Activism Discussion: Costly Nuclear Power Outweighed By Wind And Solar Energy

Costly Nuclear Power Outweighed By Wind And Solar Energy
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I*@economicdemocracy.org
2006-03-02 11:18:19 EST
Costly nuclear power outweighed by wind and solar energy
Hydrocarbon Alternatives

How long term is "long-term?" Proponents of nuclear power generation
are, in fact, very short-sighted.

As well as the unsolved problem of what to do with the nuclear waste
which will
be dangerously radioactive for thousands of years, nuclear energy is
perhaps the most expensive option yet tried.

Huge cost overruns for new reactors have become the norm, the reactors
are never ready on time and costly repairs to faulty components are
frequent. [http://peakoil.com/article12483.html]

============== Full:


Costly nuclear power outweighed by wind and solar energy
By Helen Brink, Dundas
The Hamilton Spectator
(Mar 2, 2006)

Re: 'The politics of power' (Feb. 27)

How long term is "long-term?" Proponents of nuclear power generation
are,
in fact, very short-sighted.

As well as the unsolved problem of what to do with the nuclear waste
which
will be dangerously radioactive for thousands of years, nuclear energy

is perhaps the most expensive option yet tried.

Huge cost overruns for new reactors have become the norm, the reactors
are never ready on time and costly repairs to faulty components are
frequent.

High loss of energy in transmission over long distances makes large
generating plants a far less efficient deal than small generators
located near end users.

Another and less publicized fact is that uranium for fuel is not in
unlimited supply. Canadian sources are expected to run out within this
century.

For far lower cost and a much faster result in power actually flowing,
wind and solar make more sense. Huge amounts of money have been poured
into research and development of nuclear while the sustainable options
have received only token amounts. This situation needs to be reversed.

Even at present levels of development, wind and solar are capable of
relieving the power crisis. (Our domestic hot water has been supplied
by solar power nine months of the year for about 20 years.)

By far the quickest and easiest way to prevent imminent brownouts is
through conservation, but Canadians, like our American neighbours, just
can't seem to take this option seriously. Waste is fashionable.

Are we incapable of learning the lessons the Europeans have learned?

http://www.hamiltonspectator.com/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=hamilton/Layout/Article_Type1&c=Article&cid=1141253417840&call_pageid=1020420665036&col=1112876262536

=============

DON'T MOURN, ACT! WEBSITES FOR ACTION:

http://www.earthshare.org/get_involved/involved.html
http://www.gristmagazine.com/dogood/climate.asp (not working, 05 apr)
http://www.greenhousenet.org/
http://www.solarcatalyst.com/
http://www.campaignearth.org/buy_green_nativeenergy.asp

Overview and local actions you can take: http://www.PostCarbon.org
=============

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2006-03-02 12:40:22 EST
Have you told this to Ted Kennedy who opposes Wind power cuz it'll harm
the view from his and his rich neighbors nantucket homes?


Stan De SD
2006-03-02 15:04:52 EST

<*o@economicdemocracy.org> wrote in message
news:1141316299.579311.237220@i40g2000cwc.googlegroups.com...

> Costly nuclear power outweighed by wind and solar energy

Bullshit. Wind power is costly and unreliable, and both wind and solar
require cooperative weather to be of any use. ED, you're stupid enough to
believe any of the crap that the enviro-kooks pump out...



B1ackwater
2006-03-02 15:41:49 EST
On 2 Mar 2006 08:18:19 -0800, info@economicdemocracy.org wrote:

>Costly nuclear power outweighed by wind and solar energy
>Hydrocarbon Alternatives

Um ... you know you've gotta BUILD and MAINTAIN all those
windmills and solar arrays, don't you ? Ain't cheap. The
windmills - they need LAND to sit on too. They make weird
noises so you'll have to plant 'em on farms or national
forests. Hundreds of thousands of them. Solar cells are
quiet and you can put 'em on roofs - but they're anything
but cheap to make.


