Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Nuclear Power Versus Wind Power

a) In terms of power density - Nuclear - 56 watts per square meter, wind turbines - 1.2 watts per square meter, a nearly 47:1 advantage for nuclear.............b) In terms of resource intensity (per megawatt) - Nuclear - 90 cubic meters of concrete, 40 tons of steel, wind turbines - 870 cubic meters of concrete, 460 tons of steel, a 9.6 and 11.5 to 1 DISadvantage for wind turbines.............c) In terms of start-up cost - Nuclear - $4,800 per kilowatt, wind turbines - $5,000 per kilowatt, about a wash on this one.............d) In terms of capacity and efficiency - Nuclear - 90%, wind turbines - 30%, a 3:1 advantage for nuclear.............e) In terms of carbon emissions - Nuclear - zero, wind turbines - potentially a vast amount of carbon emissions in that these wind facilities always require a fossil fuel back-up, a significant advantage for nuclear.............f) In terms of projected costs for commercial electricity generation (per the International Energy Agency, 2015-2020) - Nuclear - $72 per megawatt hour, wind turbines - $94 per megawatt hour, a more than 20% cost advantage for nuclear.............f) In terms or waste material - alright, this is where it gets tricky. Yes, nuclear reactors do produce a fair amount of radioactive material, but there are in fact some options here. One option would be to do what France and some of the other countries have been doing; namely, re-using and reprocessing a great deal of the uranium and other by-products (a process that apparently cuts down on the amount of radioactive waste by approximately three-fold). Other possibilities would be to 1) utilize a process called transmutation in which a lot of the radiological waste is burned or 2) substitute thorium for the uranium and actually create less waste to begin with....But even with the process as it currently is, nuclear power is significantly better for the environment than coal is and it's obviously more practical than windmills (you would literally have to cover entire states with windmills in order to get the power that a nuclear facility gives you and you would still need a fossil fuel back-up due to the wind being intermittent - duh!). I think that we just need to face it here, folks, nuclear power is probably the future and windmills not.

15 comments:

Ema Nymton said...

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"I think that we just need to face it here, folks, nuclear power is probably the future and windmills not."

Can I sell you the slightly used Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactors in Japan? _YOU_ can have them cheap.

"..But even with the process as it currently is, nuclear power is significantly better for the environment than coal is and it's obviously more practical than windmills ..."

_better_for_the_environment_ !?!!

So what if your kids are deformed/ill from exposure to the 'minor' industrial accidents like Fukushima Daiichi, Chernobyl, and Three Mile Island? What does it matter that whole areas of once inhabitable land masses are now polluted with radioactive waste?

Again with you it is always the simple, simplistic either/or gibberish. Ya. Let us not research anything else for a better solution; we got nuclear power.

Maybe we can build the next nuclear generator in your backyard and let private industry yahoos run it using below minimum wage high-school drop-outs manage it. What could possibly go wrong?!

Ema Nymton
~@:o?
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Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

You're as ill-informed as ever, Nymton. Far more people die every year from coal (which wind power unfortunately needs a back-up of) than have ever died from nuclear energy and nobody has died from Fukushima period. As for the radiation that was leaked out, it was basically that of an X-ray per person. No, nuclear isn't perfect but it's the only energy source that can match up to scale and it's the only stuff that emits ZERO carbon emissions. You really need to do some non Daily Kos research, lady (and, yes, smaller reactors ARE in the works and the ones that can use thorium are even safer still).

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

And I also noticed that your lazy partisan ass didn't challenge a single one of my assertions pertaining to cost, scale, power density, and carbon emissions. NOT A SINGLE ONE. Attaway to stay on the topic there, girlie.

Rusty Shackelford said...



Nymton's hot air could rotate 6 o7 windmills.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

Yeah, with Ema assisting, we could could probably get that power density up to 2 watts per square meter.

dmarks said...

You've convinced me on this, Will. Ema's comment only proved her contempt for working people.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

I'm not doing cartwheels over this, dmarks, but I have crunched the numbers and barring any major breakthroughs on energy storage and capacity, nuclear is the only real energy source post fossil fuels that can measure up to scale. Solar, maybe in the future (solar has a much higher power density than wind or ethanol), but I'm not exactly putting my nest-egg on it.

Ema Nymton said...

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"... I also noticed that your lazy partisan ass didn't challenge a single one of my assertions pertaining to cost, scale, power density, and carbon emissions."

And I didn't challenge the idea that allowing nuclear power plants to simply dump their toxic waste into nearby rivers and lakes is a very cost effective to bring down the cost of operating the plants and increasing the profits. Just think of the nirvana of pure profits if companies did not have to deal with EPA.

"... nobody has died from Fukushima ..."

Who is being an absolutely lazy partisan ass? Hole!

Ema Nymton
~@:o?
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dmarks said...

Want to build your nest egg? Start a bogus front company, make sure it has something to do with electric cars, windmills, or batteries. Then watch hundreds of millions in corporate welfare flow in from ObamaCo. You can siphon this money off and live quite well. Since it will be a sham, not much will happen, except perhaps you might export jobs to foreign countries (Fiskars) or heaven forbid the company might gain some value, in which case it can be sold to mainland China, in order to boost the Chinese economy.

Proposterous? Yeah, but that is what happens with ObamaCo's greenscam corporate welfare environment.

Obama himself says he'd rather "close funding for the disabled kid, or the poor kid" than stop this massive counter-productive waste.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

Yet another straw man, Ema. Nowhere did I ever say that there shouldn't be an EPA or that the nuclear industry shouldn't be regulated. You're simply making stuff up at this point. And, yes, there are some issues with nuclear but there are also solutions; reprocessing (that's what they do in France), transmutation, thorium and it would probably be to your benefit to bone up on them and to also get a tutorial on power density (the fact that nuclear has a near 50:1 advantage over wind in this regard). Just a suggestion.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

Yeah, dmarks, I would probably syphon off some off that money and give it to the 2 kids, too. That, and cancel the weaponry to Egypt.

Barlowe Bayer said...

What about the Price–Anderson Nuclear Industries Indemnity Act"? It's my understanding that without this act there would be no nuclear energy (the act provides for insurance in case of a disaster).

The act is needed because insurance companies won't insure nuclear energy... so, basically nuclear energy exists outside the free market. dmarks was opposed to wind energy subsidies and said the free market should decide... so what about nuclear energy? Unless I'm missing something, it appears as though the free market has said "no" to nuclear energy.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

Barlowe, I think that if you looked at the subsidies and tax breaks on a per btu/kilowatt basis, you'd definitely find that the green energy products have been given significantly more in terms of assistance....But I will conceded that your point here is a valid one.

Jerry Critter said...

The insurance is a huge subsidy, and I bet the nuclear industry does not even pay premiums to us -- us being the US Government.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

Here are the stats, Jerry (2008, from the Energy Information Administration, per megawatt hour); Solar - $24, wind - $23, nuclear - $2. Truth, I don't know if this includes insurance or not and so I will in fact grant you that it could ultimately be more.