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Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
« Reply #100 on: April 13, 2014, 11:01:41 PM »
To bring this back to earth.  We are talking about using nuclear as a bridge fuel.  It has been proven that the current coal generation produces over 1 million deaths per year due to environmental contamination.  The use of natural gas is comparable to coal for global warming potential due to fugitive leakage.  Therefore, the long-range mortality from these fossil fuels is due to global warming and we know that the quantitative value of damages due to BAU is measured in billions of lives lost over the next 6 decades.

I'm not sure actually that it isn't possible to attribute 5-6 million years per year to the use of fossil fuels (particularly coal, not sure if those figures also include liquid fuels - they may do). That's both the climate change - and still more significantly (who knows for how long) the air pollution effects.

What I don't understand - not being rapidly anti-nuclear per se (I used to be more pro nuclear until I became convinced that collapse is a highly likely outcome and I have no faith in human ability to consider the future in high stress situations where the time horizon being focussed on keeps shrinking) - is why you can't just go straight to the new technologies.

I still maintain - and still have yet to see any convincing counter argument against - that there is no reason the affluent west can't give up their toys for the most part to accept a lifestyle using much less energy. People lived for thousands of years without things like heating and air conditioning in the way they are rampantly used today. So why is it being ignored as a strategic option - to simply take most of the energy supply away from people?

Some people will die to heat and cold stresses - yes. Still far fewer than will die as the effects of climate change unfold - and post collapse there won't be such technologies in any event. Once again, those of us left then will live and die as our ancestors did for thousands of years - but with a much worse resource and climatic situation courtesy of a few recent selfish modern generations.

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Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
« Reply #101 on: April 13, 2014, 11:20:33 PM »
Agreed, there will need to be severe rationing.

The reason that the west won't give up its "toys" is due to many real world and human psyche reasons.  The reason that there is even a debate to the reality of global warming is due to these issues. 

There is the potential for a reasoned, progressive transition to decarbonization.  To enact a totalitarian, draconian regime that forces people to die from heat and cold stress is simply untenable under any circumstances.   Besides being unnecessary, it would eventually lead to a neo-feudal society. . .think of current soviet oligopoly and multiply it by 10,000.

we simply can't get there, short of a massive and catastrophic economic and population collapse.  That is (in my mind) not a feasible solution, (besides being totally unnecessary).
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Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
« Reply #102 on: April 13, 2014, 11:57:50 PM »
Please see exclusion zone map. The fallout was not miniscule. It was enormous. Also see, fallout map.

"From 1986 to 2000, 350,400 people were evacuated and resettled from the most severely contaminated areas of Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine." It took 14 years because, as you would expect from a bureaucracy, they kept expanding the zone. Please keep in mind this exclusion zone is the area that was determined not fit for human habitation. It is still designated as such. It is only a small portion of the area that received very high levels of radiation. And I don't believe you or I would care to live in areas bordering this zone and yet millions do.

"Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus have been burdened with the continuing and substantial decontamination and health care costs of the Chernobyl accident. The UN agency, UNSCEAR, has estimated a global collective dose of radiation exposure from the accident "equivalent on average to 21 additional days of world exposure to natural background radiation"; individual doses were far higher than the global mean among those most exposed, including 530,000 local recovery workers who averaged an effective dose equivalent to an extra 50 years of typical natural background radiation exposure each."

Attached is a current picture of peaceful Pripyat, Ukraine (formerly a population of 53,000).

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Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
« Reply #103 on: April 14, 2014, 12:32:08 AM »
Jai...

I suppose we could continue to discuss the definition of "miniscule" but we might struggle to reach agreement. I do have one question with regard to my post. It is estimated that about 5% of the Chernobyl core was blasted into the atmosphere. The remaining 95% lies buried in the rapidly decaying sarcophagus installed in 1986. The new sarcophagus with a life expectancy of 100 years is scheduled for completion in 2015. This is now in doubt because of the difficulties in the Ukraine. Since this hot core will be around for a while, do you see any problems with how we handle those very rare accidents that will occur in the future?

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Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
« Reply #104 on: April 14, 2014, 12:41:53 AM »
SH.

What is your understanding of the average dose applied to the "hundreds of millions" of people in the falsified study that you cited?
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Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
« Reply #105 on: April 14, 2014, 05:32:06 AM »
SH.

What is your understanding of the average dose applied to the "hundreds of millions" of people in the falsified study that you cited?

I am pretty sure I don't understand the question.

Are you still maintaining that Chernobyl and Fukushima has not resulted in the deaths of anyone?

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Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
« Reply #106 on: April 14, 2014, 07:21:59 PM »
S.H.

For the record,

I did not say that there were no deaths associated with Fukushima and Chernobyl. 

I am saying that these anti-nuclear activists are lying and leading to the deaths of hundreds of millions of people. 

