Plastic bags, climate change, renewable energy,

Oddjob

Eats Squid
I think it would cost less to save the bats from wind turbines than it would to store nuclear waste securely forever. I could be wrong.
Storing nuclear waste is technically straightforward and manageable, what freaks people out is the long nuclear half lives but in geological terms they are quite short.

Moving eco-systems to accommodate wind and solar farms is technically difficult if not impossible.

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John U

MTB Precision
Storing nuclear waste is technically straightforward and manageable, what freaks people out is the long nuclear half lives but in geological terms they are quite short.

Moving eco-systems to accommodate wind and solar farms is technically difficult if not impossible.

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In geological timeframes the human race is a recent occurrence.

His argument is very one sided. Maybe that’s how TEDX works. I would like to see this done as a debate with renewables proponents. Would be interesting.
 

Oddjob

Eats Squid
In geological timeframes the human race is a recent occurrence.

His argument is very one sided. Maybe that’s how TEDX works. I would like to see this done as a debate with renewables proponents. Would be interesting.
That's exactly how Tedx works. There's not much point making the argument for someone else when you're only given 15mins to talk.

I've got no problem with renewables, but I think its stupid to ignore nuclear when people have been happy to have coal for centuries and the damage from coal is far higher.

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kbekus

Likes Dirt
but I think its stupid to ignore nuclear when people have been happy to have coal for centuries and the damage from coal is far higher.
I rather think the whole point is that we've realised the mistake we've made in gorging ourselves on coal based electricity and it would be better not to jump from the frying pan into the fire, so to speak.
 

Zaf

Gearbox Frother
@Oddjob agree! If you want an emission free power supply that meets energy demands, Nuclear is it. Better yet, we're sitting on a supply of it in country, and we're extremely stable both politically and geologically. We don't have the risk factors that Japan does with being on a fault line etc. From an emissions point of view it's a no brainer.

Not to mention we've already cooked Woomera, nice blank area in the middle of nowhere that's already ticking the Geiger Counter over, we could safely dispose of it and everything.

It'd buy time at the very least.
 

Binaural

Eats Squid
Storing nuclear waste is technically straightforward and manageable, what freaks people out is the long nuclear half lives but in geological terms they are quite short.

Moving eco-systems to accommodate wind and solar farms is technically difficult if not impossible.

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You've got this exactly backwards. Nobody thinks storing nuclear waste is technically straightforward, because it's not like the waste materialises in the store. It has to be removed, handled, transported (often internationally), and finally processed in-situ. It is huuuugely expensive, contributing something like 20% of the cost of each kWhr IIRC. Wind farms, on the other hand, are about the most benign form of power generation imaginable outside of solar and possibly tidal energy. It is far easier to accommodate wind farms without undue harm to local ecosystems than it is to create environmentally friendly hydroelectric schemes, for example.
 

Oddjob

Eats Squid
You've got this exactly backwards. Nobody thinks storing nuclear waste is technically straightforward, because it's not like the waste materialises in the store. It has to be removed, handled, transported (often internationally), and finally processed in-situ. It is huuuugely expensive, contributing something like 20% of the cost of each kWhr IIRC. Wind farms, on the other hand, are about the most benign form of power generation imaginable outside of solar and possibly tidal energy. It is far easier to accommodate wind farms without undue harm to local ecosystems than it is to create environmentally friendly hydroelectric schemes, for example.
Except wind and solar power kills things, lots of things including humans. The Lancet (as well as many other reports) has documented the comparative human deathprint. There are plenty of scientific studies on the animal deathprint. What about the waste from wind and solar? What happens to the giant fibreglass rotors and the solar panels? There is no costless energy source.

Nuclear waste is no joke, but its well understood and manageable. What is not well understood is how to create and manage an electricity system with very large scale solar and wind, without reliance on high speed standby capacity such as gas and hydro. With current battery tech it can't be done, and I'm not sure it can ever be done. So we are left with only one true low emissions technology which is nuclear.





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Calvin27

Likes Bikes and Dirt
I'm pretty anti-nuclear and have been for a while but at this stage I'll chuck my support behind it because imo we are well beyond critical at this stage.

