Belgium to switch off nuclear, operator sees blackout ahead

Oct 31, 2011 by Christian Spillmann
A cooling tower of the Electrabel's nuclear power plant is seen in March 2011 in Tihange. As Belgium becomes the latest European nation to agree to switch off nuclear power, operator Electrabel warned Monday of high costs, environmental fallout and increased dependency on foreign suppliers.

As Belgium becomes the latest European nation to agree to switch off nuclear power, operator Electrabel warned Monday of high costs, environmental fallout and increased dependency on foreign suppliers.

Six parties currently working on a coalition programme that will form the basis of a new Belgian government in the weeks to come, agreed on Sunday to switch off the country's seven from 2015.

But a timetable for shutdown, along with a plan to shift into , still needs to be worked out, with the government-elect giving itself six months from inauguration day to fine tune how to deliver power to the country's 10 million people.

A front-page cartoon in the Flemish daily De Standaard on Monday showed four pairs of eyes in the dark with one of the blacked out faces saying, "I think Electrabel is trying to make a message heard."

"A decision on the future of nuclear energy is an eminently political one in which Electrabel has no influence," said the operator, a subsidiary of French energy giant GDF-Suez that runs six of the Belgian nuclear plants.

But it added in a statement that the consequences could be dire.

Already a net importer of electricity, Belgium could become increasingly dependent on its neighbours, increase its by replacing nuclear with , and be forced to considerably hike the price of electricity for consumers.

"On a question such as this which is fundamental to the national economy, it is essential that clear decisions be taken and communicated," it said.

Operators needed clear guidelines "to programme their activities and investments ... to prepare projects that Belgium will need to ensure security of supply."

Shrugging off nuclear fears following Japan's disaster, the Czech Republic has decided to press ahead on nuclear to assure , while coal-dependent Poland remains determined to make its nuclear debut.

Italy and Switzerland meanwhile have put nuclear power plans on ice, while Germany switched off several reactors in the wake of the Japanese disaster and has since passed legislation to phase out by 2022.

Belgium's seven reactors provide 55 percent of the country's energy needs.

Under the Sunday deal clinched by the country's probable next premier, French-speaking Socialist Elio Di Rupo, the government-to-be would confirm a 2003 law scheduling a shutdown for the seven reactors as they reach 40 years of operational life, between 2015 and 2025.

The seven plants comnbined produce 5.7 GW, a little more than the 5 GW produced by gas and coal plants.

Wind totalled 911 MG last year but authorities hope to boost that to 6.3 GW by 2020.

"If we fail to see sufficient alternatives by 2015, we might face a blackout," De Standaard warned.

Explore further: Imaginative ideas for a 'greenlight district' in Amsterdam

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Nerdyguy
3.4 / 5 (18) Oct 31, 2011
"Already a net importer of electricity, Belgium could become increasingly dependent on its neighbours, increase its carbon footprint by replacing nuclear with thermal energy, and be forced to considerably hike the price of electricity for consumers."

Pretty much sums up the depth of the stupidity in this decision. It's the "lets make our energy decisions on the Jane Fonda model" of governance.
kaasinees
1 / 5 (8) Oct 31, 2011
Thermal energy has less greenhouse capacity than nuclear. Water vapor released by nuclear reactors exceeds the negligible potency of thermal.
kochevnik
1.7 / 5 (11) Oct 31, 2011
Nuclear energy is becoming more and more the energy choice of 2nd rate economies, with populations oblivious to invisible but lethal factors.
djr
2.9 / 5 (10) Oct 31, 2011
It's the "lets make our energy decisions on the Jane Fonda model" of governance.

When u politicize everything - you become blind to the facts. Latest data is showing that wind power is currently the cheapest form of energy - (see http://cleantechn...tricity/
Replacing nukes with cheaper wind over the next couple of decades - especially if you have coal and gas to provide base load may make sense to them. I personally hope we keep developing newer nuclear technology - think it will be a big part of our future. Wish we could extract the politics from all of these important conversations - and make the best decisions based on the facts. I know - dream on fool...
Jeddy_Mctedder
2 / 5 (9) Oct 31, 2011
nuclear bombs are good. nuclear energy is supposedly far superior to coal but ...but...it's always such a pain in the ass to deal with from a regulatory perspective that only china seems capable of building new reactors. given their record on shoddy construction , you can expect at least one of the hundred or so new reactors currently under construction will have a meltdown or other major accident.

