@kravietz Nuclear power is guaranteed destruction as well… Creating nuclear waste lasting for centuries and other than CO2, we don't even have a remote idea on how to get rid of it.
And no, hiding it in the ground is not a great answer as all temporary depots have shown.
I think we have to come up with better solutions there.
@pro @kravietz So, I just spend some time reading about full cycle nuclear power strategy and the first thing that sticks out is: Even for the "little" amount of nuclear waste that France produces, it has no final destination.
And another point I came across, due to the "statistics being an asshole the risk of an incident increases drastically with every new power plant, The incidents of Fukushima and Chernobyl were no exceptions, they were statically "expectable".
I mean if you want to live with the risk, fine, go ahead. But please somewhere not even remotely close to me? like further away than Chernobyl, because we still had their nuclear cloud over here and are still recommended to not collect mushrooms in the forest, due to this nonsense.
@sheogorath @pro Here are some case studies of fatal accidents in solar industry https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CCDPHP/DEODC/OHB/FACE/Pages/Solar.aspx
And obviously, we should not panic around that because *every* human activity can potentially result in harm and death. Keeping them safe is a task for healt & safety. The problem is that accidents in nuclear industry are singled out and presented as something immensely dangerous and deadly, when they are not.
The number of people that are at least subject of a nuclear incident is by a magnitude of hundred thousands when not millions higher than the number of even hundreds of solar or wind industry incidents.
And we can safely expect another incident within the next 15-20 years.
@kravietz @pro True, those can happen, and they do happen, but considering the environmental impact and the regulations that those project have regarding cleanness of water in Europe mean even the worst incident won't cause a wasteland. Like with a Tsunami people will die, people will flee but as soon as it's over they will come back and start living there. That not so much the case directly around Chernobyl or Fukushima even after decontamination.
The problem with nuclear power are not direct death numbers, but the long term environmental impact. From deformities, to reduced life expectations to no longer usable land areas. I'm not sure which study you are quoting, but I don't expect them to calculate those impacts in there.
This is all covered by medical research after nuclear accidents. In case of Fukushima there was 1 fatality, in case of Chernobyl - 200 (over 20 years). All that included cancer, early death, birth defects etc.
In many cases suspicious diseases are blamed on nuclear without conclusive evidence, as it was with a spike of leukemia near Sellafield nuclear processing plant in UK back in 80's. Media were quick to jump to conclusion that the plant is KILLING OUR CHILDREN!!! etc
@kravietz @pro The WHO talks about slightly different number around a few thousand that are impacted in form of cancer but with no clear diagnose whenever this is caused directly due to radiation of due to bad lifestyle. (That's the ugly thing about radiation)
And a lot of cancer cases were solvable by surgery but people have to take meds for their entire life. The mortality itself is not really the full picture of the problem with nuclear power, as I mentioned before.
When it comes to coal, we also have the whole mining process, which has a huge and negative impact on the environment. But even there I consider the impact of those things lower than the impact of a nuclear power plant incident in Germany. Be it due to natural disaster or human error.
What we need to do is getting this Bureaucracy sorted out.
@kravietz @pro Anyway, it was definitely an interesting discussion we had. I really enjoyed it. Even when it just made me even less certain about the world wide usage of nuclear power. The MIT even suggests that there are 4 major incidents in the timespan from 2004 to 2053 (and at least 1 with Fukushima was there).
It's a weird piece of technology. As someone who hates gambling, not really my world. Still hope we can all figure this energy/environment problem out together quite soon :)
@kravietz @pro at least this study doesn't seem to support the indicated statement: https://festkoerper-kernphysik.de/Weissbach_EROI_preprint.pdf
And similar studies I got through a quick scan using google scholar, don't suggest anything else either. There is a positive EOREI in wind energy, it's just not as big as other renewable energy sources and way below fossil fuels. But that's no surprise.
Looking at real world examples: Rampion off-shore wind farm in UK has 116 towers that occupy 70 km2 (!) and has nominal output of 700MW. In case of off-shore wind, that can be utilised up to 40% due to intermittency.
