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188 responses to “Nuclear power in Finland – an update”

  1. wilful

    I have an issue with this post. Well not with the post, it’s excellent as usual. But I don’t think even the well-mannered and usually civilised folks of LP can have a(nother) reasoned debate about nuclear power, as relevant to Australia. The last thread at John Quiggin was a disaster, an absolute sh1tstorm, worst thread ever on that blog. Still, here’s hoping.

    Of interest, Finland is also about 20 percent powered by timber wastes from their world leading forestry industry. Given they have (to my knowledge) no fossil fuels, limited hydro options, and not enough sun, they don’t have many other options apart from biofuel and nuclear. Hats off to them for their commitment.

  2. wilful

    I have an issue with this post. Well not with the post, it’s excellent as usual. But I don’t think even the well-mannered and usually civilised folks of LP can have a(nother) reasoned debate about nuclear power, as relevant to Australia. The last thread at John Quiggin was a disaster, an absolute sh1tstorm, worst thread ever on that blog. Still, here’s hoping.

    Of interest, Finland is also about 20 percent powered by timber wastes from their world leading forestry industry. Given they have (to my knowledge) no fossil fuels, limited hydro options, and not enough sun, they don’t have many other options apart from biofuel and nuclear. Hats off to them for their commitment.

  3. Robert Merkel

    I believe that they are trying to extend their use of biofuel as well.

  4. Robert Merkel

    I believe that they are trying to extend their use of biofuel as well.

  5. Sam

    No nukes! No nukes! Uranium, leave in in the ground! Solar not nuclear! Wadda we want?! No Nukes! Whendowannit?! Now!!

    Zzzzz

  6. Sam

    No nukes! No nukes! Uranium, leave in in the ground! Solar not nuclear! Wadda we want?! No Nukes! Whendowannit?! Now!!

    Zzzzz

  7. TerjeP

    We want fast breeder reactors in our cities burning up our seven century supply of nuclear waste, churning out electricity and turning salt water fresh. When do we want it? Tuesday would be nice. ;-)

  8. TerjeP

    We want fast breeder reactors in our cities burning up our seven century supply of nuclear waste, churning out electricity and turning salt water fresh. When do we want it? Tuesday would be nice. ;-)

  9. Fran Barlow

    Some background to nuclear power in Finland is here

    In early 1986, the Ministry of Trade and Industry prepared a plan for the 1990s that called for increasing installed electrical capacity by about 2,700 megawatts by the year 2000. About 1,200 megawatts of the new capacity was to come from small plants scattered around the country. Another 1,500 megawatts would have to come from large plants–peat-fired, coal-fired, and nuclear. According to the plan, Finland could either import another 500 megawatts from the Soviet Union or further expand nuclear capacity.

    In the spring of 1986, the Eduskunta almost approved the plan, including the construction of a fifth nuclear plant. Public reaction to the nuclear disaster at Chernobyl in the Soviet Union froze consideration of nuclear power, however, and induced a complete review of energy policy. Public pressure caused the government to replace the proposed plant with coal-fired plants. Despite this setback to the nuclear industry, informed observers believed it probable that Finland would increase its nuclear capacity in the 1990s, once public opposition had died down. [my emphasis]

    It is worth noting that Finland continues to import much of its electricity, mainly from Russia and Sweden as well as importing fossil fuels (including coal from Australia). So it is in part importing nuclear energy. In so far as it develops its own nuclear capacity it will be replacing fossil fuels in its energy mix.

    The other interesting point, in an Australian context is that if Australia’s coal exports continue to develop at the projected rate until 2020, Australia will come to exceed Saudi Arabia as an exporter of hydrocarbons. So even though local augmentation of CO2 may amount to less than 2% of the world total, the exports for which we will be responsible will be very considerable. That’s something those who advocate leaving uranium, and presumably thorium as well, in the ground might ponder.

    By contrast, were Australia to become an active player in promoting the development of low cost and safe nuclear power beyond our shores, then this country could make a contribution to the health of the planet out of all proportion to our actual size and develop new engineering capacity based on value adding to the resource base as well. Logically, we should also set up plants here, but even if we didn’t, and merely began helping Indonesia to do so, our region would benefit enormously.

    In 2007 Indonesia for example was pumping out about 33GW of fossil fuelled electricity every hour 24/7 — a little more than Australia, but they have ten times the population we have. They have another 2.5GW or so in geothermal and hydro. They are going to want to expand their consumption per capita and they are going to be doing a lot of industrial production — so one can imagine they aren’t going to be less energy-intensive than we are. So right there, it’s easy to see a market for about 250 reactors or a hell of a lot of coal and gas plants.

    I know what I’d prefer.

  10. Fran Barlow

    Some background to nuclear power in Finland is here

    In early 1986, the Ministry of Trade and Industry prepared a plan for the 1990s that called for increasing installed electrical capacity by about 2,700 megawatts by the year 2000. About 1,200 megawatts of the new capacity was to come from small plants scattered around the country. Another 1,500 megawatts would have to come from large plants–peat-fired, coal-fired, and nuclear. According to the plan, Finland could either import another 500 megawatts from the Soviet Union or further expand nuclear capacity.

    In the spring of 1986, the Eduskunta almost approved the plan, including the construction of a fifth nuclear plant. Public reaction to the nuclear disaster at Chernobyl in the Soviet Union froze consideration of nuclear power, however, and induced a complete review of energy policy. Public pressure caused the government to replace the proposed plant with coal-fired plants. Despite this setback to the nuclear industry, informed observers believed it probable that Finland would increase its nuclear capacity in the 1990s, once public opposition had died down. [my emphasis]

    It is worth noting that Finland continues to import much of its electricity, mainly from Russia and Sweden as well as importing fossil fuels (including coal from Australia). So it is in part importing nuclear energy. In so far as it develops its own nuclear capacity it will be replacing fossil fuels in its energy mix.

    The other interesting point, in an Australian context is that if Australia’s coal exports continue to develop at the projected rate until 2020, Australia will come to exceed Saudi Arabia as an exporter of hydrocarbons. So even though local augmentation of CO2 may amount to less than 2% of the world total, the exports for which we will be responsible will be very considerable. That’s something those who advocate leaving uranium, and presumably thorium as well, in the ground might ponder.

    By contrast, were Australia to become an active player in promoting the development of low cost and safe nuclear power beyond our shores, then this country could make a contribution to the health of the planet out of all proportion to our actual size and develop new engineering capacity based on value adding to the resource base as well. Logically, we should also set up plants here, but even if we didn’t, and merely began helping Indonesia to do so, our region would benefit enormously.

    In 2007 Indonesia for example was pumping out about 33GW of fossil fuelled electricity every hour 24/7 — a little more than Australia, but they have ten times the population we have. They have another 2.5GW or so in geothermal and hydro. They are going to want to expand their consumption per capita and they are going to be doing a lot of industrial production — so one can imagine they aren’t going to be less energy-intensive than we are. So right there, it’s easy to see a market for about 250 reactors or a hell of a lot of coal and gas plants.

    I know what I’d prefer.

  11. Chumpai

    Robert Great post as usual.

    This morning I saw a piece of news somewhere sayin China was increasing the number of AP1000′s it was buying to 12. Perhaps this says something about the wisdom of getting cookie cutter reactors?

    If China and/or the US builds lots of AP1000′s I think that might have implications for Australia (should we build our own reactors) in that the per unit cost comes down and design flaws come to light.

  12. Chumpai

    Robert Great post as usual.

    This morning I saw a piece of news somewhere sayin China was increasing the number of AP1000′s it was buying to 12. Perhaps this says something about the wisdom of getting cookie cutter reactors?

    If China and/or the US builds lots of AP1000′s I think that might have implications for Australia (should we build our own reactors) in that the per unit cost comes down and design flaws come to light.

  13. Chumpai

    Fran, did you mean 33 megawatts per hour?

    Australia produces 240,000,000,000 kWh a year divided by (24×365) = ~27,400,000 kW.

    I think. Anyway back to work.

  14. Chumpai

    Fran, did you mean 33 megawatts per hour?

    Australia produces 240,000,000,000 kWh a year divided by (24×365) = ~27,400,000 kW.

    I think. Anyway back to work.

  15. Fran Barlow

    33GW …

  16. Fran Barlow

    33GW …

  17. Kaj Luukko

    Nice post! I’m proud to be a Finn!

    For those who are interested in the power production in Finland can find a real time information here:

    http://www.fingrid.fi/portal/in_english/electricity_market/state_of_power_system/

    The “cogeneration industy” comes mostly from pulp plants and it is renewable, from woods.

  18. Kaj Luukko

    Nice post! I’m proud to be a Finn!

    For those who are interested in the power production in Finland can find a real time information here:

    http://www.fingrid.fi/portal/in_english/electricity_market/state_of_power_system/

    The “cogeneration industy” comes mostly from pulp plants and it is renewable, from woods.

  19. Huggybunny

    Fran, Knowing what I know about how stuff is managed in Indonesia I would be very concerned about 250 nukes located over there. Nepotism, cronyism, corrupt feudal relations, rampant bribery and corruption, to say nothing of tektonic instability. You want them to run nukes?
    You are joking of course.
    Huggy.

  20. Huggybunny

    Fran, Knowing what I know about how stuff is managed in Indonesia I would be very concerned about 250 nukes located over there. Nepotism, cronyism, corrupt feudal relations, rampant bribery and corruption, to say nothing of tektonic instability. You want them to run nukes?
    You are joking of course.
    Huggy.

  21. wilful

    Surely Indonesia, sitting atop a faultline, could go a long way towards geothermal power readily?

    Their political and geological foundations don’t really inspire me with confidence that they could or should have a big nuclear future.

  22. wilful

    Surely Indonesia, sitting atop a faultline, could go a long way towards geothermal power readily?

    Their political and geological foundations don’t really inspire me with confidence that they could or should have a big nuclear future.

  23. Tim Macknay

    Thanks for the update, Robert. It’s refreshing to look at a country with an energy policy that is seriously aimed at cutting emissions.

  24. Tim Macknay

    Thanks for the update, Robert. It’s refreshing to look at a country with an energy policy that is seriously aimed at cutting emissions.

