Finally (nuclear power)

whyamihere
whyamihere Posts: 7,708
edited November 2009 in The bottom bracket
New nuclear plants to be fast tracked through planning.

About time someone in power woke up to the fact that nuclear is the best way for the UK to go at the moment.

Renewable energy isn't feasible yet, especially for a country with the population density of the UK because of the inefficiencies in the current systems. There's pretty clear consensus that unless we bulldoze the entire of Wales and cover it in solar panels/wind turbines, we wouldn't get enough energy (note: slight hyperbole). We need a stopgap solution while the technologies develop, and nuclear is the best we have.

Cue misinformed people moaning about Chernobyl...
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Comments

  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Posts: 79,667
    But what about Chernobyl?
  • A need even greater as the Earth's climate starts to head back into a cold period!
    Remember that you are an Englishman and thus have won first prize in the lottery of life.
  • Here here!

    Nuclear is safe as houses, there's no accounting for the idiot operating the machine though. Should be operated by actual scientists not 'operators'. You can train a monkey to perform a task but you need intelligence to understand the consequences of your actions.

    The guys at Chernobyl didn't properly understand how the reactor worked (specifically the cooling systems) thus they messed up.

    As a side note there is a huge media hype surrounding Chernobyl and its effects. Fact is not alto happened, no increases in the rates of cancer, no increases in the rates of deformities. In fact the only people who sadly died as a result of the Chernobyl disaster where 57 people who went into the reactor core.
    All the crap about radioactive sheep in Wales and babies with 3 heads only exists to sell newspapers.
    God made the Earth. The Dutch made The Netherlands

    FCN 11/12 - Ocasional beardy
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Posts: 79,667
    But I once saw a documentary where the guy, was was some kind of nuclear 'engineer' didn't even know where the emergency shutdown switch was and apparently all he could think of were clowns. He even saw his friends as clowns dancing when they were in fact on fire.

    It was shocking!
  • I can't argue with with nuclear - it is the only viable solution. It should be used while we develop alternative technology. Apparently there are only 59 years (citation need, random internet fact regurgitated) of uranium left at current rates though so we better get those wind turbines built asap.

    Unless you like living in the dark that is, I don't!
  • NapoleonD wrote:
    But I once saw a documentary where the guy, was was some kind of nuclear 'engineer' didn't even know where the emergency shutdown switch was and apparently all he could think of were clowns. He even saw his friends as clowns dancing when they were in fact on fire.

    It was shocking!

    Makes you wonder what they do with all the trafficked drugs that are confiscated at airports :wink:
    God made the Earth. The Dutch made The Netherlands

    FCN 11/12 - Ocasional beardy
  • Ollieda
    Ollieda Posts: 1,010
    whyamihere wrote:
    New nuclear plants to be fast tracked through planning

    Whilst I'm fully for this, putting the words "nuclear" and "fast-tracked" in the same line isn't really going to convince any skeptics that this is a good idea! Now I eagerly await The Sun's press release on this issue to see what tacky headline they come up with!
  • Ollieda wrote:
    whyamihere wrote:
    New nuclear plants to be fast tracked through planning

    Whilst I'm fully for this, putting the words "nuclear" and "fast-tracked" in the same line isn't really going to convince any skeptics that this is a good idea! Now I eagerly await The Sun's press release on this issue to see what tacky headline they come up with!

    I can imagine The Sun will serve up its usual non-biased, non- reactionary, non-sensationalist literature with something like 'DEATH ON YOUR DOORSTEP' with the by-line 'government puts nuclear bomb in your kiddies playground (and its built by terrorist paedophiles).

    I agree that even the BBC headline is somewhat misleading. Its the placement of the reactors which is being fast tracked rather than the design. Although, I believe the design comes from the French so I suspect will have its own idiosyncrasies.
    God made the Earth. The Dutch made The Netherlands

    FCN 11/12 - Ocasional beardy
  • finchy
    finchy Posts: 6,686
    New generations of wind turbines, placed either far out at sea (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/8085551.stm), or floating in the air on balloons (sorry can't find a link) are currently being tested/developed, and will certainly be far more efficient and cost-effective than current wind generation technology, as well as more environmentally sensitive.

    Also, thin film solar cells are being researched which are expected to bring the costs of solar energy right down (http://wwwen.uni.lu/fstc/news/new_gener ... olar_cells)

    These technologies won't leave a radioactive legacy for thousands of years, and won't require an extremely expensive clean-up in a century's time, for which we cannot guarantee that future generations will have the technical or economic capacity to carry out.
  • will3
    will3 Posts: 2,173
    What's a bit annoying is that they're now haveing to fast track the planning process, soley because they've sat on their hands on this issue for the last 10 years.
  • johnfinch wrote:
    New generations of wind turbines, placed either far out at sea (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/8085551.stm), or floating in the air on balloons (sorry can't find a link) are currently being tested/developed, and will certainly be far more efficient and cost-effective than current wind generation technology, as well as more environmentally sensitive.