I am saying that the study you cited associated every possible ailment and some impossible ailments to Chernobyl radiation, I asked you to look up the radiation levels that people actually received from the source that you linked.  I did the work for you below.  it is about 1/3 the radiation that we all get every year from natural sources. 

The study you cited said that 980,000 people died between 1986 and 2004 because of Chernobyl.  out of a population of "hundreds of millions" 

From receiving an additional annual radiation that is about 1/3 the additional radiation that EVERY airline steward and pilot receives every year!

reference:  https://hps.org/publicinformation/ate/faqs/commercialflights.html

--if the study you cited was true, then modern air travel would be impossible due to early mortality.

work below
------------------------

I asked you, specifically, what you understood to be the average dose of radiation exposure given to those "hundreds of millions" of people cited in the study you cited as evidence for widescale human suffering due to the Chernobyl accident.

in other words.

how much extra radiation did they receive?

Here: I will use the reference you cited:

http://www.unscear.org/docs/reports/1988annexd.pdf

In Europe, the highest effective dose equivalents in
the first year were 760 μSv in Bulgaria, 670 μSv in Austria,
590 μSv in Greece and 570 μSv in Romania
, followed by
other countries of northern, eastern and south-eastern
Europe (Table 18). For reference, the average annual
effective dose equivalent from natural sources is 2,400 μSv
.
The doses in countries farther to the west in Europe and in
the countries of Asia, Africa and North and South America
were much less, which is in accord with the deposition
pattern.


So, in these areas that received less than 1/3 of the typical annual dose that everyone on the planet receives from natural radiation each year the study suggested that 1/100 to 1/1000 died between 1986 and 2004 due to that radiation exposure.

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Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
« Reply #107 on: April 14, 2014, 09:32:39 PM »
This came out 2 weeks ago,

The evacuation order has been lifted from the nearest downwind town of fukushima.

http://www.cnn.com/2014/04/01/world/asia/fukushima-miyakoji-return/

The amount of annual radiation exposure determined safe for re-population is 20,000 μSv (20 millisieverts) 

This is an annual dose that is almost 30 times greater than the first year exposure levels from the Chernobyl-affected population in the study that was cited above.
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Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
« Reply #108 on: April 14, 2014, 10:16:07 PM »
Even George Monbiot loves nuclear, or PRISM at least:

http://www.monbiot.com/2011/12/05/a-waste-of-waste/

Last week [this was in 2011!] GE Hitachi (GEH) told the British government that it could build a fast reactor within five years to use up the waste plutonium at Sellafield, and if it doesn’t work, the UK won’t have to pay.


Post collapse taking care of the all the non-depleted nuclear fuel rods and all of the nuclear waste is going to be onerous already.  Let's not add to that problem any further.


Why not reduce that problem whilst generating electricity at the same time? As Mr. Monbiot puts it:

So we environmentalists have a choice. We can’t wish the waste away. Either it is stored and then buried. Or it is turned into mox fuels. Or it is used to power IFRs. The decision is being made at the moment, and we should determine where we stand.

I suggest we take the radical step of using science, not superstition, as our guide.



Monbiot and I are on much the same page. My preference is thorium/fluorine salt based systems that
1) are passively controlled
2) produce far shorter lived byproducts
3) burn up material that is produced as waste by current PWR's and BWR's
4) can destroy/utilize materials that either are or can be weaponized.
5) lack the problems of combustion and H2 production traditional uranium/plutonium reactors have.

I agree we need better sources, but we need transitional conventional generation until we get them.  We will *stiil* require high-density generation for industrial uses and transportation. We also need to make sure we neither exclude large segments of the worlds population from prosperity, or create situation where by denying them access to energy, we sign their death warrants.  Those populations will not tolerate that, and will fight for it, with predictable outcomes for everyone's welfare.

It is a conceit to think we can deny energy to developing nations. Our challenge is finding both technical and political solutions which do not destroy us.
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Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
« Reply #109 on: April 15, 2014, 03:37:31 AM »
I agree we need better sources, but we need transitional conventional generation until we get them.  We will *stiil* require high-density generation for industrial uses and transportation. We also need to make sure we neither exclude large segments of the worlds population from prosperity, or create situation where by denying them access to energy, we sign their death warrants.  Those populations will not tolerate that, and will fight for it, with predictable outcomes for everyone's welfare.

We mostly don't need the industrial uses and transportation - not when it comes down to fundamentals. Such colossal amounts of energy are expended in pointlessness (and immense amounts of resources too) - and thus it is an unsustainable behaviour quite apart from how much energy you have, or the negative effects of climate change.

What is this strange obsession with prosperity? Do you suppose our descendants would prefer to be rich or alive - if they were to be given a choice?

It is a conceit to think we can deny energy to developing nations. Our challenge is finding both technical and political solutions which do not destroy us.