  25. Fran Barlow

    HB said:

    Knowing what I know about how stuff is managed in Indonesia I would be very concerned about 250 nukes located over there.

    While I would certainly want to have propfessional management of the plants this would apply no matter what plants we are talking about. Would one prefer them to be running gas plants in such an area? that would be way more dangerous. Can one imagine the emissions control standards on 250 coal plants? Ugh … 40+ years (at best) of renewed poisoning of the populace and a brown haze headed our way into the bargain. I don’t think so.

    Properly configured and regularly inspected, there’s a lot less that can go wrong with a nuclear plant than a coal or gas plant, as recent history shows.

    Given that it’s simply not possible to imagine 220 million Indonesians subsisting on renewables — leave aside engaing in industrial development on this basis — you are really arguing for more coal and gas in an area of tectonic instability. Why would anyone do that?

  26. Fran Barlow

    HB said:

    Knowing what I know about how stuff is managed in Indonesia I would be very concerned about 250 nukes located over there.

    While I would certainly want to have propfessional management of the plants this would apply no matter what plants we are talking about. Would one prefer them to be running gas plants in such an area? that would be way more dangerous. Can one imagine the emissions control standards on 250 coal plants? Ugh … 40+ years (at best) of renewed poisoning of the populace and a brown haze headed our way into the bargain. I don’t think so.

    Properly configured and regularly inspected, there’s a lot less that can go wrong with a nuclear plant than a coal or gas plant, as recent history shows.

    Given that it’s simply not possible to imagine 220 million Indonesians subsisting on renewables — leave aside engaing in industrial development on this basis — you are really arguing for more coal and gas in an area of tectonic instability. Why would anyone do that?

  27. Fran Barlow

    As far as I can tell wilful, they have aboput 1GW of installed geothermal in electricity, but again, apart from it being very expensive, it’s not considered to be something that could account for very much load.

    In any event, as I just said to HB, whatever power source you use, the same objections on tectonic grounds apply. Yet the country can’t simply sit back and await the tumbleweeds.

    So would one, in a tectonically active area prefer

    a) a gas plant?
    b) a coal plant?
    c) a nuclear plant?

    Presumably, one would ensure that areas of comparative stability would be chosen and the energy shipped to where it was needed anyway, but in the case of coal and gas the nature of the feedstock imposes severe cost constraints on where you can build the plant. Nuclear plants, not so much.

  28. Fran Barlow

    As far as I can tell wilful, they have aboput 1GW of installed geothermal in electricity, but again, apart from it being very expensive, it’s not considered to be something that could account for very much load.

    In any event, as I just said to HB, whatever power source you use, the same objections on tectonic grounds apply. Yet the country can’t simply sit back and await the tumbleweeds.

    So would one, in a tectonically active area prefer

    a) a gas plant?
    b) a coal plant?
    c) a nuclear plant?

    Presumably, one would ensure that areas of comparative stability would be chosen and the energy shipped to where it was needed anyway, but in the case of coal and gas the nature of the feedstock imposes severe cost constraints on where you can build the plant. Nuclear plants, not so much.

  29. TerjeP

    Nuclear would be way cleaner and safer.

  30. TerjeP

    Nuclear would be way cleaner and safer.

  31. wilful

    But the heat is so accessible, it means that geothermal would surely be practical.
    They may have 1 GW of geothermal installed, so they’re infinitely advanced on nuclear power.

    Geothermal is highly scaleable. Given that the fault runs straight through their main archipelago, lots and lots of geothermal plants could be placed readily easily, I would expect.

  32. wilful

    But the heat is so accessible, it means that geothermal would surely be practical.
    They may have 1 GW of geothermal installed, so they’re infinitely advanced on nuclear power.

    Geothermal is highly scaleable. Given that the fault runs straight through their main archipelago, lots and lots of geothermal plants could be placed readily easily, I would expect.

  33. Huggybunny

    Fran,
    I don’t have an easy answer to be honest.
    I guess its the sheer intellectual arrogance that suggests that 250 nukes could be safely located in Indonesia that gets me. Have you any studies to cite that support this assertion? (I presume you mean them to be safe).
    How did you come up with the magic number of 250? Are they to be confined to Java with its 38 more or less active volcanoes and its population of 136 million or so?
    Have you ever seen the Indonesian grid ? 300+ GW of generation capacity? Dream on.
    Huggy.

  34. Huggybunny

    Fran,
    I don’t have an easy answer to be honest.
    I guess its the sheer intellectual arrogance that suggests that 250 nukes could be safely located in Indonesia that gets me. Have you any studies to cite that support this assertion? (I presume you mean them to be safe).
    How did you come up with the magic number of 250? Are they to be confined to Java with its 38 more or less active volcanoes and its population of 136 million or so?
    Have you ever seen the Indonesian grid ? 300+ GW of generation capacity? Dream on.
    Huggy.

  35. Chumpai

    Fran, you’re right it is 33GW. I had a bit of a brain fade out today.

    Huggy, the US has nuclear powered subs and ships. So building floating reactors for places like Indonesia might be an interesting idea. You could use Seawater as coolant and maybe supply hot water to the locals. Floating reactors eliminate the earthquake problem, and if they are located in a bay like Port Phillip (or if the reactor is submersible) then that reduces tsunamis risk too I guess?

  36. Chumpai

    Fran, you’re right it is 33GW. I had a bit of a brain fade out today.

    Huggy, the US has nuclear powered subs and ships. So building floating reactors for places like Indonesia might be an interesting idea. You could use Seawater as coolant and maybe supply hot water to the locals. Floating reactors eliminate the earthquake problem, and if they are located in a bay like Port Phillip (or if the reactor is submersible) then that reduces tsunamis risk too I guess?

  37. Fran Barlow

    HB said:

    I don’t have an easy answer to be honest.

    I’m glad you seek honesty but why does the answer have to be easy? All decisions involve some sort of judgement based on prospective and tangible cost, risk and benefit.

    I guess its the sheer intellectual arrogance that suggests that 250 nukes could be safely located in Indonesia that gets me.

    Clearly, we are a long way away from declaring that this is a good risk trade. Of one thing we may be sure though — like the rest of the developing world, the Indonesian growth in demand for energy will continue to outstrip ours. Choices will have to be made. Unlike large swathes of this country, the Indonesians have no morbid fears of nuclear power and at the moment, this source is very much being pencilled in as the growth area. We could do ourselves a favour and be part of that, or beg them to instead pollute the planet with our coal and gas and their oil. Which would you prefer?

    How did you come up with the magic number of 250?

    Well Australia has about 25GWe of average capacity. Indonesia is about ten times as populous as we are. Allowing that they use energy at about the same rate we do, that would be ten times our energy capacity i.e. 250GWe. Allow each plant on average is 1GWe ergo 250 plants is a ballpark figure. If they were on average bigger they might need a few less but their pattern of industrialisation might require more per capita energy so it’s unclear.

    As I said though, they are a long way from being ready for that scale of development. More realistically, we might, in a decade or more’s time, be able to augment their capacity by about 3-5GWe per year, some of which would be replacement of fossil plants. It’s also possible that those small portable UH3 nuclear “batteries” might be up and running by then. These can be quite small — 25MWe, require no direct management and are securely contained below ground, where volcanic action would simply be irrelevant.

  38. Fran Barlow

    HB said:

    I don’t have an easy answer to be honest.

    I’m glad you seek honesty but why does the answer have to be easy? All decisions involve some sort of judgement based on prospective and tangible cost, risk and benefit.

    I guess its the sheer intellectual arrogance that suggests that 250 nukes could be safely located in Indonesia that gets me.

    Clearly, we are a long way away from declaring that this is a good risk trade. Of one thing we may be sure though — like the rest of the developing world, the Indonesian growth in demand for energy will continue to outstrip ours. Choices will have to be made. Unlike large swathes of this country, the Indonesians have no morbid fears of nuclear power and at the moment, this source is very much being pencilled in as the growth area. We could do ourselves a favour and be part of that, or beg them to instead pollute the planet with our coal and gas and their oil. Which would you prefer?

    How did you come up with the magic number of 250?

    Well Australia has about 25GWe of average capacity. Indonesia is about ten times as populous as we are. Allowing that they use energy at about the same rate we do, that would be ten times our energy capacity i.e. 250GWe. Allow each plant on average is 1GWe ergo 250 plants is a ballpark figure. If they were on average bigger they might need a few less but their pattern of industrialisation might require more per capita energy so it’s unclear.

    As I said though, they are a long way from being ready for that scale of development. More realistically, we might, in a decade or more’s time, be able to augment their capacity by about 3-5GWe per year, some of which would be replacement of fossil plants. It’s also possible that those small portable UH3 nuclear “batteries” might be up and running by then. These can be quite small — 25MWe, require no direct management and are securely contained below ground, where volcanic action would simply be irrelevant.

  39. anthony nolan

    Pass.

  40. anthony nolan

    Pass.

  41. dave

    Nukes for everyone! Except maybe those pesky Iranians who might use it to do something dastardly. And the sooner the better. It can’t be any worse than what we have got already, can it?

  42. dave

    Nukes for everyone! Except maybe those pesky Iranians who might use it to do something dastardly. And the sooner the better. It can’t be any worse than what we have got already, can it?

  43. Robert Merkel

    Fran, Hyperion have have the distinct smell of vapours coming from them, to be honest.

  44. Robert Merkel

    Fran, Hyperion have have the distinct smell of vapours coming from them, to be honest.

  45. Andrew Reynolds

    Knowing Indonesia as I do I would have to agree that geothermal is probably more practical, sensible and, above all, cheap a solution for them. Given the comparative lack of geothermal heat (and the wide open spaces) here I would also agree that nuclear make more sense here.
    Other than that I have argued this topic many times so I will leave it alone.

  46. Andrew Reynolds

    Knowing Indonesia as I do I would have to agree that geothermal is probably more practical, sensible and, above all, cheap a solution for them. Given the comparative lack of geothermal heat (and the wide open spaces) here I would also agree that nuclear make more sense here.
    Other than that I have argued this topic many times so I will leave it alone.

  47. TerjeP

    If the 250 nuclear plants all lasted 50 years and then exploded causing the subsequent death of 4000 people (ie historical worst case) it would still be vastly safer than most conventional sources of electricity and almost on par with the safest forms. Not that they would all melt down. With modern designs I’d expect zero uncontained melt downs per century.

  48. TerjeP

    If the 250 nuclear plants all lasted 50 years and then exploded causing the subsequent death of 4000 people (ie historical worst case) it would still be vastly safer than most conventional sources of electricity and almost on par with the safest forms. Not that they would all melt down. With modern designs I’d expect zero uncontained melt downs per century.

  49. Fran Barlow

    Robert M said:

    Hyperion have have the distinct smell of vapours coming from them, to be honest.

    I’m not qualified to say, but certainly, it’s one possible approach down the track.

  50. Fran Barlow

    Robert M said:

    Hyperion have have the distinct smell of vapours coming from them, to be honest.

    I’m not qualified to say, but certainly, it’s one possible approach down the track.

  51. wilful

    Fran, not clear whether or not you’re aware of the term ‘vapo[u]rware’.

  52. wilful

    Fran, not clear whether or not you’re aware of the term ‘vapo[u]rware’.

  53. Robert Merkel

    For clarification, vaporware (in the original American) is:

    ..a word used to describe products, usually computer hardware or software, not released on the date announced by their developer, or announced months or years before their release. It usually implies a negative opinion of a product, and uncertainty that it will eventually be released.

  54. Robert Merkel

    For clarification, vaporware (in the original American) is:

    ..a word used to describe products, usually computer hardware or software, not released on the date announced by their developer, or announced months or years before their release. It usually implies a negative opinion of a product, and uncertainty that it will eventually be released.

  55. paul walter

    This thread reeks of a pro nuke ambush; all of the faithful have emerged from their funkholes singing from the same hymn book, as to nukes. What a singularity.
    They have even half convinced the few sceptics about that Indonesia is the most desirable location for this most desirable of processes: watch real estate values skyrocket in Djakarta.
    Are the people financing, designing and building nuclear plants the same sort of people responsible for the events in the Gulf of Mexico.
    Free enterprise.
    Trust us.

  56. paul walter

    This thread reeks of a pro nuke ambush; all of the faithful have emerged from their funkholes singing from the same hymn book, as to nukes. What a singularity.
    They have even half convinced the few sceptics about that Indonesia is the most desirable location for this most desirable of processes: watch real estate values skyrocket in Djakarta.
    Are the people financing, designing and building nuclear plants the same sort of people responsible for the events in the Gulf of Mexico.
    Free enterprise.
    Trust us.

  57. Fran Barlow

    I know the term — it’s just that I don’t know enough about the engineering involved to say whether it will be realised.

  58. Fran Barlow

    I know the term — it’s just that I don’t know enough about the engineering involved to say whether it will be realised.

  59. Huggybunny

    Hey Fran,
    http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-world/indonesia-to-lead-on-geothermal-energy-20100426-tn7k.html
    Part of the solution perhaps?
    How about you let them develop the 27 GW of geothermal potential before you send in the troops to build the nuclear nirvana ?
    See also : http://www.senternovem.nl/mmfiles/Accelerating%20geothermal%20sector%20in%20Indonesial_tcm24-300410.pdf
    Huggy.

    Huggy

  60. Huggybunny

    Hey Fran,
    http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-world/indonesia-to-lead-on-geothermal-energy-20100426-tn7k.html
    Part of the solution perhaps?
    How about you let them develop the 27 GW of geothermal potential before you send in the troops to build the nuclear nirvana ?
    See also : http://www.senternovem.nl/mmfiles/Accelerating%20geothermal%20sector%20in%20Indonesial_tcm24-300410.pdf
    Huggy.

    Huggy

  61. Fran Barlow

    HB, at your link:

    The archipelago of 234 million people and more than 200 volcanoes is estimated to possess around 40 per cent of the world’s geothermal energy potential, or around 28,000 megawatts

    I’ve no problem with them developing geothermal. I’d absolutely favour the Australian government giving them support in developing those projects that were technically and economically feasible. Self-evidently though, even if the rather low-ball costs that this article cites — (about $3 billion per GW) can be realised, and even if they ultimately can get the entire 28GW and deliver it where they want it and do it early, it’s still about one order of magnitude lower than what they will utlimately need if they are to supply 90% of their populace and all of their industry with adequate supplies of cheap reliable electricity.

  62. Fran Barlow

    HB, at your link:

    The archipelago of 234 million people and more than 200 volcanoes is estimated to possess around 40 per cent of the world’s geothermal energy potential, or around 28,000 megawatts

    I’ve no problem with them developing geothermal. I’d absolutely favour the Australian government giving them support in developing those projects that were technically and economically feasible. Self-evidently though, even if the rather low-ball costs that this article cites — (about $3 billion per GW) can be realised, and even if they ultimately can get the entire 28GW and deliver it where they want it and do it early, it’s still about one order of magnitude lower than what they will utlimately need if they are to supply 90% of their populace and all of their industry with adequate supplies of cheap reliable electricity.

  63. Huggybunny

    OK fran,
    They can do the Geothermal thing while they are waiting for the diddy little reactors that are totally safe, produce no waste at all and cost almost nothing to run.
    After all what is 30 or 40 years and avast waste disp[osal and fuel supply chain among friends.

    BTW you should not extrapolate energy useage for given services from the present practice.

    Huggy

  64. Huggybunny

    OK fran,
    They can do the Geothermal thing while they are waiting for the diddy little reactors that are totally safe, produce no waste at all and cost almost nothing to run.
    After all what is 30 or 40 years and avast waste disp[osal and fuel supply chain among friends.

    BTW you should not extrapolate energy useage for given services from the present practice.

    Huggy

  65. Fran Barlow

    HB said:

    They can do the Geothermal thing while they are waiting for the diddy little reactors that are totally safe, produce no waste at all and cost almost nothing to run.

    Actually, they can do them coterminously with the construction of reactors since the current proposals for geothermal, even if realised, fall short of what would be needed to reture fossil capacity and augment supply. And insofar as we were discussing an Australian contribution, we are probably talking post-2025 in practice anyway, though if we started straight away it could be as early as 2020.

    BTW you should not extrapolate energy useage for given services from the present practice.

    Of course not. At the moment they have 60% (they say connected) and they want 90% connected soon. While they aren’t, large numbers of rural dwellers are ripping down forest to burn timber to cook and keep warm, doing damage both to the atmosphere and the forests.

    They need to approach our levels of per-capita electricity usage if they are to get the benefits of civilisation on a mass scale, particularly as they are industrialising.

  66. Fran Barlow

    HB said:

    They can do the Geothermal thing while they are waiting for the diddy little reactors that are totally safe, produce no waste at all and cost almost nothing to run.

    Actually, they can do them coterminously with the construction of reactors since the current proposals for geothermal, even if realised, fall short of what would be needed to reture fossil capacity and augment supply. And insofar as we were discussing an Australian contribution, we are probably talking post-2025 in practice anyway, though if we started straight away it could be as early as 2020.

    BTW you should not extrapolate energy useage for given services from the present practice.

    Of course not. At the moment they have 60% (they say connected) and they want 90% connected soon. While they aren’t, large numbers of rural dwellers are ripping down forest to burn timber to cook and keep warm, doing damage both to the atmosphere and the forests.

    They need to approach our levels of per-capita electricity usage if they are to get the benefits of civilisation on a mass scale, particularly as they are industrialising.

  67. Tim Macknay

    Interestingly enough, this paper suggests that Indonesia’s biggest untapped renewables potential is actually hydro – around 75 GW worth. Of course, developing all that potential would involve flooding a quite few valleys, forcibly relocating a lot of people, and probably drowning a chunk of tropical forest and a few populations of orangutans as well. Nothing the palm oil industry isn’t doing now, mind you.

  68. Tim Macknay

    Interestingly enough, this paper suggests that Indonesia’s biggest untapped renewables potential is actually hydro – around 75 GW worth. Of course, developing all that potential would involve flooding a quite few valleys, forcibly relocating a lot of people, and probably drowning a chunk of tropical forest and a few populations of orangutans as well. Nothing the palm oil industry isn’t doing now, mind you.

  69. Fran Barlow

    Just so Tim, and for anyone with an abiding concern about the size of the human footprint and/or who regards biodiversity as not to be lightly cast aside, leasver aside the rights of indigenous communities, that ought to be a worry. And when hydro facilities fail, the environmental damage and death can be very considerable.

    I agree with you of course on the palm oil question. The sooner we get a sustainable solution in place that protects the rights of local people and the integrity of the forests the better.

  70. Fran Barlow

    Just so Tim, and for anyone with an abiding concern about the size of the human footprint and/or who regards biodiversity as not to be lightly cast aside, leasver aside the rights of indigenous communities, that ought to be a worry. And when hydro facilities fail, the environmental damage and death can be very considerable.

    I agree with you of course on the palm oil question. The sooner we get a sustainable solution in place that protects the rights of local people and the integrity of the forests the better.

  71. Tony D

    Nuclear powered Australia? DFAT could be a clue. Last person to mention it there nearly got sacked on the spot if the rumour I heard was right. Apparently they have a blanket no-nuke policy.

    If Indonesia built civil nuke power stations then the yanks would turn them into another Iran, possibly even an Iraq, or try to anyway. Because civil nuke power is 1 year or less away from military nuke capabilities and unless you’re a US client state or otherwise covered you’re going to cop a lot of attention of the wrong sort.

    Of course Indonesia could always align with China and hope for protection.

  72. Tony D

    Nuclear powered Australia? DFAT could be a clue. Last person to mention it there nearly got sacked on the spot if the rumour I heard was right. Apparently they have a blanket no-nuke policy.

    If Indonesia built civil nuke power stations then the yanks would turn them into another Iran, possibly even an Iraq, or try to anyway. Because civil nuke power is 1 year or less away from military nuke capabilities and unless you’re a US client state or otherwise covered you’re going to cop a lot of attention of the wrong sort.

    Of course Indonesia could always align with China and hope for protection.