belgium is just getting on board the train that is in the station. once the solar/wind/renewable train leaves the station it's going for a long journey forward for hundreds of years. and it hasn't even really taken off yet. it's just getting the engine warmed up before leaving the station.
Vendicar_Decarian
3 / 5 (2) Oct 31, 2011
Maybe they could sell their used reactors to the Czech republic.
Shelgeyr
2.5 / 5 (8) Oct 31, 2011
Stupid, stupid, stupid. Fortunately, they've given them enough time to back out of this decision. Methinks I smell an expedient political ploy in the making!
Nerdyguy
3.5 / 5 (13) Oct 31, 2011
"When u politicize everything - you become blind to the facts. Latest data is showing that wind power is currently the cheapest form of energy" - djr

Hard to tell what is more amusing. The fact that you suggested that I was politicizing this thing, when it is clearly a 100% political decision based in no way on anything other than the emotion of fear (did you not realize the timing is no coincidence?) OR

The fact that you then launch into this wind power idea. Without looking at the numbers, I'm confident that, if you dumped half the population of Belgium into the ocean, you STILL wouldn't have enough energy to meet current and future demands with wind power. And you can forget about any other larger country.
kochevnik
2.1 / 5 (11) Oct 31, 2011
Hard to tell what is more amusing. The fact that you suggested that I was politicizing this thing, when it is clearly a 100% political decision based in no way on anything other than the emotion of fear (did you not realize the timing is no coincidence?)
Are you suggesting that fear of uselessly wasting away into a skeleton is somehow irrational? On the contrary I suspect it resonates with many Belgians. How exactly is the timing bad? It is quite apt. With conservatives parroting incessant BS about terrorism, why now build more terrorist targets?
djr
1.8 / 5 (10) Nov 01, 2011
Nerdyguy - "And you can forget about any other larger country." So much misinformation to clean up - at least you admit that you did not look at the numbers - meaning at least that you are willfully ignorant. The numbers are available - let me just give you one quote "According to the U.S. Department of Energy, all U.S. electrical energy needs could be met by the wind in Texas and the Dakotas alone." Taken from http://www.winden...aqs.html
ShotmanMaslo
3.1 / 5 (10) Nov 01, 2011
Nuclear energy is becoming more and more the energy choice of 2nd rate economies, with populations oblivious to invisible but lethal factors.


Nuclear is as safe as renewables per MWh produced. And yeah, it is a choice of second-rate economies, because they cannot afford to waste money on expensive renewables.

Until renewables can reliably power modern post-oil economy, and do it for a good price, nuclear is here with us to stay.
ShotmanMaslo
3.5 / 5 (8) Nov 01, 2011
Here is already the practical result of german nuclear phobia - increased price and volatility of electricity, and more fossil power plants:
http://depletedcr...il-fuel/
MarkyMark
4.6 / 5 (7) Nov 01, 2011
Nerdyguy - "And you can forget about any other larger country." So much misinformation to clean up - at least you admit that you did not look at the numbers - meaning at least that you are willfully ignorant. The numbers are available - let me just give you one quote "According to the U.S. Department of Energy, all U.S. electrical energy needs could be met by the wind in Texas and the Dakotas alone." Taken from http://www.winden...aqs.html

Nowhere did he say he did not look at the numbers, rather he was saying you did not look at the numbers. Also he is right about the viabilaty of green energy as technology wise its both too expensive and not really good enough.
hush1
1 / 5 (8) Nov 01, 2011
ShotmanMaslo
You don't get a second chance. You must stand by the link and always support the contents. Worst than marriage - where 'irreconcilable differences' result in the divorce of persons.

Divorcing conviction is not an option for humans.

Now I must post this link to all your comments - no matter what you say and what the future brings. Make it ceremonious.
Declare your conviction, your life, your obligations, your children, and for better or worst, your marriage to the link.

Not stand by me.
Stand by link.
Link written in concrete.
Never cheats on you. Remains valid forever, regardless what discoveries or what new improvements in energy sources bring.

Most important always reference the link. You will see in two hundred years, right or wrong, your link remains true to you.
hush1
1 / 5 (7) Nov 01, 2011
MarkyMark
Refrain from the spokesperson role. It is bad enough you can not speak for yourself.
Pkunk_
2.6 / 5 (8) Nov 01, 2011
Thermal energy has less greenhouse capacity than nuclear. Water vapor released by nuclear reactors exceeds the negligible potency of thermal.


