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Climate crisis could give nuclear energy a second wind

57 Comments
By Catherine HOURS

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The zero emissions target is impossible to fulfill without nuclear power. Even anti-nuclear Germany is now opting for it.

The development of SMR is a new viable option. Meanwhile some other alternative sources of "clean" energy often means trade off or transmission of emissions from one place to another.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

In Japan geothermal energy is another viable option, but the politicians want to stick with nuclear.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

What’s that big burst of energy in the upper left of the accompanying photo? Is there a way to tap into that, at least, to provide some alternative and supplemental energy for signage and other, less essential power drains?

6 ( +6 / -0 )

From the time he took the IAEA's helm nearly two years ago, Grossi, an Argentine diplomat, has been a tireless advocate for the industry.

Plenty Of free land in Fukushima for Mr Grossi to come and live…

0 ( +5 / -5 )

@snowymountainhell

The trouble with the energy source in the upper left of the photo is that you cannot use its energy at night or when it’s raining or cloudy.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

Its all about money

4 ( +6 / -2 )

No, thanks.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Renewable sources are nice but thousands of windmills dotting the landscape doesn’t strike me as a great solution to the problem.

A mix of various sources of energy seems realistic and sensible, but ruling out nuclear seems like a bad ideology to have if people are actually serious about pragmatic, realistic solutions.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Meiyouwenti

@snowymountainhell

The trouble with the energy source in the upper left of the photo is that you cannot use its energy at night or when it’s raining or cloudy.

If only there was some kind of method to store such energy, such as a cell of some kind. Or, better yet, a battery of them.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

I am not convinced that there is "climate crisis" other than man-made political activism, but a second wind for nuclear is a good thing. Last but not least because fossils are limited, and there are now new nuclear technologies that avoid the problems of the past.

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

large corporate agenda is to make sure no one hears about alternatives

5 ( +6 / -1 )

It's nice to eat healthy food. But even junk food is so much better than no food, without which we die. Likewise, it's nice to have clean energy. But dirty energy is still better than no energy. Do not stop dirty energy before clean energy becomes capable of supporting all human lives.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

What a load of bunk. Nuclear is a death wish waiting to happen as Fukushima and Chernobyl have shown us. Greedy and lazy companies like Tepco will keep pushing these plants well past their used by dates until the pop and the same disasters happen again.

Tidal power, battery storage area for wind an solar are the way to go. if they ever get the holy grail of nuclear fusion then that may be a game changer as the waste is no the same as fission which no one wants to store!

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Sanjinosebleed

What a load of bunk. Nuclear is a death wish

Which "nuclear" are you talking about? Fusion Gen I, II, III, or IV? Or fission? Molten salt? Thorium? All the same to you?

Tidal power, battery storage area for wind an solar are the way to go

I agree that realistic, functioning battery technology would be the absolutely necessary requirement for solar, windmills, and similar. Now can you remind us what the current world-wide battery storage for energy need is? Last figure I saw was 2 SECONDS.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

I agree the need for modern walk away safe small scale distributed nuclear as a supplement and base load to all the other renewable sources, but extending the existing fleet of intrinsically unsafe reactors beyond their design life time is stupidity on steroids!

The design life was calculated with the technology and materials used in mind, things were all else being equal, unlikely to break catastrophically in that time, to push it beyond that is outright irresponsible gambling with other peoples lives.

With the safety concerns, lack of effective safety management and inevitable earthquake and tidal waves, Japan is the last place on earth where such a policy should be implemented. New small distributed and walk away safe reactors, if carefully sited, then fine but not the existing dinosaurs.

As to the waste, some of the new designs simply don’t produce anything like the amount of very long half life waste and some can burn the existing waste fuel so removing some of the most problematic and dangerous waste in storage while generating power from that waste!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Tidal power, battery storage area for wind an solar are the way to go. if they ever get the holy grail of nuclear fusion then that may be a game changer as the waste is no the same as fission which no one wants to store!

Comparative cost-benefit analyses are more difficult to make. How much does it cost or consume energy to produce a battery system or solar panel?

Besides, we also have a human rights issue linking to renewable energy industry.

Solar industry’s ties to China’s Xinjiang region raise specter of forced labor

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/solar-china-climate-xinjiang-labor/2021/06/24/810abbd6-c903-11eb-8708-64991f2acf28_story.html

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I want a nuclear reactor in my car instead of the battery!