B1ackwater
2006-03-02 15:42:19 EST
On 2 Mar 2006 09:40:22 -0800, "dbohara@mindspring.com"
<*a@mindspring.com> wrote:

>Have you told this to Ted Kennedy who opposes Wind power cuz it'll harm
>the view from his and his rich neighbors nantucket homes?

Teddy's a NIMBY ? Funny !


B1ackwater
2006-03-02 17:00:05 EST
On Thu, 2 Mar 2006 12:04:52 -0800, "Stan de SD"
<standesd_DIGA_NO_A_SPAM@covad.net> wrote:

><info@economicdemocracy.org> wrote in message
>news:1141316299.579311.237220@i40g2000cwc.googlegroups.com...
>
>> Costly nuclear power outweighed by wind and solar energy
>
>Bullshit. Wind power is costly and unreliable, and both wind and solar
>require cooperative weather to be of any use. ED, you're stupid enough to
>believe any of the crap that the enviro-kooks pump out...

Now, now ... the enviro-kooks are superb manure-shovellers.
Even bright people can be taken in.

Wind and solar ARE unreliable - and one HELL of a lot more
expensive to implement and maintain than the kooks would
like us to believe.

That said, it's *possible* to make decent use of them - but
only in certain places and only if enough $$$ is put into
the project so there will be a wide distribution of a great
many units - reducing the unreliability factor.

Tapping wave energy and river flow to create electricity
or raw hydrogen and oxygen may yeild better bang for the
buck than windmills or rooftop solar panels. Nice thing
about producing H2 and O2 - both are sellable and the
process doesn't require "perfect" electricity. If it's
a calm day or the river flows slowly, you just get less
gas output until things change.

Of course the enviro-kooks will invent some 'reasons' why
using wave or river power is evil. They've got windmills
on the brain, have for decades, and nothing else will do.
Windmills, Goremobiles and farms that reek of chicken
manure growing bug-infested fruit - enviro-kook utopia.

Nuclear reactors ARE viable and cost-effective. They DO
require a considerable up-front investment however and
there are SO many enviro-kooks on the regulatory groups
that it's (currently) almost impossible to get a permit
to build one - much less the 100+ we need to get us away
from mid-eastern oil. Some of the newest designs however,
especially the "intrinsicaly safe" "pebble-bed" design,
get around a lot of the "safety" objections. They CAN'T
melt down - even if bin-Laden bombs 'em. Keep the waste
nicely self-contained too.


Roy. Just Roy.
2006-03-02 17:25:37 EST
>> Solar cells are quiet and you can put 'em on roofs - but they're anything but cheap to make.

They said the same thing about DVD players back in the 1980's - I
recall some units going for $700-$800. Now you can buy a DVD player for
$50. New technology should never be dismissed because of cost. Cost is
merely a function of supply and demand. Once you have demand to a point
where you can afford to mass produce, you will have solar at a tenth of
the present cost.

I think it's interesting how very few people see methane as an
alternative fuel. Methane is a very reliable source of alternative
energy - basically, the only thing you need is manure, water and a tank
for the bacteria to grow in. The bacteria takes care of the rest. And
judging by some of the posts on this board, bullshit is NEVER in short
supply.

/Roy


I*@economicdemocracy.org
2006-03-02 17:48:37 EST
What's funnier, the (false) assumption that anyone who's
no a 100% republican must love T Kennedy, or the change
of subjcct? Let's stick to what *energy* *policy* will help our country
(and help our world, but even more so help our country since
we're getting into an ugly situation with energy right here in the US)

So enough Kennedy, and let's talk energy generation, 'k?

>Bullshit. Wind power is costly and unreliable, and both wind and solar
>require cooperative weather to be of any use. ED, you're stupid enough to
>believe any of the crap that the enviro-kooks pump out...

We have looked into Energy Profit Ratios, and can cite some, can you?
Nope. But you listen to Rush therefore you're "informed" while we're
"falling for the enviro-kooks", huh?

