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> The French solution to global warming - nuclear power, How is it working?
Dingo
post Mar 25 2009, 10:29 PM
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Apparently not very well. Here are a couple of assessments.

http://counterpunch.com/wasserman03192009.html
QUOTE
The myth of a successful nuclear power industry in France has melted into financial chaos.

With it dies the corporate-hyped poster child for a "nuclear renaissance" of new reactor construction that is drowning in red ink and radioactive waste.

Areva, France's nationally-owned corporate atomic façade, has plunged into a deep financial crisis led by a devastating shortage of cash.
-------------------------------------------------
And the definitive failure of America's Yucca Mountain nuke waste dump mirrors France's parallel inability to deal with its own radioactive trash.


http://www.alternet.org/story/132852/the_f...it_to_the_u.s./
QUOTE
France's monopolistic dependency on splitting the atom to turn on the lights has come with a huge price -- not only financially but in environmental and health costs. In reality, France is a radioactive mess, additionally burdened with an overwhelming amount of radioactive waste, much of which is simply dispersed into the surrounding environment.

The situation is complicated by the fact that Areva, the French nuclear corporation and biggest atomic operator in the world, is almost wholly owned by the French government. Consequently, France's President Nicolas Sarkozy has gone into high marketing gear -- the Washington Post anointed him "the world's most aggressive nuclear salesman" -- pushing nuclear power to any country willing to pay, most notably in the Middle East.

This proliferation-friendly profiteering, however, ignores an ugly situation at home and in other countries where Areva has left its radioactive footprint.

France has 210 abandoned uranium mines. The leftover radioactive dirt -- known as tailings -- along with radioactively contaminated rocks, have been used in school playgrounds and ski-resort parking lots. Efforts to force Areva to clean up its mess have been met with resistance from the company.


Questions for discussion:

Do you think the French nuclear approach has been on balance a success or failure in supplying energy. Explain.

In the search for energy alternatives to fossil fuel do you think in the future building more nuclear power plants is an important part of the equation? Why or why not?

Have you got any thoughts on the dangers of nuclear power, particularly nuclear waste, terrorist attacks and a source of nuclear proliferation? See any solutions down the road? If so spell them out.

Compare the positives and negatives of nuclear power in relation to more green alternatives.
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Ted
post Mar 26 2009, 03:07 PM
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QUOTE
Questions for discussion:

Do you think the French nuclear approach has been on balance a success or failure in supplying energy. Explain.

A huge success.
“As of 2008, these plants produce 87.5% of both EDF's and France's electrical power production (of which much is exported),[1] making EDF the world leader in production of nuclear power by percentage.”
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_power_in_France


QUOTE
for energy alternatives to fossil fuel do you think in the future building more nuclear power plants is an important part of the equation? Why or why not?

Yes. Nuclear is an efficient and pollution free method of producing electricity. It should be a national priority.

QUOTE
thoughts on the dangers of nuclear power, particularly nuclear waste, terrorist attacks and a source of nuclear proliferation? See any solutions down the road? If so spell them out.

The dangers are fewer with the new designs. The waste issue needs to be dealt with in Congress. We have a site and it is being held up by the Congressmen from Nevada. This is ludicrous.

QUOTE
compare the positives and negatives of nuclear power in relation to more green alternatives.

Nuclear should be part of the total solution which must include more domestic oil and gas production, clean coal, solar, geothermal, and wind imo. Some solutions like wind may be cheaper than nuclear if we can solve the transmission problem.

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Mrs. Pigpen
post Mar 26 2009, 03:20 PM
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QUOTE(Ted @ Mar 26 2009, 11:07 AM) *
QUOTE
for energy alternatives to fossil fuel do you think in the future building more nuclear power plants is an important part of the equation? Why or why not?

Yes. Nuclear is an efficient and pollution free method of producing electricity. It should be a national priority.


Ted, did you actually read the above links? huh.gif Far from being "pollution free" There apparently is a tremendous problem disposing of all of the waste that has led to high radiation levels in certain areas of France.

QUOTE
t
The dangers are fewer with the new designs. The waste issue needs to be dealt with in Congress. We have a site and it is being held up by the Congressmen from Nevada. This is ludicrous.


But the problem isn't just disposal, it's transportation of the waste to that disposal center. What if there's an accident along the way?


