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Tony Blair supports new nuclear
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Totally_Baffled



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PostPosted: Sat Jun 03, 2006 6:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It will be interesting to see what decision is made, (only have to wait until July).

Again , there seems to plenty of sources contradicting each other on many points.

From my own point of view Im finding it very hard to make me mind up! Confused

Lets look at a few points from the April new scientist:

Micro generation:
These should be persued of course to the maximum , but they need a "always on" back up. Ive read a little about "demand management" to deal with variability , but its unproven?

If we need an "always on" electricity supply to deal with "variability" , then for the UK this means coal or gas.

What worries me is that , with the questionable reliability of gas imports, we will without a doubt turn to coal (domestic and import).

Co2 Emissions:

Nuclear isnt Co2 free, to claim otherwise is a plain lie. However , given that we will turn to coal to plug our energy gap in the light of shortages , comparing to gas powered stations is misleading.

Therefore , it could be argued that nuclear is at least the "lesser of the evils" in this respect?

EU competition rules

How can we seriously quote this a reason for not building nukes, when low interest loans from Germand and France are subsidising the Finish nuclear station being built?

Is this the same EU where it is against the rules to run a budget deficit higher than 3%? If so , can someone tell the French , Germans and Italians please?

EU rules will not be a factor (EU competition laws are an oxymoron! - they dont call the EU a "rich mans club" for nothing ya know!)

Uranium Reserves

Im a little puzzled on this one. I have read many sources that say Uranium is indeed in short supply , but also many that say it is abundant.

Some argue that , (and its hard to disagree) , that why would you look for Uranium a) while its VERY cheap and b) you have decades worth from old nukes to use first (I think this is down to 10 years now though?)

Opportunity Cost of Nuclear Power

This is a posh term for the money you spend on nukes could of been used on other technologies.

I believe the research should be funded to find other clean sources of energy and how to get around the variability of existing technologies.

But, I think there has to be a reality check. We are no going to be able to research and implement to scale an renewable energy infrastructure in the time frame required. You could argue it will take way longer than 20 years.

For instance, it will take us at least 20 years to get to the 20% of our electricity supply using existing technologies. (government target by 2020 is to acheive 20% from renewables - which it is missing BTW!)

After this point, if we dont have the nukes up and running we have a massive energy gap, EVEN IF WE GET THE GAS IMPORTS WE NEED!

As for the quote about 8% of energy receiving so much investment - well its probably because the other 92% is gas, coal and oil, besides 8% still represents 25%-30% of your electriticy supply which sounds a lot better doesnt it (8% has been used for spin!)
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biffvernon



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PostPosted: Sat Jun 03, 2006 9:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Totally_Baffled wrote:
Uranium Reserves
I'm a little puzzled on this one. I have read many sources that say Uranium is indeed in short supply , but also many that say it is abundant.

Both are true. High grade uranium is in short supply but lower grades are more abundant. The problem is that as one uses increasingly low grade ores, as the higher grades run out, the energy cost of extracting the ore goes up. It becomes more and more expensive in terms of CO2 emission and eventually you find you are using more energy to mine the uranium than you get back from the nuclear power station. Which is a silly place to find oneself.
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Totally_Baffled



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PostPosted: Sun Jun 04, 2006 12:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

biffvernon wrote:
Totally_Baffled wrote:
Uranium Reserves
I'm a little puzzled on this one. I have read many sources that say Uranium is indeed in short supply , but also many that say it is abundant.

Both are true. High grade uranium is in short supply but lower grades are more abundant. The problem is that as one uses increasingly low grade ores, as the higher grades run out, the energy cost of extracting the ore goes up. It becomes more and more expensive in terms of CO2 emission and eventually you find you are using more energy to mine the uranium than you get back from the nuclear power station. Which is a silly place to find oneself.


Hi Biff

Thats exactly it , but there seems to be some debate about the energy profit of lower grade uranium reserves - there are those that believe that lower grades ARE well into energy profit (but obviously not as high as higher grades)

The Americans, Chinese, Russians, Finnish, French, Brazilians and others believe that these lower grades are energitically profitable or they wouldnt be expanding/using nuclear power for the foreseeable future.