I won't give away the enrgy profit ratios, just to see if you know 'em

But google will confirm we've posted the numbers before.

>Um ... you know you've gotta BUILD and MAINTAIN all those
> windmills and solar arrays, don't you ? Ain't cheap. The

Not cheap. But

1. no decommissioning costs,

2. VERY little maintennace costs

3. de-centralized energy is smart (I'm not saying eliminate ALL
centralized
energy so dont' misquote please....) transporting energy is costly
since you lose much of the elctricity over the long-distance power
lines,
plus less issues with weather (or terror etc ) based disruptions if
de-centralized.

4. overall cost is low and (with economies of scale) going lower
$1/kilowatt and falling like a STONE

5. Energy profit ratio (for those who read this far) of 15 to 1 and
going up, up, up...
(Nuclear: 4 to 1) Plus we'll run out of uranium in not many decades.
And now we dont' want breeders to create "nasty stuff" as David
Goodstein (Cal Tech physicist
and author of Out Of Gas, calls it (plutonium...don't think disney,
think hell...)

Can't trust the "commies" but, as soon as the subject is nukes,
suddenly we think
everything the Chinese do (e.g. pebble bed) MUST be safe, hmmm, I
wonder about that logic.. ;-)

Plus the nuke plants have huge cost overruns, billions more than the
official price time after time after time...yet we keep falling for the
industry
quoted figures for each proposed project. And yup, we won't get them on
time
for 100+ in terms of US energy needs.

>> They make weirdnoises

The oooooold models? Somewhat true. The new ones? much less so. Now
ask any NIMBY person, what they'd rather have:

1) the "eyesore" of a wind tower or the eyesore , nose soar, and "my
throat
is sore" of ugly smelly air from coal/oil? Yes you're right, they'll
say "none of the above" if they are selfish but we're talking not about
what will please everyone but public
policy for our country...how about diversifying our energy portfolio
away from
the fossil fool and nuke-kook addiction (sorry, just having fun,
couldn't help
return the favor from someone else who posted ;-) to something more
diversified and balanced?


Now you ARE correct about energy storage, but A) you
don't need energy storage, you use the grid as your 'battery" until
you have wind/solar a large percentage of your power for your country
and we're not close to that B) when we do hit the point where we need
more storage there are already some technologies today and we could
develop even more of them by the time A) doesn't apply...there's
certainly no excuse for not ramping up wind/solar to as high
a percentage as we can get it (which is way way over 10% while we're
way under 10% right now) without needing dedicated storage.

google also "solar tower australia" for one that runs 24 hours a way,
so that's just one technology that already exists where you don't
have to worry about 'intermittent'


B1ackwater
2006-03-02 18:02:29 EST
On 2 Mar 2006 14:25:37 -0800, "Roy. Just Roy." <delduck3@yahoo.com>
wrote:

>>> Solar cells are quiet and you can put 'em on roofs - but they're anything but cheap to make.
>
>They said the same thing about DVD players back in the 1980's - I
>recall some units going for $700-$800. Now you can buy a DVD player for
>$50. New technology should never be dismissed because of cost. Cost is
>merely a function of supply and demand. Once you have demand to a point
>where you can afford to mass produce, you will have solar at a tenth of
>the present cost.

Solar cells haven't responded very well to the usual
economy-of-scale scenerio. A *lot* more are made now
than ten years ago, but the price has barely budged.
Energy conversion efficiency hasn't changed much either.

Making solar cells is a meticulous, precise process. They
are, after all, a huge squashed-out diode and all the
usual semiconductor-fabrication techniques and steps are
required to construct them. It's questionable whether
they CAN be made by mass-production techniques because
it's so difficult to be as precise as you NEED to be.

>I think it's interesting how very few people see methane as an
>alternative fuel. Methane is a very reliable source of alternative
>energy - basically, the only thing you need is manure, water and a tank
>for the bacteria to grow in. The bacteria takes care of the rest. And
>judging by some of the posts on this board, bullshit is NEVER in short
>supply.

