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Old 04-13-2012, 10:07 PM
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Default EU members want more subsidies for nuclear power

Energiepolitik: EU-Staaten wollen Subventionen für Atomstrom - SPIEGEL ONLINE - Nachrichten - Politik (in german)
UK, France, Tschechoslovakia and Poland want to press for more subsidies for nuclear power because they think that without subsidies like a "guaranteed sale price" for nuclear energy, these technologies would not be able to compete on the market and no new nuclear power plants would be built.

At the same time, subsidies for alternative energies are cut back even more (not in this article).

I ask myself why - I mean it makes sense to subsidize anergies that are environmentally friendly in some way, but to subsidize nuclear power is pretty crazy in a post-Fukushima world in which countries like Germany try to actively get out of nuclear energy.
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Old 04-13-2012, 10:39 PM
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Sanely-managed nuclear is simply the only option, if you want reliable, scalable clean energy. All other methods are simply not cost-effective and/or are restricted in ways that fission isn't.

(And unfortunately, I cannot follow the article, since I don't speak fluent German.)
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Old 04-14-2012, 01:09 AM
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People subsidise what works.

Wind turbines make a net loss. Without subsidies, they would never be operated; so this is a case of subsidies to compete with subsidised energy (and with coal and oil, but that's a given, being the cheapest available energy).

Quote:
Hardcore climate change campaigners including Mark Lynas and George Monbiot have recognised the reality of the costs of renewables, and have lent their support to nuclear power in recent months.

[The study] is actually biased towards renewables in two important ways.

Firstly, the study uses DECC's estimates of future gas prices, which are higher than many energy experts predict.

Secondly, as the authors note:

"We haven't included the costs of short term balancing or of reinforcing the grid to accommodate new generation... Adding wider reinforcement costs would be expected to be relatively higher for renewables because the resource tends to be further from demand centres and the overall capacity build is higher".
First good thing the EU has been responsible for in its history. Everyone has a right to energy, not just the super-rich and people who pocket wind subsidies.

Every wondered exactly WHY Germany is looking into tar sands oil? Because wind turbines can't provide their energy needs after they lost so much capacity, and the alternative was buying it from France (who have the best energy infrastructure in the western hemisphere), which would be bad both politically and economically from their standpoint, vast investment into coal, or spending billions building dams and ruining their landscapes and biodiversity. Germany risks losing the technological and economic initiative while China heads toward energy security and the rest of the world umms and ahhs.
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Old 04-14-2012, 01:22 AM
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I am glad to see that people, (in Europe, at least), are FINALLY coming to their senses where Nuclear power is concerned.
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Old 04-15-2012, 12:45 PM
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HNM, I dont get you and your obvious double standards. In previous posts you explicitely said that none of the energies should be subsidized and especially you were proud that nuclear energy can be successful because it is so much cheaper than anything else and that the UK will not subsidize nuclear energy and still make it work. This was, when I argued, that up to now, nuclear power ALWAYS was heavily subsidized because it is not economical. And I said, that without these subsidies, nuclear power would be as expensive as many other forms of enery. You then said that the UK does not anymore subsidize nuclear power and that it still is economical. Obviously that is wrong because now they seem to want subsidies for that.

The other part of your post was adressed extensively in another thread, where I provided information and sources that show that wind energy is not as much a failure as you would like it to be, but mostly I adressed that frankly nonsensical comparison between tar sands oil and electrical energy as well as the false argument that Germany would use tar sands oil or french nuclear power to fill in the gaps created by the shutdown of nuclear power plants (oil is NOT used to create electricity in Germany and Germany EXPORTED energy after the shutdown of the nuclear plants, not import it). So what you wrote there is simply wrong, I provided the sources, links and information on that and I dont want to repeat this again here and I dont really understand why you just ignore any of what I wrote there and just argue the same thing again here. But maybe facts dont count for you once you have formed an opinion or you jus tuse fals "facts" in order to convince others and yourself of whatever world view you have on that. I thought you want also to become a scientist. I suggest to behave like one then and not insist on pseudofacts that have been proven wrong.