Arghh! You mean there actually is a gas even more lethal than CO2 when it comes to global warming? There must be urgent action taken to strictly control all sources of this "water vapor" . Why the battle against global warming demands it.
NOT.

BTW kaasinees, what exactly do you suggest ? Building hundreds of coal-fired plants is better for the environment because the nuclear plants emit water vapor?
bluehigh
3.5 / 5 (8) Nov 01, 2011
I can only see the effect of rising power price from the transition to 'green' technologies hurting the poor. For many the increased cost of power will be absorbed into the personal budget as part of a refusal to change lifestyles. Certainly (and skip the insults its all be said and done), I will continue to run both my 3.5KW/H air-con units at home for cooling in summer and heating in winter. I will continue to use hot water to wash my clothes. I will continue to have as many hot showers as I feel like. I will bake food in the oven whenever I want. I will have as many lights on and run all my plasma TVs etc etc. as I see fit. Why? Because I can, even if it costs ten times as much.

The neighbors next door though, can't afford the cost of 'green' power (its already risen significantly here this year, due to investment in renewable sources)- so they will suffer, sadly.

ShotmanMaslo
3.5 / 5 (6) Nov 01, 2011
Water vapor from cooling towers influencing global warming is of course nonsense. Contrary to CO2, vapor immidiately condenses as it cools and falls down, it does not stay in the atmosphere for years as CO2.

Besides, new Gen IV high temperature reactors wont need cooling towers at all, since they can use closed cycle Brayton turbines (which are also more efficient).
djr
2.3 / 5 (3) Nov 01, 2011
Markymark "Nowhere did he say he did not look at the numbers, rather he was saying you did not look at the numbers." Yes he did...

From Nerdguy "The fact that you then launch into this wind power idea. Without looking at the numbers, I'm confident that, if you dumped half the population of Belgium into the ocean, you STILL wouldn't have enough energy to meet current and future demands with wind power. And you can forget about any other larger country.

djr
3.2 / 5 (5) Nov 01, 2011
Markymark - "Also he is right about the viabilaty of green energy as technology wise its both too expensive and not really good enough." Please stop spreading disinformation - it confuses the debate. Windpower is becoming the cheapest energy form - and the cost curve is still heading down. http://cleantechn...tricity/ Solar is still a high option - but that is changing fast. http://www.grist....ctricity

Variability is an issue - currently it seems we can incorporate about 40% onto the grid. As I said - I am a supporter of new nuclear technology - but the decisions should be made on the basis of the facts - not disinformation. The other benefits of alternatives - money does not go to foreign countries, reduced pollution, distributed power, long term cost stability.
bluehigh
3 / 5 (6) Nov 01, 2011
.. dumped half the population of Belgium into the ocean ..

The French half would be a good choice and would you ensure you take all the bureaucratic's from Brussels and dump them too ... please.
rawa1
1 / 5 (5) Nov 01, 2011
Nuclear plant is nothing, which would make the grid stable, because its power cannot be regulated so easily like at the case of another power plants. So, if you exclude the nuclear plants from grid, its stability would increase instead.
ShotmanMaslo
3.4 / 5 (5) Nov 01, 2011
rawa1 - no, the electric power of nuclear power plant can be regulated more easily than the power of renewables - with NP, you have constant energy production and you have to take only grid demand into account. With renewables, you have to take both grid demand AND momentary energy production of a plant (which varies significantly according to the environment in the matter of minutes - clouds, wind surges..) into account.

Energy storage can mitigate this, but renewables need FAR more energy storage than nuclear for a given kWh, fraction of grid supply, and desired energy stability.

Not even talking about Gen IV reactors such as LFTR, which can have inherent load following, thus producing not only cheap, abundant and reliable electricity independent of external environment, but high quality of it (even small grid instabilities can wreak havoc on some sensitive appliances).
Nerdyguy
3.8 / 5 (10) Nov 01, 2011
According to "Quel mix énergétique idéal pour la Belgique :Analyse aux horizons 2020 et 2030?", also known as GEMIX: The Belgian State committed to generate 13% of its energy (i.e. electricity and heating) from sustainable sources by 2020.

