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US 'Spits in the Face' of World by Promoting Fossil Fuels at UN Climate Summit


#21

The US is a despicable, planet killing monster with a fool as a president. It should be ostracized from the World and left to rot alone, in its self made, dystopian, environmental hell!


#22

I have started posting this piece and the other 2 on the front page to my facebook page. I plan on wallpapering facebook with such writings. We have little, if any, time left to turn this space-ship around. How big is your foot-print? I don’t fly or sail on big ships in the oceans, my apartment is small and I rarely drive my 1989 Chrysler. Minimize to maximize.


#23

Nuclear energy is worse. Problem; toxic waste and what to do with it. Before the warming aspect becomes critical the constant stream of toxins being produced is an even greater more immediate threat hardly anyone is talking about. So I now refer to the threat as global poisoning, an inclusive term that accounts for all the harm humans are doing to Earth and all her children.


#24

How is nuclear energy worse, when nuclear energy produces the least amount of toxic waste per KWh when compared with all other energy sources. It also produces the least amount by volume.


#25

Because the nuclear industry is poisonous from the word go. Many of those who dig up the raw materials wind up dying from cancers, etc. You cannot safely dispose of the leftovers, the used fuel, the stuff contaminated by exposure, plant piping and valves, etc.
*Nuclear, oil, gas and coal are all tarred with the same brush. Chernobyl and Fukushima are the bellwethers of the future. Much of the land around Chernobyl cannot be safely occupied for five to six hundred years. Fukushima continues to poison, and despite being the crime of treason according to the Japanese government, word of cancers and birth defects amongst children, and adults, are circulating.
*You damned nuclear shills are despicable, but you still crawl out from under your rocks when any threat to your profits arises.
*And this is even not mentioning what has happened to so many Marshall Islanders from the nuclear “tests,” and what has happened to so many downwinders from the many Nevada tests.
*I am a nuclear veteran and a survivor, who has seen huge numbers of my fellow vets perish from obscene cancers and other diseases after being test subjects.
*Does that answer your question?
;-})


#26

So is nuclear radiation, the gift that keeps on giving for thousands of years.
;-})


#27

I hope and will do everything in my power to bring a huge lawsuit against these climate terrorists and make sure they pay with their billions down to the last penny.


#28

Stop talking about nuclear energy it’s a satanic trick by the dirty energy billionaires to get us hooked on dangerous and expensive energy production with them owning it. There is no better solution then solar and wind geothermal where available.
I don’t want a utility company that charges me an arm and a leg for power usage.


#29

Thank you minitrue man you took the words right out of my mouth, well sorta! The wealthy people who are setting on mountains of cash are constantly looking for ways to be in charge of commodities that we cannot live without, invest a little of their change then set back and have their billing software put the profits right into their Bahamas bank account automatically without hiring a single person.


#30

" There is no better solution then solar and wind geothermal where available" Interesting because these have been around for more than 100 years in the USA, and they still don’t even account for 25% of the generation of nuclear.


#31

Please read my comment to Giovanna-Leopore above…


#32

As if there is nothing toxic about wind and solar industries.

“Many of those who dig up the raw materials wind up dying from cancers, etc.”

That was certainly the case with old mining methods with inadequate ventilation, mostly due to radon. This happened in other kinds of underground mining as well. Uranium mining today is very different. There is virtually no increase in radon exposure to workers with in-situ leach mining.

“You cannot safely dispose of the leftovers, the used fuel,”

Used fuel handing and storage has a safety record most heavy industries can only dream of, and that includes when spent fuel is fresh from the reactor–when it is at its most radioactive and most dangerous. To say something cannot be done, you need to show that it is impossible. The most you can say at this point is that we haven’t yet decided on the ultimate disposition of spent fuel. But new options for what to do with it are in development, there’s nothing to indicate any of them are impossible, and there’s no rush to reach a decision before we know how well the new options could work.

“the stuff contaminated by exposure,”

That’s short-lived low level activation. The most intensely radiated bits can go into cask storage, and for the rest, simple burial provides more than ample shielding.

“Much of the land around Chernobyl cannot be safely occupied for five to six hundred years.”

That’s not going to happen. It has become a lush and thriving wildlife habitat, and humans will not resist the temptation to come back and harvest for much longer.

