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PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2007 4:43 am
 


<strong>Title: </strong> <a href="/link.php?id=21021" target="_blank">Canada's largest solar farm to be built in Ont.</a> (click to view)

<strong>Category:</strong> <a href="/news/topic/20-environmental" target="_blank">Environmental</a>
<strong>Posted By: </strong> <a href="/modules.php?name=Your_Account&op=userinfo&username=tritium" target="_blank">tritium</a>
<strong>Date: </strong> 2007-04-27 00:17:02
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2007 4:43 am
 


Criticize Coal, but Nuclear? Certainly Nuclear has its' own Environmental issues, but GHG isn't one of them. Sometimes you have to priotitize and accept things that ideally you'd reject. Right now dealing with longterm radioactive substances are far down the list or at least they should be.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2007 5:06 am
 


No, I don't think we can keep our eye off the ball and let nuclear slip through just because of all the heat on coal and oil at the moment. I'm apppalled at how deeply cynical the nuclear industry is, using this concern over climate to push their discredited agenda. And I can't believe governments have fallen for it.

For a start, any new nuclear power stations are going to take a decade or two to get up and running - thereby missing the critical time for action.

Secondly, if nuclear power is to replace a substantial amount of the energy currently provided by oil and coal, global uranium stocks will only last a few decades after that. That doesn't seem like much of a solution to me. China has alread rejected nuclear as a national energy policy, citing limited global reserves. Seems we need to wake up to that fact too.

Thirdly, the building of nuclear power stations will produce massive amount of CO2.

Fourthly, the maintenance of nuclear waste is extremely expensive, and energy inefficient. The cost in dollars, energy use and CO2 production of "safely" storing radioactive waste material is likely to cancel out any energy or CO2 benefits.

Fifth, up to 30% of energy can be lost in the transmission of energy from power station to home, and the longer the distance, the higher the loss. Nuclear power re-inforces this centralised energy system, when what we really need is a decentralised system of small-scale renewable power generations, to minimise the distances between energy production and consumption.

And sixth, I do not feel confident that this planet's future is technically or politically certain enough to be able to guarantee security over radioactive nuclear waste. If we are reluctant to leave future generations with a disasterous climate, why are we any keener to leave them with radioactive poisoning? I'd probably chose the weather - at least you can see it. But I'd rather not chose between them, I'd rather have neither thank you very much.


I understand that some people might think that we need to go to nuclear for now, when faced by the crisis of climate change, but this is exactly what the nuke people are hoping we'll do. They're hoping we'll class nuclear as the "lesser of two evils" and go with that. But we cannot compromise on this. It does not offer a solution, and it can do some very great harm. If we allow nuclear to go through, we have already compromised the future. There are other alternatives out there, we just need the imagination and willpower to move towards them.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2007 9:12 am
 


MissT, you are wrong on many points.

1. It would be under a decade to get reactors up and running. This is in line with getting power plants online.

2. There is enough nuclear fuel to last several centuries, not years.

3. The building of anything will create CO2. Just like the fabrication of solar panels and windmills. How much CO2 in the construction industry is directly caused by nuclear power plant construction?

4. Store it? You just have to moniter the waste so nobody trys to take it. You don't need climate controlled anything or keep it in a magnetic field to keep it safe.

5. You will still need electricity transmission because of the nature of humans to centralize in certain spots, aka cities. I will say there is great strides in the material field to improve efficiency.

6. You are right. I don't think we can hope to keep an eye on nuclear waste for that long. However, I do believe that we should use the nuclear waste as fuel to make more energy. If we do this, we'll have enough energy to last of 10000+ years.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2007 9:45 am
 


Actually, the idea thing would be for each building/block/city to have it's own renewable power supply, be it solar, wind, hydro, tidal what ever. Then the energy produced doesn't have far to travel (reducing waste in the power lines). Or find a room temp super conductor that can be used.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2007 6:47 pm
 


ArmyMan wrote:
Actually, the idea thing would be for each building/block/city to have it's own renewable power supply, be it solar, wind, hydro, tidal what ever. Then the energy produced doesn't have far to travel (reducing waste in the power lines). Or find a room temp super conductor that can be used.


Very true. It just that the more dense the area, the harder it is to get sustainable power. That is why it will be ideal to put research in to superconducting wires.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2007 10:03 pm
 


This solar farm will sell electricity at 41 cents, yet the consumer will pay 8 cents. There's something fishy here!


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2007 12:17 am
 


kettal wrote:
This solar farm will sell electricity at 41 cents, yet the consumer will pay 8 cents. There's something fishy here!


Don't worry, all Canadians will get to know what's like to pay for solar power. :lol:

I would of taken that money and built wind turbines. Much more efficient and cheaper.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2007 12:55 am
 


dog77_1999 wrote:
2. There is enough nuclear fuel to last several centuries, not years.


What is this based on? Just curious. Are you talking based upon the current level of consumption with a static number of plants worldwide?


