons of fissionable/fertile heavy-metal, 51.2 million terawatts of nuclear-fission electrical power could itself be sustained for possibly ~half a millennium (I am not sure about this -- I need to check my figures). After that, fusion would be necessary.

DaveMart wrote: [deploying] several times the total solar flux [...] won't make the place get hotter?

I think that it would indeed make the atmosphere get hotter, if mitigating measures (1, 2, 3) were not adopted.

DaveMart wrote: I assume [...] that you jest.

I was not joking. To avoid confusion, I explicitly label any jokes I make, as such.

DaveMart wrote: charitably

Please stop raping me, DaveMart.

DaveMart

~Considering that the solar flux is expected to last for a couple of billion years or so, then on your chosen ground that fission provides a bigger resource than solar energy if we extend your half million years to 1 million, you are still under by several orders of magnitude.
Nucbuddy said:
'DaveMart wrote: I assume [...] that you jest.

I was not joking. To avoid confusion, I explicitly label any jokes I make, as such.

DaveMart wrote: charitably

Please stop raping me, DaveMart.'
I was wrong. You were serious.
You will have to excuse most of the rest of us if we can no longer take you seriously, in that case.

DaveMart

Sorry, should have written:
'If you extend your half a millenium to to 1 million years'

Ken

But there would be enough energy to enclose and air condition the entire planet's surface!!! Distopian to say the least.

Meanwhile back in reality there's more than enough insolation to provide ample solar energy even for a post scarcity world, we are just lacking the technologies. Failing to put the effort towards developing them would be a major regret a few decades hence.
My own preferences are to see such technologies developed as far and as fast as possible. Whilst nuclear can and will play a crucial role I have real reservations about it's massive deployment in a world that has weak international legal systems, and where enforcement based on justice and equity rather than national or corporate self interest is notably absent. Clean and safe are are a prerequisite in the absence of (and for a future freedom from) intrusive international enforcement of the kind that is deeply disliked and distrusted by patriotic types (of whichever nation). Clean and safe technologies are a necessity.
Can they be achieved? I've seen a lot of progress and think that they can. I think the R&D going towards clean energy are as deserving of funds as building the next physical plant. Super grids make sense in the absence of ubiquitous cheap storage for using intermittent renewables, but we should be trying to get both. The well of innovation is a long way from dry yet. Even at the basic level of how to turn heat and light into electricity there are new developments - for example this development that offers the possibility of 80% efficient solar cells that could be cheaper than anything to date and be able to convert low grade radiant heat like that given off by the ground and buildings by night.
So sure, build more nukes, but don't be surprised if they aren't long built and solar roofing and better batteries are making them unprofitable.

DaveMart

Ken, I am hopeful for solar and so on as well, but there is an awful lot of bs about too - I am pretty confident of solar for instance by 2050, but there is a lot of ground to travel before this.
Here is a post I rate regarding Nanosolar's announcement of cheap solar cells:
'These guys don't publish. Mine would be in "Applied Physics Letters" or "Progress in Photovoltaics". That is where my High efficiency CI(G)S results have been published. High efficiency CI(G)S devices are all fabricated via vacuum evaporation techniques. The very highest by a three stage process on Soda lime glass. The glass is important because it is a source of Na which has been found to be essential.

We have a team that is working on an ink jet "nano powder" technique that is nearly identical to the one used by NanoSolar. It is a very challenging approach. The advantage is that it could eventually be very cheap, but the trade-off is that the performance is very poor.

If you parse the language of the original press releases offered by NanoSolar, not the articles written by the Times or the Guardian, you will see that they didn't actually lie. They were careful about that. But, the fact is that they only managed to make a handful of modules. This is consistent with the fundamental problems associated with the approach which is a very poor degree of reproducibility. Read their web site. They try to make a virtue of the fact that they can "electrically match their cells". Well, this is actually a function of the fact that the performance is all over the map. They had to crank out many to get a few good ones.

Carefully read the self congratulatory press release. "the first commercial module to contain a cell that was deposited on an inexpensive foil substrate"... Notice that they used the singular. Leaving open the possibility that there was only one such cell in the entire module. I wouldn't be surprised if the bulk of the cells in the module were fabricated with the much more mature vacuum evaporation processes.

This whole episode reads to me like the shipment of modules was a condition of this phase of their funding. A "deliverable". The press release is a rather standard procedure for meeting such a milestone, but to my way of thinking it was written in a manner that was highly misleading. Then, the Times picked it up and leapt to the conclusion that this was more than PR.

