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New Study Shows How Clinging to Nuclear Power Means Climate Goal Failure


#1

New Study Shows How Clinging to Nuclear Power Means Climate Goal Failure

Andrea Germanos, staff writer

While it's been touted by some energy experts as a so-called "bridge" to help slash carbon emissions, a new study suggests that a commitment to nuclear power may in fact be a path towards climate failure.


#2

This study is just silly. The high-nuclear-generating are not developing wind or solar as rapidly because they don't have to - they already have nuclear which is as CO2 emission-free as wind or solar. And they are not reducing CO2 emissions compared to non-nuclear countries because their CO2 emissions are already much lower than the non-nuclear countries.

And nuclear is not a "bridge". With the future development of molten salt thorium breeders and in the longer term, fusion energy, makes nuclear the ultimate clean non-fossil future energy source going forward into the long-term future over centuries and millennia.


#4

“Yet advocates of clean energy over on the other side of the Atlantic said the recent plan to close the last remaining nuclear power plant in California and replace it with renewable energy marked the "end of an atomic era" and said it could serve as "a clear blueprint for fighting climate change."

Can someone please convey this to Hillary Clinton and Carol Browner who is a key member of HC’s “climate change army”?

Carol Browner loves nuclear:

(http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/nuclear-industry-front-groups---nuclear-matters-and-center-for-climate-and-energy-solutions---urged-to-come-clean-on-funding-256973791.html)

Humans are on the edge of survival-----sinking titanic and all those other apt analogies which don’t seem to help.

Arctic ice in death spiral article. This is good article summarizing the significance of Arctic melt.


Hunziker mentions the destructive stupidity of Trump but leaves out the fact that HC is not the climate leader the u.s needs now given her record/actions, her sources of funding and more.


#5

Aside from nuclear power being insanely dangerous, such 'centralized' power sources should be replaced with "decentralized" rooftop PV solar arrays (matched to EV battery packs) that 'complement' regional utility grids. Households with such grid-tied solar arrays gain the means to more closely monitor and reduce energy consumption overall, for both driving and household uses. Reducing VMT is as important as reducing emissions. Globalization transports goods the longest distances shipped across oceans, trucked across nations, and from home to wholesale marketers Costco, Walmart and Big Box corporate parking lot. We drive too much, too far, for too many purposes, at too high cost and impact. We fly too much. We truck and ship goods around the world too much.


#6

Nuclear power assumes and promotes centralized abuses and opacity in government and business from beginning to end. It is not a replacement for green power nor something that would or could supplant it, but a postponement of the social decentralization that will and must accompany decentralized and reduced energy expenditure: it is a way to keep power, including social power, in the hands of a few companies and families.

And then, of course, there are the environmental problems that it causes from beginning to end.


#7

The major energy cost of a nuclear power plant is the cleanup after the plant blows up. We can count all of the blowups and the meltdowns now -- Fukushima Daiichi Unit 1, Fukushima Unit 2, Fukushima Unit 3, Chernobyl and Three Mile Island -- and we can get an order-of-magnitude estimation of how many power plants per year will continue to melt down worldwide and in the U.S.

Nuclear cleanup is always a tradeoff between how many citizens your government wants to die of A-bomb disease, and how much money and energy your government feels like spending on the voters. We know that in Japan, reporting bad things about the Fukushima meltdown and explosions has been criminalized under Japan's State Secrets law, but foreigners traveling in Japan report serious amounts of A-bomb disease symptoms.


#8

The logic would seem to be that if nuclear power provides x% of a country or state's electricity they would need x% less renewable energy to meet their carbon-free energy goal. Anyway, that is the logic New York State seem to be using. They plan to leave the upstate nuclear power plants operating while they attempt to make the transition to clean energy. The state is trying close down the Indian Point nuclear reactors located in the NYC area.


#9

Nuclear power has been a con game since day one.
The propaganda once claimed that nuclear bombs were bad, but nuclear power was good because we could contain the explosion. What lunacy.

The scam being perpetrated by the nuclear industry these days goes something like this.
During the Clinton administration lots of nuclear power plants were on the drawing board to be built as a bridge to the future of 100% clean energy.
The energy companies raised billions of dollars through 30 year bond offerings to pay for these white elephants.
Many of those plants began construction and the bond holders received their 6% or 7% interest every month out of the company's profits.
Then one after another the states began pulling the licenses and the building stopped.
Now every month each consumer pays an "asset securitization charge" to eventually pay off these useless bonds.

The mafia has nothing on these crooks.


