Nuclear power essential to cut emissions: UK expert

Oct 05, 2011
A nuclear power plant operates in Bollene, France in September 2011. Britain's chief scientific adviser voiced concern Wednesday at moves to abandon nuclear power after Japan's Fukushima crisis, saying it remains vital to combat global warming.

Britain's chief scientific adviser voiced concern Wednesday at moves to abandon nuclear power after Japan's Fukushima crisis, saying it remains vital to combat global warming.

John Beddington called for greater global efforts to cut , saying the world could otherwise face "unprecedented" challenges with natural disasters becoming more frequent and destructive.

Britain has pledged to reduce by at least 80 percent by 2050, but this could hardly be achieved without nuclear power, he said.

"There is very clear analytical work that says this is not feasible for the United Kingdom to abandon nuclear without a completely catastrophic increase in energy prices," Beddington told a Seoul forum on climate change.

"So that is why the UK has a very different energy policy from Germany," he said, stressing nuclear would play "a significant part" in Britain's energy sources.

The crisis sparked global fears over the safety of atomic reactors. Germany decided to shut down all of its nuclear reactors by the end of 2022 as a result.

Beddington said however the world may not have the luxury of shunning nuclear power.

Volatile weather caused by climate change had led to more floods, droughts, and of greater intensity while reducing crop yields, he said, adding most victims were in developing nations.

Beddington said "time is against us" and the world should not dismiss any kind of technology.

"We need them all if we are to address, not just climate change, but food security, water security and energy poverty."

He also said the danger posed by crippled reactors at Fukushima was "quite moderate", citing expert studies to determine whether Britons should be evacuated.

The experts set the worst possible scenario of having all radioactive material at Fukushima released into the air and winds blowing towards the greater Tokyo area, Beddington said.

"The answer came out... there was absolutely no need (to evacuate nationals)," he said.

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User comments : 22

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_nigmatic10
5 / 5 (6) Oct 05, 2011
It is the cheap way to a solution considering lack of viable alternatives for energy production.
Callippo
1 / 5 (6) Oct 05, 2011
The cold fusion is essential to cut both emissions, both the nuclear fission risks.
JRDarby
4.8 / 5 (6) Oct 05, 2011
Callippo: I am not aware of any viable, accepted research or breakthroughs in cold fusion. That said, I haven't done much research on it, but I have heard many people say that the technology either doesn't exist or, more, is a pipe dream. Would you provide some references to the effect that this technology exists and could implemented today? (Or were you just saying that we should put more effort into developing cold fusion to solve those problems?)
jmlvu
2.3 / 5 (4) Oct 05, 2011
"The answer came out... there was absolutely no need (to evacuate nationals),"

Sounds like a infomercial for the nuclear industry. Next they will be offering a money back guaranty if not completely satisfied.
Jeddy_Mctedder
3.7 / 5 (9) Oct 05, 2011
from 1950 to 1980 there was progress. from 1980, the industry refused to reinvest money into newer , safer, and far more efficient, plants in order to keep profit. the environmentalists hijacked government to prohibit progress and are guilty for that. and the 'public' prohibited developing a reasonably chosen set of methods and locations to dispose of nuclear waste, so they cannot be trusted to consume the electricity of nuclear energy becuase theyre at fault for creating a waste stream which is more toxic to them, and the rest of the world ( because the elctricity is regional and the pollution can be airborne to an entire nation and neighboring nations, and to future generations.

there is a sad story about the potential of nuclear energy, ---despite the MANY innovations in more advanced reactor design, in waste disposal/treatment , and in safety technology, ---The commercial interests, public interests, and government all did their part to set back the utility of this technology.
Noumenon
4.7 / 5 (49) Oct 05, 2011
One would think the anthrophic climate change crowd would be advocating nuclear all over the place.
pokerdice1
4.4 / 5 (7) Oct 05, 2011
Knee jerk morons. Just don't build a reactor near a fault-line then. We have plenty of stable areas for us to build plants here in the US.
Howhot
2.5 / 5 (4) Oct 05, 2011
One would think the anthrophic climate change crowd would be advocating nuclear all over the place.


