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Fewer U.S. nuclear plants could curb climate change fight

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The US needs a long term energy policy not dependent on ad hoc invasions of oil producing countries.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

When the extremely serious risks of accidents, proliferation, terrorism, and nuclear war are considered, it is quite clear that investments in nuclear power as a climate change solution is not only misguided but also highly dangerous. As we look for solutions to the dual threats of global warming and energy insecurity, we should focus efforts on improving energy conservation and efficiency and expanding the use of safe, clean renewable forms of energy to build a new future. In the end I believe it is clear that alternatives to fossil fuels should be developed on a large scale in America.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The cleanup bill from Fukushima could pay for green energy for the whole of Japan. One accident = the bill for changing a whole country's energy infrastructure.

The author in this article is providing a false comparison between nuclear and fossil fuels. A better example would be nuclear vs renewable energy... in which case there is no contest on any level.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Frungy,

The cleanup bill from Fukushima could pay for green energy for the whole of Japan. One accident = the bill for changing a whole country's energy infrastructure.

That's from a one in a thousand year accident, and the money is gone. As for the bill, well the money has to be spent on clean-up, so Japan would have to pay twice. I supect though that the costs for green energy will be much higher.

The author in this article is providing a false comparison between nuclear and fossil fuels. A better example would be nuclear vs renewable energy... in which case there is no contest on any level.

Not really. Nuclear - already tailored to the infrastructure at hand; renewable - variable, requiring a lot of grid and storage updates, and space; fossil fuels - messing up the climate, poluting the atmophere 24/7, killing millions each year.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

The big energy companies which includes the major power companies don't give a dam about climate change or the environment, they have never. Their bottom line remains the profit dollar. Until recently, the enormous cost of building a nuclear power plant could be recouped after about 20 years, which is why they try so hard to extend their plant life to 40 and even 60 years. The cost of building nuclear reactors run into billions of dollars.

Coal remains a major part because its available and extracted using low level technology and fires up generators again using low level technology. Shale gas and the world price reduction of LNG are further straining the willingness to build those very expensive nuclear power plants.

To date TEPCO have received more than ¥10 trillion and have paid out about ¥3.5 trillion in support and compensation payments, which will eventually cost more than ¥8 trillion. The nuclear disaster will use up another ¥25 trillion over the coming 10 years eventually costing more than ¥50 trillion. That does not include the cost of reprocessing and storing the current 15,000 tons of nuclear spent fuel.

The Fukushima nuclear disaster wasn't a one in a thousand years one and only a fool would try and get us to believe that. The power utilities still haven't update their nuclear reactors to meet the new safety standards set by the NRA, because they prefer to wait and see what they can get away with?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

The article is not specific about why nuclear plants in the US as facing closure and being "retired" (that is decommissioned in more technical language). As the US government and businesses are not aggressively (or even passively) anti-nuclear, one can only conclude that these plants are too old to function any longer. The average lifespan of a nuclear power plant is 40 years, after which it can have its life extended through application for another 20 years. What the article makes sound like an assault on nuclear power is most likely to be a "natural" process of decommissioning old machinery.

The idea that nuclear power is green is without merit. While nuclear energy generation does not produce carbon gases, it produces radiation that can cause immeasurable destruction, suffering and financial disasters, as Fukushima has clearly demonstrated. No one at this point knows how to clean up that mess, which will take some 40 years.

Also nuclear power is indirectly dependent on fossil fuels. Fossil fuels are necessary for extracting uranium (which can be ecological damaging). Fossil fuels are needed for the construction and the decommissioning of nuclear power plants, both complex, difficult, dangerous and time-consuming processes.

Finally, dependence on nuclear power has stifled work on developing genuine alternative energy sources.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Kabukilover,

first, to get the damage you refer to required a once in a millenia event. Still, areas are being decontaminated and opened for return.

As for nuclear power being indirectly dependent on fossil fuels, well, that can be said of every power source. The question is how much? IPCC renewables reports put nuclear's carbon intensity on a par with wind, so they think 'not so much'.

I don't think there is much merit in saying nuclear power dependence has stifled work on renewables, it's more like it takes time to get the science done, converted into working products, and then back on the cycle again to produce the next generation of renewables.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

What a load of cobblers. Climate change is not a problem. Never has been, never will be. Its nature in action, and we have no control over it. Co2 is GOOD for the planet.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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