  73. Fran Barlow

    Tony D said:

    Because civil nuke power is 1 year or less away from military nuke capabilities …

    So far, no state has gone from nuclear power to nuclear weapons. In every case, weapons have preceded civilian usages. Two nuclear-armed states have no nuclear power at all. That should tell you something.

    Any state wanting nuclear weapons would be nuts to invest in nuclear power. The equipment you need to produce weapons grade plutonium and ultimately a weapon is far easier to hide than a nuclear plant and can be done at a fraction of the cost.

    Indonesia would also have very little reason to go this way. They are not going to be invaded and have no desire to project their influence beyond the immediate region.

  74. Fran Barlow

    Tony D said:

    Because civil nuke power is 1 year or less away from military nuke capabilities …

    So far, no state has gone from nuclear power to nuclear weapons. In every case, weapons have preceded civilian usages. Two nuclear-armed states have no nuclear power at all. That should tell you something.

    Any state wanting nuclear weapons would be nuts to invest in nuclear power. The equipment you need to produce weapons grade plutonium and ultimately a weapon is far easier to hide than a nuclear plant and can be done at a fraction of the cost.

    Indonesia would also have very little reason to go this way. They are not going to be invaded and have no desire to project their influence beyond the immediate region.

  75. Tony D

    In most cases Fran, a reseach or test reactor was built 1st. Then weaponised.

    France built a reseach reactor, then nukes. India built test reactor, then went nuclear. So did China, Pak and Nth Korea. US & USSR made them sure, and the UK got given them by US, and we almost did too. Israel bought from the French. ‘Research’ or ‘Test’ reactors are built first, typically bought from the French. Iraq wanted to, Iran does. Germany & Japan serve as example of those that didn’t – US occupied to this day they don’t get the choice. Would take maybe a month for them to built a weapon if they ever break away but it’s probably cheaper to continue to let the US do it for them. I’d be suprised if there were many countries that have a civilian nuclear program and wasn’t a protectorate of the US, EU, or SCO. But maybe there is, I’m not sure.

    Indonesia… contrast to anti-islamic thread also up on LP atm. As the World’s Most Populous Muslim Nation (TM), maybe they’re worried about world attitudes? Or that they have a US client state to their south? Liberal or Labor in Canberra matters not, our foreign policy is dictated by the US’s position for the foreseeable future. Indonesia will attempt to protect themselves from that. What has a demonstrated effectivness at keeping the US at bay? Nukes. Even if it’s a craptastic one like N.Korea’s. If they can justify it as a civillian program so much the better for shoring up their domestic political support.

  76. Tony D

    In most cases Fran, a reseach or test reactor was built 1st. Then weaponised.

    France built a reseach reactor, then nukes. India built test reactor, then went nuclear. So did China, Pak and Nth Korea. US & USSR made them sure, and the UK got given them by US, and we almost did too. Israel bought from the French. ‘Research’ or ‘Test’ reactors are built first, typically bought from the French. Iraq wanted to, Iran does. Germany & Japan serve as example of those that didn’t – US occupied to this day they don’t get the choice. Would take maybe a month for them to built a weapon if they ever break away but it’s probably cheaper to continue to let the US do it for them. I’d be suprised if there were many countries that have a civilian nuclear program and wasn’t a protectorate of the US, EU, or SCO. But maybe there is, I’m not sure.

    Indonesia… contrast to anti-islamic thread also up on LP atm. As the World’s Most Populous Muslim Nation (TM), maybe they’re worried about world attitudes? Or that they have a US client state to their south? Liberal or Labor in Canberra matters not, our foreign policy is dictated by the US’s position for the foreseeable future. Indonesia will attempt to protect themselves from that. What has a demonstrated effectivness at keeping the US at bay? Nukes. Even if it’s a craptastic one like N.Korea’s. If they can justify it as a civillian program so much the better for shoring up their domestic political support.

  77. Tim Macknay

    Tony D, Indonesia has two research reactors and a policy to develop a nuclear energy industry. The USA doesn’t appear particularly upset about that.

  78. Tim Macknay

    Tony D, Indonesia has two research reactors and a policy to develop a nuclear energy industry. The USA doesn’t appear particularly upset about that.

  79. Tony D

    Thanks Tim, wasn’t aware – not my speciality

    But considering the attention that eschelon focussed into the region after the JI attacks and that Indonesia keeps signing economic and defense deals with China the US is getting worried. They’re just distracted by domestic court politics at the moment, give them time lol

    And not sure if I double posted here, browser died on me. 1st attempt was too snarky anyway :-)

  80. Tony D

    Thanks Tim, wasn’t aware – not my speciality

    But considering the attention that eschelon focussed into the region after the JI attacks and that Indonesia keeps signing economic and defense deals with China the US is getting worried. They’re just distracted by domestic court politics at the moment, give them time lol

    And not sure if I double posted here, browser died on me. 1st attempt was too snarky anyway :-)

  81. Fran Barlow

    The fact that North Korea apparently (though it is not certain) has a nuclear device is only one of a number of strategic assets. They get all of that advantage not from possession of the device itself, but the belief that they have one and the fact that nobody can rule out them being nutty enough to try using it. So even if they didn’t have one, they’d be quite as well off. In fact, in an odd way, their apparent possession of a device is actually an assistance to the US. The US can avoid taking military action on humanitarian grounds.

    Of course, that’s not the only reason for giving the US pause. Seoul is within reach of utterly conventional artillery. They have a giant dam they could release water from and flood parts of the south causing a refugee flow. Attacking the regime could annoy China and the last thing the US wants is a war with China right now. And if the regime does fall it’s wall to wall refugees, which neither the US nor China wants. China would probably have to set up some buffer state as they don’t want a US ally on their frontier and they could justify it on the “managing the refugee issues” basis.

    Who needs nukes when you have all that?

  82. Fran Barlow

    The fact that North Korea apparently (though it is not certain) has a nuclear device is only one of a number of strategic assets. They get all of that advantage not from possession of the device itself, but the belief that they have one and the fact that nobody can rule out them being nutty enough to try using it. So even if they didn’t have one, they’d be quite as well off. In fact, in an odd way, their apparent possession of a device is actually an assistance to the US. The US can avoid taking military action on humanitarian grounds.

    Of course, that’s not the only reason for giving the US pause. Seoul is within reach of utterly conventional artillery. They have a giant dam they could release water from and flood parts of the south causing a refugee flow. Attacking the regime could annoy China and the last thing the US wants is a war with China right now. And if the regime does fall it’s wall to wall refugees, which neither the US nor China wants. China would probably have to set up some buffer state as they don’t want a US ally on their frontier and they could justify it on the “managing the refugee issues” basis.

    Who needs nukes when you have all that?

  83. TerjeP (say tay-a)

    Nuclear power is the safest source of electricity known to man. Safer even than hydro which is pretty safe. Nuclear power is over regulated and hence more costly than it ought to be.

    I’ve put up an article attempting to put the safety question into context:-

    http://blog.libertarian.org.au/2010/05/22/safety-and-electricity-production/

  84. TerjeP (say tay-a)

    Nuclear power is the safest source of electricity known to man. Safer even than hydro which is pretty safe. Nuclear power is over regulated and hence more costly than it ought to be.

    I’ve put up an article attempting to put the safety question into context:-

    http://blog.libertarian.org.au/2010/05/22/safety-and-electricity-production/

  85. OldSkeptic

    “Because civil nuke power is 1 year or less away from military nuke capabilities”, actually it’s not. (Note to self: must give up my day job and concentrate of debunking propaganda, there sure is enough of it around these days).

    There are 2 ways to go for nuclear fission weapons: 90%+ refined Uranium 235 (as was the first bomb that was dropped). This is not a very good option as it is large, hard to deliver and has a small bang (for nukes that is), no modern nukes use uranium. Plus you need a massive amount of centrifuges and a lot of raw uranium.

    Alternatively plutonium, but this requires a specialised reactor to create it as:

    “Plutonium recovered from spent reactor fuel is not a significant proliferation hazard, because of excessive contamination with non-fissile plutonium-240 and plutonium-242. Separation of the isotopes is not feasible. A dedicated reactor operating on very low burnup is generally required to produce material suitable for use in nuclear weapons” Wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plutonium

    And of course you need enriched uranium to begin with.

    Many countries with nuclear reactors simply buy their fuel rods from elsewhere and send them back for reprocessing.

    Note that Iran took the expensive and difficult route to create its own low enriched fuel because the West (specifically France) stiffed them over delivering fuel rods back when the Shah was kicked out and has embargoed them getting any ever since.

  86. OldSkeptic

    “Because civil nuke power is 1 year or less away from military nuke capabilities”, actually it’s not. (Note to self: must give up my day job and concentrate of debunking propaganda, there sure is enough of it around these days).

    There are 2 ways to go for nuclear fission weapons: 90%+ refined Uranium 235 (as was the first bomb that was dropped). This is not a very good option as it is large, hard to deliver and has a small bang (for nukes that is), no modern nukes use uranium. Plus you need a massive amount of centrifuges and a lot of raw uranium.

    Alternatively plutonium, but this requires a specialised reactor to create it as:

    “Plutonium recovered from spent reactor fuel is not a significant proliferation hazard, because of excessive contamination with non-fissile plutonium-240 and plutonium-242. Separation of the isotopes is not feasible. A dedicated reactor operating on very low burnup is generally required to produce material suitable for use in nuclear weapons” Wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plutonium

    And of course you need enriched uranium to begin with.

    Many countries with nuclear reactors simply buy their fuel rods from elsewhere and send them back for reprocessing.

    Note that Iran took the expensive and difficult route to create its own low enriched fuel because the West (specifically France) stiffed them over delivering fuel rods back when the Shah was kicked out and has embargoed them getting any ever since.

  87. Huggybunny

    Fran Barlow
    “While they aren’t, large numbers of rural dwellers are ripping down forest to burn timber to cook and keep warm, doing damage both to the atmosphere and the forests.”
    A shit so it’s all the fault of those who use a completly sustainable zero carbon footprint fuel for cooking and heating. How stupid of me not to realize that.

