Hi everyone,

Here’s a clever little video I just found.

I like this a lot, it is clear and very well explained. Particularly as a nuclear advocate, it is good to see the cost challenges of nuclear laid out in such a simple way, with the distinction between the up front cost and the cost of the actual electricity.

Pretty funny section at the end where he proves to his critic that he is a student, not a lobbyist… Enjoy.

2 comments

  1. It seems to me that an off the shelf solution of solar thermal and wind right now with the continued push for nuclear is the way to go. The timeframes on nuclear mean that we have to either go with gas or solar/wind right now, which in my mind means solar/wind. What is the realistic timeframe for getting nuclear up and running in Australia? 20 years? I definitely support development of the newer nuclear technologies, and don’t see why in the future we can’t have the more traditional renewables working alongside nuclear. It is certainly hypocritical to be mining uranium to export to non non-proliferation treaty countries and yet not use the resource ourselves. A bit like putting a price on carbon to reduce our reliance on brown coal generated electricity, only to export that brown coal to countries that don’t have a carbon market!

    As for baseload power and energy storage, have you seen this TedTalk? It seems to me that we have the ingenuity to actually manage our power requirements through new technologies without resorting to nuclear, although I would still support the continued research, development and rollout of it.

    http://www.ted.com/speakers/donald_sadoway.html

    The move to more distributed energy rather that maintaining the status quo is also a massive issue. The discussion on both sides (nuclear/renewables) doesn’t seem to spend much time on challenging the nature of our supply system which is inherently inefficient.

    Looking forward to more of your posts,

    Cheers,

    Laurie

    1. Given the political will it would not take anywhere near 20 years to establish a significant nuclear power industry in Australia.
      The present distribution system is certainly inefficient and it would become more so with any attempt to supply baseload power with renewables.The present capital investment in the distribution system could be maintained using the present Gen 3 technolgy which could be built on existing coal generator sites and simply plug into the grid.
      In the longer term Gen 4 technolgy using small modular designs will enable a lot of the grid,particularly HVAC,to be retired.
      There is nothing to be gained by building large scale renewables along with nuclear plants.The cost is prohibitive and expecting nuclear generators to slot into the wildly varying outputs of solar and wind is ridiculous.

      Overall,I find your post,with its equivocal support for nuclear,to be typical of those renewables enthusiasts who are beginning to see that their baby is not going to grow into a mature and useful adult but can’t quite bring themselves to give wholehearted support to nuclear.
      In short,the process used by this camp is called “damning with faint praise”.

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