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Climate Solutions: The Role of Nuclear Power

Science & Tech  (tags: Energy, Energy Policy, Climate Change, Carbon Emissions, IPCC, EPA, Zero Emissions, Nuclear Energy, Reduction Goals )

- 384 days ago -
"Fossil fuels generate around 70 percent of electricity in the United States. Zero-emissions power sources such as hydro, wind, solar, and nuclear power generate the remaining 30 percent of U.S. electricity."

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David F. (14)
Friday May 2, 2014, 1:20 pm
reason #333/1001 (*) why nukes are a guaranteed DEAD END, a moronic attempt to "save" the UNsustainable:

Nuclear energy is certainly a, and quite probably THE, prime example of what Lewis Mumford (in "Technics and Civilization" 1934(!) ) called "authoritarian" technics.
Note that this applies equally to *all* reactor-types (ie. to those already in existence and to those (like "Th-r." or "MSR") recently trumpeted-forth by the nuclear establishment's propaganda outlets in the desparate attempt to counter the bad press from Fukuchernobylharrisshiburgma; and also (e.g.) to fusion-power)

In "Technics and Civilization" 1934(!) Mumford coined the term 'TECHNICS' to describe the interplay of technologies with the specific social circumstances they arise from and lead to.
And (in a slightly updated definition by Derrick Jensen:) a DEMOCRATIC technics would be one that emerges from, gives rise to, and reinforces community self-reliance and self-determination; and an AUTHORITARIAN technics would be one that emerges from, gives rise to, reinforces, and often requires community reliance on distant authorities, and undercuts or makes impossible community self-reliance and self-determination.

A prime example for a democratic technics would be *passive* solar (whereas PV is already halfway to authoritarian, again)

') any not-too-dumb reader who dares to pull hir head out of the sand at least sometimes probably can thinks of enough more of them ...

David F. (14)
Friday May 2, 2014, 1:25 pm
or, as Dr. Vandana Shiva put it so aptly: "Not only is nuclear inconsistent with safety, nuclear is totally incompatible with democracy..."

" Nuclear energy was a bad idea from the very beginning.
What could be stupider than splitting the atom to boil water to produce electricity, and produce nuclear waste, that has to be managed for millions of years, using more electricity and creating hazards for all. We saw the disasters of Fukushima and Chernobyl...
The very begining of splitting the atom was an act of violence. It began in the idea of war, to create weapons. And when these technologies go wrong, they do behave like weapons. That is why they do so much harm.
We have smarter ways to produce energy ...
Not only is nuclear inconsistent with safety, nuclear is totally incompatible with democracy..."

-- Vandana Shiva's Videomessage zum Atomausstieg

Jane H. (139)
Friday May 2, 2014, 1:47 pm
Nuclear energy must go, simply because no one knows what to do with the waste which is so harmful to living things. We will just have to increase our solar, wind and wave power and more sustainable energy ways.

John Farnham (53)
Friday May 2, 2014, 2:50 pm
Despite the horrendous economics ( nuclear power generation is state funded ) you could likely sell people on the safety issue by noting the comparatively small amounts of waste. However, old reactors were based on submarine installations and uranium power - not thorium. The Nuclear NonProliferation Treaty, signed by 140 nations, was turned into a trap in more ways than one. For starters, it is impossible not to produce weaponsable end products. For another, there was a deliberate plan to cause disaster resulting from their use. And economic warfare by nuclear weapons equipped states has followed sales of reactors for decades - based on deception and fearmongering but causing energy supply problems to infrastructure : an act ( sanctions ) tantamount to war (blockade).
The backstory on Fukushima reveals plants utilizing plutonium in fuel supplied by the US military in plants supplied by GE in a 'turn key' operation where design engineers and contract engineers resigned over safety concerns. The forces causing such disaster are still active.
Mining uranium is completely unsafe. Not only did miners die at Elliott Lake, US Navajo did the same - and the groundwater at the reservation is contaminated by radioactives.
Nor is there any 'climate benefit'. The reasons are basic - and deny prophecy is science.

Kit B. (276)
Friday May 2, 2014, 3:03 pm

I need to read this article again, so I bookmarked. I think one of the opening statements about wind and solar being unreliable is out of date. In north Texas it makes up a large portion of our power resource, and is dependable, as it is for the other states and countries that are closing down the highly volatile Nuclear power plants and opting for more sustainable solutions. This thinking that we must rely on what we know and not venture into new fields is a dangerous "we have always done it this way" mind set.

Thanks Brian.

Jonathan Harper (0)
Saturday May 3, 2014, 2:41 am

Brian M. (209)
Thursday May 15, 2014, 8:03 pm
As the article points out, "As renewables such as wind and solar do not provide reliable baseload power, any additional loss of nuclear generating capacity would result in increased carbon dioxide emissions, making it more difficult for the United States to achieve both its 17 percent emissions reduction pledge by 2020, and greater reductions in the future. "

Brian M. (209)
Sunday May 18, 2014, 11:20 pm
The importance of zero emissions power generation to fight climate change cannot be overstated. From the article: "The latest assessment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reaffirms with greater certainty than ever that human activity is warming the planet, and that unabated greenhouse gas emissions threaten to irreversibly alter the climate."

Brian M. (209)
Sunday May 18, 2014, 11:21 pm
Continued: "In the United States, electricity generation is responsible for roughly 38 percent of total U.S. CO2 emissions,6 as nearly 70 percent of electricity in the United States is generated by fossil fuel sources—primarily coal and natural gas. In the absence of significant policy changes, fossil fuels are projected to continue to generate more than 65 percent of electricity through 2040."

Brian M. (209)
Sunday May 18, 2014, 11:22 pm
If we are serious about fighting climate change, then we have to consider all sources of zero emissions energy. Moreover, from the article: "Sources of electricity that produce no greenhouse gases, such as nuclear, hydro, wind, biomass, geothermal and solar, are considered “zero-emission,” and together these make up just over 30 percent of the fuel mix."

John Farnham (53)
Wednesday May 28, 2014, 12:19 am
"If we are serious about fighting climate change" We are unserious about 'fighting climate change' in the extreme. To me this is not a problem, as I consider the issue a fake emergency dealing with a misrepresented situation. Do I see the same from government, undermining their claims of 'concern' ? U.S. tanked climate talks For 4 1/2 years I have been following both the alarm and the scoffing about it - the only sensible way to evaluate who is spouting nonsense. My various sidebar lists are littered with ignored sources. Scientism is a neurotic defense mechanism Scientism and verifiable science
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