    Huggy

  88. Huggybunny

    Fran Barlow
    “While they aren’t, large numbers of rural dwellers are ripping down forest to burn timber to cook and keep warm, doing damage both to the atmosphere and the forests.”
    A shit so it’s all the fault of those who use a completly sustainable zero carbon footprint fuel for cooking and heating. How stupid of me not to realize that.

    Huggy

  89. Fran Barlow

    HB tried:

    A shit so it’s all the fault of those who use a completly sustainable zero carbon footprint fuel for cooking and heating. How stupid of me not to realize that.

    It’s a rule of thumb that when you have nothing, you reach for hyperbole. In this case you’ve also included the spurious.

    Harvesting the local forest is not a completely sustainable zero carbon footprint fuel. It’s destructive of local ecology. Fault or blame of course never entered my mind. Unlike you loudmouthed moralisers, apparently, I don’t hold disempowered individuals to be decisively responsible for their choices. People are entitled to do what they can to survive and if pillaging the commons is the least bad way to do that, I can’t object.

    What I propose instead is that they be given better options than destroying their local rainforest to cook their food or keep warm, particualrly as this choice is bad for their longterm respiratory health, inefficient and increases air pollution and GHG emissions.

    Supplying them with reliable and cheap electricity is key. When you can answer that question, let me know.

  90. Fran Barlow

    HB tried:

    A shit so it’s all the fault of those who use a completly sustainable zero carbon footprint fuel for cooking and heating. How stupid of me not to realize that.

    It’s a rule of thumb that when you have nothing, you reach for hyperbole. In this case you’ve also included the spurious.

    Harvesting the local forest is not a completely sustainable zero carbon footprint fuel. It’s destructive of local ecology. Fault or blame of course never entered my mind. Unlike you loudmouthed moralisers, apparently, I don’t hold disempowered individuals to be decisively responsible for their choices. People are entitled to do what they can to survive and if pillaging the commons is the least bad way to do that, I can’t object.

    What I propose instead is that they be given better options than destroying their local rainforest to cook their food or keep warm, particualrly as this choice is bad for their longterm respiratory health, inefficient and increases air pollution and GHG emissions.

    Supplying them with reliable and cheap electricity is key. When you can answer that question, let me know.

  91. Robert Merkel

    Oldskeptic, that’s mostly correct, but not quite.

    You can use HEU in modern designs. In fact, it’s generally believed that most multi-stage weapons built by the NPT nuclear weapons states do use HEU for various parts of the “physics package”.

    As for the Iranians, if they’re going into the commercial enrichment business, they’ve chosen a very, very, very strange way of doing so.

  92. Robert Merkel

    Oldskeptic, that’s mostly correct, but not quite.

    You can use HEU in modern designs. In fact, it’s generally believed that most multi-stage weapons built by the NPT nuclear weapons states do use HEU for various parts of the “physics package”.

    As for the Iranians, if they’re going into the commercial enrichment business, they’ve chosen a very, very, very strange way of doing so.

  93. Huggybunny

    Fran,
    Harvesting the local forest for domestic fuel is completely sustainable and zero carbon. The growth rate in tropical areas will support harvest for domestic fuel at the village level, that is not “pillage”. The problem arises when the wood is clear felled for pulp or chipboard. That stuff about respiratory disease and is really about proper stoves and such -not a problem at all with proper gear. In any event how many trees will be destroyed by your power lines ?
    The real issue in Indonesia is not generation, it is transmission and distribution. Indonesia consists of 17508 islands with only about 2/3 of the population living (60%-about) on the big ones. Now you explain how a power grid is to be implemented for all these other islands? To bring power to the other 90%?
    Your 250 Nukes scenario is just total bullshit I am afraid.
    Huggy

  94. Huggybunny

    Fran,
    Harvesting the local forest for domestic fuel is completely sustainable and zero carbon. The growth rate in tropical areas will support harvest for domestic fuel at the village level, that is not “pillage”. The problem arises when the wood is clear felled for pulp or chipboard. That stuff about respiratory disease and is really about proper stoves and such -not a problem at all with proper gear. In any event how many trees will be destroyed by your power lines ?
    The real issue in Indonesia is not generation, it is transmission and distribution. Indonesia consists of 17508 islands with only about 2/3 of the population living (60%-about) on the big ones. Now you explain how a power grid is to be implemented for all these other islands? To bring power to the other 90%?
    Your 250 Nukes scenario is just total bullshit I am afraid.
    Huggy

  95. wilful

    The main connection between nuclear power for energy purposes and nuclear power for weapon purposes is that you needs lots of clever physicists and engineers for both. There’s not much other strong link.

    So if you are really concerned about proliferation, you’d better ban universities.

    If a country really really wanted uranium to build a bomb, they could get it from seawater!.

  96. wilful

    The main connection between nuclear power for energy purposes and nuclear power for weapon purposes is that you needs lots of clever physicists and engineers for both. There’s not much other strong link.

    So if you are really concerned about proliferation, you’d better ban universities.

    If a country really really wanted uranium to build a bomb, they could get it from seawater!.

  97. KeIthY

    wilful @ 48, “….really?!!?” [/sarcasm]

  98. KeIthY

    wilful @ 48, “….really?!!?” [/sarcasm]

  99. Fran Barlow

    HB …

    A discussion of the footprint associated with forest usage can be found here.

    The article notes that while slash and burn can be sustainable, increasing population demands and the entry of new settlers who are less skilled in doing it can inflict considerable environmental damage.

    Indonesia has regularly offended its neighbours on air quality issues with its slash and burn policies, although this derives from a lot more than small farmers doing slash and burn agriculture.

    In any event how many trees will be destroyed by your power lines ?

    Very few, compared to any of the renewable technologies, with the possible exception of geothermal. Of course, the power cables apply whatever source you use.

    Now you explain how a power grid is to be implemented for all these other islands? To bring power to the other 90%?

    Ever heard of submarine cables?

  100. Fran Barlow

    HB …

    A discussion of the footprint associated with forest usage can be found here.

    The article notes that while slash and burn can be sustainable, increasing population demands and the entry of new settlers who are less skilled in doing it can inflict considerable environmental damage.

    Indonesia has regularly offended its neighbours on air quality issues with its slash and burn policies, although this derives from a lot more than small farmers doing slash and burn agriculture.

    In any event how many trees will be destroyed by your power lines ?

    Very few, compared to any of the renewable technologies, with the possible exception of geothermal. Of course, the power cables apply whatever source you use.

    Now you explain how a power grid is to be implemented for all these other islands? To bring power to the other 90%?

    Ever heard of submarine cables?

  101. Huggybunny

    Fran, Submarine cables? Sure, suddenly your budget for the 250 nukes blew out by about 300%+.
    It is the 17508 islands that dissuade me from proffering a glib solution,such as 250 nukes.
    Scatter a few hundred nukes throughout the archipelago?
    Yea right, no maintenance, no security, no support of any kind. Those places are wild. Not even mapped to sufficient accuracy for cables and such.
    Huggy

  102. Huggybunny

    Fran, Submarine cables? Sure, suddenly your budget for the 250 nukes blew out by about 300%+.
    It is the 17508 islands that dissuade me from proffering a glib solution,such as 250 nukes.
    Scatter a few hundred nukes throughout the archipelago?
    Yea right, no maintenance, no security, no support of any kind. Those places are wild. Not even mapped to sufficient accuracy for cables and such.
    Huggy

  103. Fran Barlow

    It is the 17508 islands that dissuade me from proffering a glib solution,such as 250 nukes.Scatter a few hundred nukes throughout the archipelago?

    Put 1-2 NPPs with as many reactors as neded on each of the following islands:

    Java
    Sumatra
    Borneo
    Sulawesi
    Bali
    Lombok
    Flores
    Sumbawa

    There’s 90% covered right there.

    Many of the minor islands (populations 100,000 to 1 million 3 or four of which IIRC have populations of 500-700,000) are a short distance from the major islands.

  104. Fran Barlow

    It is the 17508 islands that dissuade me from proffering a glib solution,such as 250 nukes.Scatter a few hundred nukes throughout the archipelago?

    Put 1-2 NPPs with as many reactors as neded on each of the following islands:

    Java
    Sumatra
    Borneo
    Sulawesi
    Bali
    Lombok
    Flores
    Sumbawa

    There’s 90% covered right there.

    Many of the minor islands (populations 100,000 to 1 million 3 or four of which IIRC have populations of 500-700,000) are a short distance from the major islands.

  105. Elise

    Huggybunny @51, I think Fran is winding you up. It is too silly for words.

    Anyway, who will run these things exactly?

    The rice farmers, in between tilling their fields and praying 5 times to Mecca?

    Sheesh. They got heaps of time on their hands, and any fool can run one of these things… ;)

  106. Elise

    Huggybunny @51, I think Fran is winding you up. It is too silly for words.

    Anyway, who will run these things exactly?

    The rice farmers, in between tilling their fields and praying 5 times to Mecca?

    Sheesh. They got heaps of time on their hands, and any fool can run one of these things… ;)

  107. Fran Barlow

    Elise said:

    Anyway, who will run these things exactly? The rice farmers, in between tilling their fields and praying 5 times to Mecca?

    You make an interesting point. Personally, I’ve always wondered why we need coal plants for all those farmers tending their sheep. And can you imagine Paul Hogan and strop in charge of anything worthwhile?

    On a more serious note, South Kalimantan on the Island of Borneo for example supports a number of coal plants and contributes about a substantial portion of Indonesia’s coal. There’s prospective steel production and gold mining there. The major islands are industrialising.

  108. Fran Barlow

    Elise said:

    Anyway, who will run these things exactly? The rice farmers, in between tilling their fields and praying 5 times to Mecca?

    You make an interesting point. Personally, I’ve always wondered why we need coal plants for all those farmers tending their sheep. And can you imagine Paul Hogan and strop in charge of anything worthwhile?

    On a more serious note, South Kalimantan on the Island of Borneo for example supports a number of coal plants and contributes about a substantial portion of Indonesia’s coal. There’s prospective steel production and gold mining there. The major islands are industrialising.

  109. Elise

    Fran @54: “There’s prospective steel production and gold mining there.”

    Run by whom, exactly?

    Multinationals with imported expats in charge?

