Retort needed against 'Atomkraft nein danke'

339 posts in this topic

 

Am i being threatened by proxy? By the way, i'm 37, so less of the the 'sonny' ok? 'mate'.

 

ARTHUR: What?

DENNIS: I'm thirty seven -- I'm not old! :lol:

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Hey, don't blame my generation, it was your generation went from hippies to greedy fucks once they realized that beeing a greedy fuck is a lot more comfortable.If the baby boomers had started seriously working on alternative energy in the 70s during the oil crisis, maybe we wouldn't be as deep in shit as we are

 

The baby boomers did actually invest time and resources in developing solar technology. Many scholars report that solar was first used by the Greeks a long time ago. It is commonly accepted however that parabolic trough technology (not PV on rooves!) was invented by a Stuttgarter in the early 1900's. The first commercial plant was developed by the baby boomers in the 1970's (the SEGS plant which was first operational in the US in the early 1980's and is still operating today).

 

But, as is the case with most new technologies, the markets restricted innovative development because new parts are expensive to manufacture. The market responds favourably to demand. And when a technological development like solar is so multi-faceted, it takes some time to create that demand. The baby boomers were restricted by the same framework which restricts us today.

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The baby boomers did actually invest time and resources in developing solar technology.

 

For a short time, in the 70s.. then gas got cheap again, and they got things like jobs and families that tend to realign hippies idealist goals into more selfish practical ones.

 

Governments should have been pouring money into alternate energy when it became obviously how dependant on the middle east we were, and the people should have demanded this. Instead, the green movements hamstrung development of our most immediate viable resource (nuclear power) so that now we are sitting with decades old reactors instead of having decades of progress on them, and our renewable sources are still not adequateley developed.

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ARTHUR: What?

DENNIS: I'm thirty seven -- I'm not old!

 

Yeah well, I feel old. :(

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Nuclear is not the answer.

Currently I'm doing a degree in renewables, and I hear this line laid at the door of wind power, biofuels and other renewables.

 

"X is not the answer" "Y is the answer" "Z is the answer" "Y is not the answer"

 

My thought is that there is never going to be "an answer".

 

The problem power providers have is that despite increases in appliance efficiency and attempts to get people to understand their energy use is that despite all this energy demand is increasing. We* are like frogs in boiling water, what we consider to be a comfortable lifestyle keeps inching up.

 

My knowledge of the power mix is limited to the UK, but there the backbone of the work is done with nuclear and coal power, with oil gas and renewables providing a small and variable proportion. The coal stations are ageing, with many being 40-50 years old and will come to the end of life before the end of the decade unless investment is put into gas clean-up technology to remove the nastier pollutants from the emissions. Which given the plants are so old, is unlikely to happen. Technology is available to build more efficient coal plants which meet the current emmisions targets, but this will be a very expensive stop-gap measure and very unpopular.

 

Wind in the UK has a problem with a very vocal minority who dislike the look of turbines on the horizon, but being aware of how weak an argument this is disseminate myths and quarter truths. This is a generalisation: not all of the anti-wind movement are post-hoc rationalising their views, many are prompted to look into the issue by a planning application for their area and come across the "facts" from the anti-wind movement first. The difficulty in answering these myths and half truths is that there are as many answers that go "Yes, but" and not "no." The Nimby movement is the major problem with wind power.

 

The British Isles have a fantastic wind resource, there is enough energy in the wind to provide the countries there with their energy needs several times over. The second problem with wind that it is a variable and uncontrollable resource. This is not as big a problem as it at first sounds. In the time-scales energy systems are controlled at, the energy return from wind power is not unpredictable. Modern energy grids are designed to match demand with supply, with measures in place to cope with sudden demands and failures. These systems can cope with a variable power source such as wind up to a penetration (the percentage of total energy provided by a particular sector) of 20%. Nimbys argue against building more wind farms because of the problems variability place on our power grids, however wind power is a long way off reaching the 20% saturation point.

 

We have the capabilities of storing small amounts of energy, mainly through pumped storage hydro-electric schemes. In the future we can develop economically viable technologies and strategies to enable this storage capacity to increase. But these technologies will never become viable enough to deploy on a wide scale if we don't work toward employing them on the small scale.

 

There are other renewable energy sources. Not all of them are variable like wind. With the exception of waste incineration, none of them are as economic and developed as wind. But as we continue to slowly employ them, their costs will decrease and their usefulness will increase. None is currently capable of taking over from nuclear or coal, and its hard to imagine any one of them ever will.