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Ted
post Mar 26 2009, 03:28 PM
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QUOTE
Mrs P
Ted, did you actually read the above links? Far from being "pollution free" There apparently is a tremendous problem disposing of all of the waste that has led to high radiation levels in certain areas of France.


I read it. But this does not apply to us because we have a disposal site we have spent decades on researching and building. All we need is the Congress to get off thir butts and open it up.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yucca_Mountain

QUOTE
But the problem isn't just disposal, it's transportation of the waste to that disposal center. What if there's an accident along the way?


Nothing is risk free. But I have never heard of a transportation accident (have you) and we have more nuclear plants than France not to mention nuclear weapons which requires the movement of highly enriched and very dangerous nuclear material.
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Ultimatejoe
post Mar 26 2009, 04:28 PM
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QUOTE
But the problem isn't just disposal, it's transportation of the waste to that disposal center. What if there's an accident along the way?


I've been following the "Nuclear" debate for quite some time, and I just wanted to step in for a second. Check out the video in this link. The problem with Nuclear power has never been the technology itself, it has been the politics and economics of the people directing it. Chernobyl was a result of shoddy safety controls and political efforts to accelerate the testing process, and the problems in France can in many cases be attributed to poor regulations and mismanagement.

Whether or not this eliminates Fission as a reliable power source I will leave to another poster.
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Amlord
post Mar 26 2009, 05:09 PM
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I had a lengthy reply that went into the nether regions of the internet... ah well.

Do you think the French nuclear approach has been on balance a success or failure in supplying energy. Explain.

In summary, France has some of the lowest electricity costs in the world per kWh. They are 25% of the cost of the UK and less than half of that of Germany.

France exports electricity and doesn't import it.

The carbon footprint per kWh for electricity is about 1/10 of that of other European countries.

France also has an established nuclear reprocessing program, which recycles usable fissible material from otherwise wasteful nuclear fuel.

All big pluses.

The minus is the problem of disposing of spent nuclear material. Nobody wants it buried near them (the NIMBY principle). They should dig a 10,000 foot deep hole and drop the stuff into it or build a facility along the lines of Yucca Mountain just NIMBY.

In the search for energy alternatives to fossil fuel do you think in the future building more nuclear power plants is an important part of the equation? Why or why not?

Important for sure. France is working on a concept nuclear fusion power plant. The first version is for research purposes only, but could provide the next quantum leap in nuclear technology. Fusion has no radioactive byproduct and thus the most apparant problem of fission is removed.

Have you got any thoughts on the dangers of nuclear power, particularly nuclear waste, terrorist attacks and a source of nuclear proliferation? See any solutions down the road? If so spell them out.

Compare the positives and negatives of nuclear power in relation to more green alternatives.


Nuclear, even in its current form, is as green as it gets.
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DaffyGrl
post Mar 26 2009, 05:29 PM
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QUOTE(Ted)
The dangers are fewer with the new designs. The waste issue needs to be dealt with in Congress. We have a site and it is being held up by the Congressmen from Nevada. This is ludicrous.

Instead of knee-jerking blame on Congress, maybe you ought to do your homework about Yucca Mountain. Nevadans don’t want it, and are doing everything they can to prevent it from happening – not just the citizens of the state, but their representatives.

As far back as 2001:
QUOTE
Nevadans will not accept the nation's high-level nuclear waste being dumped at Yucca Mountain 90 miles northwest of Las Vegas. Hundreds of angry people showed up at a Department of Energy public hearing in Las Vegas last night to express their objections. Simultaneous hearings were held in Carson City, Elko and Reno.

Led by Governor Kenny Guinn and the entire Nevada Congressional delegation, who testified via satellite hookup from Washington, DC, speakers continued until well after midnight. ENS

QUOTE
If the proposed Yucca Mountain waste repository opens, a large number of irradiated fuel and high-level waste shipments will converge in Nevada. According to the Department of Energy (DOE), there could be between 23,000 and 96,000 shipments to Yucca Mountain over four decades1. Depending on a range of factors, such as the eventual transportation mode and any safety precautions that may be required, hundreds of accidents are expected nationwide. Some of these accidents could result in release of radioactive materials.