We are and do advocate nuclear "all over the place". Can we build them fast enough to offset the CO2 emmitted otherwise. Nuclear has major problems as an energy source. Just look at the Fukashima desaster; 3 China Syndromes including one MOX meltdown and half of northern Japan is wiped out from strontium 90, iodine isotopes, etc. So that aside, while it is green CO2 wise, there are big questions about how desirable it is, and how sustainable it is. Uranium supplies are limited, breader reactors make plutonium and many other nasties; It's a lot of fun dealing with that material.

The best and only choice if mankind is to survive in lifestyle similar to what we have in 2011 is solar. Solar everywhere! Distributed, subsidesed, government funded solar! Well that and a transformation to an electrical supply system. Nuclear is electrical too. Toyota Leaf anyone? Chevy Volt?
Scottingham
5 / 5 (3) Oct 06, 2011
Finally, a politician that has come to terms with the sheer power density of nuclear vs other renewables.

Considering we have enough Uranium and Thorium to last us a 1000 years even with exponential increases in energy, I'm putting nuclear power in the renewables category.
Jeddy_Mctedder
1 / 5 (2) Oct 06, 2011
germany is the great green energy experiment.
if they phase out nuclear energy entirely, which they claim to be doing ..........and that's a big IF.

then they are going to either solarize(wind is inclusive as a form of solar power so i just say 'solarize') their energy industry, or have their industry rely on coal. considering their financial system is in shambles, there is also the chance, that regardless of solar or coal, that their allocation for energy investment mismatches demand growth. --resulting in sky high energy prices for a forseeable period. (not to say that is an effect of denuclearizing their energy sources, but this whole thing is a feedback loop of supply and demand).

germany is the canary in the coal mine for rapid denuclearization. should they set a good example, they may be followed, should they die...........everyone in the world will avoid their mistake.
JRDarby
5 / 5 (1) Oct 06, 2011
Jeddy, I think you are forgetting that Germany already imports energy at a higher level than the EU average, and in decommissioning nuclear plants the need to import will only grow.
Howhot
not rated yet Oct 07, 2011
Interesting discourse; but first I've been convinced by science that AGW is real, global warming is a MAN-MADE hangover from the industrial revolution, and if we the people don't do something ASAP, we are going to kill everything on earth through stupidity! Greed! And Sloth! AGW is the killer asteroid of our time.

That said, it's a new world that we face when "Old Reliable" is taken out of the energy production equation. There are some very needed industries like steel, aluminum and others that are hugely energy intensive. How can a bunch of solar panels sprinkled on house tops deliver the energy that an aluminum smelter needs? How is the energy collected sent back in such a way the wires aren't fried along the way?

That is the stuff that needs to be answered.

Dave A
not rated yet Oct 08, 2011
The only thing real about Man Made Global Warming is that it is the convenient excuse to push these as acceptable to the gullible and shut down the alternatives to producing power effectively and cheaply in the UK

That's the only thing that is true about Al's scam

If the UK cannot power itself completely by wind, wave, tidal, hydro, solar, gas and coal then no country can. Leave these monstrosities where they are only truly safe...on a drawing board

Dave
kochevnik
1 / 5 (1) Oct 08, 2011
There are some very needed industries like steel, aluminum and others that are hugely energy intensive. How can a bunch of solar panels sprinkled on house tops deliver the energy that an aluminum smelter needs?
That's a Chinese problem. The USA is no longer a manufacturing economy, especially with a rising dollar.
from 1950 to 1980 there was progress. from 1980, the industry refused to reinvest money into newer , safer, and far more efficient, plants in order to keep profit. the environmentalists hijacked government to prohibit progress and are guilty for that.
Every nuclear plant is safe until it goes Fukashima on you, which is only one quake or terrorist away. Fukashima and Chernobyl were "perfectly safe," and yet they will kill over a million. Any civilization that can't even explain how it's skyscrapers like the Twin Towers came down isn't capable of handling nuclear technology. It's just more candy-ass publicity from unsustainable fossil fuel interests.
Nanobanano
1 / 5 (1) Oct 08, 2011
How can a bunch of solar panels sprinkled on house tops deliver the energy that an aluminum smelter needs? How is the energy collected sent back in such a way the wires aren't fried along the way?

That is the stuff that needs to be answered.