Right now, nuclear power is certainly not much affected by the tiny amount of subsidized renewables in terms of at what cost they can sell their energy. Especially as even subsidized renewables are still more expensive than fossil fuels.Their main competitors is coal. And to subsidize nuclear power so that it can beat coal may be a decision a country can make if they really want that as a solution and think it is a good idea to build more nuclear power, but then please no one complain about other countries subsidizing solar power for the exact same reason.

But if a government really wants to throw money at companies that make nuclear stuff, my suggestion would be to not throw it out randomly like that. They can, if they really think this is an option, fund research on safer next generation nuclear power. They could provide funds for making that Thorium stuff work, that you, HNM always talk about so highly. Then they can see if that works. But to give them money just to continue operating their old crappy reactors a while longer or to build new ones that operate with the same dangerous principles does not make ANY sense to me at all.

Subsidies and research grants are a good tool to create new technologies, to start up new technologies that are not yet competitive on a market and to provide a fair marketplace that offers chances for new solutions that have to be tested. It should not really be a way to keep dinosaurs like pressurized water nuclear power plants alive. That is as stupid as the German subsidies for extracting coal in Germany for decades at a time when it was not economical anymore to do this, just to keep the jobs in mining.
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Old 04-15-2012, 05:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by auroraglacialis View Post
But if a government really wants to throw money at companies that make nuclear stuff, my suggestion would be to not throw it out randomly like that. They can, if they really think this is an option, fund research on safer next generation nuclear power. They could provide funds for making that Thorium stuff work, that you, HNM always talk about so highly. Then they can see if that works. But to give them money just to continue operating their old crappy reactors a while longer or to build new ones that operate with the same dangerous principles does not make ANY sense to me at all.
AFAIK, unless something goes badly wrong in the construction of ITER, "next generation nuclear power" is fusion, which is miles ahead of every other technology available. (And even if ITER fails for some reason, laser-ignition fusion and various other methods are on the drawing board as well.)
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Old 04-15-2012, 06:16 PM
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I am a fan of fusion power, one reason, is that you FEED THEM the spent fission fuel rods that we have buried all over the place. It's emissions are even cleaner that fission reactors.
The ONLY problem with them, and the one thing that the anti fission protestors constantly bring up, is that there is a, by comparison to a fission reactor, Miniscule amount of nuclear waste left behind, the problem with it is, that it is Weapons Grade Plutonium.
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Old 04-15-2012, 08:15 PM
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I can only be fearful of nuclear power. There will ALWAYS be a bigger natural disaster than we've seen so far that we haven't prepared for that WILL manage to break through the defences of the station, that much is certain. I worry about terrorists getting hold of them as it is essentially a government paid for nuclear bomb. Also, how does one deconstruct somethign like a nuclear power plant? Humans aren't going to be around forever and leaving all the other animals to deal with the consequences of a meltdown would be so selfish it makes me want to bring up my stomach contents
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Old 04-15-2012, 10:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Niri Te View Post
I am a fan of fusion power, one reason, is that you FEED THEM the spent fission fuel rods that we have buried all over the place. It's emissions are even cleaner that fission reactors.
The ONLY problem with them, and the one thing that the anti fission protestors constantly bring up, is that there is a, by comparison to a fission reactor, Miniscule amount of nuclear waste left behind, the problem with it is, that it is Weapons Grade Plutonium.
Niri Te
You're thinking of the advanced end of fission reactors. (which do not produce weapons-grade anything, AFAIK) You feed fusion reactors hydrogen, and the best place to find that is seawater. There happens to be a lot of seawater available.