As prior reports prepared by RWMA for the State of Nevada show2, DOE has systematically underestimated the potential human health impacts from severe accidents and completely ignored their potential economic impacts. The cost of cleanup, evacuation and business loss resulting from a severe accident in a generic urban area can range from several billion to several hundred billion dollars. An accident in a rural area will have a different set of consequences, but has the potential to be as devastating as an accident in a more populated area. State of Nevada

QUOTE
Until now, the solution was Yucca Mountain, 90 miles northwest of Las Vegas, which Congress chose in the late 1980s as a permanent repository. Federal officials spent the last two decades — and billions of dollars — preparing to bury spent fuel in a series of fortified tunnels drilled into the mountain.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission still plans to hold hearings about Yucca Mountain, but without further funding the project will be a very expensive hole in the ground.

The repository's apparent demise is part science and part politics. Recent studies have shown that water flows through the mountain much faster than previously thought, which raises concerns that radioactive leaks could contaminate drinking water.

Industry critics say the government's inability to come up with a permanent burial ground for highly radioactive waste is another reason the U.S. should wean itself from nuclear power.

"President Obama made the absolutely correct decision," said Dave Kraft, director of the Nuclear Energy Information Service, an industry watchdog. "Unfortunately for the nation, it comes about 15 years and $10 billion too late." Yucca Mtn

If the past is any indication, nuclear power is a pie-in-the-sky solution that has a very high price. Nuclear waste isn’t something that just “goes away”; it’s here for thousands of years. Trying to find a place to dump it where the people who live there won’t care about the danger is an impossible task. Here’s a list of all the nuclear “accidents” in the US. Among the problems are natural disasters, like earthquakes, wildfires and the like that spread radioactive material into the population.

Here’s a list of just a few transportation accidents. Truck accidents, rail accidents, human error cannot ever be fully contained, nor can the radioactive danger that results from that error.

My brother worked for 20 years at Rocky Flats, and the last 8-10 of those years were spent in “environmental cleanup”. This nuclear weapons plant had many “incidents” and it took an FBI investigation when the nabobs decided to make the former weapons site a “wildlife refuge” for “school field trips and public recreation” ohmy.gif to uncover the level of contamination that still existed there. The whole nuclear industry is rife with deceit, violations of regulations, and cover-ups.
QUOTE
The plaintiffs are concerned, in particular, about a 2001 congressional decision to turn Rocky Flats into a wildlife refuge, which may have as many as 16 miles of trails for hiking and horseback riding. On Dec. 31, Lipsky retired early from the FBI to protest the agency's orders that he keep mum about the Rocky Flats controversy. "I left so I could help expose the truth," he told Muckraker. "Without the truth there can be no real understanding of the extent of this environmental crime, and there can be no thorough cleanup."
<snip>
"There is no question in my mind that the grounds are still hot [radioactive] at that site, and will be for a long time," she says. "That plant was spewing radioactive ash and effluent for nearly 40 years. We dumped radioactive stuff in areas they're not even looking at. We buried drums that corroded underground, and they're looking only at the surface of the soil." Salon
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TedN5
post Mar 26 2009, 05:48 PM
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I don't have time to fully respond to Dingo's questions right now. I will later. A few quick observations are in order, however. The French nuclear program was originally designed as a response to high oil prices and unstable supplies of all fuels - not because of global warming. It was a state sponsored effort and massively subsidized and, therefore, escaped the market forces that froze US reactor construction even though the US industry retained some major subsidies from the government. It is, therefore, massively ironic to hear a free marketer like Ted sing praises for this "socialist" endeavor. Nevertheless, given the global warming impacts of coal fired plants, I deem it a net benefit to the world that France chose nuclear over coal despite the many environmental and economic problems. They need to quickly explore some better technology for future capacity and replacement. (See My Response to Ted in Post 29 of the Global Warming thread).

This post has been edited by TedN5: Mar 26 2009, 05:49 PM
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Ted
post Mar 26 2009, 06:08 PM
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QUOTE
dgrl
Instead of knee-jerking blame on Congress, maybe you ought to do your homework about Yucca Mountain. Nevadans don’t want it, and are doing everything they can to prevent it from happening – not just the citizens of the state, but their representatives.




Right. But they didn’t refuse the money the government poured into the project over many years.