It is also a conceit in my view to hold the view that all we need to do to solve our problems is rework the energy apparatus. The problems with modern civilisation run much deeper and further than this. We need to demolish the dominant ideology - remove the idea of the economy being an important thing (it really isn't - it's imaginary and measured using nonsense metrics where you score points for both digging up finite resources from one hole and dumping them into another).

While I certainly agree we should not be denying the poorer energy - or anything else (and it is sickening the extent to which people believe wealth and accident of birth entitles them to life over other people) - we should (in my view) be denying energy to the affluent developed nations. We are squandering it - murdering the poor today and everyone tomorrow, simply to have stupid toys and nonsensical ideas of achievement (GDP growth).

I can see the arguments for nuclear power - and it seem to make logical sense to at least continue to operate the existing fleet and researching new reactor designs (particularly ones that can burn waste as we have to get rid of it somehow) - but I think it is hubris to claim nuclear power is a key component of solving the worlds problems. At best it could only be a little piece of a much larger and harder effort (which I am fairly certain will not happen or even be contemplate, for all it is in my view the last best chance to provide humanity with a mostly hospitable planet).

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Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
« Reply #110 on: April 15, 2014, 06:36:34 AM »
The problems with modern civilisation run much deeper and further than this. We need to demolish the dominant ideology - remove the idea of the economy being an important thing

I absolutely agree and believe that this change will happen as we attempt to:

all we need to do to solve our problems is rework the energy apparatus

These two are intrinsically linked.  We cannot choose to live sustainably under our current economic world views.

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Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
« Reply #111 on: April 16, 2014, 07:01:05 AM »
CCG

I saw this and realized that it needed a response:

why you can't just go straight to the new technologies.

The reason that we can't just go into it now is that there is a 20 year lag time between the extra cost (measured in PPM CO2) for renewable and conservation technology buildout.  Since the Nuclear is a large immediate boost, it can produce the significant energy needed in a relatively carbon-free process.  Otherwise we will be burning coal for the time that it takes to replace the entire energy generation system with renewable/energy storage.  We simply do not have that much time to waste.
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Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
« Reply #112 on: April 16, 2014, 08:55:10 AM »
The reason that we can't just go into it now is that there is a 20 year lag time between the extra cost (measured in PPM CO2) for renewable and conservation technology buildout.  Since the Nuclear is a large immediate boost, it can produce the significant energy needed in a relatively carbon-free process.  Otherwise we will be burning coal for the time that it takes to replace the entire energy generation system with renewable/energy storage.  We simply do not have that much time to waste.

I guess I don't understand how much of an immediate boost nuclear can provide? Excepting any idle capacity that could be brought online - don't you need to spend considerable amounts of time and effort building new nuclear stations in order to get more power from nuclear? There's still a lot of extraction, manufacturing, engineering, etc required to create a new nuclear plant where there wasn't one before - and unless I'm mistaken the safety requirements also tend to slow down construction and increase cost.

Hence why I think simply cutting out energy use drastically the most expedient short term step. While I noted your point about not forcing people to suffer heat stress or cold as a palatable option - the bottom line is rather simple - this already happens to people right now, it's just inflicted upon them via poverty instead of equally divided necessity. Of course, the energy used by heating and air conditioning that should not be required isn't really a point I'm trying to get too hung up on as it's really just one of very many possible examples of energy usage that I'm far from certain we really need. One can look at the way modern civilisation operates and find massive amounts of energy being essentially squandered in multiple areas - the reason I'm choosing that particular point is that to me the lifestyle of the average moderately affluent westerner is massively destructive to their children and everyone else on the planet simply because they think their creature comforts are more important than all that (and this attitude is a problem in and off itself).

I've known fairly hot and cold climates without heating and air conditioning, and seem to have survived (to be sure, not real extremes - I haven't seen past either side of -8C to +45C). Most of human history has been lived without those - and countless other - things. I don't see why retaining them for the sake of a few decades of comfort should take priority over the future of our species. As I see it we need to beat a tactical retreat - cut out the damaging behaviour and pare back to basics, use the nuclear and renewable capacity available and gradually (sustainably to the extent possible) repurpose civilisation and reclaim the lost ground over however many decades or centuries it should require.

However, I don't think there is a realistic chance of that happening (not for that matter of any collectively driven solution).