    And the equally “prospective” nuke plants you propose?

    More multinationals and expats?

    Great idea.

  110. Elise

    Fran @54: “There’s prospective steel production and gold mining there.”

    Run by whom, exactly?

    Multinationals with imported expats in charge?

    And the equally “prospective” nuke plants you propose?

    More multinationals and expats?

    Great idea.

  111. Elise

    Fran @19: “…securely contained below ground, where volcanic action would simply be irrelevant.”

    One might presume that you don’t have even a passing aquaintance with volcanology?

    It might be an idea to watch that recent SBS documentary about the icelandic volcanic eruption Laki, just as a starting point. Note especially Prof Steve Self’s comments about the earth “unzipping”.

    You would of course be able to find a volcanologist who would be prepared, hand-on-heart, to recommend that a particular part, no wait 250 particular parts, of the Ring of Fire were totally volcano-proof for the indefinate future?

  112. Elise

    Fran @19: “…securely contained below ground, where volcanic action would simply be irrelevant.”

    One might presume that you don’t have even a passing aquaintance with volcanology?

    It might be an idea to watch that recent SBS documentary about the icelandic volcanic eruption Laki, just as a starting point. Note especially Prof Steve Self’s comments about the earth “unzipping”.

    You would of course be able to find a volcanologist who would be prepared, hand-on-heart, to recommend that a particular part, no wait 250 particular parts, of the Ring of Fire were totally volcano-proof for the indefinate future?

  113. OldSkeptic

    Robert, that’s true for a themonuclear weapon (what most people know of as the H bomb), both U-235 and U-238 are used in it. Way, way more complex than a fission bomb. Even the most rabid anti-Iranians would say that it would take them a lot longer to get that farand only after mastering a boosted fission bomb. Plus a lot of testing to get it right (which is a bit of a giveaway).

    And you start the process with a ‘boosted’ plutonium bomb anyway in anything that could be remotly called deliverable. I’m not even sure anyone has ever done a uranium started thermonuke, so it might not even be practically possible (not being able to boost it with Tritium).

    Everyone who has done this has gone down the plutonium only, then boosted plutonium, then a thermonuke (and not in all cases, Pakistan almost certainly hasn’t a thermonuke). The technical difficulties are immense and there are far too many ways to stuff it up, even a ‘simple’ plutonium bomb is probably beyond the technical reach of most countries, even if they had the raw material.

    A U-235 one is far simpler but it is large and heavy, (large) plane deliverable at best, but you won’t get one on a balistic missile or a cruise missile.

    As for the Iranians, they have 3 issues pushing their nuclear power plans:
    1) They are running out of ‘exportable’ gas and oil (particularly gas), since their own energy needs are growing rapidly, so they need alternative energy sources quickly.
    2) They were stiffed by the West in the past and have little reason to trust us (our help for Saddam Hussain, including supplying him with chemical weapons didn’t help).
    3) They see themselves as becoming the high technology centre for the Middle East and have (quite rightly IMHO) guessed that much of the ME will adopt nuclear power in a large scale over the next 20 years or so, placing them in favourable position as a supplier of fuel rods and quite possibly recycling.

    And with all the crazy threats by the US and Israel over the last decade or so*, I’d be burying them deep as well.

    *Note for amusement, according to US ‘intelligence’, Iran has been only a few years away from a bomb …. for the last 25 years.

  114. OldSkeptic

    Robert, that’s true for a themonuclear weapon (what most people know of as the H bomb), both U-235 and U-238 are used in it. Way, way more complex than a fission bomb. Even the most rabid anti-Iranians would say that it would take them a lot longer to get that farand only after mastering a boosted fission bomb. Plus a lot of testing to get it right (which is a bit of a giveaway).

    And you start the process with a ‘boosted’ plutonium bomb anyway in anything that could be remotly called deliverable. I’m not even sure anyone has ever done a uranium started thermonuke, so it might not even be practically possible (not being able to boost it with Tritium).

    Everyone who has done this has gone down the plutonium only, then boosted plutonium, then a thermonuke (and not in all cases, Pakistan almost certainly hasn’t a thermonuke). The technical difficulties are immense and there are far too many ways to stuff it up, even a ‘simple’ plutonium bomb is probably beyond the technical reach of most countries, even if they had the raw material.

    A U-235 one is far simpler but it is large and heavy, (large) plane deliverable at best, but you won’t get one on a balistic missile or a cruise missile.

    As for the Iranians, they have 3 issues pushing their nuclear power plans:
    1) They are running out of ‘exportable’ gas and oil (particularly gas), since their own energy needs are growing rapidly, so they need alternative energy sources quickly.
    2) They were stiffed by the West in the past and have little reason to trust us (our help for Saddam Hussain, including supplying him with chemical weapons didn’t help).
    3) They see themselves as becoming the high technology centre for the Middle East and have (quite rightly IMHO) guessed that much of the ME will adopt nuclear power in a large scale over the next 20 years or so, placing them in favourable position as a supplier of fuel rods and quite possibly recycling.

    And with all the crazy threats by the US and Israel over the last decade or so*, I’d be burying them deep as well.

    *Note for amusement, according to US ‘intelligence’, Iran has been only a few years away from a bomb …. for the last 25 years.

  115. Robert Merkel

    OldSkeptic, two points.

    a) You can do uranium implosion. China’s first nuclear test was a uranium implosion design
    b) double-gun uranium weapons can reportedly be made compact. The US W33 nuclear artillery shell was apparently such a design. A double gun design is more difficult than a single gun, but presumably easier than an implosion weapon.

  116. Robert Merkel

    OldSkeptic, two points.

    a) You can do uranium implosion. China’s first nuclear test was a uranium implosion design
    b) double-gun uranium weapons can reportedly be made compact. The US W33 nuclear artillery shell was apparently such a design. A double gun design is more difficult than a single gun, but presumably easier than an implosion weapon.

  117. OldSkeptic

    The history of nuclear weapons is a lot murkier than most realise.

    The UK helped the US initially, then the US (reluctantly) helped the UK. Initially in WW2 the British were far more advanced in their ‘tube alloy’ project than the US.
    The Soviet Union helped China initially.
    The US gave Israel (or it was stolen from them by Israeli sympthisers and the authorities turned a blind eye) its first enriched uranium and probably plutonium.
    Many US designs were stolen by Israel (plus a bit of a blind eye again).
    Israel helped Apartheid South Africa (even offered to sell it nuclear weapons) develop its bomb. In return SA gave uranium to Israel.
    France gave Israel its reactor where it makes plutonium.
    The US gave Iran its medical isotopes reactor (which is harmless, but shows how things have changed).

    And so on.

    The majority of NPT weapons holding signatories have broken the agreement by helping others get the bomb (possibly excepting the UK* and China**).

    *Or did they pass designs to Australia as quid pro quo for testing here? Now that is one of the great mysteries. Plus the F-111 only makes sense if you have nukes, has Australia kept a ‘breakaway’ capability up its sleeve? Not a criticism, making nuclear weapons is wrong, but having a just-in-case capability up your sleeve that you can, in dire need activate, is not that silly).

    ** Lots of speculation about North Korea and possible Chinese help in the past (not now of course).

  118. OldSkeptic

    The history of nuclear weapons is a lot murkier than most realise.

    The UK helped the US initially, then the US (reluctantly) helped the UK. Initially in WW2 the British were far more advanced in their ‘tube alloy’ project than the US.
    The Soviet Union helped China initially.
    The US gave Israel (or it was stolen from them by Israeli sympthisers and the authorities turned a blind eye) its first enriched uranium and probably plutonium.
    Many US designs were stolen by Israel (plus a bit of a blind eye again).
    Israel helped Apartheid South Africa (even offered to sell it nuclear weapons) develop its bomb. In return SA gave uranium to Israel.
    France gave Israel its reactor where it makes plutonium.
    The US gave Iran its medical isotopes reactor (which is harmless, but shows how things have changed).

    And so on.

    The majority of NPT weapons holding signatories have broken the agreement by helping others get the bomb (possibly excepting the UK* and China**).

    *Or did they pass designs to Australia as quid pro quo for testing here? Now that is one of the great mysteries. Plus the F-111 only makes sense if you have nukes, has Australia kept a ‘breakaway’ capability up its sleeve? Not a criticism, making nuclear weapons is wrong, but having a just-in-case capability up your sleeve that you can, in dire need activate, is not that silly).

    ** Lots of speculation about North Korea and possible Chinese help in the past (not now of course).

  119. OldSkeptic

    Robert, you’re right about the Chinese. Plus they also did a boosted Uranium implosion device and a Uranium triggered thermonuke. Probably because they didn’t have Plutonium. So I stand corrected, thanks. I honestly didn’t even think that was practically (though not theoretically) possible.

    But they paid a price in size and weight, 2000+kg for a warhead and it wasn’t until 1981 they had a missle big enough to hit the US. Plus the technical difficulties, lends weight to the theory that (after inital SU assistance) the Chinese did it on their own.

    The W-33 was one of those things that we are all very glad was never used, some of them (many?) would probably have blown up when fired ..ouch.

    The only way that it could work without implosion would have been with incredibly enriched U-235, like 99%+. The cost must have been comparible (or more) than a thermonuke. And way beyond the technical capabilities of anyone except the US or the Soviet Union. Plus the danger, put the U-235 sections too close (by say assembling in the wrong sequence)… boom. Madness.

    But this was with 12 years of unlimted money and research by the richest, most technologically advanced nation of the time. Almost no nation on Earth nowadays could duplicate it (or would want too, not many that daft).

  120. OldSkeptic

    Robert, you’re right about the Chinese. Plus they also did a boosted Uranium implosion device and a Uranium triggered thermonuke. Probably because they didn’t have Plutonium. So I stand corrected, thanks. I honestly didn’t even think that was practically (though not theoretically) possible.

    But they paid a price in size and weight, 2000+kg for a warhead and it wasn’t until 1981 they had a missle big enough to hit the US. Plus the technical difficulties, lends weight to the theory that (after inital SU assistance) the Chinese did it on their own.

    The W-33 was one of those things that we are all very glad was never used, some of them (many?) would probably have blown up when fired ..ouch.