One is also has to wonder why the Iranians , as major gas and oil producers , are hell bent on nuclear power if low grade ores are not energetically profitable??
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clv101
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 04, 2006 1:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

But aren't these the same kind of governments who are sadly mistaken about peak oil? Just because lots of countries think nuclear is worth doing absolutely isn't evidence that it is. That same argument could be expanded to show that peak oil is at least 2030 or beyond based on Chinese increased oil use, UK planned aviation expansion etc...

Would you argue that the UK government?s planed aviation expansion is evidence against global peak oil before 2030? If not then you can?t really argue that other countries planned nuclear expansion is evidence for abundant viable uranium supply.
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Totally_Baffled



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PostPosted: Sun Jun 04, 2006 7:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:

Would you argue that the UK government?s planed aviation expansion is evidence against global peak oil before 2030? If not then you can?t really argue that other countries planned nuclear expansion is evidence for abundant viable uranium supply.


No I wouldnt argue against that!, and you are right just because a lot countries are expanding nuclear power it doesnt prove that low grade ores have a positive EROEI. I walked into that one! Laughing

So that point is dealt with , thanks!

What about this report - what is wrong with these guys analysis?

http://www.uic.com.au/nip08.htm

Its says in here, that a doubling of uranium prices , raises electricity costs by 7%, but if gas prices doubled the cost of electricity goes up 70%! It also says nuclear is competitive with coal (assuming the extra costs of sulphur removal and/or carbon capture)

Now with above in mind, the UIC, WNA, IEA etc all say that:

a) High grade reserves are good for approx 50 years (lets say 30 years to account for growth)

b) High grade reserves have not all been found (ie only one exploration cycle)

c) Low grade ores are economic (accounting for energy costs) at below $130 (which means electricity prices of 14% more than they are today - not a disaster)

Why are they and there experts wrong? Or do we have to assume the worst because the more optimistic "experts" got it wrong on peakoil?
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Andy Hunt



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PostPosted: Tue Jun 06, 2006 11:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The way I see it is this:-

By 2050 we are supposed to reduce our carbon emissions by at least 60% to have a hope of containing climate change. This basically means eliminating fossil fuels from our lives.

Which leaves us with two options: renewables and nuclear. Nuclear currently provides about 20% of our electricity, and we could build new nuclear to replace this capacity by around 2035. Which leaves the remaining 80% of current demand, plus new demand, plus liquid fuels to be made up by renewables.

I think if we are very very lucky, we might be able to make up 20% of our total energy requirement with renewables by 2030.

So that means a reduction in demand for energy of say, 70%, which would give us our Kyoto carbon reduction target.

Relative costs are irrelevant: by 2050 any energy at all will be pretty much priceless.

I am the first to say that renewables are the way: I think it is up to every single one of us to get our own solar panels etc, to take responsibility for our own energy usage. But with the best will in the world - this isn't going to happen for everyone.

Although there are some ways around it, renewables generate intermittently, by their very nature. Renewables generate small amounts of power in a very dispersed fashion. Nukes are very good at generating a constant base load, and large, concentrated amounts of power. Maybe the two are complementary technologies, and together would cover all of our reduced requirements.

If we master renewables, there will be no need for nuclear, but in the meantime . . . what I always say to people who are anti-nuke is, "do you have your own solar panels? If not - you are supporting nuclear, by default." Every solar panel installed makes nuclear less necessary. I am the first to promote renewables, but if people don't get them on their own initiative, I think nuclear will be the only way we will avoid descending into darkness and chaos, despite all its imperfections and risks.
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Bandidoz
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 06, 2006 12:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Andy Hunt wrote:
Renewables generate small amounts of power in a very dispersed fashion. Nukes are very good at generating a constant base load, and large, concentrated amounts of power. Maybe the two are complementary technologies, and together would cover all of our reduced requirements.

Absolutely not. Nuclear power plants always run flat out. They are not good at producing variable output. Therefore they are not complementary to renewables.

