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The Surrey Debate...

 
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oobers



Joined: 05 Dec 2005
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 09, 2006 2:07 pm    Post subject: The Surrey Debate... Reply with quote

...Nuclear Power or Renewables? - Do we have a choice?

will take place on 3 May 2006 at the School of Management Building,
University of Surrey from 6pm - 8pm

Panellists:-
Professor Alex Mueller, Institut de Physique Nucleaire, Orsay
Dr Adrian Bull, Energy Policy Adviser for the Nuclear Industry Association
Professor Robin Grimes, Imperial College
The Rt Hon Michael Meacher, MP
Dr Jeremy Leggett, CEO of Solarcentury and ex-chief scientist for Greenpeace
Professor Roland Clift CBE, University of Surrey

Could be a cracker! To see a flyer, look here: http://www.climatefriendly.co.uk/downloads/The%20Surrey%20Debate.pdf
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clv101
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 09, 2006 2:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice line up! Should be interesting. My conservative MP told me a few weeks ago that if climate change is out number one risk then nuclear waste must be definition be a secondary risk. His comment on new build was to avoid it by extending the life of the existing fleet.
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skeptik



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
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Location: Costa Geriatrica, Spain

PostPosted: Thu Apr 27, 2006 9:54 pm    Post subject: Re: The Surrey Debate... Reply with quote

oobers wrote:
...Nuclear Power or Renewables? - Do we have a choice?


The conclusion of Warwick Business School is, no we don't have a choice, its one or the other. The 'distibution and control' methodology is too different for them to sit comfortably together.

http://www.wbs.ac.uk/downloads/multimedia/enclosures/new-nuclear-power.pdf

I think we've fumbled the ball on Nuclear and left it too late. A go/no go decision on the replacement of the current generation should have been made 15 years ago. Now - at the rate we do things in this country - we've run out of time. The news about Gazprom's disasterous gas reserves situation tips the balance. Other more rapidly implimented technologies are required, both on the demand reduction and supply front - the more the merrier and as quickly as possible.
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skeptik



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PostPosted: Thu Apr 27, 2006 10:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

clv101 wrote:
Nice line up! Should be interesting. My conservative MP told me a few weeks ago that if climate change is out number one risk then nuclear waste must be definition be a secondary risk.
Typical Tory Tit.

Running out of electricity or natural gas is the number one risk. I'll take secure energy first, please, then we can worry about climate change.

Climate Change is a boiling frog problem. Global average temperature rose 0.7c in the 20th century. If we dont have reliable electricity the economy collapses and we're all dead anyway, just a lot faster.
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Bandidoz
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 27, 2006 11:25 pm    Post subject: Re: The Surrey Debate... Reply with quote

skeptik wrote:
The conclusion of Warwick Business School is, no we don't have a choice, its one or the other. The 'distibution and control' methodology is too different for them to sit comfortably together.

http://www.wbs.ac.uk/downloads/multimedia/enclosures/new-nuclear-power.pdf
Hmmm that report is horribly biased towards decentralised power; they don't appear to appreciate the intricacies involved in operating an electricity distribution network. Some of their assertions are clearly wrong (particularly "Box 2").
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skeptik



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 28, 2006 12:30 am    Post subject: Re: The Surrey Debate... Reply with quote

Bandidoz wrote:
skeptik wrote:
The conclusion of Warwick Business School is, no we don't have a choice, its one or the other. The 'distibution and control' methodology is too different for them to sit comfortably together.

http://www.wbs.ac.uk/downloads/multimedia/enclosures/new-nuclear-power.pdf
Hmmm that report is horribly biased towards decentralised power; they don't appear to appreciate the intricacies involved in operating an electricity distribution network. Some of their assertions are clearly wrong (particularly "Box 2").