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

For Japan nuclear energy, politically, is a non starter. Isn't it.

Fukushima, pulled the rug from under that notion.

Coal, choke, and LNG

I heard, gossip, rumors around the Friday Izakaya camp fire of possible deal with pipeline Cossacks.

In return for a deal of sorts on the northern territories.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I would like to see a cost comparison for a nuclear power plant construction, maintenance and decommissioning with long term storage cost of used fuel versus the cost for the same amount of power from a new solar farm.

Surely the cost would favor cheap solar panels and be faster to construct than a nuclear reactors.

Also in the event of a disaster there is no risk from the solar farm where as the danger from a cracked or damaged reactor is huge and long term.

Put the money into clean power from the start. It makes more sense.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Political need to win hearts and minds, the electorate over!

However this cannot be achieved when you have Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez U.S. Representative for New York's 14th congressional district rattling absolute nonsense.  

"Millennials and Gen Z and all these folks that come after us are looking up, and we're like, 'The world is going to end in 12 years if we don't address climate change, and your biggest issue is how are we gonna pay for it?'

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Climate cultism......

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

As expected..

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Peter14.....I can wave a economic wand over nuclear.

The upfront cost are well best be seated, 2019

France's EDF expects six new nuclear reactors to cost 46 billion euros: Le Monde

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-edf-nuclear-epr-idUSKBN1XJ074

Each reactor would cost 7.5 billion to 7.8 billion euros, based on building the reactors in pairs with financing over about 20 years, Le Monde reported.

This is this the deal breaker.

That is way many states/countries turn to coal.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Given that the world only has until 2030 before it’s too late, the world should pour every effort into building nuclear power plants. The Left has been very successful in convincing people that the planet will be unlivable if the climate changes, it’s a perfect time to believe in the science of nuclear energy. This technology produces zero CO2 (e.g. plant food) but more importantly does not emit real pollution such as various particulate matter that is attributed to health problems for millions - not to mention smog.

There is only eight years left until it’s all over - go nuclear before it’s too late.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Geothermal

Wave and tidal generation

Hydrothermal

Sun (panel)

Sun (heliothermal)

Pumped storage

Multiple unique opportunities in Japan for renewables, that scale , and provide baseload.

Combined heat and power would do particularly well in Japan due to its mixed zoning which we in the west just don't have in scale and complexity. Different zones are not that far away from each other

Nuclear energy from a bygone era never thinking about anything but ourselves. The colossal amount of

nuclear waste.

We cannot get to a cleaner world by holding on to more pollution. It all has to go

All the above is far more interesting to develop and have the engineers to act.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

We all know the results of a nuclear plant accident, e. g. Fukushima, Chernobyl . . . . any such accident would potentially cause more damage to the environment that without a nuclear plant, additionally the nuclear waste clean up and remediation of such an accident, would further create a larger carbon footprint . . . .

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Japanese have proven themselves to not be responsible enough to harness nuclear energy and use it as a power source.

Ignoring the safety standards and recommendations of the original manufacturer of the reactors and power plants and geologists.

Japan is extremely seismic active and it would be extremely difficult to believe another catastrophe would not occur.

Restarting the old reactors is a recipe for disaster.

A new nuclear power technology that's safe and in responsible operation is possibly feasible

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Only by responsible parties,

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Did you read the opinion of experts?

Nuclear energy is part of the solution to global warming, there's no way around it," said Rafael Mariano Grossi, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, in an interview.

Nuclear is and will be part of the solution for climate change. Even more So for an Island Nation like Japan mainly Mountain Country with few areas of costly flat land. Nuclear requires less land. No natural resources, very hungry intense country.

Nuclear plants can run for 50 to 60 years even longer if necessary but not recommended.

Your solar panels, wind mill need maintenance on monthly bases or yearly bases, only last 20 years then need replaced, requires 100x more land or water, solar can't be run at night or half the year if you think about it. Clouds outside, again solar panels don't like this. No wind? Again problems if you need energy 24/7.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Zichi The majority of nuclear plants take from beginning to end about 10 years to construct before they can go online. Very few new plants in America. The second-largest producer of CO2.

Old power plants yes. Newer generation won't require the same footprint or time to get them running. SMR is a good example of that.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Each reactor would cost 7.5 billion to 7.8 billion euros, based on building the reactors in pairs with financing over about 20 years, Le Monde reported.

