Discussion in 'Science' started by Danske, Nov 1, 2011.
Who cares, we'll have a thermonuclear war with the Russians by 1990...
I think witht he cost of solar, batteries and renewables as a whole dropping in price so quickly that nuclear power plants in AUS will never happen.
The timeline to approve and plan for fuel disposal would far outweigh the time it takes for renewables to be developed and reduce in price even more. The sun shines an awful lot on Australia and the coasts have a lot of wind. Between the 2 i'm sure 24 hour supply could be maintained with LNG as a backup instead of a primary source.
I support it as a transitional method for gearing towards green technologies and recycling.
If we need to seriously slow down our carbon footprint, instantly ramping up of solar production without knowing the ins and outs intrinsically is none the less an industrialized process that in itself requires energy, which shouldn't be coming from coal.
What this means is we should be facilitating a transition with readily available alternative high density power (nuclear) while we sustainably produce current technologies (wind, solar, wave generation, hydro, etc.) and develop the efficiency of those green products while identifying how we are going to start our structural changes necessary to capitalize on our emerging green technologies.
I pretty much agree with you, except that we should have gone Nuclear 20 years ago and be harnessing it's excess energy to expand green tech right now. If we started this afternoon, by the time we got a nuke plant running, the green tech may well already have overtaken it off the back of billions of tonnes of carbon pollution.
I tend to agree with this but that said a few nukes could help bolster the green techs main weakness which is over night capacity.
It should be a stepping stone not a permanent solution.
Its not really cost effective to do just a few nukes. You really have to roll out a good number of identical units to reduce the expensive 'learning a new tech' costs per unit. France rolled out 58 reactors. Australia should roll out at least 8 if not more to maximise its bang for buck value.
Australia simply has no need for nuclear fission power reactors.
...if it was urgent.
obviously urgency isn't...urgent.
it can take as little as 3 years to construct a nuclear plant.
i also have no doubt that it will not happen in australia. other countries actually need them. because they are bursting at the seams with hooomans, and land area is at a premium. of course! there are vast deserts where no humans live. rawsome!
4/5ths of current housing occupants in australia live in detached dwellings. all of which could have solar panels on them...and most of them require grid connection because they generally aren't willing to pay for batteries.
Yeah let's just keep burning shit until that 13% (solar/wind/hydro) = 100% (when exactly?)
biofuels may be renewable, but they still result in carbon release into the atmosphere.
If Australia implemented an ETS like we should have then coal wouldn't be so cheap...
There is no point embarking on a up to 10 year program to build nuclear here as by that time renewables will have taken over, not to mention the copious expense and environmental risks inherent with the tech. We missed the boat with nuclear about 20 - 30 years ago, it's too late now and there is no point now with so many other power generation tech's available.
not going to happen. i'll check back in 10 years. if we are all still around at that time
oil has 50 years minimum global supply remaining and coal and gas even longer.
the odds of a nuke plant in australia are about 0.0% also...as we all probably know already.
Yes, We'll end up with an energy crisis. starting off the massive cost hikes, ending with rolling black outs. because no one would make an politically unpalatable decision (be that decision, nuclear, or 'carbon tax').
Make sure your home solar is off-grid capable.
Great article on small nuclear plants.
The core of it is small enough to put onto a truck. So they manufacture the cores in a workshop and drive them to site, which makes it way cheaper to manufacture and much lower risk and much quicker and cheaper to build. Decommissioning? Same thing, you can defuel it, wait a decade or two, seal it up,disconnect it, decontaminate, drive the core off site and do a deep burial something, and the cores are small enough you could build a facility to store 20-30 of them in a single chamber. Because of this, you could probably just refit the entire site and put in a new core and piping and have a multiple 50 year life spans for the project.
Probably looking a low enriched U for fuel. So what we currently run our research reactor on. Low enriched U is pretty cheap compared to highly enriched. A nuclear plant at <$ billion is probably something you could find investment for, and risk and cost runs are more manageable. Because the project is smaller, there are more affordable (and better) contractors and construction options. $20 billion mega projects quickly become the domain of very large entities with prices to match.
Even if it doesn't work out for Australia, its likely this is the future for nuclear globally. We are already part of it, Australian engineering firms are involved in the designs and Australia is a uranium ore exporter.
