Sweden and France show that the World could go 100% nuclear within 30 years

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by aaronvan, Sep 16, 2015.

  1. aaronvan Suspended

    aaronvan

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    #1
    In just two decades Sweden went from burning oil to fissioning uranium. And if the world as a whole were to follow that example, all fossil fuel–fired power plants could be replaced with nuclear facilities in a little over 30 years. Greenhouse-free in a little over thirty years!

    A best-case scenario for conversion to 100 percent nuclear power could enable the world to stop burning fossil fuels and start fissioning uranium for electricity within 34 years.

    [​IMG]

    So who is ready to stop climate change in its tracks?
     
  2. jkcerda macrumors 6502

    jkcerda

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  3. Nermal Moderator

    Nermal

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    #3
    Well we (NZ) are 0% nuclear at the moment and are extremely unlikely to move to it!
     
  4. jkcerda macrumors 6502

    jkcerda

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    #4
    Why? Just curious
     
  5. garirry macrumors 68000

    garirry

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    #5
    You answered your own question 30 minutes ago.
     
  6. vrDrew macrumors 65816

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    I recently watched the two-part PBS video on Uranium: Twisting the Dragon's Tale. (I love science shows like this. And this one, I thought was extremely well done: Not too dumbed down, but easy to understand and very relatable.)

    Despite the terrible consequences of the nuclear disasters at Chernobyl; Three Mile Island and Fukushima - the host does point out that nuclear power has been responsible for very, very few deaths.

    But most interesting to me was the potential of new nuclear power technologies, such as molten salt reactors. A US company, founded by a couple of young MIT graduates, Transatomic Power seems - to me- to have some great potential.

    In very simple terms, the molten-salt reactor seems almost too good to be true. It can use, as its fuel, the spent nuclear waste that is currently piling up around the world with nowhere to safely store it. The molten-salt process is inherently safe: it does not operate at high pressures - so there is no need for a containment vessel, and any breach would not spew radioactive material into the environment. If the plant lost power (as happened at Fukushima) the fissile material would simply drain into a tank and solidify. The process extracts more than 95% of the energy in uranium (versus about 4% from the light water process we currently use.) And the very small amount of nuclear waste produced (about 12 kg per year, vs. hundreds of tons) has a half-life of about 300 years - versus hundreds of thousands of years.

    I think if this sort of technology can be proven to be safe; it will prove to be one of the greatest advancements in human technology in the last thousand years. Really. That big.

    Safe; affordable, zero-carbon emitting power. With minimal waste; and a nearly inexhaustible source of fuel. With power like that, I see a bright future for mankind.

    We need to re-think nuclear power. My personal belief is that the current light-water process is both too expensive, has too great a safety risk; and creates too much waste. But the potential for newer processes - like those of Transatomic, are such that we should be investing billions, and getting our best engineers and scientists working around the clock to make it happen.
     
  7. aaronvan thread starter Suspended

    aaronvan

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    #7
    Because New Zealand prefers to strip-mine and burn their cheap and filthy lignite coal.
     
  8. Peterkro macrumors 68020

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    #8
    That would be the New Zealand that produces 75% electricity from renewable sources and only produces 5% from coal?
     
  9. Happybunny macrumors 68000

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    #9
    I just wish that the EU would make a real drive to renewable energy resources, instead of just talking about it.

    NZ is a beacon on how it can be done.
     
  10. vrDrew macrumors 65816

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    #10
    Not to take anything away from New Zealand - but it is a relatively sparsely populated country; with a generally mild climate (not much need for air conditioning); blessed with abundant hydroelectric power resources; and very little heavy industry.

    What works for New Zealand isn't going to work in Nevada or Essen. It certainly isn't going to work in Mumbai or Shenzhen.
     
  11. Praxis91 macrumors regular

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    #11
    Envirowhackos have made sure that the USA has not had a new reactor for decades. They want to spent hundreds of billions on garbage solar, wind, and batteries. LOL
     
  12. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

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    #12
    People that are against nuclear energy clearly knows nothing about the technology. Generation 4 technology is only surpassed by hydroelectricity in long term cost, and extremely clean, even when it comes to waste which is *really* small in volume compared to the energy we get out of it.
     
  13. juanm macrumors 65816

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    #13
    Nuclear has short term advantages, but its long term drawbacks far outweigh the pros.

    Read a bit about the incestuous relationship between the big players in the French nuclear industry and their politician pals, and you'll understand why France is investing so much in that field, instead of taking measures to cut energy waste and investing in renewable energy.
     
  14. aaronvan thread starter Suspended

    aaronvan

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    #14
    Incorrect. 60% of their energy is produced from burning fossil fuels which also pump millions of tons of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere annually.