So how freaking stupid can our government be. Spend tons of money and then at the end allow the state to say – no thanks! blink.gif wacko.gif zipped.gif



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DaffyGrl
post Mar 26 2009, 09:32 PM
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QUOTE(Ted)
Right. But they didn’t refuse the money the government poured into the project over many years.

So how freaking stupid can our government be. Spend tons of money and then at the end allow the state to say – no thanks!

Who is “they”? The “they” who actually received the money was mostly the lobbyists and nuclear industry, who went ahead with the plan regardless of what the state wanted. Nevada certainly did not profit from it! On the contrary, Nevada has several lawsuits pending against the federal government and your boy Bush.

The “stupid” label needs to be applied to the previous administration. No independent scientific study was ever conducted on the Yucca Mountain location, and cronies in the nuclear industry were more than eager to take the money Bush handed out like M&Ms.
QUOTE
What it takes, apparently, is heaps of money to influence politicians and government officials. The nuclear power industry contributed $13.8 million to federal candidates and committees during the 2000 election cycle.2 And that was just the cover charge. Once the cost of getting in the door is squared away, special-interest spending to influence policy begins in earnest, on lobbying.
<snip>
Nuclear industry campaign cash flowed freely to Spencer Abraham, the man who recommended Yucca Mountain as a nuclear waste dump. But those campaign contributions are Lilliputian numbers compared to the enormous amount of money* Abraham’s leading nuclear supporters spent lobbying Congress and key federal agencies in 2000.
<snip>
Despite the numerous unresolved technical, environmental, and policy problems that plague the Yucca Mountain project, the nuclear industry no doubt anticipates that there is no economic problem, no public health threat, no long-term form of irrational energy policy idiocy that can’t be overcome by spending “what it takes” to influence Congress. Citizen

*over $25 million
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TedN5
post Mar 27 2009, 05:36 PM
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I promised a more complete response. Here it is.

By the way, Dingo, these were both fascinating articles. I grew up in the "National Sacrifice Area" of the Southwest and participated in numerous efforts aimed at controlling and cleaning up uranium mining and milling sites. Parts of the linked articles sounded eerily similar to what I was reading and hearing 30 years ago. I had no idea that Areva was still behaving so irresponsibly with their uranium mining operations. I was aware of the environmental and proliferation disaster created by the French reprocessing facility at La Hague. However, these are somewhat separate issues from the nuclear power generation itself. I wasn't aware of the financial plight of Areva since it has gone semi public but was not surprised to learn of them given its long protection from market forces.

Do you think the French nuclear approach has been on balance a success or failure in supplying energy. Explain.

If one factors in the environmental externalities and proliferation threat costs it has been an economic failure. However, one has to consider the alternatives. Emphasizing and subsidizing energy efficiency improvements and other "soft energy path" solutions would obviously have been preferred. If the alternative chosen had been more coal fired generation, however, we would be just that much closer to a climate disaster.

In the search for energy alternatives to fossil fuel do you think in the future building more nuclear power plants is an important part of the equation? Why or why not?

Not in the near future, anyway, at least not in highly industrialized countries. Improvements in end use efficiency are much cheaper and can be deployed in a much shorter period of time. Alternatives such as wind and solar are also cheaper and can be mass produced. Geothermal, while capital intensive, is no more so than nuclear reactors and has vast potential if subsidies are equalized.

In the long run, however, there is a need to replace existing nuclear and coal fired generation facilities and to do something with existing nuclear high level waste. IFR (Internal Fast Reactors) hold out some hope of fulfilling both needs. (See The IFR Links available here). I would favor taking a new look at this technology and, if deemed safe by a broad group, the subsidization of one demonstration facility to test its promise.

Have you got any thoughts on the dangers of nuclear power, particularly nuclear waste, terrorist attacks and a source of nuclear proliferation? See any solutions down the road? If so spell them out.

Spreading nuclear technology around the world with "Atoms for Peace" was a huge proliferation error but that cat is long since out of the bag. Reprocessing spent fuel to yield Plutonium is dangerous environmentally and a huge risk for proliferation and even for terrorist acquisition. The less Plutonium purified world wide the better!