FURTHER:
Population of Belgium = 10,788,760 - Worldbank

Average number of person per household, Belgium = 2.4 - NationMaster.com

Households in Belgium = 4,495,317 - basic math

One wind turbine, on average, adequate for 350 homes - djr's source

Thus, 12,843 turbines would be needed TODAY. - basic math

From various sources, I've estimated a number well under 500 (perhaps closer to 350, but I don't have all freakin day to count them) available currently.

Now that I've done your homework, and shown that there is NO way wind is a viable source for the near term or even the next decade or more, do any of you hopeless idealists (denialists of fact?) have anything to add?

Nerdyguy
3.8 / 5 (10) Nov 01, 2011
Nerdyguy - "And you can forget about any other larger country." So much misinformation to clean up - at least you admit that you did not look at the numbers - meaning at least that you are willfully ignorant. The numbers are available - let me just give you one quote "According to the U.S. Department of Energy, all U.S. electrical energy needs could be met by the wind in Texas and the Dakotas alone." Taken from http://www.winden...aqs.html


As per the above, I took your source and used it to present a logical conclusion using the numbers you gave me as a base. While I'm certain this likely won't dispel your nuclear phobia, I would request that you refrain from labeling as "misinformation" anything that you just don't like or agree with, and as "willfully ignorant" facts that you simply deny.

As for my earlier comments, I stand by them. Nuclear is a very viable source. Fear is the primary motivator for radical decisions to drop it.
Nerdyguy
3.8 / 5 (10) Nov 01, 2011
Hard to tell what is more amusing. The fact that you suggested that I was politicizing this thing, when it is clearly a 100% political decision based in no way on anything other than the emotion of fear (did you not realize the timing is no coincidence?)
Are you suggesting that fear of uselessly wasting away into a skeleton is somehow irrational? On the contrary I suspect it resonates with many Belgians. How exactly is the timing bad? It is quite apt. With conservatives parroting incessant BS about terrorism, why now build more terrorist targets?


By your (ill)logic, the safest source would perhaps be campfires?

But let's try logic for a moment. Yes, fear of, as you put it "wasting away into a skeleton" would be extraordinarily irrational. There are many more legitimate fears to keep you up at night.
djr
2.3 / 5 (3) Nov 01, 2011
Nerdguy - I think you don't read carefully. "While I'm certain this likely won't dispel your nuclear phobia" I stated in 2 of my responses that I am a supporter of nuclear. I hope to live to see Thorium plants, Travelling wave plants, and eventually fusion. I believe that our energy future is a fascinating mix of nuclear, renewables, fuel cells, and whatever other amazing stuff the scientists can develop. I just hate the politicization, and polarization of this kind of debate. The market is going to take care of things eventually, and solar will most probably be the cheapest form of energy - but if nuclear (or something else) is cheaper - I am all for it. Currently - wind is the cheapest - and yes it is misinformation to constantly be stating that renewables are not viable - and will cause electricity rates to go up - rates in Texas are falling - because of wind - that is a fact.
djr
2.3 / 5 (3) Nov 01, 2011
Nerdguy - again you do not read carefully. "Thus, 12,843 turbines would be needed TODAY." The nukes are scheduled to begin shut down in 2015 - and it will probably take 5 years to complete shutdown. As stated in the article - the nukes generate 5.7 GW of power - and their goal is to bring 6.3 GW of wind power on line by 2020. Most probably the decision is something of a knee jerk to Fukushima - but maybe there was economics involved in the decision too.
djr
3 / 5 (4) Nov 01, 2011
Great article here on the falling cost of energy in Texas due to the low cost of wind - and it also talks about how intermittent can be well integrated into a balanced energy mix.

http://cleantechn...-energy/
Nerdyguy
3 / 5 (6) Nov 01, 2011
@djr:

You've jumped around a whole bunch on this. And, it's difficult to see from the amount of time you put into pushing wind power how you can claim you are some sort of moderate who is all for nuclear among other sources.

The real giveaway is your very first post. You seem to think that anyone mentioning the "Jane Fonda" model is "politicizing". Indeed, the reverse is true, and I was merely pointing it out.

As they say in Texas, I don't have a dog in this hunt. Not much in Belgium affects me on a personal level. But, I do hate to see irrational fear-mongering as the basis for a decision on a country's future energy plans.