Nearby Dungeness nuclear power plant has just one block of 600MW that can be utilised up to 95% and occupies maybe 1 km2.
This, in my opinion, is a huge difference...
@kravietz @pro well, the Exclusion Zone around Chernobyl is 2,600 km2. So given that an accident happens, which due to statistics as already mentioned we have to expect, that's quite some space for wind power.
I mean, I have an IT background and look a lot into backups. And looking at that tells me: By default calculate the worst case scenario. And as mentioned, it's not unrealistic that an incidents appears.
You're comparing apples and oranges.
Germany is *already* hitting its limits of land available for wind farms, and to move further with renewables it would need to occupy further thousands of km2.
And if you are indeed considering "the worst scenario" indeed, then you need to also look into possibility of mass gas explosion at power-to-gas and hydrogen processing installations that can destroy whole cities, hydro dam collapses and house fires caused by roof solars.
@kravietz @pro First of all: We have quite some space left, especially in Bavaria. Which is at the same time the biggest energy consuming state in Germany. The Bavarian government actively blocks wind power in order to "keep the landscape view intact", that's not running out of space, that's denial. Fun fact there: They recently changed the minimum distance from housing for wind power form 1km to 2km. Against the recommendations of the scientific service and external experts.
And since I'm with Kant that I should only do stuff where I can accept that it would become a universal law, I don't want to anyone else to have to live close to one. That again means, there would be no one to operate it, which is a quite bad situation. So I ask you: Is that irrational?
But you ignore climate change which will be more destructive than any nuclear incident, ignore coal waste, gas leaks, rare earth mining, physical constraints of renewables etc - but to nuclear you apply a battery of unjustified fears - so yes, this *is* irrational :)
@kravietz @pro As I already said, for climate change, the "weapons to use" are renewable energies. And we see in many places that they work, they even work great with a low risk factor. (Take Sweden as an great example, even when they are into water, instead of wind power)
I don't ignore coal waste, I'm also there on the side of renewable energies. (I would prefer to not live close to a coal power plant, but I could still image doing it) and for rare earth mining, we have to work on that.
It makes me quite optimistic that we win this fight against climate change without further nuclear energy. We we want to go for something, the it should be gas power plants for the simple reason, that they are easy to turn on and off, to improve the energy mix.
Are you sure you looked at the right country? First, Sweden runs on nuclear. Second, it has a lot of hydro because of *low* population density that lives mostly in the south and thus has plenty of free space.
Mainland European countries have high population density and limited land. This is precisely why they have been investing in energy sources that occupy little space - coal, gas and nuclear.
And this is also reason why Germany faces opposition against wind farms.
@kravietz @pro And yes, expect of the "mass gas explosions", I was already considering them. But again, the actual case numbers are quite limited and number of killed and permanently insured people is quite low (in Europe) or in countries with comparable safety regulations in those areas.
And again, especially for roof solar power, those cases a lot better to control than big incident caused by nuclear power plants. As well as being a lot easier to send help in.
@kravietz @pro The organisation for international safety regulations is the IAEA therefore, there is a comparable baseline for all nuclear power plants world wide (some countries in the west asia excluded). And during the stress test in the EU, there was also pointed out, that there was room for improvement to compensate the short comings that lead to the Fukushima disaster. (Luckily no geological ones, but still), we can definitely compare the Japanese regulations with the EU ones from 2011.
@kravietz @pro Please keep in mind that standards are written more broadly: They talk about risk expectations and the nuclear power plant that has to be constructed that it sustains the certain penalty over the expected risk. For example for seismic they have to be designed to sustain a level of 8 on the Richter magnitude scale when the seismic activity for the area was estimated as 6.
And the same thing happened in Japan, for the local cases. That makes it definitely comparable.
»Number of people killed and permanently injured as result of nuclear power in Europe and "in countries with comparable safety regulations" is zero.«
So the USA, Russia and Japan don't have comparable safety regulation, I assume. Or your "zero" is different from the common one.