Compare the positives and negatives of nuclear power in relation to more green alternatives. [/b]

This is a tall order. Books have been written on the subject from both sides. In general things like wind, solar, and geothermal are much more environmentally friendly though occasionally unsightly. Except for geothermal, they tend to be diffuse requiring facilities to concentrate their product. Wind and solar are both intermittent sources requiring some form of storage for use when there is no wind or sunshine. (There are several proposed solutions to this including massive fleets of plug in hybrids that both store and use green energy). Both wind and solar, however, lend themselves to mass production and should come way down in cost as production is ramped up. Solar photo voltaics in particular may have declining cost curves similar to microprocessors. It should be kept in mind, however, that the cheapest alternative right now remains massive improvements in the end use efficiency of energy and electrical energy in particular.

Nuclear generation, on the other hand, can fit right into the existing transmission and distribution system. It provides a stable base load that is reliable. However, as we have seen, as currently generated it is environmentally destructive, takes a long time to come on line, and (when subsidies are factored in) is extremely expensive. Without IFR or efficient spent fuel processing (which is a proliferation danger) the fuel supply for nuclear reactors is very limited.

This post has been edited by TedN5: Mar 27 2009, 05:44 PM
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cicero
post Mar 27 2009, 06:43 PM
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I am for nuclear power but there is good evidence that stands against it. A report done by MIT in 2003 had many positive things to say. Here are some key things from that report:

QUOTE
Our analysisis guided by a global growth scenario that would expand current worldwide nuclear generating capacity almost threefold, to 1000 billion watts, by the year 2050. Such a deployment would avoid 1.8 billion tonnes of carbon emissions annually from coal plants, about 25% of the increment in carbon emissions otherwise expected in a business-as-usual scenario. This study also recommends changes in government policy and industrial practice needed in the relatively near term to retain an option for such an outcome.
----
Cost. In deregulated markets, nuclear power is not now cost competitive with coal and natural gas.However, plausible reductions by industry in capital cost, operation and maintenance costs, and construction time could reduce the gap. Carbon emission credits, if enacted by government, can give nuclear power a cost advantage.
----
Waste. Geological disposal is technically feasible but execution is yet to be demonstrated or certain. A convincing case has not been made that the long-term waste management benefits of advanced, closed fuel cycles involving reprocessing of spent fuel are outweighed by the short-term risks and costs. Improvement in the open, once through fuel cycle may offer waste management benefits as large as those claimed for the more expensive closed fuel cycles.
----
We conclude that, over at least the next 50 years, the best choice to meet these challenges is the open, once-through fuel cycle. We judge that there are adequate uranium resources available at reasonable cost to support this choice under a global growth scenario.

Source: The Future of Nuclear Power (Summary Report) PDF
Source: Full Report Found Here


On the other side we have Amory B. Lovins and others from the Rocky Mountain Institute:

QUOTE
Nuclear power, we’re told, is a vibrant industry that’s dramatically reviving because it’s proven, necessary, competitive, reliable, safe, secure, widely used, increasingly popular, and carbon-free—a perfect replacement for carbon-spewing coal power. New nuclear plants thus sound vital for climate protection, energy security, and powering a growing economy.

There’s a catch, though: the private capitalmarket isn’t investing in new nuclear plants, and without financing, capitalist utilities aren’t buying. The few purchases, nearly all in Asia, are all made by central planners with a draw on the public purse. In the United States, even government subsidies approaching or exceeding new nuclear power’s total cost have failed to entice Wall Street.
----
Construction costs worldwide have risen far faster for nuclear than non-nuclear plants, due not just to sharply higher steel, copper, nickel, and cement prices but also to an atrophied global infrastructure for making, building, managing, and operating reactors. The industry’s flagship Finnish project, led by France’s top builder, after 28 months’ construction had gone at least 24 months behind schedule and $2 billion over budget.