It is good to see that you've come around to my way of thinking.
djr
3 / 5 (2) Nov 01, 2011
"You've jumped around a whole bunch on this." Please show how I have I jumped around a whole bunch. I think I have been, and am very consistent on my position regarding energy. Yes I support wind - and have never deviated from that position. I am also excited about other forms of energy. I see your use of the term "Jane Fonda model" as being very political (like liberals vs conservatives). I think the energy dialogue is consistently politicized and polarized. I support doing what is in the best interest of our world - I think it should be a mix of alternatives, and nuclear, and whatever else we can come up with - that will eventually wean us off fossil fuels. Obviously mean time - we need to keep using what we have - and work our way to a cleaner - renewable energy future. I have given you sources to show that wind is currently a cheap and viable option. I continue to call people out for spreading the misinformation that renewables are not a cheap and viable energy source.
Nerdyguy
3.3 / 5 (7) Nov 01, 2011
@djr: You are quite correct, and I thank you for making my point yet again. It is true that the energy dialogue (vis-a-vis the "Jane Fonda" argument) is politicized like crazy. And should NOT be. But, seeing as how it is, I will point it out ad nauseum. Really amusing that you criticize me for doing what you claim to do yourself.

Oh, and, had I actually said that "renewables are not a cheap and viable energy source", it would make actual sense for you to point it out. But, seeing as how I did not, and would not, your point fails. You are simply interested in seeing your own words printed across the screen. This meeting is adjourned. Toodles.

Cluebat from Exodar
2 / 5 (4) Nov 01, 2011
Just one word and then I am going to go get the popcorn.

eCat
Nerdyguy
3 / 5 (4) Nov 01, 2011
Just one word and then I am going to go get the popcorn.

eCat


LOL! You are cruel, sir. And clearly masochistic. Like throwing a piece of raw meat into a den of lions.
kochevnik
1 / 5 (4) Nov 01, 2011
As for my earlier comments, I stand by them. Nuclear is a very viable source. Fear is the primary motivator for radical decisions to drop it.
And you further claim that Hanford downwinders, Nevada-Utah downwinders, Marshall Islanders, and children living near Chernobyl and their fathers are irrational? Because you stated
Yes, fear of, as you put it "wasting away into a skeleton" would be extraordinarily irrational. There are many more legitimate fears to keep you up at night.
So your "logic" as such is simply a *ick-swinging contest, Texas style.
Nerdyguy
3 / 5 (4) Nov 01, 2011
@kochevnik:

While I believe that it is fair to engage in a spirited debate of one's claims, I do not believe it is reasonable for you to "put words in my mouth" as it were.

So, let's just stick to the facts, shall we?

Fact: it is fear, and only fear, that has led to countless decisions to turn off/shut down/cancel nuclear power generation.

And, I maintain that these fears are unwarranted.

You see, logic and fact will prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that every energy source has the potential to create problems, to cause deaths, to wreck economies, etc. None are perfect. None are, at this stage of our technological progress, much better than others. All have tradeoffs. Those are my points.
djr
not rated yet Nov 01, 2011
It was you who used the term Jane Fonda - I call that politicizing the debate - the term Jane Fonda is a lighting rod term used by conservatives - to bash liberals. Now let me quote your words "Now that I've done your homework, and shown that there is NO way wind is a viable source for the near term or even the next decade or more" I don't believe you in any way proved that wind is not a viable energy source - that is the issue I was calling you on. Sorry I added the word cheap - but it seems to me the point is still the same. And notice that each time you are called on misinformation (eg saying that Belgium would need 12,000 wind turbines today) - which was the basis of your argument - and was totally false - you just change the subject. Toodles back to you.
Nerdyguy
3.3 / 5 (7) Nov 01, 2011
@kochevnik:

Are the children of Chernobyl suffering? If so, how? Be specific. Then compare the total number of those suffering to some other specific energy source. How many suffer life-altering asthma problems due to coal, for example?

