Very interesting, I liked the quote at the end where the farmer said: “it’s a lot easier to run a computer, than a herd of cows or a flock of sheep”!
Waste of energy, should be going in to the grid.
It would make a lot more sense to do that, otherwise we are never going to be able to have a 100% renewables grid (and unlike some, I really don’t think nuclear should count as a “sustainable” energy source - I would much rather see that also eliminated than energy going to projects such as these),
It’s not a renewable energy source, because you don’t have an unlimited amount of it?
It is sustainable to an extent, because we can use it until the earth’s crust is out of it (which will be a long long time) and we’ll barely cause any pollution.
It’s a short-term fix for climate change while we work out the efficiency improvement for electronics required + how to harvest all the energy we can from the sun and other sources etc
It’s often counted as one - I suppose because, theoretically, you can recycle plutonium and uranium to an extent.
I agree, we shouldn’t plan for it to become a major long-term energy source.
From the point of view of safety, and the dangers of an accident, plus the radioactive waste, I don’t think it is desirable in the long term. That was partly my point about wanting to see it eliminated, as it does cause harm to the environment (in a different way) through radiation.
I’m not sure it is often counted as renewable, but it is quite often counted as low carbon - which is true.
With the technology we have it is the best bet we have to reduce our carbon emissions and it is a shame that much more hasn’t been invested in it over the years.
The chances of an accident are vastly overstated when the plants are operated normally, and my view is that the opposition to nuclear power has done more damage than good in respect of this. Rather than have a nice new fleet of modern reactors with safer designs, which produce less waste, up and running old reactors have been life-extended as there is nothing there to replace them.
A case of focusing on the wrong thing, in my opinion.
Radiative waste is much “worse” than CO2, and should be considered as such. There is often a problem with fixation on CO2 specifically.
Even if there is never an accident, dangerous radiative waste is always created. That’s how it works. You then have to do something with that waste, which is unsafe for 10,000 years or more.
That’s not my idea of a “clean” energy source.
Radioactive waste is absolutely not worse than emitting excessive amounts of CO2 in to the atmosphere.
Sorry, it just isn’t.
Just because one has been normalised doesn’t make it fine.
I don’t think it is fine, I do believe that nuclear waste is more dangerous as, theoretically, carbon dioxide can be “taken out” of the atmosphere via carbon sinks like afforestation and also, possibly, carbon capture and storage.
Nuclear waste cannot be “made safe” at all, so it is much more permanent and could, therefore, be viewed as potentially more damaging. I stand by what I’ve said using that logic.
Carbon cannot be taken out of the atmosphere in the required quantities with our current technology - this is why we’re heading (or have already headed) into the climate crisis that will make it very difficult to live on this planet in the future.
Nuclear waste is collected and then stored - we know where it is and it is in small enough quantities to manage. With newer reactor designs there would be even less of it.
This is in comparison to carbon-emitting energy sources which is just pumped in to the atmosphere and then just left to cause damage. Very dangerous.
I think we would all love it if we could put up a load of solar panels and then that would cover our energy needs - but that’s not the case right now, so we have to be pragmatic and do what we can now.
Nuclear power stations generate vast amounts of power, and are reliable. The risks are known and manageable. They aren’t generating vast amounts of carbon, the reduction of which should be humanities number one priority at this moment.
The answer is clear and the hysteria around Nuclear power is causing untold amounts of damage to the climate.
Solar and wind do create enough electricity for the whole U.K. on a good day in the summer already, we just need better battery storage and slightly more renewables to help generate enough power to meet peak demand. It’s not impossible without nuclear. Nuclear is just cheaper.
I am not arguing that climate change isn’t happening, I simply said that a permanent dangerous waste is “worse” than greenhouse gas because of it’s permanence. I mean worse in the sense of it’s ongoing danger, not worse than climate change itself. Assuming that we move to a completely green economy by 2050, as we have already promised to do, then nuclear power will at that point need to start being phased out in favour of properly green solutions.
To have a fully green economy by 2050 means we need to use the technology we have now and start implementing now, not technology that may or may not exist in the future. I don’t believe the ‘green’ economy that has been promised by the govt relies wholly on renewable energy.
Carbon capture technology that works at the required volumes? Doesn’t exist.
Battery storage technology that can work at the required scale? Doesn’t exist.
Greenhouse gases should also be considered permanent - the required reduction of those relies on technology that does not yet exist. This is why I called Nuclear the pragmatic choice - it is what we have now and it works.
Quoting apparent future technology as our answer to transitioning away from emitting carbon is just another spin on the “don’t worry about it now, we’ll sort it out in the future” view that has been trotted out for decades now. I’m afraid that can’t be what happens any longer, the time has come to do something about it.
I didn’t say that, I agree that action needs to be taken immediately.
These are not future technologies, they are technologies which already exist and could be deployed if we wanted, but they don’t (alone) quite get us to the scale needed as we couldn’t build enough of them to cover everything. That doesn’t mean they couldn’t be a useful piece of the puzzle or be used in come capacity.
That’s why I think we can use nuclear power now, in my opinion it’s a “least worst option” for 50 years, but we should look to meet our needs without nuclear eventually.
Otherwise, we will have “saved the planet” from climate change but be continuing to pump toxic waste out of our nuclear power stations. Long term, that is not a sustainable position and shouldn’t be counted as one. It will need to resolved somehow or other.
Of course, when the technology is developed which permits that we can move to a fully renewable solution then that is what should be done.
But circling back to the original point ( ) most of the literature I’ve seen labels Nuclear as low-carbon rather than renewable, as it is not renewable.
The problematic so-called ‘renewable’ for me is biomass. Cutting down mature trees and then shipping them around the world to burn them doesn’t scream renewable to me, even if you do plant some saplings to replace the trees that were cut down. The fact that the carbon emissions ‘accounting’ from the cut-down trees is apportioned to the source country and not where they’re burned is astonishing to me.
Agreed, and ethanol-based biomass fuel is just as bad!
Carbon accounting is far too open to massaging the figures currently - we should just count everything where it is used at the final product stage. There would be no getting away from it then.
None of these are valid issues anymore, even the last major breakdown. It was all premodelled but they just never expected it to come to reality, iirc.
We’ve fixed all the issues around physics that would cause a meltdown. We know how to do it safely.
Radioactive waste storage was never an issue, because it doesn’t have enough radioactivity etc to cause us issues (it doesn’t denature (not sure if it’s the right word?) fast enough like when we use it for energy)
I’d also like to mention that we could use our nuclear reactors (Uranium) to further increase our nuclear deterrent AND we could also make Thorium Reactors (physically incapable of melting down, because a meltdown starting would stop any further reaction). India is planning to power 30% of their grid with it by 2050. We could easily power 100% of our country for the foreseeable with nuclear energy and store it on an uninhabited territory if needed. We have enough small archipelago islands to do that.
You see, that would actually make us one of the worse, same with the US (who would be even more so the worse)
Yes, we do know how to do it safely - but there is always the risk of human error (especially from working night shifts, etc) which has been involved in nearly all nuclear disasters so far.
You also can never completely rule out a freak natural disaster, such as a tsunami or hurricane, that damages the structural integrity of the plant.
That’s why it is still not zero risk.
No, I can genuinely say human error or oversight (today) won’t cause any issues. We’ve passed that stage. The belief held by the public that something bad might happen is stopping us from achieving short-term carbon “negativity” (compared to today) to fight the climate crisis.
Regardless we either take the chance on things that could meltdown or we can see London sink into the Thames over the next 30-50 years. We don’t have much of a choice, do we?