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Nuclear energy in the UK

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We shouldn't be launching more things into space. Space debris is a serious issue right now.


Lou Gutman, P.I.- It's like I'm not even trying anymore!
http://theatomicdanger.iforumer.com/index....theatomicdanger

One billion b-balls dribbling simultaneously throughout the galaxy. One trillion b-balls being slam dunked through a hoop throughout the galaxy. I can feel every single b-ball that has ever existed at my fingertips. I can feel their collective knowledge channeling through my viens. Every jumpshot, every rebound and three-pointer, every layup, dunk, and free throw. I am there.

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We shouldn't be launching more things into space. Space debris is a serious issue right now.

 

I'll launch YOU into space!


"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

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That is okay, Pixie Stick. We have the Chinese to play Missile Command LARP. :D


Murphy's Law of Computer Gaming: The listed minimum specifications written on the box by the publisher are not the minimum specifications of the game set by the developer.

 

@\NightandtheShape/@ - "Because you're a bizzare strange deranged human?"

Walsingham- "Sand - always rushing around, stirring up apathy."

Joseph Bulock - "Another headache, courtesy of Sand"

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Would you like to play a game?

 

Strange game. The only winning move is not to play.


"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

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Would you like to play a game?

 

Strange game. The only winning move is not to play.

How dare you? Good day to you, sir. Defcon is awesome. GOOD DAY!


"Show me a man who "plays fair" and I'll show you a very talented cheater."

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Would you like to play a game?

 

Strange game. The only winning move is not to play.

How dare you? Good day to you, sir. Defcon is awesome. GOOD DAY!

Yes!


This statement is false.

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http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/5149676.stm

 

This constantly puzzles me. I was anticipating someone here making a better case than the green lobbyists I've come across.

 

My problem is that I've talked to, and been shown the numbers and assumptions of those in favour of nuclear power and you just can't do the numbers any other way. If you want to lower fossil fuel emissions while not sending the economy into three day weeks then nuclear is the only way. It's far from perfect, but in what weird alternate reality are we where we expect perfection? Green (alternative) power just does not add up.

Meh, I'm for solar and wind power.


"Your total disregard for the law and human decency both disgusts me and touches my heart. Bless you, sir."

"Soilent Green is people. This guy's just a homeless heroin junkie who got in a internet caf

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http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/5149676.stm

 

This constantly puzzles me. I was anticipating someone here making a better case than the green lobbyists I've come across.

 

My problem is that I've talked to, and been shown the numbers and assumptions of those in favour of nuclear power and you just can't do the numbers any other way. If you want to lower fossil fuel emissions while not sending the economy into three day weeks then nuclear is the only way. It's far from perfect, but in what weird alternate reality are we where we expect perfection? Green (alternative) power just does not add up.

Meh, I'm for solar and wind power.

 

Craig, I don't mean to be rude, but the numbers simply don't add up. You can't produce enough energy, even if you plaster the country with windfarms and ring the coast.


"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

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Well, you could put a solar sail in orbit, and beam the energy back to Earth. (Just hope something doesn't accidentally divert the beam ... fried underclass-living-next-to-the-station).


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I've made designs for a free energy generator. I'd show you, but I've got no copyright on it or anything, and Meta is liable to steal the idea. I'm not worried about the rest of you though, you probably wouldn't understand the complexities of the system(inside joke with myself).


Lou Gutman, P.I.- It's like I'm not even trying anymore!
http://theatomicdanger.iforumer.com/index....theatomicdanger

One billion b-balls dribbling simultaneously throughout the galaxy. One trillion b-balls being slam dunked through a hoop throughout the galaxy. I can feel every single b-ball that has ever existed at my fingertips. I can feel their collective knowledge channeling through my viens. Every jumpshot, every rebound and three-pointer, every layup, dunk, and free throw. I am there.

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It involves weed, doesn't it?

 

Nah... Soy milk.


Murphy's Law of Computer Gaming: The listed minimum specifications written on the box by the publisher are not the minimum specifications of the game set by the developer.

 

@\NightandtheShape/@ - "Because you're a bizzare strange deranged human?"

Walsingham- "Sand - always rushing around, stirring up apathy."

