Experts debate role of nuclear energy in climate change targets


The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© 2016 AFP

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

Login to comment

This article is a deceptive farce. There is no "debate" presented here at all. The article is made to look balanced, but it is not even close. It is propaganda. Let's look shall we? First, let's identify the pundits. We get the Union of Concerned Scientists, the DDPP-- an unknown group that favors decarbonization, E3G --another unknown group from someplace else, then Greenpeace, and some unknown visiting professor at an institute at a university that nobody has ever heard of.

Guess who makes the lone quote in the whole article that is barely in support of nuclear power. Go ahead. Guess. Yeah. The visiting professor. And he gets one little blurb. Barely a sentence. Where is the "debate"? Where are the "experts"? The rest of the article blows only one direction. Presumably, this article is intended to show a false consensus and introduce DDPP and E3G as some respected groups with accepted viewpoints. They aren't.

"Along with other think tanks and advocacy groups sounding the climate change alarm, the UCS is not a champion of nuclear power"

Wait a minute. The UCS has ALWAYS been against nuclear power. Always. "not a champion" is hardly accurate. It is a staunch opponent of nuclear power. It in no way represents "scientists," but merely a group of anti-nuclear activists. Then to just group all of these minor and major think tanks together and call them experts and then present some kind of false consensus for all climate change thinkers is dishonest. If you wanted to mislead people into believing that nuclear plants that have already been constructed are bad for greenhouse gas goals, this is how you would do it.

The last two paragraphs pump up the hysteria by presenting a childish false dichotomy designed to make people focus on gloom and doom and associate it with nuclear power. It is awful yellow journalism.

There is a very large faction of climate change activists who recognize 1. that renewable will not be able to ramp up nearly in time to meet social needs, and 2. existing nuclear plants are an important resource that should not be wasted, and 3. eradicating nuclear now will push humanity back to fossil fuels, either coal in the worst case, or gas in the best case, but back to CO2 generating fuels in either case. This faction holds a very pragmatic viewpoint with very notable and respected advocates worldwide. Some are at institutes and universities. Some aren't. Very few, if any, are affiliated with the nuclear industry in any way. They are not nuclear advocates. They are climate change pragmatists.

This other viewpoint of climate change activists should be represented, ESPECIALLY in Japan, where we can see that the UCS and Greenpeace have pushed this nation to much higher levels of CO2 production than they would have if they were using the nuclear resources that Japan possesses. It is time for anti-nuclear activists to take responsibility for Japan's increased greenhouse gas emissions and higher rates for electricity that people are paying nationwide. UCS and Greenpeace have kept coal production and use alive by throwing them a lifeline. They need to own up to that. They have set the world up to fail on the Paris Accord by being too optimistic about renewable and too pessimistic about nuclear. They have created a disaster with anti-nuclear hysteria and they want to continue that. They should be stopped, not encouraged with propaganda pieces like this.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

'Solar and wind capacity have expanded rapidly worldwide, as costs have plummeted. And several new technologies for storing the energy they generate show huge promise for rapid deployment'.

This is a key point, no matter whether anyone believes in nuclear reactors being able to contribute or not, the time was taken to deploy any nuclear plant now we hold these corporations accountable for community health and safety, including the long-term viability of the environment, is around 20 years just to be ready for electricity and radionuclide. ^

Then it takes 30+ years for 'proof of concept' inclusive of economic viability to prove these experimental^ reactors are actually worth investing in. The only countries prepared to do this are putting sovereign capital investment into new projects, where it is complementary to the whole nuclear cycle, of producing weapons-grade plutonium.

An amoral corporate position of operating in a developed countries energy production cycle based demands are purely on an ROI - return on investment, nuclear power reads on a CFO spreadsheet bottom line, as dead. Nonetheless, there are countless ways to make money in the market in faster time after the paradigm shift from the carbon-based monopolistic model.

Renewable alternative energy is just one area, as the innovation cycle is fast, so is the ability recycle old infrastructure and profit is returned relatively quickly compared to any nuclear energy reactor; particularly with all the ancillary costs left of the balance sheet including indefinite storage of waste material.

The future will be grid integrating Japan with the Asian region, using current electrical control engineering management of the electricity across types, voltages, and demographics; all made available due to innovative algorithms, the doubling of processing ability of electrical control computers and an advanced worldview.✥ Doing this would be modelling European grid integration already in play, and pointing toward baseload theory being as redundant as the four stroke petrol engine in the near future. All strategic foresight practitioners point toward this monopolistic 1800s electricity supply model built by Eddison, soon being dead also.

^ In 2015, the General Accountability Office reported that it takes 20 to 25 years to develop a new reactor in the United States - source - Massachusetts Institute of Technology

^^ every new nuclear reactor is experimental, demanding 'proof of concept' inclusive of economic viability, particularly after Fukushima; and not omitting the long list of expensive modifications needed post commissioning of every nuclear reactor ever built since the 1950s

✥ Asia Super Grid and Undersea Cable Project

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites