Re: SV: [OPE] Power

Date: Fri Feb 15 2008 - 11:45:50 EST

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> <DIV>&gt; I put nuclear first, because it is the only currently proven and
> viable alternative<BR>&gt; for large scale 24/7 electricity generation to
> coal and oil.<BR>&nbsp;<BR>Jerry has pointed to some of the most obvious
> problems of nuclear technology, but there are vast amounts of "hidden
> costs" that need to be emphasized as well. </DIV>
> <DIV>&nbsp;</DIV>
> <DIV>Firstly, nuclear power plants do not procure any CO2 in use per se,
> but the production, transport and refinement of uranium&nbsp;do.

Similarly transport and refining of oil, but a lot more carbon is
produced per kilojoule embodied energy refining oil than uranium.

> the threat to our environment does not lie in the CO2 as such, it is the
> heating up of the biosphere which is the problem. And a nuclear power
> plant&nbsp;is in this sense less effective than even coal, since only
> about a third of its energy is&nbsp;put to use - the rest is&nbsp;wasted
> and absorbed in the nature.&nbsp;This represents an enormous waste.

Coloumb showed in the early 19th century that this was a property of
all kinds of heat engines.
Coal fired power stations have exactly the same problem.

In general the efficiency of a heat engine is related to the difference
between the input temperature of the steam or other gas used and its
temperature. With the best power station technologies this can be as
high as 40%, but all thermal powerstations need cooling water
whatever the original source of heat.

 lear energy in fact supplies only a fraction of
> the global supply of energy,&nbsp;its costs are unproportianally large.
> The "Sustainable Development Commission" which reported to the British
> government last year showed that a doubling of the amount of nuclear
> plants would only lead to a decrease of 8 % in CO2. </DIV>

Yes, because at present only a small proportion of total energy use
is nuclear. We are going to have to do much more than double it.

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> <DIV>Further, German medical reports have shown that families living
> within a distance of 5 kilometers from a plants faced a 60 % higher risk
> for their children to develop cancer. The risk for leukemia increased 117
> %. </DIV>
The significance of this is unclear.
Royal commission on environmental protection in the UK found that there
was no such correlation here.

> <DIV>&nbsp;</DIV>
> <DIV>Considering the progress made in wind and solar energy, and the
> enormous over supply of energy in the West, what is all this nuclear
> capacity good for? The costs and risks (nuclear weapons threat not
> counted) are way too high. The threat posed by nuclear technology needs to
> be more discussed, scrutinized&nbsp;and critisized. </DIV>

The problem Martin is base load. How do you provide light and power
on a winters night with solar energy.

In the future when high voltage lines from the sahara have been
perfected and large scale solar powerstations have, the winter
problem will be solved, but not the night problem.

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