Joseph Bulock - "Another headache, courtesy of Sand"

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A counter-argument against a massive UK investment in nuclear power runs something like this:

 

Yes, when you ask tough questions of the renewable energy sources (wind, tidal and so on), the numbers don't add up terribly well. But they don't add up for nuclear power either. As others have pointed out, unless your economic calculations include how to dispose of hazardous nuclear waste and how to decommission nuclear plants once they become obsolete, and how to pay for these things, it's very hard to make an informed decision as to which is better.

 

I seem to recall seeing a comparison of the amount of public money invested in developing nuclear and renewable energies, which showed that even in recent years nuclear gets much higher public funding. So if we reverse that, aren't renewables likely to become more viable rather quickly? Sadly, we may be too late for this.

 

Finally there's the problem of the British Nuclear Industry itself, an industry so steeped in incompetence and broken promises that I wouldn't trust it to run a village fete. If we were going to go down the nuclear path, we'd need to get someone else in to do it, possibly the Finns or the Japanese.

 

A few days ago, a judge told the government that its decision to opt for nuclear power had been premature and it was told to go away and carry out a proper public consultation. It seems that the country was going nuclear just because someone sat on Tony Blair's sofa and gave him a good sales pitch. That's not how we ought to be running a country.

 

I used to be militantly against nuclear power, but I'm not any more. I concede that we might have fatally underinvested in renewables and might need one more generation of nuclear power plants to give us breathing space to get the renewable technology right. But the nuclear industry has to answer the same tough questions it poses to renewables before it'll get my support.


"An electric puddle is not what I need right now." (Nina Kalenkov)

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Hello Steve! Haven't noticed you in a while. Apologies if I've been ignoring you.

 

I can accept your point about the costs of cleanup. But my point was rather more to do with the infeasibility of using anything else to meet demand. Nuke may well be more expensive per watt, but if there isn't enough room for other types then what can we do?


"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

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I thought the best counter-argument for nuclear was a distributed energy production system. By that I mean that individuals could install their own renewable sources (a propeller on the roof and some shiny tiles). Of course this would still come up short, and there is the huge issue of energy dependence: Russia demonstrated just how much power (ha, pun intended) it has on those downstream from its power production.

 

Seriously, too, if people want hydrogen powered cars and computers, we're going to need some power stations to charge 'em up, and the best option is nuclear. I think we're currently in the fifth generation of nuclear plants; at least one of the plants in England is from the first (I think) generation. the newer ones are more efficient and designed to be much less dangerous with the active ingredients not used in a way that causes meltdown if they overheat, for example. (IIRC all nuclear accidents have been caused by human error, and through overwork and fatigue.)

 

(As an aside, the British Nuclear industry doesn't strike me as much different from every industry in the UK, from National Rail to the NHS.)


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Nuclear is only necessary if you assume that demand for energy will continue to increase as it has done in the past. A combination of energy-efficiency technology and simply allowing the price of energy to rise could slow the rise in demand to the point where renewables and gas can meet that demand. I'm aware that some of the strongest advocates of renewables believe that consumer-capitalism isn't sustainable as we start to tackle global warming seriously, but I'm wary of that. I suspect that if governments ban nuclear power and impose limits to carbon emissions, the market will provide solutions in the form of alternative technologies and energy efficiency, and do so quite successfully.

 

In any case, I'm no economist, but looking through the WWF report on energy policy, their figures do seem to add up without nuclear power. I'd be interested in seeing what others make of it.

 

WWF Report

Summary (this is the bit I read)


"An electric puddle is not what I need right now." (Nina Kalenkov)

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That's just a report on reducing CO2. I am very skeptical that there is sufficient latent renewable capacity to fulfill even the BAU requirements, let alone any energy demand increases.

3. Reliance on gas for power generation can be reduced by reducing total electricity consumption.

In recent months considerable concerns have been raised about the UK’s transition from being a gas exporter to an importer dependent on other countries for our natural gas supplies. The UK government predicts that, by 2020, we may be importing 90 per cent of our gas as supplies in the North Sea run out.12 Concerns about using gas for electricity generation have been accentuated by a cold winter, the current lack of gas storage capacity in the UK, spikes in gas prices and disputes over Russian gas pipelines in Central and Eastern Europe. There is potential to ease many of these concerns by the construction of new gas storage facilities and pipeline infrastructure, along with ongoing work to liberalise the EU gas markets.

That's a nice sentiment, but I don't see electricity demand falling. And it's a VERY high-risk strategy to rely on foreign energy: remember the OPEC crisis of the 70s?

