Author Topic: Addressing climate change  (Read 6930 times)

0 Members and 0 Guests are viewing this topic.

Offline waldo

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 6346
Re: Addressing climate change
« Reply #60 on: May 26, 2019, 01:41:21 am »
Any economic model that claims to make predictions for 5 years or more is creative fiction. Such claims can't be treated as fact or even as a likely probability. We need to make decisions based on the assumption that we have no idea what may happen.

wait, what? And here I was all keyed up for you to charge forward with your alternate/preferred economic models that provide a more palatable, to you, cost of climate change. So... you want to ignore any braniac economists and their model thingees that presume to predict climate change costs for a period time frame of, as you say, 5 years or beyond. So... "wing it" then, hey!  ;D 

Offline waldo

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 6346
Re: Addressing climate change
« Reply #61 on: May 26, 2019, 01:50:11 am »
hey now! Nothing like the currently running HBO series 'Chernobyl' to refocus on the cautionary side being taken by those scientists/engineers working on/towards the next iteration of nuclear reactors... something about, "advances in sustainability, economics, safety, reliability, proliferation-resistance, etc..". And, by the by, how do you pronounce, "Fukushima"
Such things are a price that needs to be paid if we do indeed face a "climate crisis". However, your refusal to accept all available options is noted and it means you can't really complain if other people refuse to consider options you prefer.

no - as stated many times in the past, I'm a proponent of nuclear. As much as the HBO series is 'drama theatre'... as much as it/Chernobyl and Fukishima were caused by degrees of questionable design/deployment/human error, etc.., your described "price that needs to be paid" has been evaluated by many countries and found wanting. Hence a refocus on the cautionary emphasis toward the expectations of greater safety/reliability of 'next-gen nuclear'.

Offline TimG

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2616
Re: Addressing climate change
« Reply #62 on: May 26, 2019, 02:03:43 am »
emphasis toward the expectations of greater safety/reliability of 'next-gen nuclear'.
Just excuses to "kick the can down the road" while playing lip service to the notion that we need nuclear. We know how to build reliable nuclear plants today. There is no reason not to keep building the current generation plants if CO2 free energy is a priority. If it is not a priority then your position makes sense.

Offline Granny

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1172
Re: Addressing climate change
« Reply #63 on: May 26, 2019, 10:42:16 am »
Just excuses to "kick the can down the road" while playing lip service to the notion that we need nuclear. We know how to build reliable nuclear plants today. There is no reason not to keep building the current generation plants if CO2 free energy is a priority. If it is not a priority then your position makes sense.

Now you're lobbying for nuclear. Hmmm ...
First, the upstream (uranium mining) and downstream (nuclear waste) environmental costs of nuclear have yet to be figured into its real costs.
Secondly, nuclear is largely a south-central Ontario issue: we're the ones sitting on a fault line surrounded by nuclear facilities.
https://www.google.com/search?q=nuclear+power+plants+in+canada&oq=nuc&aqs=chrome.0.69i59l2j69i60j69i57j0.3875j0j7&client=ms-android-bell-ca&sourceid=chrome-mobile&ie=UTF-8#istate=lrl:mlt
BTW ... those are only the major facilities. I am aware of at least one smaller nuclear reactor not listed that serves nuclear medicine's needs.

When the sh!t is really going down as Mother Earth storms and rumbles and shakes to throw off the invasive human activities that compromise her existence, it will be us who suffer the consequences first and most.

We don't build nuclear facilities to withstand extreme geological and weather conditions.
Building more nuclear now is foolhardy. Even maintaining the ones we have is foolish, but winding them down has its own issues too - e.g. buried nuclear waste on the shore of a Great Lake is a huge danger in cataclysmic circumstances.


