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Subsidies for nuclear
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Catweazle



Joined: 17 Feb 2008
Posts: 2189
Location: Little England, over the hills

PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2012 9:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you believe that people aren't going to start living a low-carbon life then it looks like a choice between finding a place to put nuclear waste and cooking the planet with CO2.

I'll go with the nuclear waste option. Dig some deep holes somewhere very remote ( not Wales ) and chuck it down there in the strongest containers you can find.
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biffvernon



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
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Location: Lincolnshire

PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2012 10:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Even if one did not care about nuclear waste, and even if sufficient ores were obtainable, there is no way that nuclear can be expanded fast enough to substitute the carbon in time to avoid catastrophe. Nuclear is a distraction, hindering us on the path to a solution.
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clv101
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Joined: 24 Nov 2005
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2012 10:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

biffvernon wrote:
...there is no way that nuclear can be expanded fast enough to substitute the carbon in time to avoid catastrophe.


Indeed, which raises an interesting question. Why?

In France, starting in 1974 with the 'Messmer Plan' 56 reactors were built in 15 years. IF that rate of build could be repeated today, in many countries, then yeah, we could substitute enough carbon.

The question is why can we, in the UK for example, barely build a a handful of reactors in 15 years? Aren't we meant to be smarter, richer and more productive than we were 40 years ago? Why could we fly to the moon and throw up dozens of nuclear reactors then? Technically I expect we could replicate France's achievements across Europe, the US and even China over the next couple of decades - taking a big chunk off CO2 emissions. I doubt we will chose to allocate resources that way.
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Blue Peter



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
Posts: 1935
Location: Milton Keynes

PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2012 11:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

clv101 wrote:
The question is why can we, in the UK for example, barely build a a handful of reactors in 15 years?


I presume that it is our old friend EROEI. We don't have enough net energy to run our economy and grow it in that fashion (no doubt we could if we ran things on a war footing, but aside from that). It may be manifested as lack of money, too much red tape and all the rest, but ultimately, there isn't enough energy to do it.


Peter.
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PS_RalphW



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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2012 11:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is plenty of energy to do it. However, almost all of it is used in maintaining BAU standard of living for the population. If we were put on a WWII rationing system (and a proportionate reduction in living standards) we could easily build enough nuclear or renewable energy to supply 100% of our needs. What we lack is public or political will to do it.

Technical staff would need to be redeployed from other industry. The weapons industry comes to mind.
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Blue Peter



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2012 11:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

RalphW wrote:
There is plenty of energy to do it. However, almost all of it is used in maintaining BAU standard of living for the population. If we were put on a WWII rationing system (and a proportionate reduction in living standards) we could easily build enough nuclear or renewable energy to supply 100% of our needs. What we lack is public or political will to do it.

Technical staff would need to be redeployed from other industry. The weapons industry comes to mind.


I'm unclear whether you're arguing against my point or not. The energy required to run (maintain) our economy is such that there isn't enough net energy to do all the other things which we did so easily half a century ago. But, without our economy as it is, we wouldn't be able to get the oil / coal / gas out of the ground. (Clearly, as both you and I point out, we could do all this if we had a command economy. But that would be a transient state, using up the "capital" we had built up, and which wouldn't be replaced. Again my impression from watching wartime farm is that we couldn't have continued that much longer - rationing was increasing and yields were falling),


Peter.
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