 

But I don't think this is a problem- I think looking for the answer will prove fruitless, the future lies in multiple answers.

 

We can't drop nuclear overnight. But we can work toward alternatives.

 

*A generalisation. This means a lot of us like this- it does not negate the existence of exceptions!

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Fukushima is totally out of the BBC news now. Does that worry anyone? The French guys are still reporting daily scientific facts and figures however. We now have plutonium leaking into the environment at Fukushima. Wait till that gets into the Tokyo drinking water, then the Pacific Ocean and the food chain. And anyone who thinks Chernobyl caused 64 deaths needs to understand that the "authorities" only tell us what they want us to believe... even outside Russia.

 

The developing world is now jumping on the nuclear bandwagon. China's building reactors by the 100s as we speak. Any fool can work out that statistically the risk of disaster is going to increase. Do we trust their safety standards? When nuclear goes "pop", the consequences can be very, very, very grave indeed.

 

Play with fire, get your fingers burnt sooner or later.

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The developing world is now jumping on the nuclear bandwagon. China's building reactors by the 100s as we speak. Any fool can work out that statistically the risk of disaster is going to increase. Do we trust their safety standards?

No, but I don't trust their emissions standards on fossil fuels but I see that as an argument that we should cease using this resource.

 

 

Play with fire, get your fingers burnt sooner or later.

Agreed, fire killed countless people and ravished great historical cities and the library at alexandria, I am glad the hippies in classical times weren't able to ban it..

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Governments should have been pouring money into alternate energy when it became obviously how dependant on the middle east we were, and the people should have demanded this. Instead, the green movements hamstrung development of our most immediate viable resource (nuclear power) so that now we are sitting with decades old reactors instead of having decades of progress on them, and our renewable sources are still not adequateley developed.

 

I agree with you. My point is that our generation is restricted by the same profit-making intentions which bound the energy industry in the 70's. Except that it's even worse because we should know better! We know now without a doubt that fossil fuels are finite. A substantial part of our society now understands that renewable technology is the solution. Renewable technologies have advanced and become more accessible in the past decade. Yet we are still controlled by the fossil fuel industry players. And it is all about profit!

 

It's comical, in a Schadenfreude kind of way, how silly we really are.

 

Anyway, the point in contention is semantic. I agree lilplatinum that we all could have done things better!

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http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-12860842

 

This makes it sound like radiation is actually GOOD for you!!! And the author has credentials. But not a word about the plutonium the French are on about.

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As has been stated before: people are afraid of rare risks (death by snakebite) & not of common risks (death in car accidents). The media reflects this (or encourages it).

 

Agreed.

 

On the media angle, worldwide economic pressures have increased demand for information, while decreasing budgets for the journalists to process and write up this info. So with fewer journalists and more of them being inexperienced, more of them are going to write what makes sense to them rather than take time out to lay aside their pre-conceptions analyse the facts. Not because they're lazy, but because time is a luxury they're not allowed.

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Err... the BP opil spill had nothing to do with nuclear reactors, so that is something completely different.

 

The article states quite clearly that each reactor is privately insured for $375 million. An additional sum per reactor is paid into a pooled fund to cover any claims over the primary insurance of $375. That's the $12.6 billion fund which is available. So there is about $13 billion available for claims in the case of an accident.

 

The Three Mile Island incident didn't even reach $400 million in total claims, including the $300 million payout to the reactor operator.

 

Thanks for stating the obvious with regard to BP. However, given that BP had to shell out some 20 billion $ for a compensation fund for the oil spill those 12 billion $ available in case of a nuclear disaster look rather modest all of a sudden. Additionally, the power companies only have to pay some 17 million $ into the fund per reactor/year, therefore they aren't even called up for those 119 million $ immediately.

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I agree with you. My point is that our generation is restricted by the same profit-making intentions which bound the energy industry in the 70's. Except that it's even worse because we should know better! We know now without a doubt that fossil fuels are finite. A substantial part of our society now understands that renewable technology is the solution. Renewable technologies have advanced and become more accessible in the past decade. Yet we are still controlled by the fossil fuel industry players. And it is all about profit!

 

There are mechanisms in place in many countries to encourage new technologies over the learning curve to the point at which they can compete with fossil fuels. Some of these are subsidies, but the anti-renewables lobby try and present all the others as subsidy as well. Feed-in tarrifs and the renewables obligation in the UK are examples of attempts to level the playing field between mature but unsustainable technology with newer and more sustainable options. These measures are meant to correct for the profit making intentions.