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Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
« Reply #113 on: April 21, 2014, 04:44:23 PM »
John Quiggen sees several nuclear projects biting the dust and opines, "Allowing for construction time, there’s no prospect of electricity generation on a significant scale before 2050, by which time we will need to have completely decarbonized the economy."

http://johnquiggin.com/2014/04/20/another-one-or-more-bites-the-dust/
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Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
« Reply #114 on: April 21, 2014, 05:09:48 PM »
Besides the problem with access to cooling water in relation to sea level rise, seems at least some nuclear dumps have been constructed rather low down:

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/apr/20/choice-cumbria-nuclear-dump-mistake-environment-agency

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Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
« Reply #115 on: April 21, 2014, 05:19:07 PM »
Besides the problem with access to cooling water in relation to sea level rise, seems at least some nuclear dumps have been constructed rather low down:

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/apr/20/choice-cumbria-nuclear-dump-mistake-environment-agency


Not to worry. Fukushima has made it clear that large amounts of nuclear radiation dumped into  the oceans is of little concern.   :o

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Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
« Reply #116 on: April 21, 2014, 06:12:30 PM »
A little concern ... ?
You should tell that to the us military people who did drunk treated sea water and get sick...They would sue who ever is concern soon enough...
What about the fishes, the living creatures that are living there and away...
I  hope that was a joke...it is easy to downplay things when you seem not be concern.

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Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
« Reply #117 on: April 21, 2014, 06:20:39 PM »
U.S. Military did not drink treated seawater.  The lawsuit brought by the aircraft carrier people will be thrown out because their claims are false.

The environmental effect of Fukushima is horrible.  The water from the reactor can be safely drunk (is below natural radiation levels) only a few hundred meters offshore.  The myths that have been told about radiation exposure are outrageous lies, meant to scare people and make money.

And besides, Fukushima happened when a 10 meter tidal wave hit the power plant.  If the electric generators were higher up then they would not have had a problem.  I think that the fact that the other reactors are fine shows that this technology can be fixed to be completely safe.

The additional buildout of energy by nuclear can be done at the same time as renewables.  The additional carbon-free energy provided by nuclear (nearly carbon free. . .similar to solar in scale) will help reduce our emissions between now and 2035 tremendously! 

We need to do everything that we can if we are going to prevent societal collapse and still halt global warming.
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Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
« Reply #118 on: April 21, 2014, 07:21:45 PM »
We need to do everything that we can if we are going to prevent societal collapse and still halt global warming.
Right. We need to do
1) reduce electricity consumption
2) reduce consumption of things (= reduction of industrial production)
3) reduce house heating
4) reduce private transportation

and finaly you may want to build something which would fit into your system/strategy/super power needs...

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Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
« Reply #119 on: April 21, 2014, 07:27:04 PM »
We need to do everything that we can if we are going to prevent societal collapse and still halt global warming.
Right. We need to do
1) reduce electricity consumption
2) reduce consumption of things (= reduction of industrial production)
3) reduce house heating
4) reduce private transportation

and finaly you may want to build something which would fit into your system/strategy/super power needs...

Yes.

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Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
« Reply #120 on: April 21, 2014, 07:31:07 PM »
Satire, that won't be enough at all. First we need to change the financial system that is exponentially driven. It has to be redesigned completely. It has to be strained tighly, otherwise nothing will change.

Jai Michael : You very good at propaganda yourself, I applause, marvelous !
Would you be so kind to provide links about what you are writing,  especially this one :

"U.S. Military did not drink treated seawater.  The lawsuit brought by the aircraft carrier people will be thrown out because their claims are false."

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Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
« Reply #121 on: April 21, 2014, 07:55:40 PM »
First we need to change the financial system that is exponentially driven. It has to be redesigned completely. It has to be strained tighly, otherwise nothing will change.
Laurent - that sounds so 68-ish to me. The system is not "something" - it is just us. So, for a first step it would be sufficient to ignore the "financial system" and the idea to grow exponentially. All it needs is to buy less stuff. Then you need no loans and no financial systems and you do not depend on complicated transfers. If you have money left over, invest it in projects that make sense for you. That works allready on family-level for a lot of poeple. Later it is very easy to do that on governmental level, once we are 50%...

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Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
« Reply #122 on: April 21, 2014, 08:28:44 PM »
There is nothing 68-ish at all, it is about reality. Many people are thinking like you, we just have to change and everything will be fine...Euh thought there is a part of it the reality is quite different. I won't argue with you on that, I am pretty sure the conference of Thomas Piketty will explain it more thorougly than I can do.

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Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
« Reply #123 on: April 21, 2014, 10:23:42 PM »
Laurent

The amount of radiation detected by the ship was 30 times background radiation.  I don't know who told you that their water was irradiated but you should know that the ship we are talking about has 4 nuclear reactors on board.  So they are very capable in detecting and dealing with radioactive hazards.

Besides, the sea water intakes are about 12 meters below sea surface and they were kilometers offshore. 

it isn't propaganda.  It is common sense.
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Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
« Reply #125 on: April 26, 2014, 04:18:47 AM »
With my devil's advocate hat on, Stewart Brand loves nuclear power too:

http://youtu.be/TUxwiVFgghE?t=9m

PS. The timed start doesn't seem to work on here. Skip to 9 minutes for the "pro nuclear" bit.


I lived in Brazil for 14 years and I can tell you that the only reason that the poor do not "care" about medical care is that they know they will never receive it!