Sorry what do you mean by 'Box 2'? WHat page is that on? BTW Havent actually read this yet...jsut stumbled across it and have had a quick flick through. Thought it looked interesting.
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Bandidoz
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 28, 2006 12:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Box 2" is where they compare "Centralised Generation" against "Decentralised Generation". Pages 12-13.
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oobers



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PostPosted: Thu May 04, 2006 12:31 pm    Post subject: Re: The Surrey Debate... Reply with quote

oobers wrote:
...Nuclear Power or Renewables? - Do we have a choice?

will take place on 3 May 2006 at the School of Management Building,
University of Surrey from 6pm - 8pm

Panellists:-
Professor Alex Mueller, Institut de Physique Nucleaire, Orsay
Dr Adrian Bull, Energy Policy Adviser for the Nuclear Industry Association
Professor Robin Grimes, Imperial College
The Rt Hon Michael Meacher, MP
Dr Jeremy Leggett, CEO of Solarcentury and ex-chief scientist for Greenpeace
Professor Roland Clift CBE, University of Surrey

Could be a cracker! To see a flyer, look here: http://www.climatefriendly.co.uk/downloads/The%20Surrey%20Debate.pdf


This was a frustrating event for me. Most of the audience had been issued with a voting zapper as we entered the auditorium. We were given a choice of 6 statements about the subject and we were asked to vote for the one that most reflected our current opinion, (even if we didn't agree with any of them!!) The audience were pretty evenly split down the options 'must have new nuclear', 'must only have renewables' and 'must concentrate on energy conservation' We would vote again afterwards.

The top 3 in the list of panellists were the 'pro nuclear' camp.

Adrian Bull would like to see a diverse mix of nuclear, renewables and energy conservation to address the environmental, energy security and energy cost problems. He admits it will take around 10 years for us to have new power stations up and running, though.

Alex Mueller was a perfect 'mad professor' with reams of paper filled with facts and figures that he scrabbled through at each question in order to make his point in numbers. His message - PV is environmentally disastrous and so are most insulation materials. Nuclear on the other hand has no risks and has, according to his Uni of Stuttgart source, a 2.9 month energy payback from build to decommissioning.

Robin Grimes tells us from the outset that he cycles to work in London and he has loft insulation, so he cares. (I now don't trust him one bit). We must have nuclear - there is just no other way, and it is safe.

On the pro renewables side, Michael Meacher makes his empassioned plea for thousands more windmills and no nuclear whatsoever - it is expensive, power stations are vulnerable to terrorist attack, enriched uranium being transported around is also a security risk.

Jeremy Leggett tells us how he switched to low energy appliances and lights and persuaded his daughter to cut hairdryer use to get his leccy consumption down to 1100kWh per year. His PV roof meets this and then some so he is a net exporter. Demand management is the key.

Roland Clift admits there is probably a need for some nuclear as part of the mix but he feels we could 'fix our buildings' so much better to cut baseload use. He points out that our domestic buildings energy rating scale, the SAP has a maximum score that does not even cross over with the minimum score on the equivalent system in Sweden. (Nice point, even if we are talking about nuclear here, ie electricity, and the SAP is in the main concerned with heat)

Anyway, what bothered me was not so much the arguments for and against nuclear and renewables, but that all the panel, with perhaps the exception of Jeremy Leggett (and even he didn't question it), made no secret of the fact that they saw a need to increase use of energy and to grow our economy - this is essential it seems. Adrian Bull says "no country has ever cut energy use whilst growing their economy". Michael Meacher says we can and must continue to grow our economy but with the exclusive use of renewable energy and more energy efficient productivity. No-one spoke of energy depletion. No one suggested there may be limits to growth with renewables. Uranium supplies are plentiful. Technology can get us out of this jam so we can carry on pursuing growth, for ever and ever.

Please someone, tell me. Why do we need to pursue economic growth? Did anyone else catch the 'Today' programme yesterday where Mr Humphries mocked the idea that we measure our government's performance on the basis of how happy we are, rather than economic growth? What is wrong with that suggestion? Surely, if we have social and cultural interaction, adequate shelter and enough food to eat, if we live slower, more localised lifestyles with less stress - we will surely be more happy and we will inevitably have shrunk our economy. What are the problems with this? Really, tell me! I know I am na?ve in suggesting such a thing and the majority of the population would never consider such a suggestion, but why can't we do this? Why are we even having the debate about nuclear or renewables?

Oh, and just so you know, the zapper vote at the end showed a marked swing. The 'we must have nuclear' lot had shrunk. The 'we must have renewables and energy conservation' lot had increased. I don't know what that says other than 'zapper voters can show you pretty bar charts' and 'people can change their minds pretty rapidly with new information'. My mind wasn't changed. I just thought we hadn't dealt with the right questions.
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