By 2007, as Figure 1 shows, nuclear was the costliest option among all main competitors, whether using MIT’s authoritative but now low 2003 cost assessment1, the Keystone Center’s mid-2007 update (see Figure 1, pink bar), or later and even higher industry estimates (see Figure 1, pink arrow)2
----
Nuclear power, being the costliest option, delivers less electrical service per dollar than its rivals, so, not surprisingly, it’s also a climate protection loser, surpassing in carbon emissions displaced per dollar only centralized, non-cogenerating combined-cycle power plants burning natural gas8. Firmed windpower and cogeneration are 1.5 times more costeffective than nuclear at displacing CO2. So is efficiency at even an almost unheard-of seven cents per kilowatthour. Efficiency at normally observed costs beats nuclear by a wide margin— for example, by about ten-fold for efficiency costing one cent per kilowatthour.
----
Nuclear plants have an additional disadvantage: for safety, they must instantly shut down in a power failure, but for nuclear-physics reasons, they can’t then be quickly restarted. During the August 2003 Northeast blackout, nine perfectly operating U.S. nuclear units had to shut down. Twelve days of painfully slow restart later, their average capacity loss had exceeded 50 percent. For the first three days, just when they were most needed, their output was below 3 percent of normal. The big transmission lines that highly concentrated nuclear plants require are also vulnerable to lightning, ice storms, rifle bullets, and other interruptions. The bigger our power plants and power lines get, the more frequent and widespread regional blackouts will become. Because 98–99 percent of power failures start in the grid, it’s more reliable to bypass the grid by shifting to efficiently used, diverse, dispersed resources sited at or near the customer. Also, a portfolio of many smaller units is unlikely to fail all at once: its diversity makes it especially reliable even if its individual units are not.

Source: Forget Nuclear by Amory B. Lovins, Imran Sheikh, and Alex Markevich

Two groups I consider worthy opponents on this debate. I still think we can solve the issue of nuclear power but it will take time.

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Ted
post Mar 27 2009, 09:00 PM
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QUOTE(DaffyGrl @ Mar 26 2009, 05:32 PM) *
QUOTE(Ted)
Right. But they didn’t refuse the money the government poured into the project over many years.

So how freaking stupid can our government be. Spend tons of money and then at the end allow the state to say – no thanks!

Who is “they”? The “they” who actually received the money was mostly the lobbyists and nuclear industry, who went ahead with the plan regardless of what the state wanted. Nevada certainly did not profit from it! On the contrary, Nevada has several lawsuits pending against the federal government and your boy Bush.

The “stupid” label needs to be applied to the previous administration. No independent scientific study was ever conducted on the Yucca Mountain location, and cronies in the nuclear industry were more than eager to take the money Bush handed out like M&Ms.
QUOTE
What it takes, apparently, is heaps of money to influence politicians and government officials. The nuclear power industry contributed $13.8 million to federal candidates and committees during the 2000 election cycle.2 And that was just the cover charge. Once the cost of getting in the door is squared away, special-interest spending to influence policy begins in earnest, on lobbying.
<snip>
Nuclear industry campaign cash flowed freely to Spencer Abraham, the man who recommended Yucca Mountain as a nuclear waste dump. But those campaign contributions are Lilliputian numbers compared to the enormous amount of money* Abraham’s leading nuclear supporters spent lobbying Congress and key federal agencies in 2000.
<snip>
Despite the numerous unresolved technical, environmental, and policy problems that plague the Yucca Mountain project, the nuclear industry no doubt anticipates that there is no economic problem, no public health threat, no long-term form of irrational energy policy idiocy that can’t be overcome by spending “what it takes” to influence Congress. Citizen

*over $25 million

The they includes the government and fyi there are 10s of thousands of pages of “studies” that have been done on Yucca


Yucca Mountain Studies
For more than 20 years, scientists have performed thousands of studies at Yucca Mountain, at prestigious national laboratories such as Los Alamos, Sandia, Lawrence Livermore, and Lawrence Berkeley as well as at the U.S. Geological Survey. These studies (called site characterization) were aimed at understanding the mountain's physical aspects and the processes that could affect the repository's safety.

http://www.ocrwm.doe.gov/ym_repository/studies/index.shtml
http://geomaps.wr.usgs.gov/gump/people/ymp/ymp.html

So let’s write it all off and give up on nuclear power – which means give up on “electric” cars imo.

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Dingo
post Mar 27 2009, 11:47 PM
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QUOTE(Ted @ Mar 27 2009, 02:00 PM) *
Yucca Mountain Studies
For more than 20 years, scientists have performed thousands of studies at Yucca Mountain, at prestigious national laboratories such as Los Alamos, Sandia, Lawrence Livermore, and Lawrence Berkeley as well as at the U.S. Geological Survey. These studies (called site characterization) were aimed at understanding the mountain's physical aspects and the processes that could affect the repository's safety.

http://www.ocrwm.doe.gov/ym_repository/studies/index.shtml
http://geomaps.wr.usgs.gov/gump/people/ymp/ymp.html

So let’s write it all off and give up on nuclear power – which means give up on “electric” cars imo.

