Author Topic: Economic Collapse of the nuclear industry  (Read 1517 times)

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Online 2397

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Re: Economic Collapse of the nuclear industry
« Reply #30 on: February 16, 2017, 09:40:13 AM »
It's an old joke, "dilution is the solution to pollution."

Which it might've been if the world population was like 500 million.

Offline estockly

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Re: Economic Collapse of the nuclear industry
« Reply #31 on: February 16, 2017, 09:51:29 AM »
It's an old joke, "dilution is the solution to pollution."
That's no joke, that was (is) policy


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Offline Andrew Clunn

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Re: Economic Collapse of the nuclear industry
« Reply #32 on: February 16, 2017, 12:59:15 PM »
It's an old joke, "dilution is the solution to pollution."

Which it might've been if the world population was like 500 million.

Put that another way.  If we can just kill 6.5 billion people, pollution stops being a problem!  >:D
I agree with Clunn, which makes me feel all weird inside.

Offline daniel1948

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Re: Economic Collapse of the nuclear industry
« Reply #33 on: February 16, 2017, 02:12:59 PM »
It's an old joke, "dilution is the solution to pollution."

Which it might've been if the world population was like 500 million.

Put that another way.  If we can just kill 6.5 billion people, pollution stops being a problem!  >:D

If we don't get our act together, the planet will do it for us.
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Online 2397

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Re: Economic Collapse of the nuclear industry
« Reply #34 on: February 16, 2017, 03:13:04 PM »
It's an old joke, "dilution is the solution to pollution."

Which it might've been if the world population was like 500 million.

Put that another way.  If we can just kill 6.5 billion people, pollution stops being a problem!  >:D

Yeah, I've heard about related conspiracies before, but I didn't realize that exact figure was what people like Alex Jones were talking about. http://www.infowars.com/from-7-billion-people-to-500-million-people-%E2%80%93-the-sick-population-control-agenda-of-the-global-elite/

I'd suggest we do it through reducing growth rather than any deliberate killing. Preventing pregnancies is a lot cheaper for everyone involved than the alternatives, anyway.

Of course it'll take a few centuries to get down to 500 million with a realistic minimal birth rate. But better to head that way than keep going up in numbers.

It only took us 6 years to go up by 500 million.

Offline nwdiver

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Re: Economic Collapse of the nuclear industry
« Reply #35 on: March 07, 2017, 04:16:59 PM »
Question:

Why build more nuclear plants that are struggling to profitably provide power for $0.10/kWh.http://wsav.com/2016/12/20/nearly-2-billion-more-approved-for-plant-vogtle-cost-one-group-says-ultimately-you-pay-the-price/

When solar deals are going for <$0.03/kWh and getting cheaper. https://financialtribune.com/articles/energy/60835/abu-dhabi-to-build-worlds-largest-solar-power-plant

The cost of battery storage is also falling fast and you can use excess electricity from wind and solar to produce Hydrogen to be burned in a turbine or fuel cell.  Why nuclear? 

The largest nuclear builders are in serious financial trouble.  Westinghouse is insolvent and EDF is in serious trouble too.  Enough is enough.  Time to stop throwing good money after bad.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2017, 04:19:38 PM by nwdiver »

Online 2397

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Re: Economic Collapse of the nuclear industry
« Reply #36 on: March 08, 2017, 02:45:22 AM »
We're at around 1-2% of electricity from solar, 3-4% from wind, and need those to double 5-6 times before they alone can have us covered. Given sufficient battery capacity to equal the peak output of coal, oil, gas, and nuclear.

Hopefully we'll get there, but I don't see that we've crossed some kind of threshold that means we can guarantee that we'll get there before older plants have to be shut down.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_energy_consumption
https://cleantechnica.com/2015/06/12/solar-power-passes-1-global-threshold/
http://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=26212

Offline stands2reason

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Re: Economic Collapse of the nuclear industry
« Reply #37 on: March 08, 2017, 11:35:13 AM »
Nuclear waste is a huge problem that is unmanageable in today's social and political climate.

Well, we already devised a safe form of storage for nuclear waste. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yucca_Mountain_nuclear_waste_repository) It was as far away from anyone's backyard as possible, away from the water table and everything, yet classic politics got in the way.

