1. One argument anti nukes make is that nuclear power actually has similar emissions to fossil fuels, due to blah blah blah, identical to most of this video.

  2. Mostly Bogus.
    Fossil fuels get used to build nuclear plants too. People who’ve done honest accounting seem to think that the amount of carbon dioxide that’s emitted secondary to nuclear, wind and solar is (i) roughly the same, and (ii) much much less than that emitted by primary use of fossil fuels.
    The argument about the need for fossil fuel backup is a good one, however. Natural gas plants, in particular, are going to be built to fill in for times when the wind doesn’t blw.

    1. We can afford the carbon input for nuclear power, because of the carbon return on carbon invested. Once you’ve invested the carbon to build a NPP, you don’t have to invest it again! Nuclear fuel is very cheap in terms of carbon, as well, and in terms of dollars, for the amount of energy provided. Energy density and energy return – that’s the key to nuclear being a very low carbon source on the level of hydro.
      Unlike nuclear power, which produces on average 90% of the time, and you normally have warning if a plant is going to go down, with wind, all you do is trim a marginal 20% – if you’re lucky – off natural gas. Maybe. If you’re very lucky. All the wind could even come in over a single period – but some suggest that wind can come in what are referred to by scientists as “gusts”.
      Think of the carbon and financial cost consequences of the predictable short cycling of the natural gas turbines used to back wind up. All of that thermal cycling – not too good for a long lifespan…but very good for the manufacturer of those natural gas turbines who undoubtedly see unreliable wind as the gift that keeps their supply departments very, very busy.

  3. Hey thanks for the props Rod.
    @Paul, I think the point of the point of the video is to just get people re-thinking the idea that wind energy is an “easy fix” to the energy problem. As I mentioned when I posted this, the argument is also swung against nuclear as well, but the caveat o
    Wind turbines on the other hand use much more steel and concrete per unit of energy compared to nuclear. So I think it’s a good question to ask – are these turbines even worth the trouble? That idea certainly gets elevated when you consider that some people want to erect 200,000+ of these things all over the nation. And that is a terrible idea in my opinion.

  4. Bogus? The pro-wind and solar lobby routinely touts the no-CO2 advantages of turbines and panels but conveniently ignores its inherent intermittency and need for back-up.
    I don’t recall seeing or reading where nuclear power advocates excuse the emission of CO2 in mining, building or operating a NPP because, as a percentage of its power output, it’s negligible (if it’s even a real problem in the first place). Most Americans don’t consider the secondary or tertiary affects of intermittent power (i.e. the need for back-up power when the “free” resource isn’t cooperating), IMHO. As far as most people know, electricity comes from the switch or outlet – not a power plant.
    That this short video distills rather complex economic concepts down to 90 seconds is a testament to its effectiveness.

  5. I should e-mail John Pederast, Amory Lovins, and Joseph Romm Goebbels. Thanks to them touting natural gas I will have employment security forever since my work is currently on black shales in graduate school. All paid for by a stipend from a company in the shale business (hint: they are from OKC and not Chesapeake but almost as big). We can always go nuclear and the world will be a much cleaner place with far less energy shortages, and I will still have a job as a geologist. But thanks to these clowns when I get out of school I will soon join the legions of geologists who are shale experts pulling in $250,000 base salaries (those with about 10 years experience).
    The unfair thing is not their insane salaries and bonuses since their skills are crucial. The insane thing is that we have made these skills so crucial.

  6. My reaction on seiing this vid was pretty much the same as David’s and Paul’s. Of course, as nuclear power energises more and more of the overall economy (eventually including transport and heavy machinery at remote locations), the fossil fuel input to nuclear power will diminish to zero. I do not forsee any scenario under which wind/solar could ever achieve that result.

    1. It is too small a segment for nukes to even waste time thinking about.
      That’s not the point. ‘Renewables’ are dangerous because of their use as a propaganda tool ‘alternative’ for the anti-nukes. Counter-propaganda pressure on them needs to be maintained to defeat the lies.

    2. I wouldn’t assume we should consider building wind and thermal at a rapid rate. Because of their inherent unreliability, and their unpredictable patterns of power generation, solar and wind are unfortunately “less than useless” on our electrical grid. They actually impose uncompensated externalities upon other players on the electrical grid, for instance, fuel inefficiency as well as high maintenance costs for the reserve generators that have to be kept in idle all the time – as well as to spin up if a cloud comes over the sun, or the wind stops blowing, due to their short cycling. You see, wear and tear on power generation and distribution system components increases when power distribution and production are subject to unpredictable fluctuations that happen often. The demand fluctuation of intermediate and peak load is already enough to shorten equipment lifespans; wind and solar add in additional output that occurs at random intervals, leading to inevitable systemic damage to other grid participants.
      Solar and wind have their uses – for grid-disconnected applications that have no other way of getting energy at a low cost. Combined with a large battery backup system, several redundant slow-speed diesel generators, along with a very smart inverter (preferably with redundancy), they can provide reliable power in places where there is no power. But they are inherently unreliable without batteries, inverters, and backup generators. Our grid places a premium on reliability. Unfortunately, until solar and wind learn how to play well with others, they don’t deserve to be let on the playground; why should we change the rules of the playground just so that the “special” power sources can play?
      Now geothermal and biomass, they play well with others, so they’re welcome to come out to play. Of course, society has to accept the very real radiation hazards that biomass and geothermal pose. Drilling for geothermal to the depths required releases lots of radioactive gasses. It could also contaminate the working fluid of the geothermal power plant – water – with tritium released from the depths of the earth – probably far more tritium will be released from a geothermal borehole than Vermont Yankee did with that small tritium leak – probably far more than a modern uranium mine does. Biomass is positively green, as in “glowing green”, with all the dangerous Carbon-14 that combustion of TREES releases into the atmosphere – probably leading to multiple times the human dose that even the worst-kept NPP releases on a yearly basis.

    3. Don’t forget about the energy to enrich uranium. Small and getting smaller.
      Improved efficiency in the enrichment process is always welcome, but as far as carbon emissions from fossil fuels used to run enrichment facilities, I believe the French already have two reactors dedicated to powering the enrichment for the rest of their fleet. No carbon emissions there.

  7. With wind and solar almost all the CO2 is released before the first watt hour is produced. In the high CO2 nuclear analysis

Comments are closed.

Recent Comments from our Readers

  1. Avatar
  2. Avatar
  3. Avatar
  4. Avatar
  5. Avatar

Similar Posts