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Thread: Breakthrough in solar efficiency by UNSW team ahead of its time

  1. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Axil View Post
    Clean is a relative term. The manufacturing of solar panels produces hazardous waste as well. For the amount of power generated, nuclear fission is in fact very clean compared to other power sources.





    At the same time "renewable energy" is being subsidized at up to 5 times the rate of nuclear power.
    Manufacturing just about anything produces hazardous waste, including any power plant. That is a wash and a silly argument.

    I really think your statements on the subsidization of Nuclear power are bogus. Nuclear plants cost billions. The unused Yucca mountain storage facility cost billions. The plans, equipment, processes and procedures that all the local, state and federal governments have put in place for nuclear power have cost billions. The Security for nuclear power plants cost billions. The downward push on real-estate value near nuclear power plants have cost billions. The training and maintaining of nuclear power plant inspectors cost billions. ...and on and on and on...


    http://m.ucsusa.org/nuclear_power/nu...ower-cost.html


    Building Nuclear Plants: Cheap Dreams, Expensive Realities

    In the dawn of the nuclear era, cost was expected to be one of the technology's advantages, not one of its drawbacks. The first chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission, Lewis Strauss, predicted in a 1954 speech that nuclear power would someday make electricity “too cheap to meter.”
    A half century later, we have learned that nuclear power is, instead, too expensive to finance.

    The first generation of nuclear power plants proved so costly to build that half of them were abandoned during construction. Those that were completed saw huge cost overruns, which were passed on to utility customers in the form of rate increases. By 1985, Forbes had labeled U.S. nuclear power "the largest managerial disaster in business history.”

    The industry has failed to prove that things will be different this time around: soaring, uncertain costs continue to plague nuclear power in the 21st century. Between 2002 and 2008, for example, cost estimates for new nuclear plant construction rose from between $2 billion and $4 billion per unit to $9 billion per unit, according to a 2009 UCS report, while experience with new construction in Europe has seen costs continue to soar.

    Financing Nuclear Power: Putting the Public at Risk

    With this track record, it’s not surprising that nuclear power has failed to attract private-sector financing—so the industry has looked to government for subsidies, including loan guarantees, tax credits, and other forms of public support. And these subsidies have not been small: according to a 2011 UCS report, by some estimates they have cost taxpayers more than the market value of the power they helped generate.

    When nuclear energy was an emerging technology, public support made some sense. But more than 50 years (and two public bailouts) after the opening of the first U.S. commercial nuclear plant, nuclear power is a mature industry that should be expected to stand on its own.

    Instead, the industry has responded to escalating costs with escalating demands for government support. A 2009 UCS report estimated that taxpayers could be on the hook for anywhere from $360 billion to $1.6 trillion if then-current proposals for nuclear expansion were realized.

    Cost and Benefit: Weighing Alternatives

    If we want to reduce the climate impact of electric power generation in the United States, there are less costly and risky ways to do it than expanding nuclear power. A 2011 UCS analysis of new nuclear projects in Florida and Georgia shows that the power provided by the new plants would be more expensive per kilowatt than several alternatives, including energy efficiency measures, renewable energy sources such as biomass and wind, and new natural gas plants.

    Public financing for energy alternatives should be focused on fostering innovation and achieving the largest possible reduction in heat-trapping emissions per dollar invested—not on promoting the growth of an industry that has repeatedly shown itself to be a highly risky investment.

  2. #42
    Quote Originally Posted by Buster View Post
    Manufacturing just about anything produces hazardous waste, including any power plant.
    That is exactly my point. Nuclear power isn't somehow unique in producing dangerous byproducts. Again, the term "clean" must be relative to be useful. Otherwise you can just declare all forms of energy production "dirty" and be done with it. Also keep in mind that the waste you cited earlier that can take thousands upon thousands of years to dissipate would be eliminated by technologies the Obama administration has forbidden for use in the US. Current fission reactors have the ability to produce their own enriched uranium and as a by product leave only waste with half lives in the hundreds of years.

    Quote Originally Posted by Buster View Post
    That is a wash and a silly argument.
    It's not a wash. Because solar power is so terribly inefficient. And because of the materials involved. The waste produced for solar power relative to the power produced is substantial. Solar panels are only clean when they are sitting on your roof. They are dirty to make, and dirty to dispose of.

    Quote Originally Posted by Buster View Post
    I really think your statements on the subsidization of Nuclear power are bogus. Nuclear plants cost billions. The unused Yucca mountain storage facility cost billions. The plans, equipment, processes and procedures that all the local, state and federal governments have put in place for nuclear power have cost billions. The Security for nuclear power plants cost billions. The downward push on real-estate value near nuclear power plants have cost billions. The training and maintaining of nuclear power plant inspectors cost billions. ...and on and on and on...
    Nuclear power is incredibly expensive. A large share of that cost comes from the regulation and government involvement surrounding it, and is not native to the technology itself. If you take away all subsidy Nuclear power cannot compete with coal. However it absolutely destroys solar, and beats out all other "green" energy sources excepting certain applications of wind, and hydro which cannot be utilized on a broad scale.