The Westinghouse AP1000 is a Generation 3+ reactor, which is designed for longer life and significantly more durable in terms of core damages events, apparently requiring a new reactor pressure vessel every 60 years.

Also, there is reactor technology that can reprocess nuclear waste:

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2012/feb/02/nuclear-reactors-consume-radioactive-waste

It is worth pointing out that "radioactive waste" is just depleted uranium. It is still virtually the same amount of uranium as the input, the same potential energy for fission, it simply needs to be enriched so that it can reach criticality again.

Offline nwdiver

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Re: Economic Collapse of the nuclear industry
« Reply #38 on: March 08, 2017, 12:00:09 PM »
Nuclear waste is a huge problem that is unmanageable in today's social and political climate.

Well, we already devised a safe form of storage for nuclear waste. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yucca_Mountain_nuclear_waste_repository) It was as far away from anyone's backyard as possible, away from the water table and everything, yet classic politics got in the way.

The Westinghouse AP1000 is a Generation 3+ reactor, which is designed for longer life and significantly more durable in terms of core damages events, apparently requiring a new reactor pressure vessel every 60 years.

Also, there is reactor technology that can reprocess nuclear waste:

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2012/feb/02/nuclear-reactors-consume-radioactive-waste

It is worth pointing out that "radioactive waste" is just depleted uranium. It is still virtually the same amount of uranium as the input, the same potential energy for fission, it simply needs to be enriched so that it can reach criticality again.

Nuclear waste is not a problem.  Safety isn't an issue.  But those aren't the only parameters of concern for power generation.  NEW nuclear is absurdly expensive.  Nuclear Power has demonstrated an almost supernatural ability of being constantly over budget and behind schedule.  The new AP1000s under construction in Georgia are projected to cost $7-$10/w once completed.  With solar and wind now running close to $1.50/w... why keep pursuing nuclear power?  Unless the goal is to find the most expensive energy....  https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-12-15/world-energy-hits-a-turning-point-solar-that-s-cheaper-than-wind
I agree we need to keep EXISTING nuclear around as long as possible but to build new nuclear at this point is literally insane. 

Offline Ah.hell

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Re: Economic Collapse of the nuclear industry
« Reply #39 on: March 08, 2017, 12:05:25 PM »
Your making the wrong comparison.  Continuing to use coal is literally insane and wind/solar is unlikely to replace coal as fast as nuclear can.   

Offline nwdiver

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Re: Economic Collapse of the nuclear industry
« Reply #40 on: March 08, 2017, 01:17:05 PM »
Your making the wrong comparison.  Continuing to use coal is literally insane and wind/solar is unlikely to replace coal as fast as nuclear can.   

Really?  Solar and Wind are doing a MUCH MUCH MUCH better job so far... last year the US added 9.5GW of Solar, 6.8GW of wind and..... 1.1GW of nuclear (and that was first time nuclear generation has been added in ~20 years.)

https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=25172

So to look at this another way... here's the scoreboard for the last 20 years in the US.

Nuclear- 1GW
Solar- 36GW (9.5GW in 2016 alone)
Wind- 82GW (6.8GW in 2016 alone)

Even adjusting for capacity factor wind and solar have added >20x more generation in the last 20 years than nuclear.  Solar and Wind are cheaper and are growing much faster than nuclear power ever did.  You can displace ~2x as much coal with wind or solar than you can with nuclear... so why would anyone consider building a nuclear plant in 2017?  It's insane.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2017, 01:19:59 PM by nwdiver »

Offline estockly

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Re: Economic Collapse of the nuclear industry
« Reply #41 on: March 08, 2017, 01:21:41 PM »

Nuclear waste is not a problem.

By fiat? In reality it is a significant problem for which there is no solution, at least not in a democracy where voters have a say in what gets transported through their cities and what gets buried in their States, counties and backyards. (Yucca mountain is indeed in someone's back yard.

Quote
Safety isn't an issue. 

Three Mile Island; Chernobyl; Fukushima. Do any of those ring any bells?
Quote

But those aren't the only parameters of concern for power generation.  NEW nuclear is absurdly expensive.  Nuclear Power has demonstrated an almost supernatural ability of being constantly over budget and behind schedule.  The new AP1000s under construction in Georgia are projected to cost $7-$10/w once completed.  With solar and wind now running close to $1.50/w... why keep pursuing nuclear power?  Unless the goal is to find the most expensive energy....  https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-12-15/world-energy-hits-a-turning-point-solar-that-s-cheaper-than-wind
I agree we need to keep EXISTING nuclear around as long as possible but to build new nuclear at this point is literally insane.