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2007 2:23 am
 


I am going off my knowledge of high school but this website verifies my answers.

http://nuclearinfo.net/Nuclearpower/Web ... bleUranium

And this doesn't include uranium particles in the ground or sea which would increase that number. Though it has it only in current consumption rates. I believe that electricity consumption is going to double? in the next 50 years. That would bring the traditional uranium reserve stockpiles to 250 years. It might be less if the population continues to swell, but I think the models suggest a plateu at around those years.

Even then, that number is pretty useless as you can use breeder reactors to increase the fissionable material reserves even further.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Breeder_reactor

And again, I don't see nuclear power to be the final answer to our energy propblems. I expect a good combination of fusion, wind, hydro, and solar power to be the ultimate soultion with nulcear taking a minor role.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2007 10:17 pm
 


Thanks.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2007 10:47 pm
 


All the great lakes wind projects have been put on hold due to Nimbys. :(


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2007 3:13 am
 


dog77_1999 wrote:
I am going off my knowledge of high school but this website verifies my answers.

http://nuclearinfo.net/Nuclearpower/Web ... bleUranium

And this doesn't include uranium particles in the ground or sea which would increase that number. Though it has it only in current consumption rates. I believe that electricity consumption is going to double? in the next 50 years. That would bring the traditional uranium reserve stockpiles to 250 years. It might be less if the population continues to swell, but I think the models suggest a plateu at around those years.

Even then, that number is pretty useless as you can use breeder reactors to increase the fissionable material reserves even further.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Breeder_reactor

And again, I don't see nuclear power to be the final answer to our energy propblems. I expect a good combination of fusion, wind, hydro, and solar power to be the ultimate soultion with nulcear taking a minor role.



Dog77's nuclearinfo ref wrote:
the known reserves amount to about 85 years supply at the current level of consumption with an expected further 500 years supply in additional or speculative reserves.


Is it just me or does this "further 500 years" seem to be entirely arbitrary? Even the description later on in the doc of where those figures come from, are far from convincing, and sound almost embarassed in their shakiness.

So, using the "85 years at current levels of consumption" as a basis for guaranteed reserves, it seems a likely estimate that if nuclear will scale up 2 or 3 times (possibly more?) then we only have a few decades' worth of the stuff.

Plus, as I understand it, of all the various Uranium isotopes, only U-235 is usable for nuclear fission. The Uranium reserves stated by the industry and pro-nuclear folk tend to gloss over this fact. In fact, the reserves of U-235 are only a fraction of overall Uranium reserves, and so usable resources are likely to be much smaller than those stated.

As this thread already demonstrates, however, the theory of "Peak Uranium" is highly contentious, (just like with Peak Oil, really.) There are wildly differing claims about resources, and it can boil down to whether you believe the industry, or if you suspect that estimates have been overstated, and the technology overhyped.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2007 9:33 am
 


MissT wrote:
dog77_1999 wrote:
I am going off my knowledge of high school but this website verifies my answers.

http://nuclearinfo.net/Nuclearpower/Web ... bleUranium

And this doesn't include uranium particles in the ground or sea which would increase that number. Though it has it only in current consumption rates. I believe that electricity consumption is going to double? in the next 50 years. That would bring the traditional uranium reserve stockpiles to 250 years. It might be less if the population continues to swell, but I think the models suggest a plateu at around those years.

Even then, that number is pretty useless as you can use breeder reactors to increase the fissionable material reserves even further.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Breeder_reactor

And again, I don't see nuclear power to be the final answer to our energy propblems. I expect a good combination of fusion, wind, hydro, and solar power to be the ultimate soultion with nulcear taking a minor role.



Dog77's nuclearinfo ref wrote:
the known reserves amount to about 85 years supply at the current level of consumption with an expected further 500 years supply in additional or speculative reserves.


Is it just me or does this "further 500 years" seem to be entirely arbitrary? Even the description later on in the doc of where those figures come from, are far from convincing, and sound almost embarassed in their shakiness.

So, using the "85 years at current levels of consumption" as a basis for guaranteed reserves, it seems a likely estimate that if nuclear will scale up 2 or 3 times (possibly more?) then we only have a few decades' worth of the stuff.

Plus, as I understand it, of all the various Uranium isotopes, only U-235 is usable for nuclear fission. The Uranium reserves stated by the industry and pro-nuclear folk tend to gloss over this fact. In fact, the reserves of U-235 are only a fraction of overall Uranium reserves, and so usable resources are likely to be much smaller than those stated.

As this thread already demonstrates, however, the theory of "Peak Uranium" is highly contentious, (just like with Peak Oil, really.) There are wildly differing claims about resources, and it can boil down to whether you believe the industry, or if you suspect that estimates have been overstated, and the technology overhyped.


In a way yes, but they are based off of current reserves. For instance, the Alberta tar sands were not counted as oil reserves until mass extraction began. It was still there but not counted. And uranium mining is not wide spread. There are parts of the Earth that we haven't explored, and you can decipher where the uranium will most likely be.

If you checked the wikipedia link, it'll answer the U-235 question. :wink: The Uranium 238 is useable fuel the can be fissioned. You have to convert it to Plutonium first. And the great thing is that there is no radioactivity problem. All byproducts are inert.

This technology is proven and has provided power before.


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