positive potential future of nuclear power

Is nuclear fission going to make a comeback and plug the gap in our energy needs? Will nuclear fusion ever become energetically viable?

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RenewableCandy
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Post by RenewableCandy »

Biff I think you might find that you'd be struggling against Aus's natural weather conditions if you were to try and grow trees there: its 30deg-ish latitude spells mostly High pressure conditions (air slowly subsiding, v. dry, with or without trees) whereas the DODGY TAX AVOIDERS is pretty-well on the Equator, which, like our latitude, has mostly Lows (air rising, plenty of rain).

No reason not to give it a go on a small scale if you happen to live there, mind.
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Post by kenneal - lagger »

RenewableCandy wrote:Biff I think you might find that you'd be struggling against Aus's natural weather conditions if you were to try and grow trees there: its 30deg-ish latitude spells mostly High pressure conditions (air slowly subsiding, v. dry, with or without trees).
Unless it's being battered by tropical cyclones which have a tendency to blow any trees over.
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biffvernon
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Post by biffvernon »

On Wikipedia:
A 2005 study by Australian and American researchers investigated the desertification of the interior, and suggested that one explanation was related to human settlers who arrived about 50,000 years ago. Regular burning by these settlers could have prevented monsoons from reaching interior Australia.
I remember reading the paper at the time but can't find it now.
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Ludwig
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Post by Ludwig »

RenewableCandy wrote:"Bird slaughter" is, erm, overstating the case a bit! It dates back to Altemont Pass, which is a migration route and whose turbines have (had?) very fast-rotating blades.

It's now known that very few birds are killed by wind turbines, and that ironically the larger the turbine, the fewer birds killed. Also, problems only arise in certain sites (migration or feeding sites) every proposed WT site has first to have an EIA to rule out these sites.
Also, how many animals are killed indirectly by fossil fuel-derived energy? An order of magntiude than are killed by wind turbines, I'd guess. But it's abstract, so people don't get upset about it.
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Post by Ludwig »

An Inspector Calls wrote: You mean you don't agree with it. You don't like Booker and what he says - tough. I do, I believe every wod he says, just as I think you lap up the words of Monbiot and Porritt.
Surely it is better to judge each argument on its own merits rather than attach oneself unthinkingly to the opinions of one's chosen guru.
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Post by An Inspector Calls »

Ludwig wrote:Surely it is better to judge each argument on its own merits rather than attach oneself unthinkingly to the opinions of one's chosen guru.
You don't do irony then?
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Mark
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Post by Mark »

An Inspector Calls wrote:
Pepperman wrote:Hence bringing Iceland and Norway into the fold. Iceland has far more geothermal potential than it can ever deal with and Norway has enormous hydro capacity.
Iceland's geothermal capacity is piddling at the moment - about 150 MW and very variable depending on how many plants have been written off in the latest eruption. In fact, I think they only have one plant at Myvatn, which is part CHP for a diatomite [sic?] factory. They do have lots of hydro, but they've just decided to build their very own Al smelter. And building an interconnector to Iceland is no walk in the park - there's a deep ocean valley in the way.
Interconnector with Iceland could ease energy shortfall:
https://www.endsreport.com/article/6091 ... -shortfall

While government is reluctant to rely totally on imported energy, connecting the UK power system to nearby countries, even as far afield as Iceland, could make economic sense. It might sound ambitious, but having an interconnector – a high-voltage, direct current (DC) undersea cable – between the UK and Iceland is technically possible and economically desirable. Indeed, other interconnectors are already proving their worth. With coal-fired power stations closing and new nuclear stations still on the drawing board, the UK faces an energy shortfall that interconnectors can meet relatively quickly. They also offer a contingency, with developers interested in opportunities for arbitrage – being paid to alleviate daily and seasonal peaks in demand – through interconnectors.

The numbers speak for themselves. The new Hinkley Point C nuclear power station is nearly 3 gigawatt, but it could be up to 15 years before it is operational, and will cost about £20bn. But the new 2GW interconnector across the English Channel that WSP is helping to create between Portsmouth and Normandy will be ready in less than five years and will cost about £1.2 bn. Interconnectors like this provide access to European energy that’s currently cheaper than that which the UK can generate. Connecting the UK to Iceland would enable UK consumers to tap into that country’s abundant supply of geothermal energy. Yes, the cost of laying undersea cable rises incrementally with distance. And yes, 25 years ago the idea of a cable stretching as far as Iceland would have been unthinkable – but times have changed and so has the need and the technology.

Today you can get interconnectors with 1.4GW single circuits. The infrastructure required on land is just a warehouse for the equipment that converts the energy from DC to alternating current [AC] and vice versa. With undersea cable routes planned carefully to avoid fishing routes, the environmental impact is minimal. But the impact on household utility bills could be significant. Imperial College London has calculated that doubling the UK’s interconnector capacity would cut consumers’ electricity bills by £13 a year. And an interconnector project that WSP is the engineer for is predicted to save Irish consumers €800m throughout its operational lifetime. The Greenlink project, linking Wales and Ireland, is intended to stretch more than 200km across the Irish Sea and will deliver more than just energy bill savings. It would improve Britain’s access to Ireland’s significant renewable energy generation and increase security of supply for both countries. Although this may appear to be an ambitious project – which it is – it is one that will begin to come to life as soon as 2020. When completed the Greenlink interconnector will comprise a converter station at each end, connected by two electricity cables and a fibre optic cable. The cables will run underground and under the sea from the Great Island substation in County Wexford to the Freshwater West beach in Wales, before continuing to run underground to the Pembroke substation.

While the low cost power link to Iceland would benefit the UK consumer, these projects are both difficult to plan and to be granted the relevant permissions. However, they are generally completed in a third of the time of the nuclear power station. National Grid’s link to Belgium is its first to come online, in early 2019. It will be followed by a second connection to France in 2020, then the world’s longest subsea interconnector to Norway. Admittedly, political appetite for interconnectors has its limits – the government would not want the UK to become wholly dependent on imported energy. This means that nuclear power plants and other renewable energy sources continue to be important and will be developed hand in hand with interconnector projects. But it’s important to remember another key benefit of interconnectors – they run in both directions. While we may want to import energy now, it’s easy to imagine a future where the UK exports surplus renewable power. This is why I don’t believe Brexit will have an impact on our energy supply. However you look at it, connecting the UK energy system to our neighbours, even those as far afield as Iceland, makes economic sense – now and in the future.
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Post by adam2 »

I can see the merits of more interconnectors with other countries, but am concerned at our ever growing reliance on energy imports.

Interconnectors give valuable flexibility in case of breakdown or shortage, but we really should be planning a substantial increase in renewable generating capacity in order that we can export power rather than just import it.

Long interconnectors are expensive and electricity that has passed through them is therefore going to be expensive, unless subsidised.
Interconnectors are vulnerable to natural and man made hazards and to terrorist attack.
The ends of interconnectors are also vulnerable to coastal erosion.
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Mark
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Post by Mark »

According to Ofgem:
Existing ICs: IFA (England-France); Britned (England-Holland); Moyle (Scotland-NI); EWIC (Wales-ROI)
Projects in Development: NEMO; Eleclink
Proposed Projects (mature): NorthConnect; NSN; Denmark; IFA2; FAB
Proposed Projects (early): Icelink; Iblink

So, we might have another 7 ICs in place before any connection to Iceland (Icelink)....
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