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Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
« Reply #126 on: April 29, 2014, 03:35:40 PM »
Chernobyl today (and an interesting historical retrospective):

"If all goes as planned, by 2017 the 32,000-ton arch will be delicately pushed on Teflon pads to cover the ramshackle shelter that was built to entomb the radioactive remains of the reactor that exploded and burned here in April 1986. When its ends are closed, it will be able to contain any radioactive dust should the aging shelter collapse."

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/04/27/science/chernobyl-capping-a-catastrophe.html?ref=science&_r=0&smid=tw-share
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Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
« Reply #127 on: June 22, 2014, 04:39:39 AM »
Climate numbers
Every year human activity creates more than 30 billion tonnes of GHG waste and dumps it in the atmosphere.  The IPCC estimates that if BAU continues the atmospheric CO2 concentration will be 900ppm by the year 2100 with average global temperatures rising 4 degrees plus.
It will be difficult for human civilisation to survive a climate change of this magnitude.

Germany Renewable numbers
In the 15 years to the end of 2013 Germany installed 70 GW of wind and solar energy collection capacity for a capital cost of about €190 billion.
In 2013 renewable energy produced 24% of German electricity output.
70GW of wind and solar collected 13% with capacity factors of 18% and 10% respectively.
11GW of hydro and biomass produced 11% with capacity factors of 50% and 75% respectively.
Renewable subsidies in 2013 total €23 billion with German electricity charges the second highest in Europe, after Denmark.
To provide power when the wind isn’t blowing and the sun isn’t shining, a new fleet of coal burning power stations have been commissioned that are able to ‘load follow’ solar and wind intermittency.
The IEA 2013 Energy Statistics show that for 2011 German CO2 emissions were 9 tonnes per capita.
Since closing 8GW of nuclear in 2011, German GHG annual emissions increased at a rate similar to the global average.
It is of interest that in 2013, the remaining 12GW of nuclear capacity produced more electricity (15%) than 70GW of solar and wind due to a capacity factor of 90%.

French nuclear numbers.
In the 20 years to 1995 France installed 58GW of nuclear generation which now produces 80% of their electrical energy.
French CO2 emissions in 2011 are 5 tonnes per capita, the lowest of any large developed nation. 

Energy Safety numbers
Three prominent nuclear accidents have occurred.  At Three Mile Island there were no deaths.  At Chernobyl, the United Nations UNSEAR Committee reported that after 25 years total deaths from radiation are 50 and their estimate for Fukushima is none are expected.
To put this in perspective, in 2011 about 50 people died eating contaminated organic bean sprouts in Germany.  Global road deaths are 1.2 million annually.
In 2014 the United Nations identified that the world’s biggest health risk is indoor and outdoor air pollution caused by biomass and fossil fuel energy production with 8 million deaths in 2011.
The European Commissions’ ExternE Report shows that deaths per TWh of energy production for wind, solar, hydro and nuclear is less than 1 and for biomass, coal and oil it is greater than 12. 

Nuclear waste numbers
After 60 years of commercial nuclear energy production, the globes stockpile of nuclear waste is 350,000 tonnes, which still contains 99% of its nuclear energy.   
Using this waste as fuel, 24,000 GE Hitachi PRISM fast breeder reactors could potentially provide all the world’s energy requirements for the next hundred years.  The volume of nuclear waste will be reduced 20 fold and only require safe storage for a few hundred years.
The prototype for the PRISM, the EBR11 operated for 30 years generating 2 billion kilowatts of electricity proving to be passively safe and very efficient until cancelled by the Clinton/Gore Administration as an unnecessary nuclear program in 1994.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Integral_fast_reactor

If 20 years ago, the Clinton/Gore Administration and the global community had recognised that climate change is the inconvenient truth and that nuclear is the inconvenient solution there would be no pending climate crisis today. 

No wonder James Hansen loves nuclear power.

http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/mailings/2014/20140221_DraftOpinion.pdf

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Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
« Reply #128 on: June 22, 2014, 12:52:06 PM »
I don't know why nuclear folks always like to bash renewables. As if they will achieve anything this way.

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Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
« Reply #129 on: June 22, 2014, 04:14:02 PM »
Thanks for posting Hansen's paper. Statements like 'Nuclear folks... bash renewables' are as much part of the climate change communication problem as Heartland Institute lies. I'm starting to wonder if the momentum behind anti-nuclear WAR protests didn't get misdirected into anti-nuclear EVERYTHING. Hansen makes a great case in this paper. Choose between totally fried and maybe a tiny bit poisoned.
« Last Edit: June 22, 2014, 09:25:01 PM by Lynn Shwadchuck »
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domen_

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Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
« Reply #130 on: June 22, 2014, 05:27:51 PM »
Thanks for posting Hansen's paper. Statements like 'Nuclear folks... bash renewables' are as much part of the climate change communication problem and Heartland Institute lies.
It's the other way around: nuclear folks are as much of a problem as Heartland Institute because they constantly dismiss and bash renewables despite evidence from all over the world that renewables significantly reduce fossil fuel consumption at affordable cost.

