The Energy Debate

Discussion in 'Current Affairs' started by CheefTiff, May 17, 2006.

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  1. Yes - nothing else comes close

  2. No- After Chernobyl - No Way

    0 vote(s)
  3. Only if safety can be guaranteed

    0 vote(s)
  1. In the current climate of uncertainty over future national energy plans and requirements. As one who works in the industry and sees little alternative to the nuclear option, I would be interested to hear the views of others here both serving and non serving.

    From a technology standpoint, nuclear is probably the only option capable of replacing the ageing base stations in the UK. IMHO all the nonsense about wind farms, micro generation etc etc, although it has a place in helping, can never be a replacement for the big stations.

    Your thoughts please guys
  2. Chief

    Not stalking you honest! Agree totally - there's just no way to replace the terawattage required in any other way.

    Left to the hippies we'd all be living in teepees and smelling like Frenchmen, although loss of power would kill off Eastenders & all the reality TV sh1t. Can't quite see the social fabric surviving without all the current home comforts though.....

    BUT, as with the boats, we'd better crack on and get it done, as the expertise to design, build and operate is rapidly fading. My mate's dad was an ex-bomber Chief tiff from the R-boats and commissioned the last lot of AGRs. I've just terrified myself with the realisation that was 25 yrs ago........

    Need the deep waste disposal facility to get sorted as well and win the PR battle. Left to the enviro-loons the general public will believe that these stations will be producing gazillions of tonnes of highly radioactive waste with half-lives in the million years. A simple table of what constitutes low, medium and high-level waste, the relative quantities of each and the decay times for them ought to be up front and central to defuse that argument.
  3. I think it has to be nuclear at the end of the day even if they went back to coal,it will runout sometime or other.

    Thank god for Edison or we would be watching television by candlelight.
  4. There is enough coal under my feet for the next 40 tears or so never mind elswhere in britain and a big hungry mouth to take it |||||||||
  5. I'm quite happy with the nuclear option. Never had any problems with nuclear submarines: lots of power, lots of (hot water), lots of space... My only caveat is religious fanatics crashing a plane into the installation, but that's not a good enough reason not to build them. As for the waste, well the high level stuff could be shipped to the Falklands and stored there - the ideal place! :wink:

    If we do have power cuts I have literally hundreds of candles bought from Denmark and Norway (enough to sink a stone frigate), numerous woolies and my home is very highly insulated. My real concern is the water shortage, or to be more precise, the amount of it leaking from Thames Water's aged pipes!
  6. Its nuclear or the Russians get us by the back door of energy supply

  7. Dont worry about water shortages,Nozzer,save all your buckets and barrels,and top em up in the winter when youre, flooded.There is an abundance of coal but they wont do anything about it.Wasnt it muted that they could get all the coal out and bury the nuclear waste in the mines?
  8. Yes that was once muted but nothing came of it :!:
  9. I don't see the problem - the main arguments against seem to be ideological arguments - it's wrong, what if this? what if that? Most of the objections seemed to be centred around the likes of chernobyl. Is it really right to be basing our quest to fulfil our future energy requirements around an accident in the less than safety conscious Soviet Union 20 years ago?

    The simple hard fact is there isn't anything that comes close to nuclear power in terms of output, sustainability, or lack of environmental impact. Nuclear waste is a bit of a hot potatoe, but are there really any particular environmental concerns by sticking it under 50m of concrete in some desert somewhere?
  10. thats ok but most the waste as you know is processed at sellerfield our very own dumping ground
  11. Something rarely factored into the cost of fossil fuel generation is the cost in pollution gases and other human costs. If you are asthmatic and your medical bills are higher because of that coal plant upwind, the cost to you is not included in the calculations.

    If your son is killed fighting in the middle east trying to safeguard fuel reserves there, your personal cost is not included. And in China, if you're a coal miner certain to die in the mines in the next few months or years, your personal costs and those of your family are not included.

    Nuclear technology has advanced tremendously in the last 20 years. It is cheaper, more efficient and the latest fuel pellets rather than rods make disposal an absolute doddle. The fact is the spent fuel can be safely handled with little more than a pair of special gloves on and is therefore easily disposed of.

    Advances in other areas also reduce initial build costs the most expensive items obviously being the core and the generators. My only concern, as stated earlier by not a boffin, we are fast losing the expertise to build and operate this equipment. Its no good those idiots in Westminster forming more committeess and discussion groups, we need to act now and get on with it.
  12. If were worried about safety issues then may I recommend the following course of action?