    The only way that it could work without implosion would have been with incredibly enriched U-235, like 99%+. The cost must have been comparible (or more) than a thermonuke. And way beyond the technical capabilities of anyone except the US or the Soviet Union. Plus the danger, put the U-235 sections too close (by say assembling in the wrong sequence)… boom. Madness.

    But this was with 12 years of unlimted money and research by the richest, most technologically advanced nation of the time. Almost no nation on Earth nowadays could duplicate it (or would want too, not many that daft).

  121. Fran Barlow

    Elise@55 said:

    And the equally “prospective” nuke plants you propose? More multinationals and expats? Great idea.

    I’m not sure I’d go so far as to call it “great” but neither is it a poor idea, unless one believes there is some inherent virtue in locally financed investment and local officialdom.

    In the case of Indonesia, it’s hard to believe the rapacity,corruption or incompetence would be less than would be the case if international companies were involved. Whoever does it, there should be robust oversight.

    One might presume that you don’t have even a passing aquaintance with volcanology?(sic)

    Well I do at least know how to spell it. More to the point though the units I was talking about are quite small (about the size of a “hot tub” the source says) and would be very robustly protected and in any event are designed for passive shutdown. Robert has suggested that these may be some way off in practice, and he may well be right. They are however, unable to explode or meltdown and even if they were affected by seismic activity, all that could happen is that they could be put out of action.

    You would of course be able to find a volcanologist who would be prepared, hand-on-heart, to recommend that a particular part, no wait 250 particular parts, of the Ring of Fire were totally volcano-proof for the indefinate future?

    Nobody can say that of any technology. Hydro is one of the potentially more feasible of the renewables options for Indonesia, but what do you suppose an earthquake or volcano would do to a hydro-electric facility? What heppened last year when that Russian hydro facility failed? Not pretty. Then again, I don’t suppose doing the kind of engineering works for geothermal would have any risks attached in the case of an earthquake of volcanic eruption? How do you suppose the intersection between a gas or coal plant operation or that of an oil refinery or petro-chemical plant and such an event might play out? On that basis, you’d never build anything because something might go wrong. A nuclear plant is far safer thatn all of the others because it has less volatile components, the components are smaller in mass, and it is better protected.

  122. Fran Barlow

    Elise@55 said:

    And the equally “prospective” nuke plants you propose? More multinationals and expats? Great idea.

    I’m not sure I’d go so far as to call it “great” but neither is it a poor idea, unless one believes there is some inherent virtue in locally financed investment and local officialdom.

    In the case of Indonesia, it’s hard to believe the rapacity,corruption or incompetence would be less than would be the case if international companies were involved. Whoever does it, there should be robust oversight.

    One might presume that you don’t have even a passing aquaintance with volcanology?(sic)

    Well I do at least know how to spell it. More to the point though the units I was talking about are quite small (about the size of a “hot tub” the source says) and would be very robustly protected and in any event are designed for passive shutdown. Robert has suggested that these may be some way off in practice, and he may well be right. They are however, unable to explode or meltdown and even if they were affected by seismic activity, all that could happen is that they could be put out of action.

    You would of course be able to find a volcanologist who would be prepared, hand-on-heart, to recommend that a particular part, no wait 250 particular parts, of the Ring of Fire were totally volcano-proof for the indefinate future?

    Nobody can say that of any technology. Hydro is one of the potentially more feasible of the renewables options for Indonesia, but what do you suppose an earthquake or volcano would do to a hydro-electric facility? What heppened last year when that Russian hydro facility failed? Not pretty. Then again, I don’t suppose doing the kind of engineering works for geothermal would have any risks attached in the case of an earthquake of volcanic eruption? How do you suppose the intersection between a gas or coal plant operation or that of an oil refinery or petro-chemical plant and such an event might play out? On that basis, you’d never build anything because something might go wrong. A nuclear plant is far safer thatn all of the others because it has less volatile components, the components are smaller in mass, and it is better protected.

  123. OldSkeptic

    Plus Fran, Indonesia may have it version of Bob Brown and be vehemently against hydro power. People displaced, huge areas drowned, animals displaced, plants drowned, all that concrete,etc.

    You have to understand that the anti-nuke crowd are religious. Nothing, not even global warming, matters more to them than the end of all nuclear power.

    Insane I know, but we are not talking about rational people.

  124. OldSkeptic

    Plus Fran, Indonesia may have it version of Bob Brown and be vehemently against hydro power. People displaced, huge areas drowned, animals displaced, plants drowned, all that concrete,etc.

    You have to understand that the anti-nuke crowd are religious. Nothing, not even global warming, matters more to them than the end of all nuclear power.

    Insane I know, but we are not talking about rational people.

  125. Fran Barlow

    OS said:

    You have to understand that the anti-nuke crowd are religious. Nothing, not even global warming, matters more to them than the end of all nuclear power.

    No, it’s not religion — it’s angst. They are genuinely fearful. There’s also a hatred of anything that smells like big business and as a lefty, I totally get that. Six or seven years ago, I felt exactly the same fears and renewables seemed so wholesome by comparison.

    It wasn’t until AGW came along that I really had to think about energy issues in a practical way and began going through the feasibility issues. And then I had a problem — I still wanted to find reasons to oppose nuclear but there were none and I’d content myself with Price-Anderson objections or inflated fears of proliferation and fanciful extrapolations about the potential of pumped storage and algae-based fuels — maybe Australia could be nuke free.

    In the end though, I wasn’t able to keep it up, especially when it became clear that the main source of non-natural radiotoxicity in the environment was … coal — and I knew renewables could not replace it.

    There are some people who are unpersuadable of course, but most people will come to see that nuclear is indispensable, sooner or later.

  126. Fran Barlow

    OS said:

    You have to understand that the anti-nuke crowd are religious. Nothing, not even global warming, matters more to them than the end of all nuclear power.

    No, it’s not religion — it’s angst. They are genuinely fearful. There’s also a hatred of anything that smells like big business and as a lefty, I totally get that. Six or seven years ago, I felt exactly the same fears and renewables seemed so wholesome by comparison.

    It wasn’t until AGW came along that I really had to think about energy issues in a practical way and began going through the feasibility issues. And then I had a problem — I still wanted to find reasons to oppose nuclear but there were none and I’d content myself with Price-Anderson objections or inflated fears of proliferation and fanciful extrapolations about the potential of pumped storage and algae-based fuels — maybe Australia could be nuke free.

    In the end though, I wasn’t able to keep it up, especially when it became clear that the main source of non-natural radiotoxicity in the environment was … coal — and I knew renewables could not replace it.

    There are some people who are unpersuadable of course, but most people will come to see that nuclear is indispensable, sooner or later.

  127. BilB

    Fran, you have not got the foggiest idea on engineering matters and here you are spruiking lethal machinery into the most corrupt environments in the world, because you’re sold on the “idea” of “easy????” energy. It is going to be interesting to see how safely the Indian reactors work, if they ever get finished, after the government there sent home most of the “experienced” Chinese workers to be replaced with Indian labour. This is probably all good news for Union Carbide as a significant nuclear accident in India will allow them to step down as the biggest environmental accident in that country, after the population itself.

    And now you’re keen to whack a nuke onto every little island with more than a thousand inhabitants. Wow. Just having a quick read on the Bhopal outcome I see an inevitable future for your Palm Nuclear “”idea”". You yourself, and your nuclear Franaticism, should be a timely warning of what would happen if the Nuclear Genie got out of the bottle for a time.

  128. BilB

    Fran, you have not got the foggiest idea on engineering matters and here you are spruiking lethal machinery into the most corrupt environments in the world, because you’re sold on the “idea” of “easy????” energy. It is going to be interesting to see how safely the Indian reactors work, if they ever get finished, after the government there sent home most of the “experienced” Chinese workers to be replaced with Indian labour. This is probably all good news for Union Carbide as a significant nuclear accident in India will allow them to step down as the biggest environmental accident in that country, after the population itself.

    And now you’re keen to whack a nuke onto every little island with more than a thousand inhabitants. Wow. Just having a quick read on the Bhopal outcome I see an inevitable future for your Palm Nuclear “”idea”". You yourself, and your nuclear Franaticism, should be a timely warning of what would happen if the Nuclear Genie got out of the bottle for a time.

  129. Fran Barlow

    BilB

    You are grasping at straws. Every nuclear plant built today is safer than its coal fired equivalent by orders of magnitude, and there is no advocacy on my part or yours that could induce the government of any significant state to overlook the inadequacy of renewables to their development projects. They will have coal, or gas or nuclear. To the extent that have nuclear, it will be at the expense of coal and gas. Every time they make that choice, in practice, humanity wins.

    This is probably all good news for Union Carbide as a significant nuclear accident in India will allow them to step down as the biggest environmental accident in that country, after the population itself.

    What a silly statement. It is inconceivable that today, any foreseeable series of events at a nuclear plant could trigger death on a scale to rival Bhopal.

    And now you’re keen to whack a nuke onto every little island with more than a thousand inhabitants.

    You’re obviously not a good counter. I named 8 islands above and there are half a dozen more on which nuclear power might be economically feasible (or we could run the extension cord …;-) )

    This is a nother fact-free rant from someone who lacks any clear proposal to deal with energy security in a practical context. I look forward to a post at BNC saying how you would replace Hazelwood.

    Off you go Scott.

  130. Fran Barlow

    BilB

    You are grasping at straws. Every nuclear plant built today is safer than its coal fired equivalent by orders of magnitude, and there is no advocacy on my part or yours that could induce the government of any significant state to overlook the inadequacy of renewables to their development projects. They will have coal, or gas or nuclear. To the extent that have nuclear, it will be at the expense of coal and gas. Every time they make that choice, in practice, humanity wins.

    This is probably all good news for Union Carbide as a significant nuclear accident in India will allow them to step down as the biggest environmental accident in that country, after the population itself.

    What a silly statement. It is inconceivable that today, any foreseeable series of events at a nuclear plant could trigger death on a scale to rival Bhopal.

    And now you’re keen to whack a nuke onto every little island with more than a thousand inhabitants.