Offline waldo

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 6346
Re: Addressing climate change
« Reply #64 on: May 26, 2019, 10:53:49 am »
Any economic model that claims to make predictions for 5 years or more is creative fiction. Such claims can't be treated as fact or even as a likely probability. We need to make decisions based on the assumption that we have no idea what may happen.
wait, what? And here I was all keyed up for you to charge forward with your alternate/preferred economic models that provide a more palatable, to you, cost of climate change. So... you want to ignore any braniac economists and their model thingees that presume to predict climate change costs for a period time frame of, as you say, 5 years or beyond. So... "wing it" then, hey!  ;D

member TimG, I kinda recall your brazillion posts over the years touting economists/engineers as the true & ONLY arbiters in position to determine policy related to climate change. If you're now suggesting economists can't predict shyte...

Offline ?Impact

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2941
Re: Addressing climate change
« Reply #65 on: May 26, 2019, 03:09:18 pm »
You need to build completely redundant capacity since you can't risk blackouts if renewable output goes to zero.

Obviously the power grid that has powered the nation for the past 100 years is a mystery to you.

Offline TimG

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2616
Re: Addressing climate change
« Reply #66 on: May 26, 2019, 03:56:53 pm »
Now you're lobbying for nuclear.
I am not lobbying for anything. I am just pointing your the ridiculous hypocrisy in your rhetoric. If we are actually facing a "crisis" due to CO2 then there is zero justification for refusing to use an available zero emission power source. If you think we have the luxury of picking an choosing what solutions we use based on what you think are acceptable then obviously you do not really believe there is any "crisis".

So which is it? A "climate crisis" which means we have to use nuclear? or there is no "climate crisis" and we have lots of time to be choosy about how we deal with CO2 emissions?

Pick one or the other.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2019, 02:39:11 am by TimG »

Offline TimG

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2616
Re: Addressing climate change
« Reply #67 on: May 26, 2019, 04:06:59 pm »
member TimG, I kinda recall your brazillion posts over the years touting economists/engineers as the true & ONLY arbiters in position to determine policy related to climate change. If you're now suggesting economists can't predict shyte...
What I said is true. Climate scientists have nothing useful to contribute when comes to deciding what we can do at a price we can afford to pay. Engineers and economists can contribute to that discussion. But deciding what price we can afford to pay today is different from making a gazillion guesses and assumptions and using them to make claims about a specific future cost in 2100. The latter is nonsense because the chances of the various assumptions turning out to be reasonable is infinitely small.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2019, 02:43:32 am by TimG »

Offline TimG

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2616
Re: Addressing climate change
« Reply #68 on: May 26, 2019, 04:08:45 pm »
Obviously the power grid that has powered the nation for the past 100 years is a mystery to you.
I understand it fine. That is why I understand that renewables place a burden on the system that is not equivalent to what the qrid deals with already. Dealing with this burden costs money and that cost has to be included in the cost of renewables.

Offline Omni

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 8563
Re: Addressing climate change
« Reply #69 on: May 26, 2019, 04:14:22 pm »
I understand it fine. That is why I understand that renewables place a burden on the system that is not equivalent to what the qrid deals with already. Dealing with this burden costs money and that cost has to be included in the cost of renewables.

If you understand it so well, why do you seem to think that a duplicate grid is required for renewables to provide power?

Online segnosaur

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1249
Re: Addressing climate change
« Reply #70 on: May 27, 2019, 12:13:20 pm »
hey now! Nothing like the currently running HBO series 'Chernobyl' to refocus on the cautionary side being taken by those scientists/engineers working on/towards the next iteration of nuclear reactors...
Keep in mind that Chernobyl was a bad reactor design (e.g. they used graphite moderators, which can, you know, burn, and didn't have a containment dome), that was run in an unsafe manner. Reactors in the western world are much better designed (use water for a moderator, have containment domes.) Suggesting nuclear power is 'unsafe' based on what happened at Chernobyl is like suggesting all cars are inherently death traps based on the exploding Ford Pinto.

Unfortunately, there is a big risk that people will look at the Chernobyl mini-series, and falsely extrapolate that to all nuclear power.(We saw the same sort of thing with The China Syndrome in the 70s.)
Quote
And, by the by, how do you pronounce, "Fukushima"
Ah yes, Fukushima...

A nuclear power plant (and an old design at that, one that was expected to be decommissioned) was hit by an earthquake and a huge wave, and it still didn't melt down, and the only immediate deaths had nothing to do with radiation. There may be a slight increase in Cancer rate in the future (although ironically the increased screening that will result may actually serve to decrease the death rate.)