    [​IMG]
     
  15. Nermal Moderator

    Nermal

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    #15
    Sorry I didn't respond sooner; I've been asleep :)

    I'll defer to Wikipedia.
     
  16. Peterkro macrumors 68020

    Peterkro

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    #16
    New Zealand is a high greenhouse gas producer (including of fair whack from cows) Presumably you didn't notice the word "electricity" in my post.
     
  17. vrDrew macrumors 65816

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    #17
    I think you will find that most of New Zealand's petroleum is used to provide fuel for motor vehicles. They aren't burning crude oil in power plants - they are using it to power cars, trucks, and buses.

    On the electric power generation front they are doing pretty well: a large proportion coming from hydro-electric (although this has its problems too); geothermal and other "renewable" - non-carbon-emitting sources.
     
  18. Huntn macrumors G5

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    #18
    So what to do with hundreds of thousands of radioactive barrels with a half life of 24000 years that no one wants in their back yards?
     
  19. vrDrew macrumors 65816

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    #19
    One promising technology is the "molten-salt" nuclear reactor, which not only is much safer; produces virtually no hazardous waste - they also claim:

    If you are interested in considering solutions to the problems of global warming; a reliable source of safe, carbon-free electricity; and tackling the problem of the quarter million tons of highly radioactive nuclear waste piling up around the globe - take ten minutes and watch this video.

     
  20. Huntn, Sep 17, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2015

    Huntn macrumors G5

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    #20
    Sounds interesting! My understanding is that thorium reactors have potential, that these were considered in the early years of U.S. Nuclear development, but were abandoned because they lacked nuclear weapon potential.
     
  21. vrDrew macrumors 65816

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    #21
    There are a number of alternate nuclear technologies under consideration and development. And it is hard, even for genius nuclear scientists and engineers, to figure out exactly which one may ultimately prove to be the right one.

    I think the broader general public is (perhaps rightly) wary of nuclear power. Not just the erroneous belief that a nuclear power plant could somehow detonate in a full-on nuclear explosion. But the memories of Chernobyl; Three Mile Island and Fukushima. And the whole lingering, unsolved, problem of nuclear waste. And the thorny issue of potential proliferation - ie. terrorists somehow breaking into a nuclear plant and stealing materials to make a bomb.

    One thing I find quite frustrating about all of the alternate technologies: they seem years, if not decades, away from commercial use.

    There are some issues that simply cannot be accelerated. For instance, it simply is not known how the various pipes; valves; and vessels used in the molten-salt reactor will hold up to years of exposure to high temperatures and neutron bombardment. Scientists can model a lot of this using computer simulations, but before regulatory agencies (at least in this country) sign off on a large-scale commercial reactor - they are going to want real world data.

    Personally, my belief is that nuclear fusion technology is too far out there to be realistically achieved in my lifetimes. And while other renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar, will have their place - they simply cannot realistically hope to supply all the power we are going to need in the 21st century.

    We've been making electricity with nuclear power for more than fifty years now. In my opinion, its high time we put the money, the effort, and the political will into replacing every last coal; oil; and light-water nuclear reactor on earth with new technologies such as this.
     
  22. jnpy!$4g3cwk, Sep 17, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2015

    jnpy!$4g3cwk macrumors 65816

    jnpy!$4g3cwk

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    #22
    I know there must be some, but, I've never actually met someone who expects nuclear power plants to do that.

    Fukushima is exactly the kind of accident that nuclear skeptics asserted could happen. And, it did. A perfect lesson in how a "normal accident" plays out.

    Should be solvable, but, I understand the lack of trust.

    The #1 issue. But not terrorists as below. India, Pakistan, North Korea, Iran.

    Very unlikely. Get materials to spread around, sure.

    Don't underestimate what conservation can do.

    I've never argued that nuclear couldn't be made to work safely, but, the industry has to start designing both safety and non-proliferation in from the start. In an earlier era, the industry was cavalier about both issues. The times I guess.
     
  23. VulchR macrumors 68020

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    #23
    I believe there are better alternatives to nuclear, at least where I live. The problems is that if a conventional nuclear power plant gets into trouble, it can contaminate a large area. The ban on grazing livestock in parts of the UK due to the radioactive fallout from Chernobyl lasted until at least 2011...
     
  24. BoxerGT2.5 macrumors 68000

    BoxerGT2.5

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  25. Raid macrumors 68020

    Raid

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    #25
    Having been in Sweden, the country is highly committed many different types of renewable energy... yes 78% comes from nuclear currently but they are highly committed to reducing that.

    Sauce
     

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