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Return of the Atom - BBC Radio 4 Tue 20 Sep, 20:00 - 20:40

 
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skeptik



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PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2005 1:46 pm    Post subject: Return of the Atom - BBC Radio 4 Tue 20 Sep, 20:00 - 20:40 Reply with quote

Return of the Atom

BBC Radio 4, Tuesday 20 Sep, 20:00 - 20:40

to be repeated on Sunday 5pm


in the UK , Longwave , FM or terrestrial digital

Outside the UK, listen to the Radio 4 stream from the BBC website
http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/index.shtml?logo
Click 'Listen Live' tab for popup "BBC Radio Player' window (RealAudio stream)

..or on Sky satellite TV, channel 854

if you've missed both the above , programme is available via BBC's 'Listen Again' service
See Categories: Factual; Science & Technology Factual; Documentaries
or click this:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio/aod/shows/rpms/radio4/returnoftheatom.ram
(RealPlayer stream)
-------------------------

"Powerful arguments are now being made for a return to nuclear power as a major source of energy. It is, proponents say, the only way Britain can meet its promise to cut carbon emissions and guarantee the security of its supply. But those considering nuclear energy's future might do well to look at its past. The pathway of nuclear power in the second half of the last century was paved with good intentions but fraught with economic and environmental difficulties.

Denys Blakeway talks to the scientists who shared the dream, the engineers who built the nuclear reactors and the politicians who were seduced by the idea of limitless energy. He discovers the factors which led Britain to embark on an ambitious programme of nuclear power, only to be thwarted by cheaper electricity generated by coal and gas and an increasingly sceptical public worried about leaks and radio-active waste."


Last edited by skeptik on Sun Sep 25, 2005 6:39 pm; edited 5 times in total
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isenhand



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PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2005 8:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If we all went to nuclear would that mean we would introduce a ?radioactive waste trading scheme? to cut down on nuclear waste pollution?

Smile
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clv101
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2005 1:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've just listened to this, fantastic! Anyone interested in UK energy should listen to this. It's ~40 minutes long and available here:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio/aod/radio4_aod.shtml?radio4/returnoftheatom
The last few minutes a particularly good
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Blue Peter



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PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2005 1:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

clv101 wrote:
I've just listened to this, fantastic! Anyone interested in UK energy should listen to this. It's ~40 minutes long and available here:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio/aod/radio4_aod.shtml?radio4/returnoftheatom
The last few minutes a particularly good


I don't have a PC with speakers. Could you give us a clue. Is it

peak oil?
peak uranium?
EROEI of nuclear?
....?


Peter.
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clv101
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2005 1:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's a documentary on the British nuclear industry, discussing the politics as much as anything else. They conclude that with oil demand increasing, supplies decreasing and energy supply/demand balance on a knife edge nuclear was back on the table. Then talked about how each of us uses 4KW electricity supply (both directly and on our behalf in factories, hospitals, universities etc) and it's the only thing separating us from the stone age. 6 months without electricity and we'd be back in caves.
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Blue Peter



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PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2005 1:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

clv101 wrote:
Then talked about how each of us uses 4KW electricity supply (both directly and on our behalf in factories, hospitals, universities etc) and it's the only thing separating us from the stone age. 6 months without electricity and we'd be back in caves.


Funnily enough, in my list of things that I thought might have been discussed, I did think about putting in an "end of civilization" one, but then I thought it too ridiculous for a BBC programme on nuclear energy, and I just put some dots in.

A few of points:

Were there any politicoes saying this, or was it just academics and think-tanks?

Did anyone mention peak-uranium?

Are "we" moving more towards the Oluduvai (sp.) outcome than the gradual transition to a rural idyll?


Peter.
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Totally_Baffled



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PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2005 2:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Reference Nuclear power for the UK:

Do we have much choice? Lets look at the options:

1. Coal - Very polluting, could this be a contributor if we can burn cleanly or trap in old oil/gas wells?

-- Plentiful reserves and from relatively stable countries(poland/germany/australia)

-- Might be a bugger to get from overseas if oil is in short supply, although coal could be refined into diesal for shipping?

2. Gas - World reserves are plentiful and exploration is less mature than oil(according to some anyway), however its a bugger to import in any volume unless by pipeline.

--Unfortunately we are miles away from our nearest long term source (Russia/ Middle East).

--LNG is viable , but to be overly reliant on this form of supply perhaps unwise due to security and expense. Also be a lot of competition for LNG from the US.

-- We would be yet again reliant on unstable regions for power resource(along with oil).

3. Renewables- Most are intermittant, thus no more than 20% of a power grid can be powered this way.

-- Need to improve the scale and "always on" component of these technologies(tidal? Storage?)

4. Oil - Yeah right!

5. Nuclear (Uranium)- Carbon Emission free

-- Produces waste of the worst kind for thousands of years

-- Uranium is relatively common and although there is a shortfall at the moment, exploration is immature.

-- Technology is improving in the area of leaching uranium from seawater.(japanese are investing heavily in this area - they are desperate for a power source that they dont have to import!) There are 4.5 billion tonnes in our seas. This technology is far from "ready", but its looking promising.

-- Current reserves are inly 50 years though. If the latter doesnt improve with exploration, recycling or leaching the nuclear option is also a deadend.

-- Major Producers are relatively friendly and stable. Canada, Australia, US etc
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isenhand



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PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2005 2:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Totally_Baffled wrote:

3. Renewables- Most are intermittant, thus no more than 20% of a power grid can be powered this way.



And how much money gets or has been invested in nuclear compared to renewables? What would happen if that money was to go into renewables?
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Totally_Baffled



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PostPosted: Fri Sep 23, 2005 7:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

isenhand wrote:
Totally_Baffled wrote:

3. Renewables- Most are intermittant, thus no more than 20% of a power grid can be powered this way.



And how much money gets or has been invested in nuclear compared to renewables? What would happen if that money was to go into renewables?


Dont get me wrong , I am 100% pro renewable energy , however unless we can get around the "intermittant" nature of the power source it can not support more than 20% of our the national grid (if the wind stops blowing demand > supply = blackouts).

We need to throw more money at renewables to get around his problem.

In the meantime we need nuclear!

POP
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clv101
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 23, 2005 8:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Totally_Baffled wrote:
...however unless we can get around the "intermittant" nature of the power source...

Think outside the box, instead of struggling to meet current demand we need to adjust demand to match the available supply. Bog standard conservation of electricity but also interesting ideas like this: Dynamic Demand
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Totally_Baffled



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PostPosted: Fri Sep 23, 2005 9:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

clv101 wrote:
Totally_Baffled wrote:
...however unless we can get around the "intermittant" nature of the power source...

Think outside the box, instead of struggling to meet current demand we need to adjust demand to match the available supply. Bog standard conservation of electricity but also interesting ideas like this: Dynamic Demand


Absolutely agree Chris, is such a system possible? , where we can guarantee a minimum of renewable power is always available and we manage demand so it never exceeds that minimum? (to avoid the blackouts)

That is a challenge.

The other concern though is that of scale.

One nuclear power station = 2,400 wind turbines according to that Professor bloke with the nice bow tie (his name escapes me Smile)

Thats a shitload of turbines to maintain?

Has there been any progress on tidal technology? Could this make a difference in that its more predictable?

What about storage technologies , any progress?

Cheers all

TB (and I have had a few hic! Embarassed )
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