Nuclear Power - Fukushima, Clegg & Greenwash

Discussion in 'The Science Forum' started by Bad CO, Mar 30, 2011.

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  1. Bad CO

    Bad CO LE Admin Reviews Editor Gallery Guru

    A clear sign that I'm getting old, the overwhelming desire to harrumph and rustle my Telegraph over Nick Clegg's latest:

    Do these people actually believe there is any other alternative if we want to continue living in nice warm houses with all the things that make modern life worth living?

    Of course the problem is that the latest events in Japan have allowed people to cast doubt on nuclear power's safety. This is just ludicrous when you consider that the nukes are about the only thing left standing in that area, proving that they are pretty robust after all. Now I'm not normally a huge fan of Lewis Page but a couple of his articles in the Register on this subject are spot on:

    Right I'm very pleased to have got that off my chest!
  2. Here's a cut out and keep for you....

  3. Like it or lump it, Nuclear is our only viable option. Wind doesn't work, Solar isn't viable yet and whilst fossil fuels aren't running out they are getting pricier. Nuclear can be perfectly safe so long as you don't build your plants next to a fault line with both the reactors and backup systems about 3 inches above sea level.

    You can't charge an iPhone on good intentions!
  4. I look forward to the point, in a few years time, when we have pre-planned power outages (as well as ones when demand is too high) and all teh LimpDems and Greens start demanding power. I imagine a few will also sue the Govt when they have accidents that the ambulance chasing lawyers will say were down to reduced light levels etc.

    Do we live in an earthquake zone ? No (though i concede we get a few tremors now and again)
    Do we use the same type of reactors as the Japs ? You know, the ones that were found by Nuclear Experts to be dangerous back in the 1970's and who's advice the US Govt decided to ignore and build and export said dangerous design ? No

    What is the ******* deal here ? Do we want to be strategically dependant on our main domestic power to Norwegians, Russians and ragheads ?

    We do ? Oh well, alright then :)

  5. The safety side is like saying "Mr Mercedes and Mr Benz made a car that wasn't up to current safety standards in 1926, so cars are unsafe."

    The Japanese plants are of an old design and doing OK despite a mahoosive earthquake. New ones will have far more passive safety! ARGH!

    BTW - wind and solar do work - I'e seen them generating electricity. They are part of the answer, not the whole answer.
  6. A quick look at wiki suggests that nuclear accidents happen a bit more than what people think

    Nuclear and radiation accidents - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    If this country wanted to be more energy efficient, there is plenty it can do. Recently there was a scheme where you could get rockwool put into your walls, subsided by the goverment, this makes a big difference to your energy bills, why not pass a law where nearly all new builds (including commercial buildings) have to be energy efficient. That will make a dent in energy comsumption. Tax breaks for solar power, investment in tidal, wave and hydro electric etc.
    I don't like nuclear because I think in the long term it is very expensive, its waste products last for thousands of years and need looking after for all that time. It can also be dangerous as the link states there have been various accidents.
  7. stacker - the new build regulations are way higher than they used to be and will only increase. I agree that the 'Fabric First' approach is the best and offers the biggesst return on investment.

    However, some people throw around the figure that about 70% of UK total housing stock has already been built! The renovation of what we have is a massive problem as it is far harder than building new efficient buildings.

    I don't know what your Wiki link is supposed to support - it tells us that there are far fewer people killed in nuclear power production than coal, gas & oil, lists nuclear accidents through history (not that many) and is a disputed article on neutrality grounds.

    Renweables can't meet UK demand alone - even a reduced demand. We need a way to store all that energy to use it when we need it (same as a tac base). We need something else that isn't coal, oil or gas and nuclear is about all there is.
  8. While they may be higher than waht they were they are still fairly crap, Why not make a law making all solar panel/ wind turbine (where pratical) on all new builds? I think we both know its because people/goverment want something cheap now and pay later.
    A quick scan of HMRC site shows that energy-saving materials are taxed at 5%, why are they taxing something that would lower the use coal/gas/oil nuclear?
    My wiki link shows that there are nuclear accidents that cost a fortune and lives. With coal, gas and oil when they go tits up you rarely have an exclusion zone the size of those around Fukushima and Chernobyl.

    I think renewables can provide at least the bulk of our needs, there just isnt the political will for it (after all a great many jobs are tied to the energy industry as well) Look at tidal power, it is guaranteed. Wave, wind and Sun are clean but can't always be guaranteed. I take your point about storing it so maybe some investments in Hydroelectric and pumped storage would help, pumped water back into both during slow periods and pump it back out during peak.
    Coupled with some energy saving building, it will take a massive chunk out of our reliance non-renewables.
  9. Theres already a scheme in place called ISO 14,001 which is an acrredited award for industry looking at sustainable means ( that includes energy use). It basically involves spending a lump sum to increase efficiency and productivity with a decrease in waste and other negative environmental factors, most of the systems will pay themselves off within a ten year timeframe. Under such scheme's even small companies can save thousands a year in costs, but some industries need it pointing out that its a good way to drastically reduce costs. In my opinion making it a law would definatly help.
  10. Whatever anyone says it's too late. We should have started building new reactors five years ago. Of course, the last government sold our nuclear know-how to the Japs so we'll have rely on the Frogs to build new ones for us.
    Expect brown-outs from 2016!
  11. I also believe the Building Regs should be improved upon, but I also accept that will take time - training in new methods and materials etc. That would also bring greater gains than slapping solar and wind on anything at a lower cost.

    It doesn't mention the claims in rather large losses of life in coal, gas and oil extraction as claimed in New Scientist a couple of weeks ago. Thousands every year.

    Where and how? I agree it is there, but the potential damage to the coastline has been a stumbling point for years.
  12. It takes time to build nuclear power stations and nuclear waste disposal but that doesnt seem to be a problem, Its not really time thats the factor its the reluctance to pay up front for something that will return the investment in later years
    But thats not the same as exclusion zones though? Harsh as it sounds, those dying are working in the industry, not those who live near a power station, Do people die in Uranium mining? A quick scan on this links suggest that although they might not get a seam falling on their heads, cancers are higher than normal.
    Health Hazards for Uranium Mine and Mill Workers - Science Issues
    Nuclear power only contributes 15% if the worlds electricity output (note only electricity, people obviously use coal/gas/oil for other things).

    There are several areas, a quick google
    Tidal Power · I'm interested in · Sustainable Development Commission
    reveals the goverment is thinking about from the Severn estuary, which has the potential to produce 4.4% of the UK needs, a few of them would take away a lot of our dependance on other fuels. When you say damage to the coast line, do you mean enviormental damage? I would suggest digging up resources from all around the world uranium/coal/gas/oil is probably damaging alot more. As an added bonus once its built the power its generates is virtually free (less running costs).
    Despite that buffoon Salmond jumping on the bandwagon, it also looks viable in the north of Scotland.
    Ten sites named in £4bn UK marine energy project | Environment | The Guardian
  13. rampant

    rampant LE Reviewer Book Reviewer

  14. He sets the tone right from the start "A crappy old plant with inadequate safety features".
    Naturally all the ones that will now be built will be state of the art and never ever fail, honest guv, what excuses did they give after Windscale, Three mile island and Chernobyl? He then goes on to some very weird and wonderful ideas of the fanatically green rather than concentrate on more modest ideas

    The second link seem to be mainly about the perils of coal, which may or may not be worse than uranium but if we don't need to use either, then lets not.
  15. Coal is the future. We have millions upon millions of tons ot the stuff, enough to provide electricity for a century.

    Besides, it'll really piss the tree huggers off.