Perhaps Yucca Mountain is relatively safe as a nuclear waste storage site. The problem is the crust of the earth is a pretty dynamic place and in 2007 heretofore unknown information showed that the designated Yucca Mountain waste site was more at risk from that dynamic than they had realized.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yucca_Mountain

QUOTE
In September 2007, it was discovered that the Bow Ridge fault line ran underneath the facility, hundreds of feet east of where it was originally thought to be located, beneath a storage pad where spent radioactive fuel canisters would be cooled before being sealed in a maze of tunnels.


And as a little addendum it might be interesting to contemplate just how seismically active this area is.

QUOTE
Analysis of the available data in 1996 indicates that, since 1976, there have been 621 seismic events of magnitude greater than 2.5 within a 50-mile radius of Yucca Mountain.


This post has been edited by Dingo: Mar 28 2009, 12:02 AM
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Ted
post Mar 28 2009, 03:14 AM
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Well Dingo it will take one hell of a lot of wind mills to take the place of the nuke plants we could have.

Kiss electric cars good bye.
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Dingo
post Mar 28 2009, 04:06 AM
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QUOTE(Ted @ Mar 27 2009, 08:14 PM) *
Well Dingo it will take one hell of a lot of wind mills to take the place of the nuke plants we could have.

Kiss electric cars good bye.

How about photo voltaics imbedded in the roof of the car and windmill generator popups on windy days and when you are coasting down hill?

We need to get away from TBTF technologies with NIMBY waste products. cool.gif

This post has been edited by Dingo: Mar 28 2009, 04:07 AM
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AuthorMusician
post Mar 28 2009, 04:51 PM
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Do you think the French nuclear approach has been on balance a success or failure in supplying energy. Explain.

It's flat out a failure. I've read plenty on this issue, but here's a current article:

Yeah, so stop lying about the freaking total cost of nuclear power -- levelize thy numbers

QUOTE
Let me add a few points to the article. First, let's not confuse operating cost per kWh with total cost. The Energy Biz article quotes a misleading figure:

"According to Platts' Global Nuclear Group, the operation and maintenance of [existing nuclear facilities in the United States] in 2002 continued to fall to a record low median of 1.59 cents per kilowatt-hour. That is less than the 3 cents a kilowatt-hour it takes to run a coal plant."
To make a fair comparison, we would have to add the quantifiable costs associated with each energy source, including radioactive waste disposal. This is known as levelizing costs.

Like the U.S., France does not have a permanent solution for disposal. The cost of temporary waste storage -- hundreds of billions of euros -- is being passed along to French taxpayers and ratepayers by the state and its subsidized plant operators.


In the search for energy alternatives to fossil fuel do you think in the future building more nuclear power plants is an important part of the equation? Why or why not?

Absolutely not. Nobody wants to invest money into nuclear plants due to continual cost overruns and the above mentioned cost of waste disposal. However, private money is going into alternative energy stocks right now. Here's a dandy one:

Evergreen Solar Inc.

Bought in when the stock was at $1.45, it was trading for $2.33 on Friday and I'm hanging onto this one.

So the bottom line about nuclear is that it has to be heavily subsedized by taxpayer dollars. Shoot, stop throwing good money after bad! Get smart and invest in alternatives, both your own money and your tax dollars. Do the research though, some are real long shots. I've got some of that in the portfolio too.

Have you got any thoughts on the dangers of nuclear power, particularly nuclear waste, terrorist attacks and a source of nuclear proliferation? See any solutions down the road? If so spell them out.

Yes, all of the above. I don't have any rationalization to support the use of nuclear power plants. They seemed like a good idea at one time and would have been great had it not been for that little radiation problem. Plus you have to mine the fuel.

Compare the positives and negatives of nuclear power in relation to more green alternatives.

Nuclear: expensive and dangerous

Solar: getting cheaper, more efficient and is absolutely safe

Wind: getting cheaper, more efficient and is absolutely safe except if you're flying around the windmills -- keep yer distance!

Tidal: getting cheaper, more efficient and is absolutely safe unless you're diving around and get caught in a rip tide -- know what the hell you're doing!