“Fukushima continues to poison,”

Yeah? How much?

“and despite being the crime of treason according to the Japanese government, word of cancers and birth defects amongst children, and adults, are circulating.”

The circulation of stories does not establish their truth. For example, the notion that speaking of cancers and birth defects amongst children in Japan is a criminal offense is a widely circulated and totally bogus story.

“You damned nuclear shills are despicable, but you still crawl out from under your rocks when any threat to your profits arises.”

Something from a two-minute hate does not constitute an actual argument.

“And this is even not mentioning what has happened to so many Marshall Islanders from the nuclear “tests,” and what has happened to so many downwinders from the many Nevada tests.”

Those were nuclear bomb tests. Not nuclear power tests. And if you don’t like nuclear bombs, you really should reconsider your opposition to the greatest bomb-fuel consuming technology humans have ever devised.

“*I am a nuclear veteran and a survivor, who has seen huge numbers of my fellow vets perish from obscene cancers and other diseases after being test subjects.”

That isn’t from nuclear power.

*Does that answer your question?"

The question was why was nuclear being lumped in with fossil fuels. Nothing you said had any relevance to that question.


#34

I know of reasons to be against particular ways of doing nuclear power. But if we opposed anything which can be done badly, we’d wind up opposing everything. I don’t know of any reason to be against nuclear power that would inherently apply to all forms of nuclear power. Do you?


#35

After reading many of your posts on nuclear power, I have softened my opinion just a bit in that I would be OK with a few small research reactors using the technology you mention. I’d want them on sites of existing reactors we are dismantling or ones already dismantled and that are the safest 2 or 3 sites we have. I’m not as optimistic as you are that Gen IV reactors can really be cost efficient and desirable, but if I’m wrong and or if they end up still not useful if we had no nuclear waste, but turn out to be useful in processing existing high level waste down to a less radioactive result that would still be worth it.

But in terms of overall government research money and economic activity in the private sector, I still want the bulk of it gong to improving the renewable mix we have now as well as a smarter grid and better grid storage. What is your opinion there? What is a good target for grid storage in terms of TWh and TW? I tried to compute how much 2 days of average grid usage and price it on $100/kWh and it looked more expensive than I realized. If energy costs have to double in the US, that is still in the realm of possibility, but 10x is a different story. What technologies do you like? I don’t think building out any more pumped hydro is that likely, what about liquefying air, flywheels, electrolysis and hydrogen storage, flow batteries, salt water batteries, standard lithium batteries but safer and lower cost?

I like you don’t have any faith in individual decisions (everybody being as green as they could possibly be and cutting energy use drastically) solving the problem. But I think it is unfair to expect that too - it’s always much harder for an individual to make the right decisions when that overall mass of people aren’t with you - it makes everything more expensive due to economies of scale. This is why I’m completely behind regulatory changes like banning regular light bulbs (except for oven and very special purpose bulbs). We need the cost of the most energy efficient devices to be appealing to everyone. We need a carbon tax (I’m opposed to cap and trade which I believe is too complicated and thus companies try to game it all the time).


#36

The economics of current reactors and the politics of nuclear energy are two reasons. They are also somewhat connected.


#37

It appears you’ve swallowed the nonsense that all politicians are evil. Another worthless conversation.


#38

Some of the experimental reactors would be better done on a larger scale, due to the physics involved. Fast breeders, for example, would work best with large core loads, and couldn’t really be modeled accurately using a small core load.

“I’m not as optimistic as you are that Gen IV reactors can really be cost efficient and desirable,”

The cost effectiveness will not look good for any of them at first–especially for the ones designed more for mass production, because you have the added expense of a production facility amortized over very few units. And for some of them, like the Integral Fast Reactor, I don’t see them ever being much better than today’s reactors in terms of economics, but the other important factor, as you noted, is how desirable they are. But even if some would never net a major cost reduction, some of the designs are so basic and simple that their potential in that regard looks large.

“but if I’m wrong and or if they end up still not useful if we had no nuclear waste, but turn out to be useful in processing existing high level waste down to a less radioactive result that would still be worth it.”