Normally, I wouldn't get involved in this sort of thing. But I believe that making these sorts of claims prematurely does harm to the technology. If it becomes firmly entrenched in the public's mind that this goal of <$1.00 watt has been achieved, any intermediate result, no matter how impressive is going to be met with yawns. The fact is that this approach will be very cheap if it can be made to work. But it is by no means clear that it can. And if it can, it is going to take a considerable amount of development work to make it real.'
This is from:
http://anz.theoildrum.com/node/3477#more
Post by SW, who is obviously an industry insider.
We can build Westinghouse AP-1000 reactors right now, with proven technology.

Kit P

“Coal is really my pet hate! On this subject I am inclined to agree with my compatriot, Edward I, who tried to ban it.”

Davemart, I suggest that you and Edward I avoid expressing those feeling in certain part of the US. Please come and visit our (well armed) coal country. You will find it beautiful with pristine air quality. You may have good reason to hate coal in the UK but again I do not want to comment on that because I am not knowledgeable about coal use in the UK.

I started making electricity in the US before there was an OSHA, CWA, CAA, or EIS. I am a proponent of strong regulations to protect workers, neighbors, and the environment. I do hate silly bans that make the work place more dangerous and do not consider the unintended consequences of the ban. Banning fire retardants such as asbestos, DDT, and halon to protect the environment sounds good unless you might die in the fire. Regulating their use and disposal is much more prudent.

Banning new coal plants is an irresponsible position until demand can be met by other sources. I once very anti-coal but the same regulation that apply to all energy sources require safety and environmental impacts to be considered has resulted in coal being as benign as renewable energy.

“I don't think that nuclear needs any incentives ...”

The incentives for new commercial US reactors is fairly limited. Protection from cost overruns outside the control of the build such as new regulations. The PTC reduces the taxes on the first of a kind costs. Reducing the risk of building the first benefits all in the US by reducing the cost of natural gas since new nukes would most likely reduce the highest fossil fuel cost.

Nucbuddy

kit P. wrote: Banning fire retardants such as asbestos, DDT, and halon

I think you meant PCB's, instead of DDT.

Kit P

Nucbuddy, thanks for the correction. It is sad when you get your TLA mixed up.

DaveMart

Somehow I can't imagine that Edward 'Scotus Mallorum' would be intimidated from expressing his opinion!
OTOH, he has been kinda quiet on coal, and most other subjects, for six centuries or so.
More seriously, you said:
'I once very anti-coal but the same regulation that apply to all energy sources require safety and environmental impacts to be considered has resulted in coal being as benign as renewable energy.'
I appreciate that coal in the US is subject to very strict regulation, and would not ask you to compare it to renewables, since you are pretty doubtful on those.
But since you are a supporter of nuclear power, just as I am, I am pretty surprised that you should feel that the emissions and safety record of coal is in the same league as nuclear - I would suggest nuclear is at least an order of magnitude safer and with fewer emissions than coal, and that is being very conservative.

Kit P

DaveMart, the human brain is not wired to understand very big numbers and very small numbers. The electricity generating in the US produces power in an incredible safe manner. Everything is dangerous. The hazard of drowning in a spent fuel pool, cooling pond, ocean when installing windmills, or the toddler in a bath tube is the same. Death!!!

Regulations in the US and the EU require that the workers and the public be protected from us killing members of public and workers to a very small frequency. Unfortunately we have not figured out how to get mom not not gossip on the phone before the the EMT come to the little one in a black plastic bag.

All power plants in the US are very safe (including emissions) because the hazards are mitigated.

Nuke plants were the first power plants that were designed from the ground up to mitigate offsite hazard. The accident at Bhopal resulted in process safety regulations being applied to just about everything.

The cool thing is that safety standards work. It is sad that thousands of coal miners die in China while it is a rarity in the US.

So the amount of electricity generated in the US is an incredibly large number providing safe all electric homes. The safety and environmental impact is a very small number.

Nucbuddy

Cyril R. wrote: I prefer to sleep at night [...] Does that make me a "bigot", along with several billion other people?

Yes, it would. Those solar-time bigotries have been receding for the past 12,000 years, and they will continue to recede. Society is entering an age of pure digital-information, and solar-time simply has nothing essential to do with that. Solar-time bigots will therefore find themselves increasingly marginalized. As with other bigots, they will find themselves punished by an increasingly-liberal social-market.

