Renewable energy is rubbish, nuclear is brilliant!

  • This topic has 191 replies, 37 voices, and was last updated 6 years ago by  zokes.
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  • Renewable energy is rubbish, nuclear is brilliant!
  • T1000
    Member

    Northwind – Member

    not random rudeness just boardom at your lack of knowledge and propensity to repeat your errors the plants in production have 60 yr design lives….. and will be subject to life extensions so will likely be in operation in 70 years + time

    you must be TJ

    wrecker
    Member

    If the focus changed from increasing production to reducing demand the energy issue would be solved in a few years

    Actually, he’s not far wrong. Insulating homes is a drop in the ocean. Energy waste from the commercial and industrial sectors is staggering.

    Premier Icon bigjim
    Subscriber

    you must be TJ

    I know both Northwind and TJ, but I have to say I don’t think I’ve ever seen them in the same place at the same time… 😯

    Premier Icon bigjim
    Subscriber

    Agree with the energy saving comments. But everyone wants their cheap flights, electronic gadgets, two cars. Wonder if we’ll see much change in our lifetimes.

    Seeing as we’re doing stories we’ve heard, a friend who works in the nuclear industry always says they just don’t know the real price of nuclear power, there are so many things that keep adding to it as the life cycle of reactors goes on, it just keeps soaring. He does know he has a cushty well paid job for life in decommissioning one of the UK’s reactors though!

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    T1000 – Member

    not random rudeness just boardom at your lack of knowledge and propensity to repeat your errors

    Just taking numbers straight from the industry, terribly sorry about that. As for repeating, where did I do that?

    But as you can see, I’m quite happy to use your numbers, it makes no real difference to the big picture.

    TJ was anti-nuclear. I’m not, I’m pro saying ZOMFG- this is a huge problem no matter what we do, there is no atomic wand, and if nuclear is to be the answer we need to make huge changes right now. 10 years ago really. You don’t seem to have responded at all to that though.

    The reality is, we’re losing nuclear capacity when we need to grow it immensely, as fast as we possibly can, if it’s to make the difference. But we show no signs of doing that.

    Edukator
    Member

    Having got started in the PV boom the company that fitted my solar panels is diversifying into making business premises more energy efficient and the savings are indeed “staggering”. They install sensors everywhere so rooms are only lit when people are there and light levels are too low, the heating is automatically turned down too. Rooms are heated depending on the type of use. Heat recovery ventilation is installed and again operates intelligently. Efficient lighting and machines are specified. In the Summer the reduction in energy consumption means the air con doesn’t have to work as hard.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    How many wind turbines can power a blast furnace?

    wrecker
    Member

    That’s one of the things I do edukator. People are less willing to invest in energy efficiency as its not as visible as renewables despite having a far better return and nearly zero carbon cost. They really do love their CSR web pages.

    T1000
    Member

    didn’t bother as this has been in the public domain for 15 + years and those in the power generation industry have known this for far longer.

    It’s truely wearysome that its become an issue to in recent times…

    the choice of all political parties to bury their collective heads in the sand post Sizewell is going to hurt / cost everyone whatever energy mix or efficiency measures are put in place

    Junkyard
    Member

    How many wind turbines can power a blast furnace?

    I am not sure, how well do they burn ?

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    T1000 – Member

    didn’t bother as this has been in the public domain for 15 + years and those in the power generation industry have known this for far longer.

    It’s truely wearysome that its become an issue to in recent times…

    Fair dos- it felt a bit like you were internet-tacticking and trying to undermine a sound argument by poking at a single element of it and ignoring the rest 😉 But I see I was wrong.

    Agreed completely tbh, it’s ridiculous that we’ve sleepwalked into it. But hey, it’ll be fine because we recycle and we’ve got low-watt bulbs, we do our bit!

    Kit
    Member

    Re: comments on efficiency, consider the following. Energy efficiency has been increasing in China since the 1980’s, as expressed by energy intensity (tonnes of oil equivalent per $1000 GDP, according to BP, see below and the link.