A differing opinion...
Not really. I never said that nuclear reactors will be built and up and running and powering the grid before 2025, 2030, or 2040. I doubt we could build a greenfield coal plant that quick (<10 years).
Even these proposed reactors won't be operational at the 2030's at the earliest, and some of those are under design/construction. I think the CAREM is the closest to competition likely to come one online in the next few years.
John Quiggin is a social scientists. I don't know of any social scientists that have built a nuclear reactor, or even fundamentally understand the science and engineering involved. He seems on good ground on harpooning Joyces plans for instant nuclear power, but on weaker ground on the legislation of nuclear reactors. As I have said many times, Australia already operates a nuclear reactor and has done so for 50 years. Social scientists seem to think there is magical forbidden religion on getting a nuclear reactor to generate electricity other than one used for nuclear medicine. We have steam turbine powerstations. We have nuclear reactors. We even have nuclear waste. I suggest he studies engineering for a decade, make some friends at ANSTO and in the electricity industry and revisits his understanding.
If it seems I am picking on John and am on thin ice myself, my background is, the company I worked for built the support facilities at the OPAL site and worked right up to the reactor wall and I teach Engineering at university and have a background in Physics.
At 2040 we will have to start decommissioning the earliest solar and wind plants, ramping up to 2050 where tearing down and burning/landfilling solar cells, restoring PV sites will be big business. So there will be opportunities to look at other technologies.
So I think its worth having a look at it, for the long term. Ideally we would get away from batteries for major grid storage (grid stabilization is another issue) and be on pumped hydro. Nuclear has potential. It is at its core, not CO2 emission technology. It can also work in conjunction with pumped hydro and solar. Its not incompatible. We need to plan for a grid with out gas, with out oil, coal, diesel, etc. We need to plan for ships free of diesel. We need to plan for a Co2 free future.
An ideal brownfields site for a 100MWe nuclear reactor is the ANSTO site. Next to our other reactors. Other sites would be decommissioned coal power stations. They are like to be co-located with PV, Wind and pumped hydro. It is complimentary.
What nuclear offers is consistent output the whole time, this output can be purchased by pump hydro and stored for peaks, to increase their profitability and reliability. They bridge capability during seasonal changes and conditions. They can also strike deals and provide cover with/for industry who needs 100% consistent power delivery. There are also remote parts of the grid that nuclear may offer the best outright option full stop. Perhaps Darwin, Broome, Alice etc.
The costs to generate from 100% renewable is massive. It cannot be done with population growth the way it is and the fact there's a game-changer the electricity network is going to have to adapt to - growing energy demands from electric cars. I would love if someone did the napkin math on that. 100km average per car per day, 10kWh usage per electric car per day.
Renewable energy supplements coal/gas/nuclear. It cannot replace it. There's no economic model where that works out.
Phasing out coal/gas is an environmental thing. The least expensive option to replace them with is nuclear, in the absence of coal/gas to smooth out the supply you cannot scale up renewables to the point where you can run a whole country off of it day in day out sun shining birds chirping or not without bankrupting everyone in the process.
Risks are extremely small if not completely absent with modern nuclear plants. The safety in them is extreme and let's face it this is australia, if they could they would regulate taking a shit. Workplace health safety / fair trading AS3000 blah blah blah. The job standards would be through the roof. There is always a valid point of human error, but technology is here to prevent that for the most part.
Don't confuse modern day society with soviet russia and the rat race of party life.
Can we move on to your next gripe that is the nuclear waste?
wut? wut? Can't keep up with a mere 2-3% growth rate?
Average is ~50km/day per car, and I did napkin math and its about 1/3 20% more power generation, if most of the drivers don't install more solar along with a batter and charge their car overnight in their garage - calcs.
Edit: added calc link
This is what i was referring to. Let me re-phrase "To supply power from"
Good calcs by the way!
And it's a good wager most people get home at 6-7 and throw the car on charge. It creates a huge peak, in the same sense as tariff (ripple) triggered water heating. Depending on the charger it may saturate the inverter and start pulling from the grid, all get's expensive quickly. Sure you could get solar batteries... use a battery to charge another battery... and stuff.
bigger is better right?
australia energy article bla bla.