    Also, thin film solar cells are being researched which are expected to bring the costs of solar energy right down (http://wwwen.uni.lu/fstc/news/new_gener ... olar_cells)

    These technologies won't leave a radioactive legacy for thousands of years, and won't require an extremely expensive clean-up in a century's time, for which we cannot guarantee that future generations will have the technical or economic capacity to carry out.

    They are all very well and good but they wont power the UK either. You'll be crying for nuclear when it costs a pound per unit of electricity instead of the 20p it does now.

    Also remember that oil and gas are going to get alot more expensive so the only viable method of heating your house will be with electricity. That is unless you are lucky enough to live over some hot-rocks and can afford to drill 2km into the Earth to recover the heat.
    God made the Earth. The Dutch made The Netherlands

    FCN 11/12 - Ocasional beardy
  • Thin film solar cells have been on the verge of a major breakthrough every year since solar cells were invented (ok a bit of an exaggeration, but you get my drift!) :lol:

    What do we do at night where there is no sun and no wind ? These technologies are 'useless' without backup or some form of storage ?
  • finchy
    finchy Posts: 6,686
    Limburger wrote:

    They are all very well and good but they wont power the UK either
    . You'll be crying for nuclear when it costs a pound per unit of electricity instead of the 20p it does now.

    Why?

    And I feel that this point is going to be avoided or downplayed - how can we justify leaving behind so much radioactive material when we don't know that our descendants will be able to deal with it?
  • NapoleonD wrote:
    But I once saw a documentary where the guy, was was some kind of nuclear 'engineer' didn't even know where the emergency shutdown switch was and apparently all he could think of were clowns. He even saw his friends as clowns dancing when they were in fact on fire.

    It was shocking!

    You sure that wasn't an episode of The Simpsons ? :lol:
  • volvicspar wrote:
    Thin film solar cells have been on the verge of a major breakthrough every year since solar cells were invented (ok a bit of an exaggeration, but you get my drift!) :lol:

    What do we do at night where there is no sun and no wind ? These technologies are 'useless' without backup or some form of storage ?

    Or room temperature superconductors... Then you can have a global network of panels and losslessly (or near enough) transfer it great distances
  • Limburger wrote:
    Also remember that oil and gas are going to get alot more expensive so the only viable method of heating your house will be with electricity. That is unless you are lucky enough to live over some hot-rocks and can afford to drill 2km into the Earth to recover the heat.

    I'm sure years ago a small geothermal scheme was proposed for Cornwall - did anything ever come of that?

    David
    "It is not enough merely to win; others must lose." - Gore Vidal
  • volvicspar wrote:
    Thin film solar cells have been on the verge of a major breakthrough every year since solar cells were invented (ok a bit of an exaggeration, but you get my drift!) :lol:

    What do we do at night where there is no sun and no wind ? These technologies are 'useless' without backup or some form of storage ?

    There's always pumped-storage hydroelectric, though it too has its downside in the need to flood huge chunks of land. The Dinorwig plant in North Wales was fortunate in being able to make use of disused slate workings rather than virgin terrain.

    David
    "It is not enough merely to win; others must lose." - Gore Vidal
  • johnfinch wrote:
    Limburger wrote:

    They are all very well and good but they wont power the UK either
    . You'll be crying for nuclear when it costs a pound per unit of electricity instead of the 20p it does now.

    Why?

    And I feel that this point is going to be avoided or downplayed - how can we justify leaving behind so much radioactive material when we don't know that our descendants will be able to deal with it?

    Why? Taking wind turbines as an example. You would need 3400 wind turbines operating to be able to shut down 1 small reactor like Sizewell B. There are only approx 2400 wind turbines in the whole of the British isles. There are 43 power stations in the UK. You would need about 1 turbine for every 60 people for it to work. The logistics alone are insurmountable. You have to place the turbines where they will catch the wind. You can put them out to sea of course but 1000000 of them? Turbines are not very reliable either and have a habit of failing.

    You also need to understand how the national grid works and how our power supply operates at 50hz. This doesn't magically happen, there are operators 24h a day who balance supply and demand by turning on and switching off the supply from various power stations (shutting down the steam turbine is essence). This is not possible with wind power or solar or tidal power. You cannot generate power on request from these sources. The whole electrical system would fail or have to be redesigned entirely on a new concept for it to work.