 

The whole report is focussed on reducing CO2, not replacing carbon fuel sources, which is a subtle but significant difference.

 

further on:

The government must introduce policies to ensure that renewables deliver 20 per cent of the UK’s electricity by 2020, and 25 per cent by 2025. It must do more to support a diversified portfolio of renewable energy technologies, including biomass, solar, wave and tidal technologies.

ILEX bases its analysis on extending the Renewables Obligation. However, the way in which the Obligation operates at present means it has a built-in shortfall against targets – suggesting that further measures are needed to deliver the goals set out in the White Paper. Moreover, the obligation has the effect of incentivising the cheapest technologies – almost exclusively offshore and onshore wind. WWF is calling for other measures to bring forward a more diverse portfolio of renewables – many of which have huge potential, and will be needed on a large scale beyond 2025 to ensure continued progress towards the UK’s long-term emission targets. This has wider benefits in terms of security of energy supply, rural development and reduction of system costs, particularly for biomass generation.

Wind isn't going to do it, even if everyone allows a windfarm in their backyard (and you can bet they won't: recently Greenpeace blocked a windfarm in California because it interfered with the migration of some birds).

 

The flaw, as I see it, in the report is the limited scope:

  • Powerswitch “Policy Delivered” scenario (PS1)
    which assumes the continuation and successful delivery of existing policy measures and targets; and
  • Powerswitch “Policy Evolution” scenario (PS2)
    which assumes the implementation of new measures which are a realistic, modestly ambitious extension of policies identified in the Energy White Paper.

They are basically starting from a conclusion, i.e. that nuclear power is unnecessary, and then assuming that targets will be met (which is highly doubtful) or bettered (yeah, sure) to create some figures to make it happen. Firstly, the renewable energy targets are short-sighted and biased to the short-term:

Moreover, the obligation has the effect of incentivising the cheapest technologies – almost exclusively offshore and onshore wind. WWF is calling for other measures to bring forward a more diverse portfolio of renewables – many of which have huge potential, and will be needed on a large scale beyond 2025 to ensure continued progress towards the UK’s long-term emission targets.

 

Secondly, the government is having enormous trouble meeting the targets it has set now, even this report admits that:

The BAU scenario assumes that the government will fall short of current targets under the RO10 (as looks likely under current predictions). Under PS1 the government’s renewables targets for 2010 and 2015 are met through the RO and extended to deliver the White Paper’s aspirational target for 2020. Under PS2 the government’s current targets are met and extended for 2020 and 2025. In addition, from 2020 microgeneration – small-scale renewables and other highly efficient decentralised power generation technologies – supply a small share of total electricity under PS2.

Yet they expect the target to either bet met (PS1) or bettered (PS2)!

 

Hence their conclusions are obvious:

The government should rule out investment in new nuclear capacity. As this research demonstrates, it is possible to achieve significant emissions reductions without replacing existing nuclear power stations.

WWF regards nuclear power as a costly technology which is fundamentally incompatible with the wider aims of the government’s sustainable development strategy. The government should focus its efforts on dealing with the dangerous existing legacy of the nuclear industry rather than on supporting new nuclear build. Concerns about security of energy supply can be addressed by diversifying our fuel sources, investing in a wide variety of renewable sources and, above all, reducing energy consumption.

 

And whatever happened to the "leading independent energy market consultancy"?

In order to test this assumption, WWF commissioned ILEX, a leading independent energy market consultancy, to undertake research into the likely impacts on the UK power sector’s CO2 emissions and fuel mix if no new nuclear power stations are built to replace the existing reactors as they are decommissioned over the next 20 years.

 

Nuclear is actually a very clean energy source (think of how much matter is waste compared to the amount of energy produced); it's just not been managed as well as it should be (accidents and waste).

 

Edit: just saw this bit, too:

However, in March 2006 the government effectively abandoned its target to cut emissions by 20 per cent by 2010. The long overdue review of the climate change programme offered policies which would deliver a reduction of just 15-18 per cent.3 This failure is to a large extent due to rising emissions from the power sector, which the government has failed to address through tighter caps under the EU ETS.

First off, the report is trying to offshore energy production to eliminate "UK emissions", which is disingenuous as the emissions have to be emitted somewhere. Second, the energy sector aren't increasing emissions without increasing output: the UK demand is rising. Hence why the energy sector is purchasing capacity from the continent (at a premium) and gas prices are rising.