The reason Nuclear power plants  are so expensive to build, maintain and operate is that generating electricity using steam created from heat as a byproduct of a controlled nuclear chain reaction is inherently unsafe, and takes a significant amount of complex (and failure prone) engineering to make it less dangerous.
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Offline nwdiver

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Re: Economic Collapse of the nuclear industry
« Reply #42 on: March 08, 2017, 01:52:39 PM »

Nuclear waste is not a problem.

By fiat? In reality it is a significant problem for which there is no solution, at least not in a democracy where voters have a say in what gets transported through their cities and what gets buried in their States, counties and backyards. (Yucca mountain is indeed in someone's back yard.

Quote
Safety isn't an issue. 

Three Mile Island; Chernobyl; Fukushima. Do any of those ring any bells?
Quote

But those aren't the only parameters of concern for power generation.  NEW nuclear is absurdly expensive.  Nuclear Power has demonstrated an almost supernatural ability of being constantly over budget and behind schedule.  The new AP1000s under construction in Georgia are projected to cost $7-$10/w once completed.  With solar and wind now running close to $1.50/w... why keep pursuing nuclear power?  Unless the goal is to find the most expensive energy....  https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-12-15/world-energy-hits-a-turning-point-solar-that-s-cheaper-than-wind
I agree we need to keep EXISTING nuclear around as long as possible but to build new nuclear at this point is literally insane.

The reason Nuclear power plants  are so expensive to build, maintain and operate is that generating electricity using steam created from heat as a byproduct of a controlled nuclear chain reaction is inherently unsafe, and takes a significant amount of complex (and failure prone) engineering to make it less dangerous.

Safety and waste are a distraction.  The damage done by fools fuel is orders of magnitude greater than the damage done by nuclear even on a per kWh basis.  If nuclear was cost effective it would be the lesser evil by a wide margin.  If you want to debate the merits of nuclear based on safety start another thread.  The emphasis here is economics.  It could not be more cut and dry.  Even assuming nuclear is the perfect energy source in terms of waste and safety (it's not but for the sake of argument) at >2x the cost of wind and solar what's the point?

Offline Soldier of FORTRAN

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Re: Economic Collapse of the nuclear industry
« Reply #43 on: March 08, 2017, 03:12:08 PM »
Three Mile Island; Chernobyl; Fukushima. Do any of those ring any bells?

We could have a Chernobyl every year and come out ahead relative to coal.  Coal-mining yields colossal waste and environmental ruin and coal-burning kills tens of thousands every year on top of a whole host of other problems.  If this were the 90s, I'd argue that nuclear's more benign than coal by the same metrics used to decry nuclear, including with respect to pollution.

But given advances in solar/wind and new/imminent storage solutions, I think we should be doing renewables literally everywhere to the extent that is feasible. 

By the time we're worrying about a 'renewables coverage gap,' we'll probably have better options than nuclear in these regions, too.  It is an expensive pain in the ass, after all. 

Edit:

Some wag once suggested that we get rid of nuclear waste by putting a tiny little bit of it into every bottle of soda pop. It would be distributed so thinly that the health risks of the tiny dose of radiation would be insignificant compared to the health effects of the soda pop itself.  ::)

Counterpoint: Bioaccumulation

« Last Edit: March 08, 2017, 03:15:52 PM by Soldier of FORTRAN »
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Offline Johnny Slick

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Re: Economic Collapse of the nuclear industry
« Reply #44 on: March 08, 2017, 03:21:11 PM »
Yeah, it is *crazy* how pollutive coal is compared to nuclear. It's so mad that even when *only looking at radioactive waste*, which of course represents only a tiny fraction of the pollutants coal produces, coal still produces orders of magnitude more than nuclear:

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/coal-ash-is-more-radioactive-than-nuclear-waste/

I think that moving to solar and wind as quickly as we can is great and laudable but we oughtn't dismiss nuclear just because it's marginally less clean.
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