 

A big piece of slight of hand employed by anti-renewables people is to present these market balancing mechanisms as subsidies or even worse "stealth taxes".

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Feed-in tarrifs and the renewables obligation in the UK are examples of attempts to level the playing field between mature but unsustainable technology with newer and more sustainable options. These measures are meant to correct for the profit making intentions.A big piece of slight of hand employed by anti-renewables people is to present these market balancing mechanisms as subsidies or even worse "stealth taxes".

 

How does a feed-in tariff differ from a subsidy? A feed-in tariff is a type of subsidy (financial assistance provided by a government in support of an enterprise which is in the public interest), and there is nothing wrong with that.

 

The Australian government, for example, should be further subsidising solar power development, considering that Australia has such strong solar power potential. It should also be offering more effective subsidies. It is currently running a 'Solar Flagship' programme, pursuant to which it will provide financial support for one technologically innovative solar power plant. There are 3 final bidders for this grant. I would have preferred to see the half a billion dollar injection spread out in some sort of wide-spreading subsidy scheme, encouraging several players to move in the solar industry, rather than just giving one entity a leg-up.

 

Anyway, my point - the fact is that subsidies are required to stimulate new energy technologies and the governments who are coming to the party should be painted in a positive light. It is completely irrelevant whether the stimulus is called a subsidy or a tariff.

 

Of course, the entities which do not benefit might call it a tax. But anyone with half a brain knows that this is just a twist in terminology. There are 3 accepted ways to encourage players to act in a certain way - incentives (subsidies, tariffs), negative financial consequences (taxes, fees) and penalties.

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What specific points of his argument do you disagree with?

 

To name some:

 

 

 

  • Nuclear technology cures countless cancer patients every day [This is a smokescreen. What has the one got to do with the other?]
  • But the media concentrate on nuclear radiation from which no-one has died - and is unlikely to [bullshit. As bad as the "total deaths from radiation to date at 64" from Chernobyl claptrap.]
  • What of Three Mile Island? There were no known deaths there. [ditto see above.]
  • 28 fatalities among emergency workers, plus 15 fatal cases of child thyroid cancer - which would have been avoided if iodine tablets had been taken (as they have now in Japan [ditto see above]

 

I am not going to go on with the "expert" hogwash. A short while ago I saw a report about doctors who donate their time by going to hospitals treating the masses of cancer patients who have been contaminated by Chernobyl.

 

If your heads are stuck so far in the sand that you have no compunction about posting reports saying that nobody, or few, has died as a result of Chernobyl or Three Mile Island or Windscale .. then there is little more to be said.

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So your counter argument is essentially "you are ignorant because you do not agree with my uncited anectdotal evidence." Touche.

 

Analysis of Chernobyl is difficult because getting epidemiological studies from that area is pretty difficult due to it being behind the iron curtain. I don't doubt the death toll is over 64 (and the UN site I linked earlier actually credits it with thousands of cancer so I am thinking this 64 # is being taken out of context for the green propoganda), but I do doubt the greenpeace report which cites highly suspect material to inflate the death toll and tap into the emotional response which gets them so much support one of these very news friendly incidents occurs.

 

Getting them in New Jersey, however, was not and the health effects of TMI have never been shown by any reputable study to be hugely significant (especially compared to the level the industrial disaster is given in our national psyche).

 

Name one proven death from TMI.

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The Nimby movement is the major problem with wind power.

 

The Nimby movement is a major problem with just about anything:

 

 

  • I don't want that AKW across the river from me.
  • Oh good - its shut down (Stade) - I don't want a coal-fired power station in its place.
  • I don't want to live in the middle of a wind farm.
  • I dont want power lines near me carrying wind power from Schleswig-Holstein to other states.
  • I dont want...
  • But I do want Strom aus der Steckdose...

 

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Nimby is a major problem with everything! Just by way of one example, there have been major interruptions to the construction of a number of coal-fired plants in Italy (which includes conversion to coal) recently (Torre Nord, Porto Tolle, Rossano Calabro) reportedly due to Nimby.

 

Those plants have had to substantially alter their designs in order to comply with higher environmental standards - better flue treatment and particulate emissions control - and the public is still upset.

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We pretty well all suffer from Nimby. The trick is to build away from people and major fault lines...

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