    However, despite efficiency gains, China’s CO2 emissions are now the largest in the world, see below (and here for original source). One can also see that applies to the US, and of course the UK is still above 1990 levels, despite increasing efficiency for the past 100 years.

    So I would argue that simply making energy use more efficient is not a major factor. Certainly, if you look at the MAC curves for CO2 abatement, efficiency is a great low cost (or profit making) way of reducing CO2 by about a third, but it still requires advancements in other areas. I’ve used the CCS Institute’s MAC curve to illustrate this – others are available which basically show the same thing.

    More comically tragic was the story I was told about the offshore turbines in essex.

    The turbines have to be regularly maintained by chaps on boats.

    The total energy produced by the wind farm, did not even cover the fuel (or energy equivalent thereof) required to get the maintenance boats out to the turbines and back.

    If you look at this presentation (also covered on my blog, Day 3, Michael Dale), you’ll see that wind energy generates a net energy surplus i.e. it produces more than it consumes. This is, however, averaged over the global industry and so perhaps poorly sited local schemes may indeed be an energy drain, but you can’t apply that to the whole industry.

    I’d strongly recommend reading all sources I’ve linked if you doubt anything I’ve written – I’m only regurgitating expert science and informed opinion 🙂

    zokes
    Member

    I am not sure, how well do they burn ?

    Pretty well, it seems:

    [video]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p5KvJjI21i0&feature=player_detailpage[/video]

    mikewsmith
    Member

    @philtricklebank

    The same ones that undertake fairly dodgy practices in the current UK nuclear industry?

    If you have specific claims about the current crop of scientists please make them.

    Hardly a year goes by in the UK without some new and terrible revelation about Sellafield. In 2004 the EC took our government to court over Sellafield’s refusal to let its inspectors into one of its dumps (i think Blair and Bush started on Iraq over something similar).

    Which one? othing that sinister going on there, the place is inspected a lot by the IAEA among others

    In 2003 EC inspectors discovered a pond containing over a tonne of plutonium that had been sitting there unacknowledged and unchecked for thirty years. No wonder Sellafield didn’t fancy letting them take a peek the following year.

    Are we confusing dump or pond, how exactly do you expect to measure the quantity of Pu under water in storage.

    In 2005 investigators found that a pipe at the complex had been leaking, undetected , for over eight months, spilling nitric acid and 20 tonnes of uranium and a few kilos of plutonium. A mere bagatelle!

    Into a secondary containment vessel. Yes it was a cock up in the implementation of the design and some of the procedures but the secondary containment worked. Nothing was lost or leaked anywhere outside of there.

    Where is your great source of information, it sounds like the sort of simple journalism that skips facts and picks up on headlines without bothering to read the full reports or try and understand whats actually going on.

    Why stop with Sellafield? In 1997 Dounreay’s operators admitted they had been dumping waste for years into an open hole they had dug above the crumbling coastal cliffs. The shaft had exploded 20 years prior to this, scattering plutonium over the beaches, but the operators decided that was best kept quiet. When found out they promised “no more cover ups”, but the following year they were forced to admit they had dug a second hole into which it was still dumping unsealed waste. Trustworthy?

    We can leave Dounray to the Scots

    zokes
    Member

    And just to go back to the rolly eyes at 500bn, here’s a snippet of what it’ll cost if we continue to do nothing:

    39tn GBP

    Macavity
    Member

    “EXPLOSION DUE TO CRITICALITY DURING REFUELLING
    OF RUSSIAN SUBMARINE
    On 10 August 1985, a prompt criticality accident occurred in the reactor compartment of a Russian nuclear submarine during the final stages of refuelling at the Chazhma Bay Naval Shipyard (around 40 km South East of Vladivostok in the Russian Far East). The criticality excursion led to a massive thermal steam explosion in which the entire contents of the new Reactor Core, including the new fuel, were ejected from the RPV. The RPV Lid was thrown into the air and the refuelling building destroyed, with the roof ripped from the supporting structure. The RPV Lid fell back onto the hull of the submarine, whilst the roof of the refuelling building landed around 70 m away, just 30 m from shore. Ten naval personnel died in the explosion. After the explosion, a fire broke out and nuclear materials continued to be released for four hours until the fire was extinguished. Radiation injuries were observed in 49 people, with 10 of these (mostly fire fighters) developing acute radiation sickness. It has since been estimated that the total activity released into the atmosphere by the explosion was around 2.6 x 1017 Becquerel (Bq) which is around one tenth of that released in the Chernobyl accident.
    Fortunately, on the day of the accident, the weather conditions were favourable: The wind was a light breeze from the south east, with low cloud providing full coverage and occasional drizzle. As a result of this, the plume of radionuclides was carried slowly to the north west, into an uninhabited area of nearby hills, where most of the radioactive materials were trapped by the thick forest on the slopes, less than 3.5 km from the site of the release. If the conditions had been different, then the plume could have been carried directly over populated areas. In the weeks and months immediately following the accident, over 2,000 people (including military personnel and local civilians) took part in clean up operations to remove contaminated materials from the land and place these in burial pits and trenches local to the site. The damaged hull of the submarine was towed to the nearby Pavlovsk Bay Naval Base, where it remained berthed until very recently. During the initial clean up operations, 290 people were exposed to excessive levels of radiation, though it is not clear whether any long term deaths can be directly attributed to the accident.
    The explosion at Chazhma Bay occurred just nine months before the Chernobyl disaster.
    However, probably as a result of the localised nature of the consequences, but assisted by the fact that the entire area was under military control, the Authorities were able to keep the explosion secret for many years. Details about the accident only came to light in 1993 after the collapse of the Soviet Union. It was not until 1998 that the local workers who contributed to the clean up operations were recognised by the government. They were awarded certificates as veterans of the Special Risk Department, meaning that they then had the same rights as Chernobyl clean-up workers. In 2002, some work was undertaken to remediate the waterfront areas around the accident site and most recently, in 2010, it was announced that the submarine itself was being disposed of.”

    http://english.pravda.ru/history/06-07-2006/83000-submarine-0/

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/12/30/us-russia-submarine-accidents-idUSTRE7BT0DJ20111230

    http://spb.org.ru/bellona/ehome/russia/nfl/nfl8.htm

    zokes
    Member

    Well, I suppose it’s an improvement on just aimlessly posting mostly irrelevant links, but it’s got bugger all to do with what’s being discussed.

    mikewsmith
    Member

    I’ll throw one last irrelevant link in there..

    Energy Source Death Rate (deaths per TWh) CORRECTED

    Coal (elect, heat,cook –world avg) 100 (26% of world energy, 50% of electricity)
    Coal electricity – world avg 60 (26% of world energy, 50% of electricity)
    Coal (elect,heat,cook)– China 170
    Coal electricity- China 90
    Coal – USA 15
    Oil 36 (36% of world energy)
    Natural Gas 4 (21% of world energy)
    Biofuel/Biomass 12
    Peat 12
    Solar (rooftop) 0.44 (0.2% of world energy for all solar)
    Wind 0.15 (1.6% of world energy)
    Hydro 0.10 (europe death rate, 2.2% of world energy)
    Hydro – world including Banqiao) 1.4 (about 2500 TWh/yr and 171,000 Banqiao dead)
    Nuclear 0.04 (5.9% of world energy)

    It’s mostly pointless really, for every point saying what we shouldn’t be doing it should also include how you would generate the required amount of energy instead. Turning 6 lights off doesn’t count.

    Edukator
    Member

    No, but building homes and offices that require no heating or A/C if 6 lights are on does count.

    wrecker
    Member

    Whilst we will need more energy production if we are to grow, saying that efficiency has been done and is not enough is pure fallacy. We haven’t even tried! I smack my lips at new buildings. I took 50% of the overall consumption out of a new BREEAM excellent Part L building recently. To liken it to turning a few lights on demonstrates a lack of understanding.

