Re: [SystemSafety] nuclear energy - disparate policies?

From: Mike Ellims < >
Date: Tue, 29 Oct 2013 14:04:33 -0000


Chris Hills wrote...

> Since then renewable and eco-friendly systems have been developed but
> are nothing like as efficient or effective and were once expected to be.

Do you have something to back that up or are you just stating an opinion?

For a young industry renewable seems to be doing very well, at least when compared with the nuclear industry who's only reliable product seems to be cost overruns and delays e.g. both EDF's two new plants in the EU (The Finland plant is six years and 2 billion Euros over budget and possibly the sixth most expensive structure ever built). The French reactor is doing a little better e.g.
http://www.theguardian.com/business/2011/jul/20/edf-french-nuclear-reactor-d elays but it's an awfully big bet to assume they can get it right in the UK. Mind you EDF aren't making the bet the UK taxpayer is.

The new Westinghouse Vogtle AP 1000 reactors in the USA have fared little better being almost 1 billion dollars over budget and 21 months late.

You would think that after 60 years the nuclear industry would have worked out how to build a reactor. However it seems they - unlike for example solar, have a negative learning curve, e.g. http://www.slideshare.net/myatom/costs-of-the-french-pwr

Also unless you haven't being paying attention, the French have decided that the percentage of nuclear in there system should drop to no more than 50%, being replaced by wind and solar.

> So do we want to cover the country with solar panels, wind farms (that
> are noisy and kill birds) and keep the coal, oil and gas systems?

Several denier popular memes going on here. 1. you don't have to cover the country with solar panels, a rough estimate shows around 1% of the available surface area would produce the current UK power usage, given that 2.3% (see http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-18623096) of the country is currently covered in building quite a large amount of the required space can be roof mounted.

2. Wind farms are noisy: actually less noisy than any A road; should we ban A roads?

3. Wind farms kill birds: in recent special edition of Avian Conservation and Ecology, a papers estimated the number of birds killed by wind turbines in Canada as 8 per year, a companion paper estimated the number of birds killed by house cats (again in Canada) as being between 100 to 350 million per year. The summary paper (A Synthesis of Human-related Avian Mortality in Canada) of the research ranks wind turbines as 19th for total numbers killed behind cats (feral and domestic [1&2]) power transmission line collision [3], collisions with houses [4], collisions with road vehicles [5] and agricultural pesticides [6].

So to answer your question about whether we want to cover the country with solar panels and wind turbines the answer is, we don't have to, there is space enough.

-----Original Message-----
From: systemsafety-bounces_at_xxxxxx [mailto:systemsafety-bounces_at_xxxxxx Chris Hills
Sent: 29 October 2013 10:02
To: systemsafety_at_xxxxxx Subject: Re: [SystemSafety] nuclear energy - disparate policies?

Some 30 years ago I was at a lecture on Nuclear power where the person (whose name escapes me now but he was a UK government official) said the choice is simple: Do you want Nuclear power or to reduce the [global] population by 30%?

The coal, oil and gas power were polluting the planet not to mention using up resources as more people wanted more power... Ie the largely rural communities of the 3rd world wanted electric lights, refrigeration, air con, TV, video players etc (not PC' or mobile phones at that time though) this has proved to be the case.

Since then renewable and eco-friendly systems have been developed but are nothing like as efficient or effective and were once expected to be.

So do we want to cover the country with solar panels, wind farms (that are noisy and kill birds) and keep the coal, oil and gas systems? Whilst people look with horror at the accidents in Nuclear plants what is the death and injury toll from coal oil and gas industries? I would suggest much higher, it is not just at the power plants but the obtaining the raw fuel to start with. A helicopter full of people was lost only a month or two ago in the North sea en route to an oil rig.

Japan is likely to reduce its population by 30-50% in the next 50 years. (Recent article in Observer and Ch4 TV program last week) So it may not need nuclear and probably could use conventional and renewable power. Possibly other parts of the world like Africa could as well but the high population areas such as Europe may not have that luxury.

Chris Hills

-----Original Message-----
From: systemsafety-bounces_at_xxxxxx [mailto:systemsafety-bounces_at_xxxxxx René Senden
Sent: 21 October 2013 18:36
To: systemsafety_at_xxxxxx Subject: [SystemSafety] nuclear energy - disparate policies?

Dear all,

Today I learned from BBC World News that the UK will be developing another nuclear facility for the purpose of generating energy. It was also said that UK’s PM indicated that (and I paraphrase).. “it will be one of hopefully many to come”.
Although this hardly needs to be said on this list, please correct me if/where (deemed) necessary. I pretty much typed this posting within 2 minutes after hearing the news…

There have been quite different, at times even opposite, political (re)considerations w.r.t. nuclear energy in the aftermath of the tragic accident in Japan, which happened not so long ago. A very pronounced difference in policy is, of course, Germany vs.. well.. most other countries…

Is it strictly a matter of (inter)national politics or do the different national policies also reflect different opinions of the corresponding (relevant)
experts and scientists serving those countries (whose expert judgement I assume to influence the policies set out by the politicians they advise) ?

I am very interested in your thoughts on this.

Rene



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