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World’s energy crisis solved using cats

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Cat Energy

Just one of the many challenges that humanity faces is the continued pursuit of new and emerging ways to effectively move away from fossil fuels for it’s energy sources.

Is this the answer?, all it’s going to take to solve our energy crisis is a few billion cats set to work lying about in the sun.

On a more serious note I just want to pose one question.

Why is it that Governments around the world are continuing to build new nuclear power plants? The proponents of these nuclear power plants will tell you that Nuclear is the only cost and practically effective way to produce the levels of power we need, I say that their reasoning is all spin, the real reason being that only massive organisations can build this type of power station and therefore the power stays with them and not in the hands of US.

My answer to their question is;

The only good Nuclear Power Station we need is the one that is 91 Million miles away

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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