Hansu

What is wrong with nuclear energy?

33 posts in this topic

The "turbines killing birds" thing is a red herring argument installed by the right and the oil money-power. You don't hear anyone complain about how front windows kill birds do you?

Also, see this article: https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2014/09/15/wind-turbines-kill-fewer-birds-than-cell-towers-cats/15683843/

I do think we need to reconsider nuclear power. The original variety of fission power stations that notoriously failed in Chernobyl and Fukushima are not the only type of this technology. There are much safer, newer generation, types of reactors that can be built. I think we need to take a really good look at these, and develop some next generation atomic energy very carefully. It can be part of the solution.

However, I tend to agree that we need to focus on wind and solar more than anything right now. The problem still remains; storage.

I pray for clean fusion energy.


How to get to infinity? Divide by zero.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

currently i`m looking into rebound effects for better energy management on a bodymind/mindbody/spiritualbody level - realized rebound effects are also pretty interesting for energy in general. just as a sidenote if anyone is interested in going deeper into these topics. maybe we have to think about saving on energy first before the whole matter even makes sense.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, outlandish said:

The "turbines killing birds" thing is a red herring argument installed by the right and the oil money-power. You don't hear anyone complain about how front windows kill birds do you?

Wind turbines are not perfect either in their current state. They haven't really passed the "prototype" phase of innovation yet, front windows have. I think its a good idea to address the problems while we still develop wind turbines.

My worries are not in the momentary change in environment, but the long term effects. So, I agree that blades killing birds isn't a big deal. However turbines do cause noise pollution which disturbs and changes mating calls of birds. If you know how mating calls work, then you probably agree that its pretty good change that those birds become unable to breed with birds grown away from wind turbines, and in 100 years we might be seeing whole new species of birds that live only near wind turbines.

Then we come to water dams that cause disaster around salmon and other fish that use streams of water to move between ocean and inland, which disturbes nature and in at least one case I know, destroyed the livelihood of a family from native Sami people in Lapland as they relied on salmon which died off in their region due to a power dam, but that family's cries went to deaf ears.

There is also the problem in manufacturing of wind turbines. At the moment SF6 is used as insulating gas in the wind turbines which is 23.5 tonnes more potent than CO2, which means that 1 kilogram of SF6 in the atmosphere is equal to 23.5 tonnes of CO2, and leaking of SF6 is rapidly increasing in Europe.

My point here is that we need to address the problems with renewable energy. All of these problems I mentioned are under research and can be fixed, but for better long term solution we should develop these technologies first before we go and replace majority of power production with them. Until then, solar energy is our safest bet when it comes to renewables

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Hansu I agree that while a technology isn't mature that it should receive extra attention to minimize its harms - that's a normal part of technological progress. Wind turbines are well past the prototype (as you put it) phase however. They've been used at an industrial scale to generate electricity for well over 30 years already. The tech will continue to mature, and we should not let these red herring objections prevent further adoption. They are not real problems.

All of the issues you mentioned exist and are generally accepted in extant technologies. It's irrational to apply a double standard when it comes to disruptive green tech. No technology is going to be 100% perfect, so it's a balance and you have to be rational about assessing the risks vs. rewards.

Refrigerants used in car and domestic AC systems, refrigerators, R-22 being one of the most common, is almost 2000x the potency of CO2 as a greenhouse gas, and is uncontrolled and freely vented into our atmosphere when these systems reach EOL. This is a big issue, so if you're going to complain about a bit of SF6 used in turbines, you should make big noise about the handling of refrigerants as well, as they are roughly 100x more potent than SF6. Meanwhile, the wind turbines are reducing our CO2 output and over their lifespan will have a far lower GHG footprint than burning fossil fuels, obviously. And it's technically feasible to recapture this SF6 during maintenance/replacement, so it's essentially a problem related to handling rather than the tech itself. Since the domestic class of AC refrigerants are 100x more potent than SF6, I suggest we focus on the low hanging fruit here.

Noise pollution disrupting songbirds? That's a stretch. Wind turbines aren't that loud, especially if you compare them to things like road traffic, air traffic, motor noises. Urbanization and industrialization in general is threatening the acoustic space of songbirds, it's not really fair to single out wind turbines on this issue.

Yeah it's really sad when dams disrupt salmon migrations like that. There's been a lot of that kind of thing in the area where I live. There are some ways to mitigate the problem, but it's never that effective. It's a hard calculus to make, because if you look at the big picture it's probably the least net harm, but it really sucks that whole groups of people (and fish populations) get screwed in the deal, the harm isn't spread evenly.


How to get to infinity? Divide by zero.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@outlandish

You are correct. My points were based on something I've heard often in the past, and on sources that after more thoroughly inspection turned out not to be based on any good research. Apologies

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Hansu No apologies! It's an honour to discuss with someone who has an open mind ??


How to get to infinity? Divide by zero.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They are getting closer to a fusion plant where output exceeds input. There are billions in private funds now invested in fusion start-ups. ITER is confident they'll exceed output ratio 1.

Fusion has the potential to solve co2 emissions globally. No radioactive waste either. Climate activists should be all over this trying to secure more funding to this research.

Edited by crab12

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Im not underestimating the potential harm of having no way of safely storing nuclear waste but it is all adressed in this talk. Problems that nuclear energy causes are real, they are just not comparable to emission and damage of coal energy plants, or even solar panels. Really eye-opening talk

Edited by Robi Steel

I know you're tired but come. This is the way - Rumi

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe we are using a lot of energy that we don't need. If we invest on quality instead of quantity and our economic system is not based on growth we don't need nuclear energy at all. Then we can use durable energy to maintain our (low) basic needs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/27/2019 at 4:07 AM, Robi Steel said:

Im not underestimating the potential harm of having no way of safely storing nuclear waste but it is all adressed in this talk. Problems that nuclear energy causes are real, they are just not comparable to emission and damage of coal energy plants, or even solar panels. Really eye-opening talk

It's a good video. Makes some good points.

I wonder though how bad a nuclear meltdown can get, and how bad a leak of nuclear waste can be once we have a 1000x more nuclear plants.

Chernobyl and Fukushima might be the tip of the iceberg. If some nuclear plant leaks all of its waste into the ocean, how bad would that be?


You are God. You are Love. You are Infinity. You are Leo.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/27/2019 at 11:52 AM, Baldmunt said:

Maybe we are using a lot of energy that we don't need. If we invest on quality instead of quantity and our economic system is not based on growth we don't need nuclear energy at all. Then we can use durable energy to maintain our (low) basic needs.

rebound effects are exactly about that - the only explanation about why we would need more nuclear plants is because the creation of nuclear plants made it possible to feel like energy was available without consequences, of course in the denial about the real consequences as long as they where not visible. but the consequences are visible, as the atomic plants only had the effect that we started to take energy for granted in all directions. the rebound therefore goes into two directions, the unawareness of the use of resources (awareness was still the case before nuclear energy) and the enormity of the atomic waste problem.

now the question is why it even makes sense to invest in new atomic plants instead of developing renewable energy with what energy is already available, of course because of the pressure to produce more waste, because waste still makes money even though we need to produce waste in masses to only get a little bit out of it. maybe investment in brain energy would be interesting, we could maybe recharge our cellphones with the unused energy that goes into nowhere.

Edited by remember

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now