Discussion in 'Wall St. News' started by Banjo, Mar 21, 2011.
Watching this disaster unfold real time has completely turned me from pro-nuclear power to anti-nuke.
Somebody tell me I'm wrong.
Nuclear is terrible when it fails, envirocranks know this so they stopped it dead in the US... they believe that we will all see the light and develop the desire to live like 9th century peasants and refuse to reproduce of course... so the US has to burn Coal, and those stations spew more radiation into the air than nukes but it's spread over a much greater time frame and area so it's ok with John Q Voter/Consumer... You hear about the mercury poisoning the food chain of the oceans? It's spewed from the coal burning plants... Oh and electric cars are so amazing! You plug then into the wall and voila! Low pollution... what a joke, they are coal powered if they charge from the wall and fossil fueled if they run off gasoline...
I'd say get the politicians and environuts out of the way and let engineers and scientists run our energy programs but engineers quit in protest over the design of those Japanese reactors so even the engineers have their overriding jerk-class of people that force bad decisions down everybody's throats.. I worked with engineers and saw jerks time and time again fool management and get their bad designs approved...
Safe energy is solar, wind, natural gas, hydroelectric.. that's about it... Our Mojave Desert is large enough to house solar generating plants that could literally supply all the energy needs of the entire US and Canada, piped out on million volt lines just like it's piped to Southern California from the Pacific Northwest currently... and that's just the Mojave, we also have the Eastern Sierra Desert and the Sonoran Desert all coming together at Needles California where the temperatures exceed one hundred and twenty five degrees at times.. having cheap and clean energy is a piece of cake nowadays... we need a President that doesn't have his head up Corporate America's Ass with his Wall Street centric cabinet like the current one does, an FDR or a Truman if you will, that would approach energy the same way JFK approached going to the moon...
We dont have the technology to transport the energy without significant loss. Otherwise the deserts will be full of solar panels already..
OK. I'll tell you. You are probably wrong.
Err.... not quite. Solar and wind are relatively safe. Nat gas and hydroelectric are not. If we could ever get the full statistics, I'm certain that you would find that deaths and injuries due to natural gas fires and explosions in the Japan earthquake will far exceed casualties from the problems at Fukushima Daiichi NPP. Natural gas is very dangerous in earthquakes. Natural gas also has emissions of ~400 Grams CO2e/kWh for electricity generation. Better than coal but far higher than what is needed to sustain a safe climate. Natural gas is in fact quite unsafe.
Hydroelectric and large dams are also quite unsafe and have killed and injured far, far more people than all nuclear accidents by a very large margin. In the Banqiao Dam catastrophe in 1975 in China, 26,000 people died immediately and 150,000 more perished through subsequent starvation and disease. Large dam fatalities are actually quite common. Here is a more recent one: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/03/28/world/main4900170.shtml?source=RSSattr=HOME_4900170 There is a report of a dam collapsing in Fukushima in the current earthquake and sweeping away 1800 homes with casualties unknown.
There are no nuclear related fatalities reported from Fukushima Daiichi up to this time and no reports of radiation exposure at levels sufficient to produce acute radiation sickness. A limited number of emergency workers have had doses that increase their cancer risk by a small amount.
The assertion that nuclear is less safe than hydro, coal and gas is not supported by the history of accidents and health problems in these industries.
dcraig, you are talking about China. Massive population density, low quality....many died on the Hoover Dam project, statistics and statistics.
No dam can release large scale mutagens. Nor can solar etc.
Coal? Death stats aren't everything, is what I'm saying.
"Comparative" safety, on a large scale, with nuclear power, I don't think is right to simply compare respective safety levels.
Sure, fukushima was designed for "a" worst case scenario-but the scenario WAS worse than that.
Ok-meteor strike, on Japan, compromises all reactors-with nobody to clean up. Aside from a likely (meteorological) nuclear winter, there would be actual, serious radiation leakage-no?
My point, in a worse than worst case scenario, it could happen, but no dam or coal plant could do that.
Firstly, I agree with your sentiment. We should be converting to solar and I believe it is only a matter of time. But I feel that there are some misconceptions about solar around so I will make a couple comments.
My family owns one of the largest solar electric companies in the Western US, so I'm more familiar than most with the difficulties.
First, you imply that the hot desert climate makes it ideal for solar power. That is not the case. In fact, PV solar panels experience a loss in production in hot temperatures. Sometimes to the tune of up to 20% loss when you hit temps like 120*F.
The only thing ideal about a desert is that the land is open and cheap to purchase. Also there are less cloudy days than most other locations.
Anyway, some quick math says that in order for Solar to replace all other main forms of electric production, we would need approximately 7 billion solar panels. If I were to approximate the required land space, you would need about 9,000 square miles of open space to accomplish this.
Cost at current prices would be about $9-10 trillion. And that would only take care of the United States.
Anyway, it really makes much more sense to install them on buildings and homes, from both a cost standpoint and national security. I just installed a 6KW system on a new home I'm building and everything said and done, my mortgage increased by about the same amount that I am saving in electricity. Thus there is no payback period; it is a wash from day one.
Imagine during a time of crisis like in Japan right now or during an attack if most buildings were generating their own power. There wouldn't be a crisis because it would not be possible to eliminate power to a whole region at once. So the true benefit of solar is to generate the power at the very site that it will be used, and using grid power as a backup.
Not true, see my post above. Current power loss from transmission is only 8%. But my point above regarding on-site generation sums up the logical approach.
The reason we haven't yet converted is because until recently they have been cost prohibitive. On a large scale project you could expect a price of about $0.10 per kilowatt hour. Right now the retail price for electricity is also right around ten cents per kilowatt hour. So if someone were to want to fill a desert with them it would be a losing operation. The supply of electricity would rise sharply and thus the retail price would drop and the cost of panels would overwhelm the revenues of the business.
Efficiency and price are inversely correlated in this industry. Over the last two years the price has dropped by over 65% and efficiency has increased accordingly. The industry is full of propaganda, but soon there will be no hiding the fact that solar is becoming viable very quickly.
And a tsunami that would obliterate every city, town, village and sign of human habitation around entire Pacific Rim. In such an apocalyptic event, the risk of radiation would be small beer. Does this remind you of the Japanese earthquake?
In such a scenario, we might be very glad of any remaining NPPs sited inland as they should be operable, unlike any remaining solar power which would be severely compromised by the (meteorological) nuclear winter.
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