Cyril R. wrote: I prefer to sleep at night

By that, do you mean that you refuse to use any type of artifical lighting, that you refuse to use any type of shelter from sunlight, and that you go to sleep as soon as the sun sets?

Cyril R.

do you mean that you refuse to use any type of artifical lighting, that you refuse to use any type of shelter from sunlight, and that you go to sleep as soon as the sun sets?

No, just that generally, at some point during nightime, I would like to sleep. That is, I prefer to sleep at night rather than during the daylight hours - and I reckon I am not a minority on this position!

Cyril R. wrote: I prefer to sleep at night [...] Does that make me a "bigot", along with several billion other people?

Yes, it would. Those solar-time bigotries have been receding for the past 12,000 years, and they will continue to recede. Society is entering an age of pure digital-information, and solar-time simply has nothing essential to do with that. Solar-time bigots will therefore find themselves increasingly marginalized

First let me say to you that by biological evidence, homo sapiens are mostly not a nocturnal species. It is, as could be said, 'natural' for us to sleep at night, although we aren't necessarily bounded to daylight of course, and we shouldn't have to be.

What's the definition of a bigot? This one gives:

A bigot is a prejudiced person who is intolerant of opinions, lifestyles, or identities differing from his or her own.

Now, I never said I was intolerant of others if they want to sleep at night. It would be fairly against biology, which has little to do with opinions.

However, you, the 'budding' nuclear propagandist, appear to be implying that solar and wind are no good. If we follow the definition above, that makes you a big bigot. The other point is that a lot of people prefer to sleep at night, and by judging people based on their prefered routines you are an even bigger biggot.

No offense but your last post is drowned in hypocrisy.

Cyril R.

Solar has a fatal flaw of being inherently unscalable

No, irrelevant because your presumption is based on infinite exponential growth which is unsupported by socioeconomic and demographic developments. Had you actually read any ojective assessments on the subject you would have known. You sound like the self-appointed prophets in the club of Rome. By only paying heed to all relevant factors that influence energy growth, you are self-deceived. Or perhaps you know but spread lies to aid your propaganda? I can't imagine anyone with more than half a brain falling for it, at least I hope not.

Nuclear fission power is not strictly necessary to our future. Although I think it's invaluable to deal with GHG emissions right now in a lot of places, there is a chance that nuclear fission might become largely obsolete in the future.

Cyril R.

...and that won't be because we will have physically exhausted uranium supplies mind you!

Nucbuddy

Cyril R. wrote: Nuclear fission power is not strictly necessary to our future.

Has anyone ever claimed that it is, or were, necessary?

A wind- and solar- powered world, with much discrete energy-efficiency, would be a relatively medieval world.
Nucbuddy

Cyril R. wrote: you [...] appear to be implying that solar and wind are no good.

Terrestrial solar -- because it cannot be scaled to the same degree, and because it is diffuse -- is not competitive, relative to nuclear fission. (Wind is a type of solar.) It can therefore be confidently predicted that, centuries hence, solar will have nothing to do with energy production, and nuclear fission and/or fusion will have everything to do with energy production.

What does no good mean?

DaveMart

Centuries hence, what makes you think that most people will be too interested in what is used to produce power on the Earth?
If you want to look that far ahead, living in habitats outside the Earth is far better, and could support the almost unlimited growth in energy use you advocate.
Interestingly enough though, in the environment of space, solar energy is available 24 hours a day and at higher efficiencies, whilst nuclear fuel is relatively scarce outside of the earth.
Perhaps you should call yourself Spacebuddy!
You should appreciate though that most of us here are interested mainly in shorter time-frames and Earthly perspectives, and debate and consider alternatives form that point of view - in the long run we are ll dead.

Nucbuddy

DaveMart wrote: Centuries hence [...] living in habitats outside the Earth [will be] far better

Do you mean that -- centuries hence -- no one will be living on Earth?

Nucbuddy

Cyril R. wrote: [intolerance] of [... wanting] to sleep at night [...] would be fairly against biology

What if day-night cycles were simulated?

In fact, day and night cycles currently are simulated, to some degree, by most every first-world person. They use artificial light when it is dark outside, and they block light from entering shelter when it is light outside. As I said before, this is a trend that has been progressing for 12,000 years, and can therefore be expected to continue to progress.

Cyril R. wrote: would be fairly against biology

The nature of a human is to overcome his baser natures.

Nucbuddy

DaveMart wrote: nuclear fuel is relatively scarce outside of the earth.