    Premier Icon philtricklebank
    Subscriber

    Which one? [N]othing that sinister going on there, the place is inspected a lot by the IAEA among others

    EC Court Challenge to Sellafield

    Yes, nothing sinister to see here, move along please.

    Are we confusing dump or pond, how exactly do you expect to measure the quantity of Pu under water in storage.

    Uranium pond at Sellafield sparks court threat

    Pond I think, I’m sure you’ll tell me in how it differs from a dump. Measurement of Pu underwater I’ll admit is not my area of expertise, we’ll leave that to the scientists I guess.

    Into a secondary containment vessel. Yes it was a cock up in the implementation of the design and some of the procedures but the secondary containment worked. Nothing was lost or leaked anywhere outside of there.

    Where is your great source of information, it sounds like the sort of simple journalism that skips facts and picks up on headlines without bothering to read the full reports or try and understand whats actually going on.

    Legal threat over Sellafield leak

    Oh that’s OK then, the stuff leaked because of a cock up, but was contained by excellence in design.

    Sources of information linked above, admittedly sloppy journalism most likely, there was probably no truth in the stories whatsoever.

    mikewsmith
    Member

    ND wrote:

    Whilst we will need more energy production if we are to grow, saying that efficiency has been done and is not enough is pure fallacy. We haven’t even tried! I smack my lips at new buildings. I took 50% of the overall consumption out of a new BREEAM excellent Part L building recently. To liken it to turning a few lights on demonstrates a lack of understanding.

    Great, all for making things efficient but we have a large amount of generating capacity nearing the end of it’s life. Can we reduce demand enough to get below the line or not? I have a wide and varied understanding of making efficiencies and it’s actually part of my job, I also know a little about the aging nature of our power generation. Too many people simply want to say no to new generation but wont put up a serious alternative.

    Premier Icon philtricklebank
    Subscriber

    And just to go back to the rolly eyes at 500bn, here’s a snippet of what it’ll cost if we continue to do nothing:

    39tn GBP

    Again, can the nuclear solution stop such a methane belch in time? I guess no one really knows the answer to that question, at least I don’t. Personally I have more faith in a nuclear free solution achieving targets by 2030 – only non-nuclear technology that we have available today can respond with the urgency that the climate change science demands. Any solution, nuclear or otherwise requires sufficient political will to get things started. The fence sitting that’s going on right now will get us no where.

    Premier Icon philtricklebank
    Subscriber

    Too many people simply want to say no to new generation but wont put up a serious alternative.

    Someone has.

    Zero Carbon Britain: Rethinking the future

    Perhaps has some merit?

    mikewsmith
    Member

    Sources of information linked above, admittedly sloppy journalism most likely, there was probably no truth in the stories whatsoever.

    TBH the Pond issues are nothing more than legal and political wranglings.
    Want to know whats going on there
    http://www.sellafieldsites.com/solution/risk-hazard-reduction/first-generation-magnox-storage-pond/
    What they are going to do
    http://www.sellafieldsites.com/solution/risk-hazard-reduction/first-generation-magnox-storage-pond/the-plan/
    Few more bits
    http://www.nda.gov.uk/documents/upload/The-Magnox-Operating-Programme-MOP9.pdf

    Edukator
    Member

    I have a great deal of trouble taking all those Hadley centre/Oxford uni/government scientists seriously when their own labs/buildings/homes are energy greedy. If they don’t work out of energy-positive buildings why should anyone else believe it’s possible.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    I have a great deal of trouble taking all those Hadley centre/Oxford uni/government scientists seriously when their own labs/buildings/homes are energy greedy. If they don’t work out of energy-positive buildings why should anyone else believe it’s possible.

    I doubt the scientists got the opportunity to design or maintain their own building – sadly.

    Edukator
    Member

    Well they could at least turn the lights off when they leave a room – and call Wrecker so they go off automatically.

    zokes
    Member

    Again, can the nuclear solution stop such a methane belch in time? I guess no one really knows the answer to that question, at least I don’t. Personally I have more faith in a nuclear free solution achieving targets by 2030 – only non-nuclear technology that we have available today can respond with the urgency that the climate change science demands.