Finally, ask yourself "why" the Chernobyl victims are suffering. Are they suffering because of the tool that was put into place to provide them power? Or are they suffering due to the mismanagement of said tool by human beings? There is much information to suggest the latter.
kochevnik
1 / 5 (6) Nov 01, 2011
Nuclear is as safe as renewables per MWh produced. And yeah, it is a choice of second-rate economies, because they cannot afford to waste money on expensive renewables.
Not to the general population. Nuclear is a hundred or thousandfold more dangerous. Your clown statistics were pulled from some blogger, possibly a high-school drop-out, who compared falls of underpaid, under-trained one-off hires like the kind loitering at Home Depot to highly-trained union nuclear staff. By your logic space missions are safer than bicycle riding because so many more die on bicycles. And yet even that cherry-picked beancounting demonstrates great potential to lower solar casualties with training and safety measures. Nowhere to go but up with renewables. In contrast there is little that can be done about the radioactive isotopes your favourite industry has spilled upon humanity, except label them "irrational" in Nerdyguy's vernacular. Such a nice industry: kill the witnesses.
kochevnik
1 / 5 (2) Nov 01, 2011
@kochevnik:Are the children of Chernobyl suffering? If so, how? Be specific. Then compare the total number of those suffering to some other specific energy source. How many suffer life-altering asthma problems due to coal, for example?
Last I heard coal isn't renewable OR sustainable.
ShotmanMaslo
1 / 5 (2) Nov 01, 2011
By your logic space missions are safer than bicycle riding because so many more die on bicycles.


Wrong analogy, it compares per TWH deaths, which is a relevant comparison.

And yet even that cherry-picked beancounting demonstrates great potential to lower solar casualties with training and safety measures.


I dont think so, there is little potential for improvement in this area. People are going to have accidents and be irresponsible.

In contrast there is little that can be done about the radioactive isotopes your favourite industry has spilled upon humanity, except label them "irrational" in Nerdyguy's vernacular. Such a nice industry: kill the witnesses.


Not true, it is nuclear where great progress in safety can be made, there are plenty of actual engineering schemes to make nuclear power plants safer.
ShotmanMaslo
2.3 / 5 (3) Nov 01, 2011
Last I heard coal isn't renewable OR sustainable.


Coal IS the only serious alternative to nuclear, at least in coming decades. Belgium, and other countries are not going to replace missing nuclear capacity with renewables anytime soon.

Nerdyguy
3.7 / 5 (6) Nov 01, 2011
@kochevnik:Are the children of Chernobyl suffering? If so, how? Be specific. Then compare the total number of those suffering to some other specific energy source. How many suffer life-altering asthma problems due to coal, for example?
Last I heard coal isn't renewable OR sustainable.


Last I saw, I didn't say it was. Can you not stick to the topic for a short time?
kochevnik
1 / 5 (3) Nov 01, 2011
@Nerdyguy Fact: it is fear, and only fear, that has led to countless decisions to turn off/shut down/cancel nuclear power generation.

And, I maintain that these fears are unwarranted.

You see, logic and fact will prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that every energy source has the potential to create problems, to cause deaths, to wreck economies, etc. None are perfect. None are, at this stage of our technological progress, much better than others. All have tradeoffs. Those are my points.
Typical conservative: when your inhumanity is revealed, change the subject. You branded the million dead/dying from nuclear isotope fallout "irrational" to fear their imminent, untimely demise. That's your logic.

Please demonstrate the general human populations that have been wiped out by wave, wind and solar power.
ShotmanMaslo
1 / 5 (3) Nov 01, 2011
Please demonstrate the general human populations that have been wiped out by wave, wind and solar power.


Again, per TWh measure. Renewables produce negligible amount of energy, thus the number of deaths associated with them is also overall negligible. That does not make them harmless.

Falling wind turbines may very well be more dangerous than modern nuclear. You are engaging in irrational fear-mongering.
kochevnik
1 / 5 (3) Nov 01, 2011
By your logic space missions are safer than bicycle riding because so many more die on bicycles.
Wrong analogy, it compares per TWH deaths, which is a relevant comparison.
Wrong analogy. That has no bearing on the general population. Unless, of course, you consider only the lives of nuclear engineers important.

And yet even that cherry-picked beancounting demonstrates great potential to lower solar casualties with training and safety measures.
...there is little potential for improvement in this area. People are going to have accidents and be irresponsible.

That's laughable. Simply combine solar installation with shingle, skylight, roof rot or sealing jobs. Zero added danger! Can't do that with nuclear's dedicated, deadly design
Not true, it is nuclear where great progress in safety can be made, there are plenty of actual engineering schemes to make nuclear power plants safer.
You can make bomb squads safer too, Still fundamentally unsafe work.
ShotmanMaslo
1 / 5 (3) Nov 01, 2011
Wrong analogy. That has no bearing on the general population. Unless, of course, you consider only the lives of nuclear engineers important.


