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Energy

Clean coal’s dirty secret

Man if there ever was an oxymoron, ‘clean coal’ is it… what a load of B.S

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This is what ‘clean coal’ is about, it’s about greed and phoney capitalism, it’s about a bunch of people who’s capitalism can’t get passed either digging it out of the ground, chopping it down or bribing politicians into selling public assets, because when it comes down to it, like I said they are nothing but phoney capitalists, they couldn’t build or design something new and worthwhile, they have to resort to skulduggery to take more than they’ll ever need, they are for the most part addicted to greed and don’t have the balls to make an honest living.

Today I heard our (Australian Labor) Prime Minister Kevin Rudd (aka Kevin Dud) intimate that ‘Clean Coal’ was the future and that selling of our state electrical power utility was the way to go… words fail me, well maybe not. Lets look at their reasons.

Apparently a government can build a public utility, but apparently it can’t run it efficiently? Basically they are admitting that they are incompetent, and they are trying to tell us that private enterprise would do it better, they could raise the funds and do a better job of it… who would you sooner loan money to, a government or a private company? what a bunch of morons.

This is what will happen if the power utility is sold. First thing that will happen is there will be layoffs, maintenance will be cut back, the price of electricity will go up and the supply will become unreliable… the same sort of thing that happened in California will happen here. The other thing that will probably happen is the coal companies will probably buy the power utilities and it will be the end of alternative energies and meeting the Kyoto limits.

If they had any balls they would put it to a referendum, but they won’t because they know it would be shot down… so much for ‘democracy’ eh?

Energy

The Size of the Universe

See just how small our Planet really is in this big fat universe of ours. See this interesting comparison video at PaleBluDot.com.

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Size of the universe

This is just another in a line of “We are not that big in the whole scheme of things”. I wouldnt like to be an early explorer trying to circumnavigate some of these huge planets or stars.

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Energy

“The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind”

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Turbines, Blowin in the wind

“The times they are a changing” how right Dylan was and is.

An owner of a few coal mines once told me that he was “going to stay in the business for another five years, and then get out and buy himself a really big air conditioner.” I answered, “You could afford one now.” To which he answered “Your right I can.”

Personally I prefer to live in an environment, where I do not need an air conditioner and I’d prefer that coal & petroleum companies; through their philanthropic donations to political parties, weren’t writing government energy policies… I’d prefer solar, wind, tidal and geothermal companies to be writing government energy policies for a change.

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Energy

Why nuclear power is not the answer to climate change

The Nuclear debate rages on year after year, there is obviously more to the debate than most people hinge their arguments on…

So is this a viable option for reducing carbon emissions , see the full story below.

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TOO MANY REACTORS AND NOT ENOUGH CARBON REDUCTION

Nuclear Reactor

Studies performed by MIT, Commission on Energy, and International Atomic Energy Agency all agree that approximately 1500 to 2000 new atomic reactors would have to be built to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by enough to make a meaningful difference.

There are currently 449 nuclear power stations (approx), If we were running around 2000 reactors in total we would exhaust our main uranium reserves in a few decades. We would then need to mine lower grade uranium, this would itself cause more greenhouse emissions. If the potential 2000 reactors were used to replace the coal stations, we would have a 20% reduction in greenhouse emissions. If used as a new capacity to replace true renewable sources, then our emissions would actually increase.

TOO MUCH MONEY

1500 more reactors would cost trillions of dollars. New reactors going online in the US in the 1980s and 90s cost on average 4 billion dollars each. Reactors to recently come online in Japan in the last few years were in the order of $2000 / KW.

Taking an average larger power plant of 1200MW and an average conservative cost of $1250 / KW, this gives a construction cost of 1.5 billion.

Yearly costs per 1000kg of avoided CO2 emmisions are $68.9 for wind and $132.5 for nuclear power.

TOO MUCH TIME

Construction of 1500 new reactors means that we will need to open a new reactor every 2 weeks beginning today, for the next 60 years. This is impossible as the current nuclear manufacturers are only capable of doing half this amount if they are pushed to their absolute capacity. Climate change cannot wait for Nukes.

TOO MUCH WASTE

Nuclear Waste

Operating another 1500 or more new reactors would create the need for a new Yucca Mountain sized radioactive dump site somewhere in the world every 3 to 4 years. Yucca Mountain has been in progress for almost 20 years and still is at least 10 years from being finished. The state of Nevada has also vigorously opposed the construction of the Yucca facility.

Due to the opposition to radioactive dump sites many countries including the US are attempting to reprocess the nuclear waste, as a means of managing the waste. This is a dangerous technology, linked with increased Leukemia rates amongst children living nearby reprocessing plants as a result of increased radiation being released into the surrounding environment.

TOO LITTLE SAFETY

Abandoned Pool Chernobyl
Abandoned Pool Chernobyl

Accidents have continued to happen regardless of what the nuclear industry tell us. The odds of a major nuclear accident are about 1 in every 10,000 reactor years. With 2000 total reactors we could look forward to a significant accident every 5 or so years.

TOO MUCH PLUTONIUM

Operation of another 1500 nuclear plants would require at least 10-12 new uranium enrichment plants and would result in thousands of tonnes of new plutonium ( each reactor produces about 500 pounds of plutonium per year as a waste product of it’s operation ). We don’t need more plutonium to deal with.

NUCLEAR EMITS CARBON TOO

The process of mining uranium, along with he milling, processing, enrichment, fuel fabrication, and long term radioactive waste storage are all essential components of Nuclear Power generation and along with the construction are all major sources of greenhouse gas emissions.

NUCLEAR IS NOT SUITED FOR A WARMING CLIMATE

Nuclear power does not work well in warming climates. During the 2004 European heat waves many reactors were forced to reduce output and some even shut down due to reduced river levels. The nuclear reactors require huge amounts of water to cool themselves done.

Solar cells may need a wipe down with a damp cloth from time to time if they manage to get a bit of dust build up on them!

NUCLEAR CANNOT REPLACE CARS

Nuclear cannot successfully replace fuel in cars, however solar systems can charge electric or hybrid cars.

So there you have it, Nuclear is not the Saviour of the planet. For an outline of what can be done to save our PaleBluDot, please stay tunned for our future post on what we can do to save our planet.

## Additional information since posting

Ken makes a good point that I had forgot to expand upon

“Nuclear Proliferation is a huge concern and we don’t need any more crazy people, governments or rouge states getting hold of nuclear technology or nuclear weapons material in any form”. Thanks for the comment Ken.

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