One of the reasons for investigating diverse kinds of nuclear power, instead of just focusing on the ones that look the most cost competitive, is that they would have different properties and advantages which we might be able to combine for a better net results. The best reactors for consuming spent fuel (and bomb-fuel, and depleted uranium) are fast reactors, but these would tend to be large, slow to build, and hard to modularize. Small thermal-spectrum molten salt reactors, on the other hand, could be made much cheaper, but they’d be lousy for waste-burning. And for the thorium-fuel versions, they wouldn’t have nearly the breeding capacity of the fast breeders (breeding capacity limits how fast you can deploy new capacity) and at some point you’d need to feed the transuranics from the enriched-uranium versions into a fast breeder to burn them up. With a mix of reactor types, the disadvantages of one kind can be offset by another. It’s like how today it can make economic sense for a grid operator to run a small number of fast-ramping gas peaker plants and a much larger number of windmills. The gas plant isn’t cost effective if viewed in isolation, but the windmills aren’t reliable enough on their own, so the combination of cheap wind power and gas dependability get the job done at an overall lower system cost.

“But in terms of overall government research money and economic activity in the private sector, I still want the bulk of it gong to improving the renewable mix we have now as well as a smarter grid and better grid storage. What is your opinion there?”

I think government investment in research and development is a bargain, and we should be doing more of it, but I think government investment and incentives in business and market development has a lot less going for it, and tends to line pockets more than it does actual good. (If you don’t mind a little crudeness, John Oliver’s segment on Economic Development had some good examples.)

“What is a good target for grid storage in terms of TWh and TW?”

Last I heard, the global grid storage capacity was supposed to reach around 5 GWh by the end of this year, which is something like triple what it was at the end of 2015. It’s a big jump, and I’ve heard it described with words like “skyrocketting” but it is still a long way from TWh territory. The projections I’ve seen for 2025 are still in the 20 to 25 GWh range worldwide. To put that in context, in 2016, global energy consumption topped 600 quads of energy–around 18 million GWh. Storage is clearly going to be useful and important for things like frequency regulation and peak shifting, but long-term bulk storage does not look likely to happen on a significant scale for quite a while. However, the main thing people are looking to storage for is to even out intermittent renewables, but intermittency is yet not a big problem at today’s low penetration rates. So the good news is we have time to develop storage technologies while we continue to roll out renewables as fast as we can. The bad news is we have that time because the deployment of diffuse renewables, even going as fast as we can, has been difficult and slow. All renewables combined have yet to grow at a rate fast enough to keep up with the growth in demand, which means that year after year, more of our energy is coming from fossil fuels, and that’s expected to continue for at least another decade–unless we come up with something new that can help.

“what about liquefying air, flywheels, electrolysis and hydrogen storage, flow batteries, salt water batteries, standard lithium batteries but safer and lower cost?”

Also an instance of technologies with diverse properties, so different ones will be a best fit for different applications or regions–which is why we’ll likely need and be able to use all of them. And storage will help, but the scale of the challenge is huge and time is short, so we’ll also need something more.

“it’s always much harder for an individual to make the right decisions when that overall mass of people aren’t with you”

Even if a large enough chunk of the population were to slash their consumption enough to reduce demand, the result would be that prices go down. Not hard to guess what happens next.

“This is why I’m completely behind regulatory changes like banning regular light bulbs”

We’ll need many approaches, but one of the things they’ve found with some households that updated their lighting is that they often wound up installing extra lights, they subsequently ran higher levels of ambient light, and were less conscientious about turning high efficiency lights off when not using them. It’s kind of like how flat panel TV’s saved a lot of power per unit over the old cathode ray sets, but we also wound up with more TV’s and panels on in each household simultaneously, and all kinds of new uses for them (store and street displays, jumbotrons, waiting areas, cars and vans, etc.). Three steps forward, two steps backwards–if we’re lucky.

“We need a carbon tax”

And uniform direct dividend to everyone. Yes. That would be great. And all we are lacking at this point is some way to make it happen on a large enough scale around the world to make it work.


#39

Oops. Memory glitch. 600 quads is actually 175,842,650 GWh, so, off by a factor of ten.


#40

Let’s make one thing perfectly clear. The United States did nothing at the UN Climate Summit. Donald Trump did. Polls show that 70% of Americans do not support his position.