Its the general population that is going to be dying en masse from installing and maintaining dangerous large-scale renewable installations with a tendency to fall on their heads. Not to mention deaths from the industry making these.

That's laughable. Simply combine solar installation with shingle, skylight, roof rot or sealing jobs. Zero added danger! Can't do that with nuclear's dedicated, deadly design


Its still not going to install itself, people will spend more time on the roof, and inevitably, fall to their deaths. Think of the children!

You can make bomb squads safer too, Still fundamentally unsafe work.


Again, you are forgetting that modern nuclear power designs are fundamentally safe. Contrary to inherently deadly renewables.

But, I grant you that old nuclear is almost as deadly as renewables.. :p
kochevnik
1 / 5 (3) Nov 01, 2011
Please demonstrate the general human populations that have been wiped out by wave, wind and solar power.
Again, per TWh measure. Renewables produce negligible amount of energy, thus the number of deaths associated with them is also overall negligible. That does not make them harmless.
Right measure. Wrong population. Workers aren't the population sample: Residents are. Now engineers don't talk about the present. At present renewables in California power 10% of demand. There's no theoretical reason why that couldn't be 100%, but for entrenched lobbyists

Falling wind turbines may very well be more dangerous than modern nuclear. You are engaging in irrational fear-mongering.
Turbines tend to be in remote areas. I fail to see much danger in wind turbines installed in the Himalayas. But you can certainly measure stray isotopes there from reactor blowups. And yeah, propeller heads casually mucking around with the most deadly substances known to man gives me pause
kochevnik
1 / 5 (3) Nov 01, 2011
Wrong analogy. That has no bearing on the general population. Unless, of course, you consider only the lives of nuclear engineers important.
Its the general population that is going to be dying en masse from installing and maintaining dangerous large-scale renewable installations with a tendency to fall on their heads. Not to mention deaths from the industry making these.
I rather suspect people prefer the readily predictable risk of a falling tower over the powerless feeling one gets as radioactive dust makes their lives and town unlivable. It the same reason people enjoy driving cars but fear terrorism. It's only prudent to move away from new structures during extreme weather. Besides, structural engineering is advanced technology and there are any number of way to brace towers with CAD, finite element analysis, composites, or simply staking them down. It's a totally solvable problem, assuming such a problem ever arises.
ShotmanMaslo
1 / 5 (2) Nov 01, 2011
"At present renewables in California power 10% of demand. There's no theoretical reason why that couldn't be 100%"

There is. Renewables are an intermittent energy source, dependant on local weather, thus incapable of base load power without expensive storage facilities and/or long distance smart grids. Renewable advocates always seem to omit these things from their cost calculations. Nuclear does not need storage and smart grids for electricity stability.
ShotmanMaslo
2.3 / 5 (6) Nov 01, 2011
I rather suspect people prefer the readily predictable risk of a falling tower over the powerless feeling one gets as radioactive dust makes their lives and town unlivable.


Yeah, it all boils down to feeling. People FEEL nuclear is dangerous, usualy irrationally so.

I am not here to bash renewables, just teasing you a bit.

In reality, as electricity demands skyrocket and fossil fuels will get progressively more expensive, I consider a huge nuclear renaissance to be crucial to cover the difference, along with renewables. And it will also be a step forward both in terms of safety and cleanliness over fossil fuels.
josemenez
3 / 5 (4) Nov 06, 2011
I want to ask all those who are afraid of nuclear power and cite Fukushima as a example. What has had a higher death toll in Japan the tsunami or the nuclear plants? When the answer is the nuclear plants then I would start complaining against nuclear, until then I would build yourself better tsunami protection... if that's even possible. The fact is nuclear provides magnitudes of factors higher base-band power with less carbon, than coal or natural gas. Solar and wind cannot compete with out large amounts of physical area. Look at the amount of space a nuclear plant takes up and the power out and make the argument against it. I for one will remain more afraid of tsunamis than nuclear power at the moment and that fear is pretty minimal.
kochevnik
1 / 5 (3) Nov 07, 2011
What has had a higher death toll in Japan the tsunami or the nuclear plants?
Those have nothing to do with each other. So what if wind takes area? Better than all those taxpayer farm fields left fallow that fatten corporate farmers like Prudential Insurance. and ConAgra. If you looked at a map, which I doubt you have, you would discover that 85% of Americans live in the coast. That means the heartland is empty. Who cares what is there, be it windmills or inflatable pigs? Again, your comparison of tsunamis and nuclear power is blatantly absurd and nonsequitor.
Nerdyguy
1 / 5 (3) Nov 07, 2011
What has had a higher death toll in Japan the tsunami or the nuclear plants?
Those have nothing to do with each other. So what if wind takes area? Better than all those taxpayer farm fields left fallow that fatten corporate farmers like Prudential Insurance. and ConAgra. If you looked at a map, which I doubt you have, you would discover that 85% of Americans live in the coast. That means the heartland is empty. Who cares what is there, be it windmills or inflatable pigs? Again, your comparison of tsunamis and nuclear power is blatantly absurd and nonsequitor.