 

I just can't agree with their outlook of a future with LESS electricity demand. (I didn't notice PSUs dropping in wattage ...)


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Agreed, Meta. That is why I think that nuclear energy is a good middle ground til we have solidify the renewable energy sources and make them more efficient. That is why I think that more countries that have access to nuclear energy, not nuclear weapons mind you, the better.


Murphy's Law of Computer Gaming: The listed minimum specifications written on the box by the publisher are not the minimum specifications of the game set by the developer.

 

@\NightandtheShape/@ - "Because you're a bizzare strange deranged human?"

Walsingham- "Sand - always rushing around, stirring up apathy."

Joseph Bulock - "Another headache, courtesy of Sand"

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Nuclear is only necessary if you assume that demand for energy will continue to increase as it has done in the past. A combination of energy-efficiency technology and simply allowing the price of energy to rise could slow the rise in demand to the point where renewables and gas can meet that demand.

Actually, that is very true. We generate five times the energy we use: the rest is lost in waste between the source and the power plug. :)


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Energy conscious states like California, who were also hit hard by speculation in the energy market by wallstreet and Enron, are making strides to solve the problem, in a sense energy consciousness has finally started to move from idealism to practicalism, which is exactly what is needed to turn energy guzling America around.

Edited by Gorgon

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greg358 from Darksouls 3 PVP is a CHEATER.

That is all.

 

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I wouldn't for a moment argue that energy efficiency is an improvement we need to make. But I still don't see how we can have populations growing at the current rates, every head of which is using more and more powered gadgets, and not expect demand to increase.

 

I should also say that so far as I can see the nuclear option - barring acts of terrorism - is pretty safe. It is also, as Meta says, very waste effiicient.

 

Overall my point of view is that it is futile to expect a consumer oriented free market not to try and grow. And if the UK/US doesn't provide energy then producers and businesses will move overseas to countries like India and China that couldn't care less. Then what will we have? About as much hope of getting our good intentions affect the world arena as Lesotho.


"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

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The whole report is focussed on reducing CO2, not replacing carbon fuel sources, which is a subtle but significant difference.

Yes, it is, and that reflects the primary concern of the organisation that commissioned it, but it does cover the issue of how supply is to be maintained without nuclear but still reducing carbon emissions, and that surely is the whole point. No-one would be talking about nuclear at all if reducing CO2 were not the major issue.

Wind isn't going to do it, even if everyone allows a windfarm in their backyard (and you can bet they won't: recently Greenpeace blocked a windfarm in California because it interfered with the migration of some birds).

Give people a choice between a windmill in the back yard or a nuclear power station, or energy rationing, I wonder what they will choose when it comes to the crunch. It could well be nuclear, but it's hard to predict until we get to that point.

 

I don't think the report is starting from a conclusion that nuclear power is unnecessary, they're starting from the premise that nuclear power is undesirable, and investigating whether a non-nuclear approach is feasible. This doesn't invalidate the report at all. Reasons why nuclear power is a less desirable option than others can be found elsewhere, and this report is not unduly limited in scope, it's merely focused on answering a specific question.

 

I do see the attraction of nuclear power - it seems to be the only power source that potentially allows us to continue to consume more and more, whereas every other source seems to have an implied maximum output. It does have significant problems, though, of economics, security and safety above all, and the poor management, accidents and waste can't be dismissed lightly. Above all, I think there's a lack of imagination about how well the economy can be regeared to be energy efficient.

I just can't agree with their outlook of a future with LESS electricity demand. (I didn't notice PSUs dropping in wattage ...)

I don't remember them predicting a fall in demand in the summary at least, just a slowdown in the rate of increase to the point where improvements in technology could meet the increase.


"An electric puddle is not what I need right now." (Nina Kalenkov)

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I think the "independence" of Ilex is under question, and justifiably so; if British American Tabacco funds a study on how healthy cigarettes are for people, it is right to ask cui bono. :)

 

The WWF have a barrow to push, and they commissioned a study. What a surprise that they "proved" what they set out to ...

 

As for the choice between "a windmill in the back yard or a nuclear power station, or energy rationing", I don't think it's that simple; it's not a zero sum argument. And again, you aren't going to get enough power from renewables. You'll need all of those (well, energy efficiency technology rather than rationing, perhaps). :)


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