According to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_and_radiation_accidents_and_incidents There were at least some more deads in Japan, in nuclear power plants. But besides that, the study I linked earlier stated that one of the main problems is that for example the IAEA doesn't or can't publish all data about incidents and similar because of NDA agreements with the member states. As you may read, that was one of the major reasons why they considered it quite hard to reduce the range of probablities.
IAEA has no "NDA with member states" and surely not for accidents. Quite the opposite, all countries must not only report even slightest accidents to IAEA but also allow periodic inspections.
And yes, there were two more workers killed in an accident in Japan in 1999. At the same time thousands of workers died in accidents in coal mines, power plants and while installing solar panels and wind turbines. So why are you singling out nuclear industry specifically?
Yes, the IAEA gets the data, but doesn't publish it to the public in all detail.
> Unfortunately, the most important ingredient for a reliable analysis of this kind would be comprehensive time-series data, which are filed at the IAEA but not available for the public.
And the reason I pointed out the mistake was not to improve how coal and renewable energy looks, but to point out, that your intentional extremely low numbers, are simply wrong.
The study is this one: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/00963402.2016.1145910
And I linked it here:
Ok, I missed that one and this article makes perfect sense. So page 113:
"the best estimate is 1 in 3704 reactor years"
But this is based on data from 1962 to 2010 so 1st and 2nd generation reactors. Nobody is building these anymore, quite the contrary.
Then if you look at page 114 there's a number of important points there.
"from 1962 to 2010 the probability of aminor or severe accident at a reactor decreased by afactor of 2.5"
With 3rd and 4th gen reactors you can expect even further reduction.
"Three calculations resulted in 1 accident in more than 200,000 reactor years, and a further three resulted in 1 accidentin 11,000–25,000 reactor year"
The first quote already is just further explanation about the initial statement of "Within the next 10 years, the probability of a core-melt accident in a world with 443 reactors is 69.8%."
And the latter, as you may notice, is exactly what they point out is wrong, as it's a note to explain something in the first section which explains the motivation of the study, not a statement that they figured out.
So with 3rd gen reactors like EPR - that are currently built in UK, France, China, Finland etc - which have been built specifically with safety in mind, you can expect 1 on 10-100'000 reactor years failures.
And this is more than necessary, because we don't want fission-based nuclear energy forever - we need it perhaps for the next 30-50 years to kick-off renewables, fusion and other low-carbon energy sources.
Just keep in mind that renewable energies don't get along great with nuclear energy due to slow on and off cycles for nuclear power. That why I mentioned gas previously. You need to be able to control the electricity output of your plant in minutes, not hours or day, as it is the case with current nuclear power plants or coal power plants. For base load it's preferred to use energy storage instead (or gas in worst case).
I think what @sheogorath means is that coal or gas plant can respond pretty quickly (minutes) to a falling or rising output from wind or solar, while nuclear can change its output much slower (hours).
This is obviously a "problem" created by the very intermittent nature of wind and solar, but needs to be dealt with on the grid level.
In any case, CO2 emissions are much larger and long-term danger than benefits from fast power switching.
Also yes, we may have those newer tech stacks with lower failure rate, but the majority of nuclear power plants are not on that level. So your idea is to rebuild all of them for 30-50 years instead of phasing them out soon and doing things once and properly with renewable energies?
But I think I've provided enough evidence so far that you can't just "do things properly with renewables" due to 1) intermittency, 2) physical constraints?
If and only if we can increase rare earth supplies by 3000% (how?) and occupy all available space, then we can maybe go 80% renewable and we would still need to add TWh of storage per year.
You seem to accept gas for base load, I don't. It's CO2.
The incidences you paint on the wall are not occurring in a notable size - given 200 years of experience in how to handle gas, and lots if measures. When gas there been the last mass gas explosion, how many gave been injured, how many had to leave home forever and how many years has this area then been contaminated?
But the point is you can't put *more* wind turbines there. You built 400MW nominal power and occupied 70 km². For 4GW you need 700 km² etc, for 40GW - 7000 km² etc. And you will only get 30-40% of that on average.
This is why DESERTEC planned to build solar panels in Sahara which was good idea in theory... but it failed.
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