To his point re: tsunamis. Imminently appropriate. The point being that accidents happen, man-made and natural. Deaths occur, whether you have nuclear or not. Nuclear is not the boogeyman.

Every type of energy production has advantages and disadvantages. Your problem, kochevik, lies in your failure to look past your irrational fears to that core fact. Logic, try it.

kochevnik
1 / 5 (2) Nov 07, 2011
To his point re: tsunamis. Imminently appropriate. The point being that accidents happen, man-made and natural. Deaths occur, whether you have nuclear or not. Nuclear is not the boogeyman.

Every type of energy production has advantages and disadvantages. Your problem, kochevik, lies in your failure to look past your irrational fears to that core fact. Logic, try it.
Your Achilles heel, Nerdyguy, is apparently failing your logic courses. You just proved that nuclear is hypersensitive to any and all natural disasters. As well, nuclear accidents proliferate from administrative errors, design failures and terrorism. You just proved that nuclear fission is an public health hazard in any commercial application. Thanks for proving my point!
Nerdyguy
2 / 5 (4) Nov 07, 2011
@kochevnik: It's clear you've never taken a course in logic. Nonetheless, you are correct in stating that nuclear accidents can happen. Of course, you didn't need any logic from me to point that out, as historical evidence would suffice.

Are you really foolish enough to believe that people do not die from all types of natural and man-made disasters? Or are you too fixated on your ingrained fear to have a logical thought?

In any case, as is abundantly clear, ALL types of energy production have advantages and disadvantages. Nuclear has been, and will remain, a safe, cost-effective solution for some time.
hush1
1 / 5 (2) Nov 07, 2011
No event of destruction that leaves the earth intact or still inhabitable is objectionable. The only criterion I demand from any event of destruction is to walk through the resulting debris after 90 days.

That's it, DoE. That's the bottom line for you. Do it. And you shall receive the blessings of God, Universe, and humanity.
Nerdyguy
1 / 5 (2) Nov 07, 2011
No event of destruction that leaves the earth intact or still inhabitable is objectionable. The only criterion I demand from any event of destruction is to walk through the resulting debris after 90 days.

That's it, DoE. That's the bottom line for you. Do it. And you shall receive the blessings of God, Universe, and humanity.


I've not seen so much hippy rambling since the last Woodstock documentary on TV. Most of those stoners made as much sense as you.
hush1
1 / 5 (2) Nov 08, 2011
lol
I hate it when former residents of Chernobyl quibble over hippies. You overdosed while living there.
kochevnik
1 / 5 (2) Nov 08, 2011
Are you really foolish enough to believe that people do not die from all types of natural and man-made disasters? Or are you too fixated on your ingrained fear to have a logical thought?

In any case, as is abundantly clear, ALL types of energy production have advantages and disadvantages. Nuclear has been, and will remain, a safe, cost-effective solution for some time.
@Nerdyguy Here's your logic:

*hit happens ==> Danger is realtive ==> Nuclear is safe
Nerdyguy
2.3 / 5 (3) Nov 08, 2011
Are you really foolish enough to believe that people do not die from all types of natural and man-made disasters? Or are you too fixated on your ingrained fear to have a logical thought?

In any case, as is abundantly clear, ALL types of energy production have advantages and disadvantages. Nuclear has been, and will remain, a safe, cost-effective solution for some time.
@Nerdyguy Here's your logic:

*hit happens ==> Danger is realtive ==> Nuclear is safe


Surprisingly, you pretty much got it right. Such is life.
ShotmanMaslo
1 / 5 (2) Nov 08, 2011
"*hit happens ==> Danger is realtive ==> Nuclear is safe"

Are you implying danger is not relative?