  3. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Axil View Post
    That is exactly my point. Nuclear power isn't somehow unique in producing dangerous byproducts. Again, the term "clean" must be relative to be useful. Otherwise you can just declare all forms of energy production "dirty" and be done with it. Also keep in mind that the waste you cited earlier that can take thousands upon thousands of years to dissipate would be eliminated by technologies the Obama administration has forbidden for use in the US. Current fission reactors have the ability to produce their own enriched uranium and as a by product leave only waste with half lives in the hundreds of years.
    It's not a wash. Because solar power is so terribly inefficient. And because of the materials involved. The waste produced for solar power relative to the power produced is substantial. Solar panels are only clean when they are sitting on your roof. They are dirty to make, and dirty to dispose of.

    Perhaps I did not make my argument clear.

    You build a solar panel and some hazardous waste is created. You bolt that panel to a warehouse roof and it creates electricity for 25+ years without any more waste created.

    You build a nuclear power plant and some hazardous waste is created. Then you run that nuclear power plant and really freaking dangerous hazardous waste is created and it lasts for thousands of years.


    Quote Originally Posted by Axil View Post
    Nuclear power is incredibly expensive. A large share of that cost comes from the regulation and government involvement surrounding it, and is not native to the technology itself. If you take away all subsidy Nuclear power cannot compete with coal. However it absolutely destroys solar, and beats out all other "green" energy sources excepting certain applications of wind, and hydro which cannot be utilized on a broad scale.

    Nuclear energy is really expensive because it is really freaking dangerous. Building redundancies (safeguards) into the nuclear power system is what makes it so expensive. Look at Japan and Chernobyl and see what happens when those systems fail and then say they are too expensive and therefore unnecessary.

    You want the nuclear energy industry to be un-regulated?

    You want zero dollars spent on inspection, training, evacuation planning, security and dealing with the nuclear waste?

    Really?

  4. #44
    Quote Originally Posted by Buster View Post
    Perhaps I did not make my argument clear.

    You build a solar panel and some hazardous waste is created. You bolt that panel to a warehouse roof and it creates electricity for 25+ years without any more waste created.

    You build a nuclear power plant and some hazardous waste is created. Then you run that nuclear power plant and really freaking dangerous hazardous waste is created and it lasts for thousands of years.
    And my point was the fairest way to compare the "cleanness" of the power source would be to take the waste created during constructions of the power source. Add in the waste created during the operation of the power source. Then add in the waste created during the tear down/disposal of the power source. Once you have the total waste created, you divide it by the kilowatts created by the power source during it's entirely lifetime and viola! you have the "cleanliness efficiency" of the power source.

    By that metric i believe nuclear fission is relatively clean. If you find numbers that prove otherwise, let me know.

    Quote Originally Posted by Buster View Post
    Nuclear energy is really expensive because it is really freaking dangerous. Building redundancies (safeguards) into the nuclear power system is what makes it so expensive. Look at Japan and Chernobyl and see what happens when those systems fail and then say they are too expensive and therefore unnecessary.
    Only part of the cost of fission is justifiable because of the danger inherent in the system. Much of it is attributable to illogical fears associated with it. Throwing Chernobyl and the accident and the Fukushima accident together is laughable. An accident akin to Chernobyl cannot happen with modern reactors. They simply don't work the same way. Fukushima is a great example of what can happen today if things go really, really wrong. Even then, after it was all said and done, the accident at Fukushima will likely cost less and have less negative health affects associated with it than the oil spill in the gulf. The most costly consequence of Fukushima was the additional impedance it created to utilizing more nuclear power generation.
    Quote Originally Posted by Buster View Post
    You want the nuclear energy industry to be un-regulated?
    No. I want it to be less regulated.
    Quote Originally Posted by Buster View Post
    You want zero dollars spent on inspection, training, evacuation planning, security and dealing with the nuclear waste?
    No. I want less dollars to be spent on the aforementioned.
    Quote Originally Posted by Buster View Post
    Really?
    Really.

  5. #45
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    World nuclear powers on after Fukushima, costs rise

    Reuters article from December 2011

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/...7N60MR20111206

    The government panel has estimated that cleaning up the Fukushima disaster and compensating its victims could cost as much as 20 trillion yen ($257 billion), which would boost he price of nuclear generated power by 8.9 to 10.2 yen per kilowatt hour compared to 2004 levels, the Nikkei said.
    As per Wikipedia Japan's GDP is $6 trillion.
    This disaster will cost them 4% of one years GDP

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japan

  6. #46
    Quote Originally Posted by Buster View Post
    Reuters article from December 2011

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/...7N60MR20111206



    As per Wikipedia Japan's GDP is $6 trillion.
    This disaster will cost them 4% of one years GDP

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japan
    Right, but as time goes on the projected cost of the nuclear reactor falls: 125b

    And the BP spill rises: 90b

    Keep in mind that as tepco is now under extreme government control, and is essentially paying out for the disaster out of the Japanese Gov's pocket, it behooves Tepco to estimate high, while BP is better off with lower estimates.

    In the end i can't say with certainty that the oil spill will be more costly (and we could probable debate both sides 50 years from now without a real solid answer), but they are definitely in the same ball park.

  7. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Axil View Post
    Right, but as time goes on the projected cost of the nuclear reactor falls: 125b

    And the BP spill rises: 90b

    Keep in mind that as tepco is now under extreme government control, and is essentially paying out for the disaster out of the Japanese Gov's pocket, it behooves Tepco to estimate high, while BP is better off with lower estimates.

    In the end i can't say with certainty that the oil spill will be more costly (and we could probable debate both sides 50 years from now without a real solid answer), but they are definitely in the same ball park.

    Q: You know what a solar power spill is called?

    A: "A sunny Day"


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