Methane is OK - but I don't think enough can be made to
make it a pre-eminent source of energy - and mining
offshore methane hydrate is gonna be WAY too expensive.

Methane, of course, DOES contain carbon - although it's
got the least carbon and most hydrogen of any hydrocarbon
fuel. It's also fairly easy to handle. For motor-vehicle
use however, I'd recommend converting it to methanol
instead. That will work in conventional engines AND in
certain kinds of fuel cells. It's clean-burning and very
handy in that we could use the existing infrastructure
for liquid fuels.

Oh, it's also possible to make methane and methanol from
coal and water. Better catalysts are needed but, short
term, we could get by with existing processes. The USA
has *lots* of coal. VAST quantities ...

Of course "alternatives" don't HAVE to be "primary". Add
a few 'alternatives' together and you might clip ten or
twenty percent off our our petroleum usage. That's enough
to end all our imports from the mid-east (China would buy
it instead). Alas, having 'more' energy, giant SUVs would
probably come back in style and we'd have to start buying
Iranian oil again ...

MY plan - it revolves around the fact that a number of large
US cities/counties are "pollution magnets" due to their
geography or atmospheric conditions. These areas should
cooperate and pass a MANDATE that after 2010 no fuel station
within their county may sell anything but methanol, ethanol,
"bio-diesel" or hydrogen. (the latter is there mostly to
please the eco-kooks).

Almost all automobiles can run quite well on methanol or
ethanol (or a blend) - but many have a few small parts in
the fuel system made of plastics that melt when exposed to
alcohols. These can be replaced at a low cost to each owner.
New, smarter, chips for each cars "brain" are also needed to
cope with the new fuels. Again, not very expensive. Really
old cars and most motorcycles will need new or adjustable
meter-jets in their carburators. Again, not very expensive.
In short, the IDEA is to create cars that run just fine on
pure alcohols AND are smart enough to switch to gasoline or
any mix in-between.

L.A., Houston, NYC ... we're talking many MILLIONS of cars
now burning cleaner 'alternatives' most of the time. That
puts a BIG dent in our import needs. With that sized a
market, all auto manufacturers will immediately start to
sell "all-fuel" vehicles ... 'smartened up' from the factory.
Might cost 'em an extra five bucks to eliminate the 'meltable'
plastic parts and add a wider-range oxygen sensor. Oh, and
the urban pollution levels would plunge too ...

Great plan eh ? Legal, do-able, not too expensive, not too
manipulative. Remember, all it takes is 15% and we can kiss
Iran and Saudi Arabia goodbye.


Bill Bonde 'Soli Deo Gloria'
2006-03-02 22:46:38 EST


B1ackwater wrote:
>
> On Thu, 2 Mar 2006 12:04:52 -0800, "Stan de SD"
> <standesd_DIGA_NO_A_SPAM@covad.net> wrote:
>
> ><info@economicdemocracy.org> wrote in message
> >news:1141316299.579311.237220@i40g2000cwc.googlegroups.com...
> >
> >> Costly nuclear power outweighed by wind and solar energy
> >
> >Bullshit. Wind power is costly and unreliable, and both wind and solar
> >require cooperative weather to be of any use. ED, you're stupid enough to
> >believe any of the crap that the enviro-kooks pump out...
>
> Now, now ... the enviro-kooks are superb manure-shovellers.
> Even bright people can be taken in.
>
> Wind and solar ARE unreliable - and one HELL of a lot more
>
It isn't that they are unreliable, it's that they are not on demand
sources of energy. Of course how many times have kooks like the original
creator of this thread been told that?


--
"How vain and foolish, then, thought I, for timid untravelled man to try
to comprehend aright this wondrous whale, by merely pouring over his
dead attenuated skeleton, stretched in this peaceful wood. No. Only in
the heart of quickest perils; only when within the eddyings of his angry
flukes; only on the profound unbounded sea, can the fully invested whale
be truly and livingly found out." -+Herman Melville, "Moby Dick"
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