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Silver Stag View Post
I can only be fearful of nuclear power. There will ALWAYS be a bigger natural disaster than we've seen so far that we haven't prepared for that WILL manage to break through the defences of the station, that much is certain. I worry about terrorists getting hold of them as it is essentially a government paid for nuclear bomb. Also, how does one deconstruct somethign like a nuclear power plant? Humans aren't going to be around forever and leaving all the other animals to deal with the consequences of a meltdown would be so selfish it makes me want to bring up my stomach contents
Only older fission reactors can melt down. The newer ones have various safety features that guarantee that the reactor will shut down, assuming that's physically possible, and the mechanics of a fusion reaction mean that we might as well be talking about the neutrinos mutating. If you disable the power to a fusion reactor with no warning and then flood the reactor chamber with seawater, then.... you'll get a white flash as several milligrams of hydrogen plasma react with the surroundings. No radiation output, no chemical byproducts, and if you're lucky, not even any permanent damage to the reactor! (Although the currents that get set up by the magnetic containment collapsing might cause problems.)
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Old 04-16-2012, 01:14 AM
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Originally Posted by auroraglacialis View Post
HNM, I dont get you and your obvious double standards. In previous posts you explicitely said that none of the energies should be subsidized and especially you were proud that nuclear energy can be successful because it is so much cheaper than anything else and that the UK will not subsidize nuclear energy and still make it work. This was, when I argued, that up to now, nuclear power ALWAYS was heavily subsidized because it is not economical. And I said, that without these subsidies, nuclear power would be as expensive as many other forms of enery. You then said that the UK does not anymore subsidize nuclear power and that it still is economical. Obviously that is wrong because now they seem to want subsidies for that.
OK, I'll break it down so you are able to understand.
-Wind is expensive; prohibitively so. It's also unreliable, demand is largely inelastic (can not be held off until specific times), and storage is expensive and engineering-intensive.
-Wind is subsidised to be competitive with other sources. This means that the power it produces it sold AT A LOSS and the operators only stay in business through subsidy money (since they only receive the money if the energy produced is fed into the national grid).
-Subsidies vary by country. I NEVER said nuclear was 'so much cheaper than anything else'; I have correctly stated that it is cheaper than unsubsidised wind as well as sources such as hydroelectric or solar. I have always conceded that is still more expensive than oil, which is itself more expensive than gas and coal.
-As it stands, most energy is subsidised through government concessions, that may or may not be financial (other concessions still SAVE MONEY in operational costs), including as a mechanism to limit prices charged to consumers without direct regulation or complete nationalisation. You conveniently link to a page nobody else can read, so you can pull whatever you like out of their from it with no accurate way to verify it.

Quote:
The other part of your post was adressed extensively in another thread, where I provided information and sources that show that wind energy is not as much a failure as you would like it to be,
...and I have provided extneisve sources showing it IS.
Quote:
but mostly I adressed that frankly nonsensical comparison between tar sands oil and electrical energy as well as the false argument that Germany would use tar sands oil or french nuclear power to fill in the gaps created by the shutdown of nuclear power plants (oil is NOT used to create electricity in Germany and Germany EXPORTED energy after the shutdown of the nuclear plants, not import it).
How much energy compared to previous years? According the the CIA World Factbook (considered highly authoritative and accurate by all sources), it has remained constant since 2010 compared to previous rapid growth.
Also, no, they have not lost their capacity yet, they are in the process of crawing back under a rock, not having already done so.
Quote:
So what you wrote there is simply wrong
What you wrote there is simply wrong.

[quote[I provided the sources, links and information on that and I dont want to repeat this again here and I dont really understand why you just ignore any of what I wrote there and just argue the same thing again here.[/quote]
In other words, you are going 'lalalala I'm not listening'?

Quote:
But maybe facts dont count for you once you have formed an opinion or you jus tuse fals "facts" in order to convince others and yourself of whatever world view you have on that.
Pot calling the kettle black much?
Quote:
I thought you want also to become a scientist. I suggest to behave like one then and not insist on pseudofacts that have been proven wrong.
Again, ad hominem is the mark of someone with no actual point to make. Also, you are talking to me as if I am somehow ignorant and 'want to become' as opposed to live independently, have a job and realistic goals that don't involve forming some weird cult or expecting all of humanity to abandon their lives to sit in a circle going 'peace and love man' and dying of preventable disease.

Quote:
Right now, nuclear power is certainly not much affected by the tiny amount of subsidized renewables in terms of at what cost they can sell their energy. Especially as even subsidized renewables are still more expensive than fossil fuels.
Exactly.

Quote:
Their main competitors is coal.
Again, EXACTLY. That's the point, to replace coal with actual solutions that actually work instead of high-visibility symbolic expensive placebos. It's more expensive than coal. It needs decent infrastructure and technology base to use. It's also the only practical alternative without depopulating Earth by 90% or Pol Pot-style execution of anyone connected to modern life.