    Build all of the nuclear power stations in Scotland and tarmac the rest od the country for parking.
  13. There is some sense in the first part however I would prefer to keep such a large investment here and not in a foreign country. If the Jocks want reactors then they can get their own Parliament to fund them !

    If it were up to me, I would now be not only building sufficient reactors to keep us supplied for the next 100 years, I would build sufficient excess to allow me to sell it to the frogs, the cloggies and the Danes, not to mention anyone else across the pond who wants to buy it. I would be laying interconnectors under the North sea to push our power into Europe.

    This can only work with the economies of scale though. We need to be able to sell them a Megawatt cheaper thatn they can make their own for it to work.
    Theoretically the income stream from our "lighting up" Europe could replace that of North sea oil and gas for the foreseeable future and fill the pensions gap to boot !

    Obviously it won't happen because we are governed by a bunch of wimps who want nothing more than to line their own pockets.
  14. The public perception of nuclear anything is the 2 bombs dropped on Japan and Chernobyl, closely followed by the Three Mile Island near thing. Some of the jargon is frightening, as well. I am told that "critical" in nuclear engineering parlance equates to safe and under control, whereas in the rest of the English language it means something to worry about.

    Hearts and minds is always the biggest obstacle to progress, so the nuclear industry needs to be pushing its safety message more into the public domain. And it is important to be able to demonstrate that any form of power generation system will recoup more in the long run than it cost to build.
  15. You are absolutely right about winning hearts and minds and your point about some of the terminology. But I could argue that the public know little about GCHQ or a modern jet fighter but we still buy them and build them.

    The fact remains that our old stations are worn out, some are dirty, cleaning them up will cost too much and to what end. Most are inefficient by modern standards and many burn gas that we no longer have but need to import from Russia at huge cost.

    The wind farms recently constructed ( I live not far from the one built last year on The Kentish Flats in the mouth of the River Thames off Whitstable.) Although it looks fine, as a yachtie it is in the wayand is a navigation hazard in a place where there are plenty of hazards already, and besides, it barely makes enough power to feed my dishwasher
  16. There really is no choice and no other option, nuclear power has to be. What must be done however is to make it 100% safe or as safe as possible with very close control over its mis-use. I believe the oil companies are holding up its wider introduction for obvious reasons and a lot of pollies with oil shares ( and back handers from the OCs) may also be blocking its progress.
    Plenty of ammo to slow nuclear develpment with the fear of its use for weapons and possibilityof accidents.However,it is nuclear or polution by fossil fuel.I am confident that with research the problem of the nuclear waste can be solved with some type of recycling without creating a nuclear dumping ground. Once again I suspect commercial interests are most likely holding up progress.
    If the nuclear proposal happens soon it will be interesting to observe how the wars change their present location in the oil producing countries to the uranium rich areas. This combined with the energy hungry China leaves little to the imagination with Oz on its doorstep .
    However,with the huge appetite for energy IMHO there is a problem with a world over-population pf people creating this need for power and endless production of material goods.The nuclear solution may be natures way of culling the population effectively before Earth becomes Mars 2,

    We live in interesting times

  17. A large part of the UK problem is that the renewables industry has been seen very much as a cottage industry for hippies and cranks, with the result that products for domestic use are over priced and thus only of interest for said hippies and cranks. Many years ago I priced solar water heating and found the pay back time was far too long to justify the cost, and recent investigation seems to indicate the same. Domestic wind power comes into the same category. Based on estimates I have seen in a good year such systems could save between 25 and 50 percent of my energy bills, but there is a daamm good likelyhood that I would be dead before I saw any payback.

    Many people who have wanted to instal domestic renewable energy devices have been stopped by planning regulations, certainly locally, and the costs are still to high for most people.

    Until something is done about this we are still going to have to invest in not just replacement bulk power generation but extra capacity.

  18. The real test is going to be when using refined hydrocarbons for transport (particularly air travel) becomes uneconomic. There are simply no power sources with equivalent power densities to a jet engine / AVCAT combo, which means we're going to have to make synthetic fuels (you can run electric cars and nuclear-powered ships, as gravity is somewhat less important). That is going to require enormous amounts of power ON TOP of the existing domestic and industrial electricity demand, no matter how much we conserve energy / use renewables.
  19. You are right in what you say Maxi, however I do not believe that the price/payback time of the wind/solar option will evr be viable.

    In addition to the nuclear programme, I foresee micro generation as being the answer. These small IC engines running on bio diesel or "chicken farts" when available can produce enough heat and power for the average home. The initial purhcase costs are small when compared to solar/wind, the running costs are very low and they can sit in your old coal shed if you have one as they come in a small sound proof box. The technology is readily available adapted from yachting technology

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