How many solar panels needed to match their output and the cost for them over 20 years?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

How many solar panels needed to match their output and the cost for them over 20 years?

One of the largest solar farms is next to the largest (by capacity) nuclear plant in the US. They are both in the desert. The solar farm can only produce 11% of the generation of the nuclear plant and that is only during daylight hours.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

zichi

The Japanese power companies do not have the money to build new reactors at a cost of $8,000/kw.

Interesting, because China seems to have the money. They are spending $440 Billion on a nuclear power buildout.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Obviously, clean energy will develop over time.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Obviously, clean energy will develop over time.

There won't be a need for artificial energy when the current planetary infestation by humans is ended by human behavior or an astronomical extinction event.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Climate crisis measures cannot justify everything.

Nuclear disaster is also one of environmental destruction.

Nuclear waste that increasing despite need technical innovation of the future is one of pollution substance.

Nuclear plants' cooling system of Japan are warming seacoast.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

zichi:

Not entirely correct.

So tell us how an operational nuclear plant generates CO2 or similar pollution as a fossil fuel power plant?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The covid pandemic showed us that something that takes a long time can be achieved when poured with the necessary effort and resources.

Obviously, nobody really thinks this climate emergency is a real emergency since nobody commits the necessary effort and resources

2 ( +2 / -0 )

What they need to do first if they're serious is divert all budget for the arms race to fund research, development and building of necessary technologies and infrastrutures for clean energy generation

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Again, obviously, they won't do that because there is no emergency.

So let's create a real one by continually building advanced weapons of mass destruc

0 ( +0 / -0 )

zichi:

It is correct that a reactor produces zero CO2 when operating but does not apply to the whole plant and industry.

The emissions are less than 100% fossil fuel plants but they are not zero.

I will concede that the plant worker driving to work in his Hummer will produce CO2 and other actual pollutants such as particulate matter. That isn’t the point of statement but this tangential observation is correct. This of course applies to all other “green” sources of energy.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Can you believe it?

The end of the world is just around the corner supposedly because of climate change.

But even though world economies have been upended because of the pandemic and trillions of dollars had been lost already and economies still struggling to survive, military spending is still top priority.

Nobody believes clinate change will end the world anytime soon so they want an alternate way just to be sure

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Peter Neil

One of the largest solar farms is next to the largest (by capacity) nuclear plant in the US. They are both in the desert. The solar farm can only produce 11% of the generation of the nuclear plant and that is only during daylight hours.

....and you forgot to mention that the solar panels, the production of which happens in China and is an environmental disaster in itself, have a service life of about 20 years, after which they turn into a toxic waste mixture of plastic and rare earths. Yep, the way to save the environment!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Solar and wind plants need far fewer workers and far less maintenance than nuclear plants. They do not need external power to operate.

Wind and solar need fewer workers and also produce far less energy and is unreliable. I am curious to to know if there is a like comparison that can be made - such as number of workers per kilowatt hour. As for external power, a nuclear plant can supply its own power when it is operational - which it can be for 50 years and longer.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

zichi: In some countries, like the UK renewable energy is providing more power than nuclear energy.

Checked out the site and that led me to look into what the Uk is doing with wind. I am impressed by the wind farms - looks like most are just offshore where the wind will likely be more consistent. Of course it is a blight on the landscape and kills some birds, but turbines don’t likely need much by way of rare earth metals and isn’t polluting. Solar is much more of a problem because of the toxins, lifespan, and cost of recycling and resulting pollutants. Biomass so far doesn’t scale. They have a good amount of nuclear and fossil fuels are still the leading source of energy.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

zichi

In some countries, like the UK renewable energy is providing more power than nuclear energy.

Does that include plants like the giant Drax facility that burns wood pellets from American forests that are chopped down for this purpose? In a sane world, they would be listed in the "environmental destruction" category, rather than as "renewable". But hey, we must signal our virtue...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The Japanese power companies do not have the money to build new reactors at a cost of $8,000/k

……

Yet the current Prime Minister of Japan takes two jet planes to

the UK for a conference, stays a day and then jets back to

Japan!

The problem is with the elite and their profligate waste and not someone taping over their windows in a 1LDK

0 ( +1 / -1 )

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