Quote:
And to subsidize nuclear power so that it can beat coal may be a decision a country can make if they really want that as a solution and think it is a good idea to build more nuclear power, but then please no one complain about other countries subsidizing solar power for the exact same reason.
Did I ever? NO. I just pointed out that wind and solar NEED those subsidies to even be operated; not even simply to be operated at an acceptable profit. Without subsidies, they would NOT exist, because the national grids are not willing to pay so far over the odds per kWH, and sales at market rates (especially with the variability of market rates depending on demand periods) tend to be unable to cover their setup and operating expenses.

Quote:
But if a government really wants to throw money at companies that make nuclear stuff, my suggestion would be to not throw it out randomly like that. They can, if they really think this is an option, fund research on safer next generation nuclear power. They could provide funds for making that Thorium stuff work, that you, HNM always talk about so highly. Then they can see if that works.
They already do that... Indeed, while grant money is helpful, neither is it the sole source.

Quote:
But to give them money just to continue operating their old crappy reactors a while longer or to build new ones that operate with the same dangerous principles does not make ANY sense to me at all.
THE ENTIRE POINT is to REPLACE old installations, the Magnox reactors, the second-generation designs, the inefficient designs that not only produce plutonium, but also consume significantly more fuel and produce more waste. The point is to stop needing to extend their operational lifetimes by bringing new capacity into place to replace them.

Quote:
Subsidies and research grants are a good tool to create new technologies, to start up new technologies that are not yet competitive on a market and to provide a fair marketplace that offers chances for new solutions that have to be tested. It should not really be a way to keep dinosaurs like pressurized water nuclear power plants alive. That is as stupid as the German subsidies for extracting coal in Germany for decades at a time when it was not economical anymore to do this, just to keep the jobs in mining.
Subsidies often are; just look at the absolute mess that is defence contracts over here which often results in paying more money for inferior or equal equipment to what could have been acquired from foreign companies for a lower price, and happens in most non-US countries to some degree.

Subsidies are used when something that is NEEDED can not be produced economically while still taking advantage of the competitiveness, innovation and efficiency of the private sector to do so rather than instigate a bloated nationalised bureaucracy that will deliver an inferior result in a longer timeframe at several times the cost.

Subsidies are political. There's no way around that. They happen because something is essential, on order to make it happen. The EU is a financial mess, and if I'm honest, while it's good to see money go to any energy subsidy rather than fossil fuels rather than bailing out French farmers or the Greek economy, it should go to methods that are actually semi-competitive in any case in order to being them into line with existing main sources.
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Old 04-16-2012, 01:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Niri Te View Post
I am a fan of fusion power, one reason, is that you FEED THEM the spent fission fuel rods that we have buried all over the place. It's emissions are even cleaner that fission reactors.
The ONLY problem with them, and the one thing that the anti fission protestors constantly bring up, is that there is a, by comparison to a fission reactor, Miniscule amount of nuclear waste left behind, the problem with it is, that it is Weapons Grade Plutonium.
Niri Te
Not really. Fusion is nonviable past iron (which is the worst element for both fission and fusion), and commercially so past helium. Fusion also produces ZERO harmful waste; in a deuterium-tritium reaction, the resultant nucleus is helium-4 (and a free neutron), deuterium being hydrogen-2 and tritium hydrogen-3.

Older nuclear reactors produce plutonium; modern designs produce far less in the way of fissile isotopes as they are themselves consumed as a component of the fuel cycle.

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Silver Stag View Post
I can only be fearful of nuclear power. There will ALWAYS be a bigger natural disaster than we've seen so far that we haven't prepared for that WILL manage to break through the defences of the station, that much is certain. I worry about terrorists getting hold of them as it is essentially a government paid for nuclear bomb. Also, how does one deconstruct somethign like a nuclear power plant? Humans aren't going to be around forever and leaving all the other animals to deal with the consequences of a meltdown would be so selfish it makes me want to bring up my stomach contents
Ah, the old appeal to probability (aka "It could happen, so it will happen").

A reactor and a bomb are nothing alike, to believe to is a misunderstanding of physics on the most fundamental levels.
I worry about terrorists anyway; but does it mean fear dictates how I live? No. Nobody wants to ban aircraft, trains or skyscrapers just because terrorists attack them.

