Cannara, an independent energy and environment analyst based in Menlo
Park, Calif, wrote an articulate comment after a recent Bloomberg story
about nuclear power, in which he explains the spirit and to a large
extent the letter of what Richter’s presentation shows. Bloomberg had
written that nuclear power is all but finished in Europe, quoting a
Paris-based consultant saying that nuclear is “too capital intensive,
too time-consuming and simply too risky.” Here’s Cannara’s rebuttal:
Hope they didn’t pay this ‘consultant’ much for: “Nuclear is too
capital intensive, too time-consuming and simply too risky.”
Germany thinks it’s ok to emit tens of mega-tons more of CO2 because
they like coal & ligniite better than nuclear? Remind us how many
Germans have died from nuclear-power radiation. What about Americans?
English? French? Oh yes, all zero.
Whoever wrote the advice above seems ok with the deaths and disease
from combustion, mining, etc. — all things needed for windmills, by the
So when we see German coal & gas burning costing ~180 years of
human life per TW-hour, we should say that’s ok, despite German nuclear
costing less than 1/6 those years of life? Really?
Remember, making 1 large Siemens windmill requires processing about
2000 tons of materials via fossil fuels — steel needs coal and iron ore,
etc. Concrete needs kilned limestone & mined/crushed aggregate.,
etc. So the emissioins burden of wind is higher than nuclear. And
we’re not even talking about the vast tracts of land/sea taken for wind.
Nor are we talking about species threats, maintenance emissions,
worker dangers, and even maritime dangers for offshore windmills. And here we thought the Germans the smartest — must have been some PR, or the beer. ;] Cannara’s
valid points hold up even more when you take into account the
alternative nuclear technologies that could replace the conventional
variety that has been operating for 50 some years. Reactor designs like
molten salt, pebble beds and fast reactors augur a number of advantages
including the conversion of nuclear “waste” into fuel, the reduction of
long lived dangerous waste, failsafe meltdown-proof opeations and
others. So could the use of thorium fuel instead of uranium. And the
dream of fusion power is achievable."
Welcome to the Future of Neutron Scattering in Canada
a grassroots, nonpartisan movement of ordinary Canadians
that emerged in response to the lack of commitment by federal government(s) to build a new research reactor in Canada for nearly 2 decades.