Nuclear has priced itself out of the market and blocking renewables just means that more fossil fuel plants are built.

ghoti

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Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
« Reply #131 on: June 22, 2014, 08:53:34 PM »
Ontario gets more than half its electricity from nuclear and has huge inertia to continue using it. Even so the province discovered that new nuclear plants are priced astronomically high and canceled plans for new plants after tendered bids came in. There is no way that kind of money can be justified given the alternatives which are available.

If only the folks around rural Ontario weren't so ideologically opposed to wind power we'd probably have begun to see offshore wind by now instead of the ill advised moratorium. The government should have realized they weren't going to get the rural vote with or without wind power going forward.

I spit every time I look at the "debt repayment" charge on my electricity bill because that is a charge for cost overruns dealing with shutdown nuclear plants, all of the original Bruce debt, and the spent fuel waste that still hasn't been properly dealt with.

Lynn Shwadchuck

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Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
« Reply #132 on: June 22, 2014, 09:39:08 PM »
I live in Ontario with a healthy man who spent six years living in Port Hope, a vibrant, thinking community known for having the largest volume of historic low-level radioactive wastes in Canada. It continues to produce uranium fuel for nuclear power plants, now under the ownership of Cameco.

I live in a rural area where there are huge solar installations everywhere. If I didn't live on such a shady piece of land, I'd probably be participating. I'm very glad I don't get my electricity from coal or fracked natural gas.

I've only recently changed my mind about nuclear. It's not that I'm missing the points about waste and accidents. Even when good old James Lovelock offered to store a block of nuclear waste in his own back yard I wasn't convinced. But the numbers don't lie. We're now approaching the second and less easy peak from Richard Sommerville's ski slope chart. It's a matter of the lesser of two evils. We can keep dumping deadly (long-term) waste in the form of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere while diddling with wind turbines and Transition Town meetings or we can get real and do the expedient thing to turn that curve steeply down. (In case you're unfamiliar with it, the area of reduction contained below each curve would give us a 67% chance of staying below a 2 degree rise in global temperature by 2100.)
« Last Edit: June 22, 2014, 09:46:14 PM by Lynn Shwadchuck »
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wili

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Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
« Reply #133 on: June 22, 2014, 09:52:42 PM »
Even if nukes were the answer, won't it take quite a while at this point to develop a significant amount of it within the time frame you lay out here? 2020 is your latest turn around date. How much of global electricity production could be turned over to nukes by then, realistically?

Short term (and that's all we've got), the demand side is the only thing that can conceivably turn on that kind of dime, as K. Anderson and others have made clear.

How to orchestrate that is the big problem.
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

domen_

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Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
« Reply #134 on: June 22, 2014, 11:09:27 PM »
Nuclear is plagued with problems, waste being only one of them (although significant). Uranium supply is also questionable and only breeder reactors can get around this (Hansen knows this, that's why he always starts talking about breeders). But noone has any experience with breeders and they're not economical. Even usual PWR are not economical. How are you supposed to scale to global levels from this situation? This is light years away from 'nuclear renaissance'.

OTOH renewables are economical and scalable. The only real objection seems to be intermittency. Fair point.

So it boils down to what do you think is more realistic: scaling nuclear, which is plagued with problems like waste, uranium supply, construction time, cost, or scaling renewables, which requires storage, which we don't have yet (but we will need it for transportation anyway).

I'm gonna go with renewables. If you think that 'in the real world' renewables cannot reduce emissions, just look at some examples:
Wind power in Spain 2013. Helped to reduce coal consumption by 27% and emissions by 23% due to favourable conditions (for wind+hydro).
Similarly Portugal.
Italy had 24.5% renewable power in 2011, 38.5% in 2013 and more than 40% until end of April this year. Hydro+solar+wind are pushing coal and gas plants out of business.

These are real countries and these are real reductions. Unfortunately they are offset by China. But don't tell me that renewables don't reduce fossil fuel use, because that's just not true.
« Last Edit: June 22, 2014, 11:33:55 PM by domen_ »

wili

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Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
« Reply #135 on: June 23, 2014, 05:33:02 AM »
Good points, domen. And intermittency can be addressed at least in part by demand management, as it is to some extent now (yes, conventional ff and nuke facilities have 'intermittency' problems of various types, too!).
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

Shared Humanity

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Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
« Reply #136 on: June 23, 2014, 02:29:14 PM »
Given the dire situation with atmospheric CO2, I believe we should not rule out any form of energy generation that is not oil, gas, coal and, yes, biomass.