On a similar note, I read somewhere that something like 90% of our power comes from a spinning turbine of some sort. Nuclear is all this advance technology to split the atom.... and that's about as far as the technology advancements go. The rest is to heat water and spin a turbine. Crazy lol. It's one of the reasons why I like solar so much more than wind and wave.
 

Haakon

Not happy, Jan.
It'd buy time at the very least.
That's actually the kicker - it wont. It takes too long to build. Wind and solar is up and running dispatching for a fraction of the cost and in a fraction o the time.

We need emissions free power now. Nukes wouldn't be dispatching for 10 years if we made a political decision tomorrow to build one, wind and solar can be up and running in a couple of years tops.
 

John U

MTB Precision
Hydroelectricity isn’t guilt free either. At least there’s a shit load of research going into batteries.

I visited the area I grew up in over the weekend. 90% of the farming land land looked completely fucked. So dry everything but the trees were dead. I remember it being productive farmland. It looked like the beginnings of desertification. This is near the Vic border directly north of Melbourne.
Visited the Murray where we used to camp. The only greenery was the leaves on the trees. Everything at ground level was dead. Not good.
 

Oddjob

Eats Squid
That's actually the kicker - it wont. It takes too long to build. Wind and solar is up and running dispatching for a fraction of the cost and in a fraction o the time.

We need emissions free power now. Nukes wouldn't be dispatching for 10 years if we made a political decision tomorrow to build one, wind and solar can be up and running in a couple of years tops.
At gridwide scale solar and wind must have standby gas or hydro capacity, and Australia/World does not have enough hydro. What you are advocating is not physically possible.

The only true low emission option is nuclear, but the world is turning away from it.

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hifiandmtb

Sphincter beanie

Haakon

Not happy, Jan.
At gridwide scale solar and wind must have standby gas or hydro capacity, and Australia/World does not have enough hydro. What you are advocating is not physically possible.

The only true low emission option is nuclear, but the world is turning away from it.

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Gridwide you just need an amount of storage for frequency control and spike management. It does not need spinning assets for stability.

the real problem is the grid required for very disaggregated and decentralised generation fleet looks very different to the one we have now that was built around a small number of big generators. Generation with renewables is not the problem, its shifting it around quickly and smartly as the generation and demand moves.
 

Binaural

Eats Squid
Except wind and solar power kills things, lots of things including humans. The Lancet (as well as many other reports) has documented the comparative human deathprint. There are plenty of scientific studies on the animal deathprint. What about the waste from wind and solar? What happens to the giant fibreglass rotors and the solar panels? There is no costless energy source.

Nuclear waste is no joke, but its well understood and manageable. What is not well understood is how to create and manage an electricity system with very large scale solar and wind, without reliance on high speed standby capacity such as gas and hydro. With current battery tech it can't be done, and I'm not sure it can ever be done. So we are left with only one true low emissions technology which is nuclear.
You should have another look at that Lancet article you mention. Here you go - https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(07)61253-7/fulltext.
Note the fact that solar and wind are in last place in terms of effects on human heath in both the short and long term, described as "small". Articles I've read and quoted earlier in the thread indicate managing environmental impact to fauna are trivial compared to nuclear facilities for both types.

As for your other points, disposing of wind turbines is a snap, as the towers and drivetrain are metal. Only the blades are problematic, but they last at least 25 years anyway, and can last many more with enhanced inspection regimes. I don't know as much about solar panels but IIRC there are few disposal or handling concerns. We have several customers of our technolgy coming up with automated inspection systems for the inside and outside of turbine blades for this very reason.

Nuclear waste is of course manageable, but I disagree about scalability. For nuclear to make much of a dent in world carbon emissions, the developing world would need to adopt it en mass, and the geopolitical risks of that are absolutely huge. Wind and renewables face no such scalability problems and can be deployed immediately. And lastly, gas and hydro are excellent standby options, however rarely they are required.
 
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Binaural

Eats Squid
the real problem is the grid required for very disaggregated and decentralised generation fleet looks very different to the one we have now that was built around a small number of big generators. Generation with renewables is not the problem, its shifting it around quickly and smartly as the generation and demand moves.
This is pretty accurate. In the UK, the grid is designed inside-out and there are genuine difficulties with dealing with older turbine without fully rectified grid connections, similar here. There have been research papers on that are 20 years old, it's well studied and well understood, and many of the issues are solved simply by imposing requirements on new turbine types.
 
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