Perhaps you are mistaken.
google.com/search?q=uranium+asteroids

56,500 hits.

Additionally, we might note that the four gas giants (the four outer planets of our solar system -- Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune) are essentially made of hydrogen, and, to a lesser extent, helium (including the celebrated helium-3). Hydrogen and helium can each be used as nuclear-fusion fuels.

GreyFlcn

Here's something special for NucBuddy
$5000-6000/KW for Nuclear Energy.
http://www.neimagazine.com/story.asp?storyCode=2047917

Enjoy :P

Nucbuddy

GreyFlcn wrote: $5000-6000/KW for Nuclear Energy.

Nuclear power is not any given nuclear power industry.

8,760 hours/year * .90 capacity-factor * 60 years * $0.03/kWh = $14,191.20 worth of energy per kilowatt of capacity.

Adding 33% for finance costs makes the $6,000 investment a total of $8,000. $14,000 - $8,000 = $6,000 profit.

Cyril R.

Terrestrial solar -- because it cannot be scaled to the same degree, and because it is diffuse -- is not competitive, relative to nuclear fission. It can therefore be confidently predicted that, centuries hence, solar will have nothing to do with energy production, and nuclear fission and/or fusion will have everything to do with energy production.

False. Non-sequitur. Irrelevant. Similar to, for instance: "nuclear fission -- because it is highly radioactive -- is not competitive, relative to solar". It's just silly. There is no basis for your assertion of continued exponential growth over centuries. First, population cannot continue to grow exponentially and fortunately it won't if you look at the demographic developments right now. Second, electrical demand per person in the richer countries will not grow exponentially either. Can't you put two n two together?

What does no good mean?

Mostly, that you are constantly, implicit or explicit, trying to bash solar and wind. It is difficult to explain this with any other reason than bias.

8,760 hours/year * .90 capacity-factor * 60 years * $0.03/kWh = $14,191.20 worth of energy per kilowatt of capacity.

Adding 33% for finance costs makes the $6,000 investment a total of $8,000. $14,000 - $8,000 = $6,000 profit.

Financing in the US does not work that way. In fact I don't think project financing works that way anywhere. The current US discounting system favours low capital cost power plants, which is one of the reasons NG has expanded so rapidly despite high fuel costs. Also, use fast write-off times; investors aren't interested in 60 year investments. If the IRR is too low then investors will shy away altogether. No money, no powerplant. Then there's inflation. Corporate financing is often very complicated even without all of the many fiscal aspects and benefits, subsidies and guarantees etc. Then there are many particular models of financing that are being used. This article indicates the difficulties of the economics of new nuclear power plants.

On the plus side, your propaganda is so evident (screen name says it all to begin with) that very few people will be fooled by your irrelevant, fallacious, non-sequitur or half truth arguments.

Most may have figured this out by now, but it's best if we don't take Nucbuddy too seriously. I personally don't trust some of his statements any more than Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's.

No offense to you Nucbuddy, but can't you see that what I think you're trying to do is counterproductive?

Cyril R.

Since Nucbuddy apparently likes science fiction, it is significant to note that solar scales just fine!.

Even today, 1/400 of US land area for >90% of all current US electricity needs cannot be considered all that diffuse when viewed in an unbiased manner.

expert

Solar energy in TÜRKEY

Türkey has remarkable solar energy potential. But we can’t use our this potential. in last five years, we have been applied some solar applications. you can find some special applications in http://www.unienerji.com ,
Türkey has bigger potential than germany but germany has used solar energy more than us. I think, it’s main reason is less promoting the development of solar energy in türkey than germany.

Alexander

Wind power is not a solution.
The whole truth about wind turbines is never told by lobbyists and governments.
How could the very weak and extremely unreliable initial energy source of a wind turbine ever produce a steady power of any significance, despite the fact that modern wind turbines are really sophisticated machines?
Please think!
And read: “Wind energy- the whole truth” at: http://www.windenergy-the-truth.com/

Alexander

Wind power is not a solution.
The whole truth about wind turbines is never told by lobbyists and governments.
How could the very weak and extremely unreliable initial energy source of a wind turbine ever produce a steady power of any significance, despite the fact that modern wind turbines are really sophisticated machines?
Please think!
And read: “Wind energy- the whole truth” at: http://www.windenergy-the-truth.com/

Cyril R.

Alexander, I don't know if the whole truth is being told regarding wind power, but spreading lies and propaganda won't help either. Please stop.

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