    I would like to see hydroelectric power utilised more but there is resistance to this from the conservation lobby. There are solutions to our energy generating needs but different groups have issues with all of them.


    ride_whenever. superconducting materials are a great idea but don't exist at room temperature (yet, or for the near future). The few that exist do so at near absolute zero and the amount of energy required to reach these low temperatures is obscene. I do know some people working on the subject however and while very interesting, it is at the moment pure fantasy.
    God made the Earth. The Dutch made The Netherlands

    FCN 11/12 - Ocasional beardy
  • verloren
    verloren Posts: 337
    Interesting discussion - tell me more about this idea of bulldozing Wales...

    javascript:emoticon(':P')

    '09 Enigma Eclipse with SRAM.
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  • they DO exist
    i read in a newspaper where a guy married a radioactive sheep and they had 3 headed babies :lol:
  • gkerr4
    gkerr4 Posts: 3,408
    Limburger wrote:
    johnfinch wrote:
    Limburger wrote:

    You also need to understand how the national grid works and how our power supply operates at 50hz. This doesn't magically happen, there are operators 24h a day who balance supply and demand by turning on and switching off the supply from various power stations (shutting down the steam turbine is essence). This is not possible with wind power or solar or tidal power. You cannot generate power on request from these sources. The whole electrical system would fail or have to be redesigned entirely on a new concept for it to work. .


    Exactly - this is often forgotten when it comes to wind power and the use of invertors and fancy routes to get back to grid frequency make the units even less efficient.

    I remember working at chapelcross when it was live (served my apprecnticeship at sellafield) and there was an obssession of maintaining 3000rpm on the turbines in order to maintain that 50hz - it didn't take much of of a discrecancy for 'the grid' to disconnect the whole station and even one (of 16) of the turbines could put the whole station off the grin until you could guarantee that 50Hz status again.
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Posts: 79,667
    edited November 2009
    NapoleonD wrote:
    But I once saw a documentary where the guy, was was some kind of nuclear 'engineer' didn't even know where the emergency shutdown switch was and apparently all he could think of were clowns. He even saw his friends as clowns dancing when they were in fact on fire.

    It was shocking!

    You sure that wasn't an episode of The Simpsons ? :lol:

    Errrrrm.

    It was a german documentary...

    http://www.myvideo.de/watch/3205856/Homer_sieht_CLowns_ueberall
  • Limburger wrote:
    Ollieda wrote:
    whyamihere wrote:
    New nuclear plants to be fast tracked through planning

    Whilst I'm fully for this, putting the words "nuclear" and "fast-tracked" in the same line isn't really going to convince any skeptics that this is a good idea! Now I eagerly await The Sun's press release on this issue to see what tacky headline they come up with!

    I can imagine The Sun will serve up its usual non-biased, non- reactionary, non-sensationalist literature with something like 'DEATH ON YOUR DOORSTEP' with the by-line 'government puts nuclear bomb in your kiddies playground (and its built by terrorist paedophiles).

    Don't forget the obligatory "Could Nearby Nuclear Power Stations Affect Property Prices?" and "Was Diana Poisoned By Windscale Plant Debris 40 Years After The Incident?" :wink:

    David
    "It is not enough merely to win; others must lose." - Gore Vidal
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Posts: 79,667
    Limburger wrote:
    Ollieda wrote:
    whyamihere wrote:
    New nuclear plants to be fast tracked through planning

    Whilst I'm fully for this, putting the words "nuclear" and "fast-tracked" in the same line isn't really going to convince any skeptics that this is a good idea! Now I eagerly await The Sun's press release on this issue to see what tacky headline they come up with!

    I can imagine The Sun will serve up its usual non-biased, non- reactionary, non-sensationalist literature with something like 'DEATH ON YOUR DOORSTEP' with the by-line 'government puts nuclear bomb in your kiddies playground (and its built by terrorist paedophiles).

    Don't forget the obligatory "Could Nearby Nuclear Power Stations Affect Property Prices?" and "Was Diana Poisoned By Windscale Plant Debris 40 Years After The Incident?" :wink:

    David

    I would say that's more Daily Mail than The Sun.
  • whyamihere wrote:
    New nuclear plants to be fast tracked through planning.

    About time someone in power woke up to the fact that nuclear is the best way for the UK to go...

    Cue misinformed people moaning about Chernobyl...

    "When they start siting them in urban areas rather than remote parts of the country then I'll believe they are 100% safe.

    Battersea power station still hasn't been redeveloped has it, why not there?

    The waste can go under the Houses of Parliament, as it is perfectly safe."

    BTW that isn't my opinion but that of my father who was a Chartered Electrical Engineer & worked at Hartlepool Nuclear Power station in the 80's.
  • finchy
    finchy Posts: 6,686
    Limburger wrote:
    johnfinch wrote:
    Limburger wrote:

    They are all very well and good but they wont power the UK either
    . You'll be crying for nuclear when it costs a pound per unit of electricity instead of the 20p it does now.

    Why?

    And I feel that this point is going to be avoided or downplayed - how can we justify leaving behind so much radioactive material when we don't know that our descendants will be able to deal with it?