    This logic does not make sense to me. Why not a nuclear AND renewable pathway? That seems a much more plausible solution than writing off one of the few low carbon technologies there is that has the capacity to operate remotely close to the scale needed.

    Sitting on the fence isn’t the issue. Waiting until everyone is happy that one solution only will solve the problem, and then agreeing on that one solution is the issue.

    If they don’t work out of energy-positive buildings why should anyone else believe it’s possible.

    This was my old building at Bangor: http://www.ecw.ac.uk/thebuilding.html

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    Well they could at least turn the lights off when they leave a room – and call Wrecker so they go off automatically.

    Last time I worked in a govt building it had auto-lights off. They were fitted (it was old building) whilst I worked there.

    zokes
    Member

    Well they could at least turn the lights off when they leave a room

    Way ahead of you here in Oz – the lights turn off whilst I’m still in the room 😕

    Way ahead of you here in Oz – the lights turn off whilst I’m still in the room

    Give it time, we’ll be with you in the dark in the uk soon…

    ransos
    Member

    This logic does not make sense to me. Why not a nuclear AND renewable pathway? That seems a much more plausible solution than writing off one of the few low carbon technologies there is that has the capacity to operate remotely close to the scale needed.

    Theoretically, yes. In reality, more money spent on nuclear means less money spent on renewables. The time issue is also pertinent – it’s almost inconceivable that we will build the scale required in time to do little more than replace what we already have.

    wrecker
    Member

    Can we reduce demand enough to get below the line or not?

    There’s a lot of variables there. Fiscal growth and population increases go hand in hand with energy demand. Good housekeeping should go to the top of the list though. Reducing waste is a no brainer, low cost, low carbon. Current regulations for energy performance are all design based (except DECCs which aren’t statute for non gov buildings). Buildings get designed to operate well, but there is nothing to ensure they actually do. Clients often end up with an expensive building with nice certficates but cost a fortune to operate. Most of what we do is recommissioning.

    pjm84
    Member

    I have a great deal of trouble taking all those Hadley centre/Oxford uni/government scientists seriously when their own labs/buildings/homes are energy greedy. If they don’t work out of energy-positive buildings why should anyone else believe it’s possible.

    plus 1.

    Unless its speculative of course then it would be a no.

    An old boss of mine was asked to submit a new office building design for an local Wildlife Trust headquarters back in the late 90s. Located in a rural area it needed to be “sensitive” to its surroundings.

    Needless to say the corporate glass facades with “an in your face entrance” and roof design didn’t go down too well with the Trust. My suggestion of cedar and more natural materials, to portray the Client’s image and environmental aims, was scorned upon. We didn’t get the job.

    Premier Icon andytherocketeer
    Subscriber

    Had auto lights off pretty much every where I’ve worked since 1996.
    Now auto lights off in the bog in one place was a bit of a sod. Internal bogs with an extractor, rather than ones with a window, so if you don’t keep waving frantically in the cubicle, it’ll be darker than a darkroom.

    Auto lights off here – Remain on all day, and turn off 1 second before you walk into corridor and they trigger back on.

    Eitehr way, auto lights, CFL (loathe them), switching off a light or two will do virtually booger all to the total energy consumption of a nation.

    Edukator
    Member

    Which is why it’s important to insulate and make the heating and ventilation systems efficient too. It’s been mid 30s here for the last week and our little house is at 26°C with no A/C.

    Almost no UK buildings have shutters yet in the Winter they cut energy loss from windows by about 25% even with state-of-the-art triple glazing. My window areas lose less heat than a typical cavity wall when the shutters are closed. I’ve currently got the shutters half closed which means I’ve got free light but no direct sunlight through the window.

    zokes
    Member

    In reality, more money spent on nuclear means less money spent on renewables.

    In reality, renewables will never deliver enough energy to fill the hole left by old nuclear, gas, and coal, so this is a bit of a non-sequitur.

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