To my mind, the following will be complementary technologies:

1) Use of demand scheduling based on weather forecasting (to predict available supply)
2) Use of controlled variable power generation from biomass to cater for errors in (1)
3) Use of pumped and hydrogen storage to add further stability.
4) Rationing when all of the above fail to meet demand.
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Andy Hunt



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PostPosted: Tue Jun 06, 2006 12:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pumped and hydrogen storage will be very useful, definitely.

I am hopeful that battery technology will improve over the next decade or so (in time for my replacement battery bank!).

At the end of the day, renewables are the only true way forward. I suppose it's just that I can see a potential role for nuclear in the transitionary period, to make the adjustment less of a wrench, and provide power to actually manufacture the renewable generating technology we need.

Until recently I have been a renewables puritan, and I could easily be persuaded back that way again. What really worries me is the scale of the transition to post-carbon living, and the timeframe which is available to us to achieve it.
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Totally_Baffled



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PostPosted: Tue Jun 06, 2006 3:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:

Absolutely not. Nuclear power plants always run flat out. They are not good at producing variable output. Therefore they are not complementary to renewables.


Never the less you still need that steady baseload which renewables CANNOT give you at present.

If you have nukes in your energy mix - you can burn less of fuels like coal and gas in line with your renewable supply (when the wind is blowing you turn down the coal and gas, you turn it back up again when you it stops blowing for example)
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Andy Hunt



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PostPosted: Tue Jun 06, 2006 3:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Never the less you still need that steady baseload which renewables CANNOT give you at present.

If you have nukes in your energy mix - you can burn less of fuels like coal and gas in line with your renewable supply (when the wind is blowing you turn down the coal and gas, you turn it back up again when you it stops blowing for example)


I think this is the real advantage of nuclear. We will eventually have compressed air storage, hydrogen etc etc from mega-tidal projects, but in the meantime . . . nuclear remains the only tried and tested technology like this. Renewables are the only way - but we need time to perfect them and develop and deploy the technology on the scale required, so they become self-sustaining.

As for adjustable backup - if we are talking about eliminating fossil fuels, then that would be a job for biomass and other biofuels.

So in 2040 we have: renewables providing, say 30% of demand . . . nuclear providing a constant base load of say 30% of demand, and variable biomass/landfill methane power plants making up the other 40% - throwing in batteries for UPS systems as backup - giving us our 100% fossil-fuel-free energy mix (well, as far as is practicable in any case). Of course there are carbon emissions associated with all these, but in nothing like the quantities generated by fossil fuels. And of course, demand itself will have to be around 40% of today's demand.

Right! That means we have enough for our low-energy lights, heating pumps and electric cooker if we are lucky. What else do we really need?

Ah yes - transport. And industry. And jobs. Bugger! Shocked
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GD



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PostPosted: Wed Jun 07, 2006 5:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Guess what? So does Brown...

http://news.ft.com/cms/s/a28ac7ea-f4db-11da-86f6-0000779e2340.html
Quote:
Chancellor reveals planning overhaul
By James Blitz and Ben Hall
Published: June 5 2006 22:45 | Last updated: June 5 2006 22:45

An overhaul of the planning system will be at the heart of a programme to boost competitiveness, Gordon Brown indicated on Monday night as he set out his ambitions for what is generally expected to be his last year as chancellor.

Seeking to overcome long-standing business concerns over the difficulty of developing industrial sites, Mr Brown said the Treasury would announce a review of the planning system at the end of this month, followed by new legislation in the pre-Budget report this autumn.

... Mr Brown said: ?We must make our system quicker, more flexible and more responsive.?
...
On energy, Mr Brown made public for the first time his clear commitment that 20 per cent of electricity should continue to be provided by the nuclear sector. The country needed ?a balanced policy which takes account of guaranteed supply, including nuclear?.
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Blue Peter



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PostPosted: Wed Jun 07, 2006 5:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Mr Brown said the Treasury would announce a review of the planning system at the end of this month


What's the Treasury got to do with the planning system?


Peter.
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GD



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PostPosted: Thu Jun 08, 2006 1:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think it's about anything to do with things that affect the economy.

www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/consultations_and_legislation/consult_fullindex.cfm

This, I think, will be a greasing of the rails for new nukes.
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