This argument between which should be used is counterproductive. We will need to use all of them. This is coming from someone who would prefer that we not use nuclear.

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Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
« Reply #137 on: June 23, 2014, 02:55:31 PM »
Given the dire situation with atmospheric CO2, I believe we should not rule out any form of energy generation that is not oil, gas, coal and, yes, biomass.

This argument between which should be used is counterproductive. We will need to use all of them. This is coming from someone who would prefer that we not use nuclear.
Shared Humanity,

since we have to replace the fossils now (that means, that all new power plants must be CO2 neutral), we have to rule out all technologies, that does not exist now or at least in 10 years. In 10 years 50% of the needed renewables/nuclear/... will be installed and the scaling must be ready.

That is the reason why breeders can be ruled out now like fusion and other future things. They are not ready to build today. And there are some arguments against the set-up of breeders in countries which do not have nuclear weapons right now. You know - breeders are also fabs for plutonium which may have some issues not compatible with world-wide scaling...

In future new technologies may replace wind and solar. But for replacing CO2 emissions within the next 20 years they will play no role. They are to late, if not allready scaled within 10 years.

Lynn Shwadchuck

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Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
« Reply #138 on: June 25, 2014, 06:09:05 PM »
I've revisited this. My husband is taking a course in energy online at UC San Diego, where the campus' power system is a model of the possibilities for future smart grids where everyone shares in generating, storing and using power. I went to Fairewinds where I've been getting my updates on the Fukushima disaster for years. It's pretty hard to agree that nuclear power could be more than a bridge for a few years.

"In order to produce more nuclear electricity, the nuclear corporations and proponents need you to believe that nuclear power is safe, no one has ever died or become ill from nuclear power accidents, nuclear power will counteract global warming, and it is the cheapest form of power. Listen to Fairewinds’ Arnie Gundersen tell you the truth about these myths."

[urlhttp://www.fairewinds.org/4-myths-nuclear-industry-wants-believe/[/url]
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ghoti

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Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
« Reply #139 on: June 26, 2014, 12:48:37 AM »
Lynn thanks for the post/link. My lack of faith in nuclear has been related to how expensive it is and how long it really takes to build. The other information sobering. Time for me to share the link further!

Sigmetnow

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Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
« Reply #140 on: August 05, 2014, 10:56:27 PM »
Interesting:  France plans to reduce nuclear’s place in the country’s energy mix, from 75% down to 50%, as it increases renewables and decreases emissions.

tcktcktck.org/2014/08/eyes-france-government-approves-national-climate-energy-targets/63870
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Bob Wallace

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Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
« Reply #141 on: August 06, 2014, 07:48:24 AM »
So it boils down to what do you think is more realistic: scaling nuclear, which is plagued with problems like waste, uranium supply, construction time, cost, or scaling renewables, which requires storage, which we don't have yet (but we will need it for transportation anyway).

We know wind and solar can scale very rapidly.  We're witnessing exponential growth.  China, alone, installed 10 GW of solar in 2013 and is aiming for 14 GW in 2014.

There are no materials limitations and the technical skills for installers are easily and quickly taught (compared to training nuclear engineers and technicians).

We have at least one perfectly acceptable storage option.  We've been using it for 100 years.  Pump-up hydro.

We have some very interesting large scale storage technologies working their way from the lab to the grid, some may not make it, some may.  But if none do, we can build PuHS.  As much as we need on any continent, there are no site shortages.  And build it faster than building a reactor.


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Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
« Reply #142 on: August 06, 2014, 01:27:52 PM »
1. TMI
2. Chernobyl
3. Fukushima (also Rokkasho, Monju)
4. WIPP (giving the lie early on regarding safe 100,000-year nuclear disposal and storage)

Add to that the forced decommissioning of San Onofre.



Can it be possible that Fukushima or Chernobyl can show a positive return on investment or  EROEI? Mustn't the cost of decommissioning be added to EROI as well as EROEI? Nuclear has survived only with massive subsidies from government. In Japan, those subsidies have included bribes to poorer towns to accept nuclear facilities. A fraction of those subsidies transferred to renewables will pay back more, faster.

I do agree with Neven that the long-term solution lies in a society making do with less. But as a septuagenerian, I often find it hard to reclaim that energy for a self-sustaining lifestyle that I felt forty years ago. I see the dizzying lights of Tokyo on TV (I hate to go there, and rarely do) and am constantly reminded of Robinson Jeffers' Shine, Vanishing Republic.

As a long-term cynic, I expect the most likely outcome of all this "growth" and "wealth" will be cataclysmic, with most of our last resources (including nuclear ones) spent in some orgy of planet-wide violence whose only positive outcome will be the new ice age of nuclear winter.

A. Hiroshima, Nagasaki
B. Bikini

Today is the 69th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima.