The fact is, even if you consider accidents like Fukushima, Nuclear power is still the safest form of energy production in the world (in terms of kilowatts produced).

From: https://www.forbes.com/sites/jamesconca/2012/06/10/energys-deathprint-a-price-always-paid/#4f5efb22709b
Energy Source               Mortality Rate (deaths/trillionkWhr)
Coal – global average         100,000    (41% global electricity)
Coal – China                         170,000   (75% China’s electricity)
Coal – U.S.                               10,000    (32% U.S. electricity)
Oil                                               36,000    (33% of energy, 8% of electricity)
Natural Gas                                4,000    (22% global electricity)
Biofuel/Biomass                    24,000    (21% global energy)
Solar (rooftop)                              440    (< 1% global electricity)
Wind                                                 150    (2% global electricity)
Hydro – global average          1,400    (16% global electricity)
Hydro – U.S.                                     5    (6% U.S. electricity)
Nuclear – global average              90    (11%  global electricity w/Chern&Fukush)
Nuclear – U.S.                                0.1    (19% U.S. electricity)

Now, it may sound rather backwards to think that solar and wind are more 'dangerous' than nuclear. But the problem is, those forms of energy still lead to accidents (during the mining of raw materials, during construction, etc.) Nuclear energy has the potential to cause significant problems if something goes wrong, but nuclear plants also produce a lot of power, and you need a heck of a lot of windmills or solar panels to replace one nuclear plant.

And of course new nuclear power plant designs (e.g. molten salt reactor) would be even safer.

Online segnosaur

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1249
Re: Addressing climate change
« Reply #71 on: May 27, 2019, 12:40:15 pm »
Now you're lobbying for nuclear. Hmmm ...
First, the upstream (uranium mining) and downstream (nuclear waste) environmental costs of nuclear have yet to be figured into its real costs.
Keep in mind that nuclear waste CAN be reprocessed/resused. (In fact, the amount of nuclear waste produced to supply your needs for a lifetime would easily fit in your hand, if it were handled properly. There is far less waste produced per kilowatt hour of nuclear power than there is for wind, solar, or fossil fuels.  Granted the leftover waste is radioactive, but the small volume would make it relatively easy to manage.)

The fact that waste is not reprocessed is not a technological one but a political one.
Quote
Secondly, nuclear is largely a south-central Ontario issue: we're the ones sitting on a fault line surrounded by nuclear facilities.
Keep in mind that the 3 main nuclear power plants in Ontario (Bruce, Pickering and Darlington) are all in areas that Natural Resources Canada considers areas of low seismic activity.

Quote
BTW ... those are only the major facilities. I am aware of at least one smaller nuclear reactor not listed that serves nuclear medicine's needs.
That would likely be the chalk river nuclear facility. The university of McMaster also has a nuclear reactor (and also produces medical isotopes).

[qutoe]We don't build nuclear facilities to withstand extreme geological and weather conditions. [/quote]
Yes they do.

Did you know they actually crashed a plane into a concrete wall to see how well a nuclear reactor could stand up to an airplane strike?

https://interestingengineering.com/crashed-jet-nuclear-reactor-test
Quote
Building more nuclear now is foolhardy.
Nuclear power is safe, reliable, and is proven technology, and has a low/zero carbon footprint. There is the problem with rather large up-front capital costs, but most other issues with them tend to be political rather than technical.

Quote
Even maintaining the ones we have is foolish, but winding them down has its own issues too - e.g. buried nuclear waste on the shore of a Great Lake is a huge danger in cataclysmic circumstances.
Actually they don't bury waste... its kept in holding pools on site.

Long term disposal is an issue. The proper thing to do would be to reprocess and reuse the fuel, so what you end up with is a very, very small amount of waste. But again, politics comes into play.

The U.S. had a disposal site at Yucca mountain they had created for their own disposal. But again, politics got in the way.