Geothermal: getting cheaper, more efficient and is absolutely safe unless you have no respect for high energy steam at 1,000 degrees F -- same deal as current coal-fired plants

Biomass: probably not needed down the road, a transitional phase for when cheap and abundant alt energy electrical power comes online with the Smart Grid management fully in place

The electric car is the future. Look it up.

QUOTE
How about photo voltaics imbedded in the roof of the car and windmill generator popups on windy days and when you are coasting down hill?

We need to get away from TBTF technologies with NIMBY waste products. - Dingo -


I know you're making a joke here, but imagine running out of juice with your Tesla or Volt or whatever and you have emergency solar panels and a wind turbine generator in the trunk. Just set up and let Ma Nature fill your tank. Or maybe just hook up the old fuel cell emergency supply and amble off to the nearest Smart Grid outlet.

Imagine. No more syphoning nasty gasoline! No more static electricity explosions at the gas pump! No more hitching a ride with the serial killer!

This post has been edited by AuthorMusician: Mar 28 2009, 05:04 PM
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TedN5
post Mar 28 2009, 05:21 PM
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QUOTE
Ted
Well Dingo it will take one hell of a lot of wind mills to take the place of the nuke plants we could have.

Kiss electric cars good bye.


A lot, yes, but a lot is being built and the potential is almost unlimited. Far from limiting electric cars the marriage between wind generation and rechargeable electric hybrids is almost ideal. (See This Climate Progress Article).

QUOTE
The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) announced the remarkable news today:

The U.S. wind energy industry shattered all previous records in 2008 by installing 8,358 megawatts (MW) of new generating capacity (enough to serve over 2 million homes).


QUOTE
The new wind projects completed in 2008 account for about 42% of the entire new power-producing capacity added nationally last year, according to initial estimates, and will avoid nearly 44 million tons of carbon emissions, the equivalent of taking over 7 million cars off of the road.


How much did nuclear add last year with all its subsidies? 0? How much in the last 5 years? How much in 10?

We also need to consider the solar generation just starting to take off. (See Second Largest Solar Plant to be built in Florida.

QUOTE
Concentrated solar-thermal power (CSP) is a core climate solution. It is probably the zero-carbon form of electricity with the most potential, since it can be easily integrated with thermal storage and provide power reliably throughout the day and evening in key locations around the world (including China and India), which is why it delivers 3 of the 12 - 14 wedges needed for “the full global warming solution.”

After being neglected for nearly 2 decades, CSP is finally coming of age with major new deals around the world and here at home (see “Biggest CA utility contracts for world’s biggest solar power deal — 1300 MW solar thermal“). But while we tend to think of CSP as being the most suitable for desert-like conditions, it also makes sense anywhere it is sunny.
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Dingo
post Mar 28 2009, 09:04 PM
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QUOTE(AuthorMusician @ Mar 28 2009, 09:51 AM) *
QUOTE
How about photo voltaics imbedded in the roof of the car and windmill generator popups on windy days and when you are coasting down hill?

We need to get away from TBTF technologies with NIMBY waste products. - Dingo -


I know you're making a joke here, but imagine running out of juice with your Tesla or Volt or whatever and you have emergency solar panels and a wind turbine generator in the trunk. Just set up and let Ma Nature fill your tank. Or maybe just hook up the old fuel cell emergency supply and amble off to the nearest Smart Grid outlet.

Imagine. No more syphoning nasty gasoline! No more static electricity explosions at the gas pump! No more hitching a ride with the serial killer!

Actually car roof photovoltaics are already in production. Now they are specialized for solar racing but no doubt will be adapted for the rest of us eventually, at least as a supplement.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_vehicle
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Ted
post Mar 31 2009, 10:23 PM
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QUOTE
TedN5
A lot, yes, but a lot is being built and the potential is almost unlimited. Far from limiting electric cars the marriage between wind generation and rechargeable electric hybrids is almost ideal. (See This Climate Progress Article).




Unfortunately the capacity is tiny and the vehicles that could use it are et to be built and sold – and then there is the battery issues.

I do have some hopes for wind power (and electric cars) but unless the Congress gets off their butts and does something we will never get there.

And Pickens has run into the wall I knew he would.


Pickens faces headwinds on clean-tech plans

http://news.cnet.com/8301-11128_3-10205448-54.html

OH well - Politics
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