I personally still don't see humans spontaneously disappearing.The question is that even if they DID, what would happen? Not much. It would take a complete inversion of the laws of physics for a reactor to fail from lack of operators; it will shut down or run itself out first. New designs are actually designed to shut down even if gravity itself stops working (also meaning they will do so if in deep space). Can't get more belt-and-braces that that.
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Old 04-16-2012, 01:50 AM
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Not really. Fusion is nonviable past iron (which is the worst element for both fission and fusion), and commercially so past helium. Fusion also produces ZERO harmful waste; in a deuterium-tritium reaction, the resultant nucleus is helium-4 (and a free neutron), deuterium being hydrogen-2 and tritium hydrogen-3.
Those free neutrons have a tendency to irradiate the reactor housing, though.
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Old 04-16-2012, 02:18 AM
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Clarke said:
You're thinking of the advanced end of fission reactors. (which do not produce weapons-grade anything, AFAIK) You feed fusion reactors hydrogen, and the best place to find that is seawater. There happens to be a lot of seawater available.

If you pay attention to what I said, it was (Paraphrased, that while the Fusion reactors were very clean, and produced (by comparison to fission reactors) far less radioactive waste, AND were FED the old fuel rods from the fission reactors, the anti fission reactor crowd would ALSO jump down the throats of the Fusion reactor supporters, because the small amount of radioactive waste left over from the FUSION REACTORS, was weapons grade plutonium.

I said NOTHING about the plutonium coming from a fission reactor.
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Old 04-16-2012, 03:34 PM
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Clarke said:
You're thinking of the advanced end of fission reactors. (which do not produce weapons-grade anything, AFAIK) You feed fusion reactors hydrogen, and the best place to find that is seawater. There happens to be a lot of seawater available.

If you pay attention to what I said, it was (Paraphrased, that while the Fusion reactors were very clean, and produced (by comparison to fission reactors) far less radioactive waste, AND were FED the old fuel rods from the fission reactors, the anti fission reactor crowd would ALSO jump down the throats of the Fusion reactor supporters, because the small amount of radioactive waste left over from the FUSION REACTORS, was weapons grade plutonium.

I said NOTHING about the plutonium coming from a fission reactor.
Niri Te
You're mistaken. It's impossible for a fusion reactor to either produce or process anything heavier than iron - the physics involved simply don't let it happen. The binding energy gets larger, not smaller, as the elements get heavier once you've past iron.
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Old 04-16-2012, 04:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clarke
Only older fission reactors can melt down. The newer ones have various safety features that guarantee that the reactor will shut down, assuming that's physically possible, and the mechanics of a fusion reaction mean that we might as well be talking about the neutrinos mutating. If you disable the power to a fusion reactor with no warning and then flood the reactor chamber with seawater, then.... you'll get a white flash as several milligrams of hydrogen plasma react with the surroundings. No radiation output, no chemical byproducts, and if you're lucky, not even any permanent damage to the reactor! (Although the currents that get set up by the magnetic containment collapsing might cause problems.)
If what you say is true then that is reassuring. I personally would rather live in a world with no technology than have a body full of tumours so surely you can see where I am coming from I guess nuclear would onyl be for a time until we discover another kind of energy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Human No More
Ah, the old appeal to probability (aka "It could happen, so it will happen").

A reactor and a bomb are nothing alike, to believe to is a misunderstanding of physics on the most fundamental levels.
I worry about terrorists anyway; but does it mean fear dictates how I live? No. Nobody wants to ban aircraft, trains or skyscrapers just because terrorists attack them.

I personally still don't see humans spontaneously disappearing.The question is that even if they DID, what would happen? Not much. It would take a complete inversion of the laws of physics for a reactor to fail from lack of operators; it will shut down or run itself out first. New designs are actually designed to shut down even if gravity itself stops working (also meaning they will do so if in deep space). Can't get more belt-and-braces that that.
One has to figure out what is considered an acceptable risk. Nobody like volatile things, espcially when they can cause the kind of trouble Japan has suffered through. There are no guarantees ever, programs can have bugs in them, hardware can malfunction and before you know it your safety mechanisms are worthless. Everybody makes mistakes, even the brightest engineers that would be in charge of stuff like this.

As for terrorists, all their current ways of attacking can kill a few hundred or thousand people but for them to be in control of a nuclear power station could harm/kill millions, I think it's a bit different. In truth it's not humans I'm worried about, they have the means to get out of there. It's everything else I'm scared for, the ones that can't pick up and leave when disaster strikes.
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