Offline Granny

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1172
Re: Addressing climate change
« Reply #72 on: May 27, 2019, 12:50:12 pm »
Now, it may sound rather backwards to think that solar and wind are more 'dangerous' than nuclear. But the problem is, those forms of energy still lead to accidents (during the mining of raw materials, during construction, etc.) Nuclear energy has the potential to cause significant problems if something goes wrong, but nuclear plants also produce a lot of power, and you need a heck of a lot of windmills or solar panels to replace one nuclear plant.
Ya, It's backwards. Solar and wind are not as dangerous as nuclear power.

Tell us how dangerous it is:
- mining for uranium
- constructing nuclear reactors
- living near them
- 'disposing' of uranium ... ok, that isn't even possible so ... 'containing' used uranium underground in Kincardine ON, right next to a Great Lake.

https://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/long-delayed-decision-on-nuclear-waste-bunker-likely-to-fall-to-next-government-1.4300673
Currently estimated to cost a total of $2.4 billion over a planned 50-year operational cycle, the project calls for a bunker to be built at the Bruce nuclear power plant near Kincardine, Ont. Hundreds of thousands of cubic metres of low and intermediate radioactive waste -- not spent fuel bundles but still toxic for centuries -- would be buried 680 metres deep rather than stored above ground at the site as now happens.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2019, 01:13:20 pm by Granny »

Online segnosaur

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1249
Re: Addressing climate change
« Reply #73 on: May 27, 2019, 01:15:18 pm »
Now tell us how dangerous it is
- mining for uranium
- constructing nuclear reactors
Yes, both of those have dangers, as does any large scale construction project. You will also have danger in: mining the rare-earth metals needed for solar panels, mining the metal needed for constructing wind turbines, etc.

The difference is, as I pointed out before, one nuclear plant produces a LOT of energy, compared to the amount of resources needed to construct the plant, run it, and then decommission it. You need a lot more concrete, a lot more metal, a lot more of almost everything to build enough wind turbines/solar panels to replace one nuclear plant.
Quote
- living near them
Very little risk...

You actually get more radiation from eating one banana than you do living 50 miles away from a nuclear power plant for a whole year.

 https://xkcd.com/radiation/
Quote
- 'disposing' of uranium ... ok, that isn't possible so ... 'containing' used uranium UNDERGROUND IN KINCARDINE ON, RIGHT NEXT TO A GREAT LAKE!!!
As I have pointed out, if we did things properly (reprocessed nuclear fuel) then the entire amount of nuclear waste that would be needed to supply you and your family for a lifetime would fit in your hand.

Compare that to the environmental impact of: mining huge amounts of rare-earth metals, aluminium, steel, and concrete to build replacement windmills or solar panels (and that would leave a relatively large volume of debris behind.)

From: https://www.forbes.com/sites/michaelshellenberger/2018/05/23/if-solar-panels-are-so-clean-why-do-they-produce-so-much-toxic-waste/#598a3360121c
...Solar panels often contain lead, cadmium, and other toxic chemicals...

And just to let you know... unlike nuclear-contaminated material (which eventually loses radioactivity as isotopes decay) the chemicals in your solar panel will remain toxic forever.

Yes, nuclear waste needs to be dealt with. But so does the waste from solar and wind (and those problems are even further from being solved than for nuclear).


Online segnosaur

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1249
Re: Addressing climate change
« Reply #74 on: May 27, 2019, 02:26:41 pm »
Quote
I understand it fine. That is why I understand that renewables place a burden on the system that is not equivalent to what the qrid deals with already. Dealing with this burden costs money and that cost has to be included in the cost of renewables.
If you understand it so well, why do you seem to think that a duplicate grid is required for renewables to provide power?
I don't think he was claiming that a duplicate grid was necessary, only that relying on renewables can cause problems feeding power into the existing grid.

For example:

- It may be necessary to have backup gas generators on standby, should there be issues with wind/solar generation not producing enough (e.g. if its cloudy, or the wind isn't blowing.)

- On particularly sunny days, solar power fed INTO the grid from small solar panels can overload infrastructure. Extra work is needed to design the system to prevent that.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-10-11/electricity-distributors-warn-excess-solar-could-damage-grid/10365622