There's electrical smelters and stuff like that right now. Where've you been?

I can answer your question though, easy...

Make a giant, orientable spot fresnel lens with some shutters: You can vaporize your metals too if you want it.

With 3000k to 6000k focal temps from a 1m square lens, what do you think you can get from something the size of a football field?

You could melt your metals just like butter.

Melt a cinder block:

http://www.youtub...TmEKRP44
antialias_physorg
not rated yet Oct 09, 2011
It is the cheap way to a solution considering lack of viable alternatives for energy production.

Only if you take an extremely narrow view of what the costs and effects of energy production via nuclear are.

Yes: other alternatives are initially more costly but anything beats nuclear in the long run for cost - even fossil coal, oil and gas.

One would think the anthrophic climate change crowd would be advocating nuclear all over the place.

Why? That 'crowd' is educated. They know that using a really, really bad way to produce energy instead of an awful way to produce energy isn't much of a gain. That 'crowd' is not as on-dimensional in their thoughts and knowledge as you imagine.
ShotmanMaslo
1 / 5 (1) Oct 09, 2011
Nuff said. Nuclear will be crucial for our future energy needs. When fossil fuels cost begins to rise and renewable energy bubble collapses, advanced nuclear will emerge victorious, powering increasingly power-hungry humanity for centuries to come.
Ragnarok_wont_come
not rated yet Oct 09, 2011

Considering we have enough Uranium and Thorium to last us a 1000 years even with exponential increases in energy, I'm putting nuclear power in the renewables category.


I would really like to see your sources because i really doubt it. Here is a little something from the world nuclear association:

...the world's present known economic resources of uranium, exploitable at below $80 per kilogram of uranium, are some 3.5 million tonnes. This amount is therefore enough to last for 50 years at today's rate of usage - a figure higher than for many widely used metals. (world-nuclear.org/reference/position_statements/uranium.html)

But i do agree that nuclear power is essential for now; no other REALLY viable alternative exists to high density energy production (if we take into account things like space, cost and fuel sustainability). BUT, it is certainly only a temporary solution. In my sens, the best solution would be a major funding of hot fusion research.
Walfy
1 / 5 (1) Oct 10, 2011
Look it up, people. Nuclear is super expensive, it is subsidized, it has never paid for itself, it is extremely dangerous, they still don't know what to do with the spent fuel that is piling up in radioactive heaps and costing billions. The world almost lost northern Japan recently because of their "safe" nuclear plants. They got extremely lucky that the prevailing winds were blowing off shore. There are plenty of alternatives. Very sad to see so many lemmings eating up the nuclear industry's talking points here. There is nothing more precious than living and breathing clean land on this earth that we call home. Shame on all you fools putting us all at risk by espousing the bull that nukes are vital. We can do without! Keep an eye on Germany. Nice to see their citizenry taking the time to study the question.
antialias_physorg
not rated yet Oct 10, 2011
But i do agree that nuclear power is essential for now; no other REALLY viable alternative exists to high density energy production

..and that's really the thing many people don't seem to get: Why do we strive for centralized energy preoduction when decentralized energy production has so many advantages?

- less chance of huge monoplies driving up prices
- less chance of blackouts when one big powerstation goes down
- virtually invulnerable to attack (how do you sabotage a solar power farm? How do you sabotage a widely distributed system?)
- much cheaper because of economy of scale
- no more stranglehold of the power companies over politicians

The only thing that centralized, large power plants are good for is syphoning money into the pockets of a few companies and keeping mining companies (coal, oil, gas, uranium) artificially in business.
ShotmanMaslo
3 / 5 (2) Oct 10, 2011
...the world's present known economic resources of uranium, exploitable at below $80 per kilogram of uranium, are some 3.5 million tonnes.


Read this:

http://www-formal...hen.html
ShotmanMaslo
3 / 5 (2) Oct 10, 2011
And I am not even talking about thorium, which is 4x more abundant than uranium. Liquid fluoride thorium reactors will be our energy silverbullet.

http://en.wikiped...reactors

And guess what, they can be easily decentralised, since they dont need any large cooling facilities or containment buildings (meltdown is physically impossible).

http://www.youtub...EjWz5T44

Every town can have its own small LFTR plant.