#10

In terms of cleanup and decommissioning costs of nuclear power, there is no free lunch:

Fukushima - 1.5 trillion
http://fukushima.ans.org/report/cleanup

Chernobyl - Chernobyl cleanup will remain expensive and anxiety-provoking for decades to come.
http://www.nbcnews.com/id/42721326/ns/world_news-europe/t/chernobyl-nuke-cleanup-be-costly-decades/#.V7tYQhTbxeA

3 Mile Island - 14 year cleanup 1 billion

The Costs of U.S. Nuclear Weapons cleanup - 300 billion
http://www.nti.org/analysis/articles/costs-us-nuclear-weapons/


#11

Can you provide the scientific data that nuclear is "insanely dangerous"? Actual evidence shows that on a fatalities per unit of energy basis - nothing is as safe a nuclear - even wind or hydro. Please, no citations from "enenews.com" Harvey Wasserman, Arnie Gunderson, or Carl Grossman. They are to nuclear power what wattsupwiththat.com", Christopher Monckton, Wille Soon, Sen. Inhofe, etc. are to global warming.

I'm all for the changes in transportation you are suggesting. Private cars should not be allowed in cities at all. I Don't know what "VMT" means. And what is this "we" kimosabe? I drive very little, using public transit or 2 wheel electric transportation and avoid big boxes.


#12

Society and its infrastructure is already too atomized and anti-solidaristic. That is what capitalism is all about - atomization. The idea of each individual or small community having to provide it own energy infrastructure and other resources for itself is an idea that is practical only for the rich.


#13

The above nuclear meltdowns did not happen randomly for unknown reasons - they all happened due to incredibly preventable screw-ups that are now no longer possible. The new Gen II reactors are passively "operator walk away" safe and melt down are not possible except for wildly improbable conditions like large meteor impacts on the structure or the like.


#14

#15

Not to mention the fact that this perpetuates the nuclear fuel cycle to weapons. It is anticipated that 1 trillion dollars will be spent over a 25 year period for new nuke weapons "pits" and delivery systems.

Spend 1 trillion to make the world food water clothing and shelter secured.


#16

Nuclear is not just a climate failure it has been a total failure from day one. I know of no nuclear plant that has been closed down then properly cleaned up including its waste. Chernobyl continues to irradiate the earth as well as three melted down cores at Fukushima. These will not stop for centuries.

President Kennedy was shocked to find after the air tests of nuclear weapons that most children in the USA had strontium 90 and polonium 210 in their teeth. Finding nuclear materials within the human body means that that person has a compromised immune system. It opens them up for destruction by other attacks to human health and does very much lead to cancers.

It is very ignorant to create electricity with uncontainable particles which change genetic code.

Only the ignorant will say that nuclear does not effect the climate. Any photo you see of a nuclear plant will also show you its cooling tower. As nuclear is very poor in heat transfer for electrical generation it has lots of extra heat that goes into the atmosphere and into the water source for cooling. Climate change is not just about Co2 but all sources that heat the earth to extinction levels. Water vapor is as strong a heat trapper as Co2.


#17

Yeah, what we need is more nuclear. More of that insane radioactive poison just accumulating by the day, with no place on earth to "dispose" of it, even the amounts we've already created. So let's make more, then we can all die a slow (or not) death from who-knows-what type of elements. "Yes waiter, I'll have some cesium 130, or, whatever you have, with a side salad, please!"


#18

But the costs of building the nuclear plants are never figured in, nor is the " carbon footprint" of the materials needed to build the things. It's true that once up and running they are mostly emissions free, but when they do emit, it's a killer doozy.

I don't believe that the newest nuke plants are "operator walkaway safe." Easy to say but impossible to prove.


#19

diveshopingoa wrote:

'...Only the ignorant will say that nuclear does not effect the climate. Any photo you see of a nuclear plant will also show you its cooling tower. As nuclear is very poor in heat transfer for electrical generation it has lots of extra heat that goes into the atmosphere and into the water source for cooling. Climate change is not just about Co2 but all sources that heat the earth to extinction levels. Water vapor is as strong a heat trapper as Co2.'

Cooling towers are used in many many non-nuclear plants; all electrical power generation requires cooling if fuel is burned. Water vapor is a much more potent greenhouse gas per kilogram than carbon dioxide, but the amount injected into the atmosphere by power plants is dwarfed by that from rivers and oceans and animals.

The main global-warming culprit is CO2; the atmospheric level is currently so high that a great reduction is required before any significant decrease in Earth's surface temperature can be expected. Nuclear power plants put essentially zero CO2 into the atmosphere.


#20

Well hello John. Have not seen you since the last nuclear article. Your right on time.

Just because some other industry does it does not mean there is no impact. There is. Water vapor is part of the Co2 feed back loop. As would be BBQing a big piece of meat on the back deck.

Water vapor and cooling water heat increase is only one of the reasons that nuclear power is bad for the earth. There are many others.


#21

The future development? Oh Ye of too much faith. To generate profits is more the priority for high end investors and the MIC than is the generation of clean energy. We can have clean and relatively 'free' energy in solar, wind and tidal but they aren't those sexy breeder nuclear reactors.