    Why? Taking wind turbines as an example. You would need 3400 wind turbines operating to be able to shut down 1 small reactor like Sizewell B. There are only approx 2400 wind turbines in the whole of the British isles. There are 43 power stations in the UK. You would need about 1 turbine for every 60 people for it to work. The logistics alone are insurmountable. You have to place the turbines where they will catch the wind. You can put them out to sea of course but 1000000 of them? Turbines are not very reliable either and have a habit of failing.

    You also need to understand how the national grid works and how our power supply operates at 50hz. This doesn't magically happen, there are operators 24h a day who balance supply and demand by turning on and switching off the supply from various power stations (shutting down the steam turbine is essence). This is not possible with wind power or solar or tidal power. You cannot generate power on request from these sources. The whole electrical system would fail or have to be redesigned entirely on a new concept for it to work.

    Fair points, but are you looking at land-based turbines or sea based?

    Have you heard about the plans to link up different parts of Europe by high voltage DC cables? It was in a copy of New Scientist earlier this year, but I can't find the article on their website. The idea is that with Europe-wide political and economic co-operation, it would be possible to guarantee energy supplies throughout the continent using existing and emerging renewable technologies. I don't know how feasible it is, but surely it should at least be examined.

    Also, call me old-fashioned if you like, but what about a bit of good old-fashioned energy conservation? My grandparents had their house insulated last year, and their bills have fallen by 30%. I don't know if this would be typical throughout the UK, but given the fact that we had a cold winter 2008-9 it's a very significant drop. Add to this, say, LED lighting, actually turning things off when you aren't using them, etc. and there are massive savings to be made. And then once they have been made, it would be possible to assess how much electricity needs to be generated, and how much can be from the different sources. There is a big difference between genuine electricity needs and covering wastage.

    You haven't answered my question - how can we justify the nuclear policy without being sure that future generations will be able to clean up what we leave behind?
  • NapoleonD wrote:
    Limburger wrote:
    Ollieda wrote:
    whyamihere wrote:
    New nuclear plants to be fast tracked through planning

    Whilst I'm fully for this, putting the words "nuclear" and "fast-tracked" in the same line isn't really going to convince any skeptics that this is a good idea! Now I eagerly await The Sun's press release on this issue to see what tacky headline they come up with!

    I can imagine The Sun will serve up its usual non-biased, non- reactionary, non-sensationalist literature with something like 'DEATH ON YOUR DOORSTEP' with the by-line 'government puts nuclear bomb in your kiddies playground (and its built by terrorist paedophiles).

    Don't forget the obligatory "Could Nearby Nuclear Power Stations Affect Property Prices?" and "Was Diana Poisoned By Windscale Plant Debris 40 Years After The Incident?" :wink:

    David

    I would say that's more Daily Mail than The Sun.

    Indeed, but "Death On Your Doorstep", implying that terrorists might be involved, etc., etc. seemed just as much the DM's stock-in-trade as that of Murdoch's rag.

    David
    "It is not enough merely to win; others must lose." - Gore Vidal
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Posts: 79,667
    NapoleonD wrote:
    Limburger wrote:
    Ollieda wrote:
    whyamihere wrote:
    New nuclear plants to be fast tracked through planning

    Whilst I'm fully for this, putting the words "nuclear" and "fast-tracked" in the same line isn't really going to convince any skeptics that this is a good idea! Now I eagerly await The Sun's press release on this issue to see what tacky headline they come up with!

    I can imagine The Sun will serve up its usual non-biased, non- reactionary, non-sensationalist literature with something like 'DEATH ON YOUR DOORSTEP' with the by-line 'government puts nuclear bomb in your kiddies playground (and its built by terrorist paedophiles).

    Don't forget the obligatory "Could Nearby Nuclear Power Stations Affect Property Prices?" and "Was Diana Poisoned By Windscale Plant Debris 40 Years After The Incident?" :wink:

    David

    I would say that's more Daily Mail than The Sun.

    Indeed, but "Death On Your Doorstep", implying that terrorists might be involved, etc., etc. seemed just as much the DM's stock-in-trade as that of Murdoch's rag.

    David

    I meant all of those headlines!

    "Daily Mail headlines written by eastern european immigrant peadophiles?"
  • zanes
    zanes Posts: 563
    What I love about all of this is that the countrys only Nuclear engineering speciality degree (ie. a degree solely concentrating on designing/building/operating nuclear reactors) closed the year before I could apply. Which now means we have two choices;

    1.Rush build some academy somewhere for it.

    2.Pay a foreign company (probably the french) to build/design/operate it for us.

    Good old UK.
  • joshtp
    joshtp Posts: 3,966
    Limburger wrote:
    radioactive sheep in Wales
    we do have them! thers one i my garden at this very moment...........
    I like bikes and stuff