Sigmetnow

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Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
« Reply #143 on: August 18, 2014, 02:03:19 PM »
"Reliability" is not just a factor with renewable energy sources nowdays.  Aging nuclear plants are spending more and more time off-line.

http://uk.mobile.reuters.com/article/topNews/idUKKBN0GH05U20140817?i=1
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Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
« Reply #144 on: August 18, 2014, 03:41:50 PM »

Sigmetnow

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Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
« Reply #145 on: August 26, 2014, 04:30:00 PM »
Senior nuclear expert urges regulators to shut down the California's last plant.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/aug/25/nuclear-plant-diablo-canyon-california-shut-down
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Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
« Reply #146 on: October 18, 2014, 01:32:03 PM »
As a young man in the early 1970s I attended a talk by energy engineers where they stated that the only technology able to replace fossil carbon fuels is nuclear.  At this time (1960 to 1975) CO2 emissions were growing rapidly at 4% annually.

During the period 1975 to 1995 the proportion of global consumption from non carbon sources increased from 6% to 13% as 400 nuclear power stations were constructed, saving 2 billion tonnes of CO2 annually and slowing CO2 emissions annual growth to 1.5%.

A successful anti nuclear misinformation campaign from the political left, then convinced the global community that nuclear is more dangerous than climate change and a general phase out of nuclear began with a switch to renewable energy for emissions mitigation.  This mechanism is written into the Kyoto Protocol where parties are to refrain from using emission reductions generated from nuclear facilities to meet their commitments.  As a result CO2 annual emissions growth over the past 10 years has doubled to 3%.
http://co2now.org/Current-CO2/CO2-Now/global-carbon-emissions.html

In the following paper Jim Hansen discusses the slow down in emissions growth due to the rapid nuclear build and the need for the general public to stop funding anti nuclear groups if CO2 emissions are to be reduced.
http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/mailings/2014/20140221_DraftOpinion.pdf

domen_

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Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
« Reply #147 on: October 18, 2014, 04:11:51 PM »
As a young man in the early 1970s I attended a talk by energy engineers where they stated that the only technology able to replace fossil carbon fuels is nuclear.  At this time (1960 to 1975) CO2 emissions were growing rapidly at 4% annually.

During the period 1975 to 1995 the proportion of global consumption from non carbon sources increased from 6% to 13% as 400 nuclear power stations were constructed, saving 2 billion tonnes of CO2 annually and slowing CO2 emissions annual growth to 1.5%.

A successful anti nuclear misinformation campaign from the political left, then convinced the global community that nuclear is more dangerous than climate change and a general phase out of nuclear began with a switch to renewable energy for emissions mitigation.  This mechanism is written into the Kyoto Protocol where parties are to refrain from using emission reductions generated from nuclear facilities to meet their commitments.  As a result CO2 annual emissions growth over the past 10 years has doubled to 3%.
http://co2now.org/Current-CO2/CO2-Now/global-carbon-emissions.html

In the following paper Jim Hansen discusses the slow down in emissions growth due to the rapid nuclear build and the need for the general public to stop funding anti nuclear groups if CO2 emissions are to be reduced.
http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/mailings/2014/20140221_DraftOpinion.pdf

Hansen is wrong on several points. All the talk that anti-nuclear movement is causing global warming is nonsense. It's not the anti-nuclear movement that stopped build-out of nuclear plants, but economics. Fossil fuels are cheaper and make higher profits, that's why people built so many coal plants instead of nuclear.

It's the money that drives these things. China has cheap coal, so they build coal. India has cheap coal, so they build coal. Middle east has cheap oil and gas, so they build oil and gas. France doesn't have neither coal nor oil nor gas, that's why they build nuclear. That's how these things go.

Bob Wallace

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Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
« Reply #148 on: October 21, 2014, 12:03:25 AM »
As a young man in the early 1970s I attended a talk by energy engineers where they stated that the only technology able to replace fossil carbon fuels is nuclear.  At this time (1960 to 1975) CO2 emissions were growing rapidly at 4% annually.

In the early 1970s wind and solar were not economically viable sources of electricity and we were still operating under the illusion that nuclear energy would become cheaper.

Over the following four decades the cost of wind electricity has dropped more than 10x and the price of solar panels as dropped 200x while the cost of nuclear energy has continued to increase.

Electricity from a new nuclear plant will cost 3x as much as electricity from a new wind farm and 2x as much as electricity from a new solar farm.

There was a time at which I thought we would have to accept the dangers of nuclear energy in order to avoid the greater risk of climate change, but the economics of renewable energy have made nuclear energy unnecessary.

It's not the early 1970s any longer.

Sigmetnow

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Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
« Reply #149 on: November 01, 2014, 02:43:23 AM »
UK nuclear plant at ‘significant risk’ due to poor condition of storage ponds containing highly radioactive fuel rods. 
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/oct/29/sellafield-nuclear-radioactive-risk-storage-ponds-fears
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