    You’re obviously not a good counter. I named 8 islands above and there are half a dozen more on which nuclear power might be economically feasible (or we could run the extension cord …;-) )

    This is a nother fact-free rant from someone who lacks any clear proposal to deal with energy security in a practical context. I look forward to a post at BNC saying how you would replace Hazelwood.

    Off you go Scott.

  131. BilB

    Fran,

    We are talking about mechanical safety here so

    “Every nuclear plant built today is safer than its coal fired equivalent by orders of magnitude”

    is definitely not true. If there are even a handful of failable welds in critical areas then

    “It is inconceivable that today, any foreseeable series of events at a nuclear plant could trigger death on a scale to rival Bhopal”

    is also not true. This thread is refering to a world leader in nuclear plant operation

    “not making sure welders were qualified”

    in fastidious Europe, so what is the scope for that happening in third world countries where people use coloured plastic and cardboard as welding shields? Huge.

    Islands? that is 8 today. At your rate of nuclear escalation, that will be thousands by the end of the year.

    Hazelwood? Easy. The appropriate Desertec plant in the appropriate location, not Victoria or Qeanbeyan. It is just a matter of doing it.

    When talking energy systems if it is coal/steam/ electricity that is what you get. If you are talking Solar/steam/ electricity, that is what you get. If you are talking wind/turbine/electricity, that is what you get.

    But if you go down a nuclear path there are a huge number of potential outcomes. Listening to Franatics you get the impression that this leads to endless electricity for virtually nothing and with no consequences whatsoever. But science knows that nuclear installations have many outcomes usually one intended, some unintended, and many other lurking dark possibilities. It is the dark possibilities that can make everything gained through the use of the atomic power to be lost in brief moments.

    The world made a choice some decades ago to use coal power predominately in place of all other options, because it was easy and it was everywhere. The consequences of that choice are now upon us in the form of CO2 buildup.

    There are those who want now to make another choice towards nuclear power. Are we to find that in some tens of decades that this was yet another energy dead end, as fuels deplete and contamination builds up and uneconomic installations become abandoned Bhopal style? I think that this is demonstrably the most certain outcome. We already have a world littered with defunct and contaminated nuclear mausoleums. Expand this many fold? Not on my watch.

    Is there a choice? Absolutely. There is only one true eternal energy source that is every where and able to be used by everyone absolutely freely. Solar energy. Without it we would not exist. We take it for granted. And as for everything that is taken for granted we overlook its full potential. Fortunately science has unlocked the ability to use the sun’s energy directly with high efficiency, and it is that unstoppable technological force that will drive the use of nuclear energy to certain economic death in all but a handful of places on our planet.

  132. BilB

    Fran,

    We are talking about mechanical safety here so

    “Every nuclear plant built today is safer than its coal fired equivalent by orders of magnitude”

    is definitely not true. If there are even a handful of failable welds in critical areas then

    “It is inconceivable that today, any foreseeable series of events at a nuclear plant could trigger death on a scale to rival Bhopal”

    is also not true. This thread is refering to a world leader in nuclear plant operation

    “not making sure welders were qualified”

    in fastidious Europe, so what is the scope for that happening in third world countries where people use coloured plastic and cardboard as welding shields? Huge.

    Islands? that is 8 today. At your rate of nuclear escalation, that will be thousands by the end of the year.

    Hazelwood? Easy. The appropriate Desertec plant in the appropriate location, not Victoria or Qeanbeyan. It is just a matter of doing it.

    When talking energy systems if it is coal/steam/ electricity that is what you get. If you are talking Solar/steam/ electricity, that is what you get. If you are talking wind/turbine/electricity, that is what you get.

    But if you go down a nuclear path there are a huge number of potential outcomes. Listening to Franatics you get the impression that this leads to endless electricity for virtually nothing and with no consequences whatsoever. But science knows that nuclear installations have many outcomes usually one intended, some unintended, and many other lurking dark possibilities. It is the dark possibilities that can make everything gained through the use of the atomic power to be lost in brief moments.

    The world made a choice some decades ago to use coal power predominately in place of all other options, because it was easy and it was everywhere. The consequences of that choice are now upon us in the form of CO2 buildup.

    There are those who want now to make another choice towards nuclear power. Are we to find that in some tens of decades that this was yet another energy dead end, as fuels deplete and contamination builds up and uneconomic installations become abandoned Bhopal style? I think that this is demonstrably the most certain outcome. We already have a world littered with defunct and contaminated nuclear mausoleums. Expand this many fold? Not on my watch.

    Is there a choice? Absolutely. There is only one true eternal energy source that is every where and able to be used by everyone absolutely freely. Solar energy. Without it we would not exist. We take it for granted. And as for everything that is taken for granted we overlook its full potential. Fortunately science has unlocked the ability to use the sun’s energy directly with high efficiency, and it is that unstoppable technological force that will drive the use of nuclear energy to certain economic death in all but a handful of places on our planet.

  133. Fran Barlow

    Bilb reiterated his usual dissembling as follows:

    Hazelwood? Easy. The appropriate Desertec plant in the appropriate location, not Victoria or Queanbeyan. It is just a matter of doing it.

    OK … so take the data we have had on insolation over the last two years from your poosed location of a Desertec-style plant, andf the data from Hazelwood and

    a) compare the performance of the “Desertec” plant with Hazelwood.

    Specifically: Power delivered, availability, capacity credit, system redundancy, unscheduled plant outages

    b) What was the installed cost of delivering a Desertec plant capable of delivering 1.47GW at peak and operating for, say, 8000 hours per annum at that peak.

    Show all assumptions about modelling, referring back to the actual pattern of demand during the period and the actual patterns of insolation.

    If you are going to use storage, specify what kinds of storage, how many hours you plan to store to meet the above requirements, the likely cost and how you derive these. No magical technology please — only technologies that actually exist now or could be contrived within the plant build time.

    You want intermittents? It’s on you to show that they can work.

    We already have a world littered with defunct and contaminated nuclear mausoleums.

    We already have a world littered with defunct windfarms and solar plants. You’ve seen the pics yourself Scott. The nuclear plants hold future feedstock, so they are repositories.

    There is only one true eternal energy source that is every where and able to be used by everyone absolutely freely. Solar energy.

    Wouldn’t it be nice if that were true? But you know that’s a lie. We will have to pay bigtime to access it “freely” including in extra CO2 and extra mining, concrete, water, steel and in an environmental footprint more generally.

    Without it we would not exist

    True but irrelevant. We are talking here of sufficient conditions for a reasonable existence, not necessary conditions for life.

  134. Fran Barlow

    Bilb reiterated his usual dissembling as follows:

    Hazelwood? Easy. The appropriate Desertec plant in the appropriate location, not Victoria or Queanbeyan. It is just a matter of doing it.

    OK … so take the data we have had on insolation over the last two years from your poosed location of a Desertec-style plant, andf the data from Hazelwood and

    a) compare the performance of the “Desertec” plant with Hazelwood.

    Specifically: Power delivered, availability, capacity credit, system redundancy, unscheduled plant outages

    b) What was the installed cost of delivering a Desertec plant capable of delivering 1.47GW at peak and operating for, say, 8000 hours per annum at that peak.

    Show all assumptions about modelling, referring back to the actual pattern of demand during the period and the actual patterns of insolation.

    If you are going to use storage, specify what kinds of storage, how many hours you plan to store to meet the above requirements, the likely cost and how you derive these. No magical technology please — only technologies that actually exist now or could be contrived within the plant build time.

    You want intermittents? It’s on you to show that they can work.

    We already have a world littered with defunct and contaminated nuclear mausoleums.

    We already have a world littered with defunct windfarms and solar plants. You’ve seen the pics yourself Scott. The nuclear plants hold future feedstock, so they are repositories.

    There is only one true eternal energy source that is every where and able to be used by everyone absolutely freely. Solar energy.

    Wouldn’t it be nice if that were true? But you know that’s a lie. We will have to pay bigtime to access it “freely” including in extra CO2 and extra mining, concrete, water, steel and in an environmental footprint more generally.

    Without it we would not exist

    True but irrelevant. We are talking here of sufficient conditions for a reasonable existence, not necessary conditions for life.

  135. BilB

    The government committed to spending 50 million dollars to do this work at the last election, however, the solutions have been developed by other performing governments and are convincingly rock solid. There is any amount of non blogged published material available on the web to verify this.

    Our government at the last election also committed to spending 1 billion dollars on Carbon Capture and Storage. The ratio speaks for itself.

    This

    “Wouldn’t it be nice if that were true? But you know that’s a lie. We will have to pay bigtime to access it “freely” including in extra CO2 and extra mining, concrete, water, steel and in an environmental footprint more generally”

    is like so much of the drivel comimg out of the “BraveNewClimateNuclearIsTheOnlySolution” web site that it is a waste of time to dredge through.

    And

    “True but irrelevant”

    is the ultimate “take your existence for granted” statement which epitomises the fanatical nature of the Nuclear position. Ignore the obvious.

    Perhaps the best way to test probable energy outcomes for the future is to think of grid energy as public transport, and personal transport as being distributed energy generation predominately GenII Solar PV. The only variations being that grid energy requires roadways whereas distributed energy does not, on the one hand, and that grid is convenient but costly and distributed is free but requires some small effort. Then apply to that model what you have learnt about human nature in order to attempt to predict the future.

    To make the comparison properly it is necessary to understand the nature of GenII Solar PV. This is a system that for Austalia mainland delivers around 20,000 kilowatt hours of electricity plus full airconditioning, water heating an space heating year round but obviously in different proportions as seasons change. The system is balanced by the grid, just as we all take the bus or the train occasionally, and sometimes just for fun. This is all entirely free and will eventually be an essential inclusion in new house construction with built in Electric Vehicle charging points in every garage thereby eliminating transport fuel bills. All built with todays off the shelf technologies.

    Images of the future. Which one suits you. Free domestic and small business energy including free vehicle fuelling and very occasional maintenance, or grid supplied energy with a quarterly bill along with weekly petrol bills.

  136. BilB

    The government committed to spending 50 million dollars to do this work at the last election, however, the solutions have been developed by other performing governments and are convincingly rock solid. There is any amount of non blogged published material available on the web to verify this.

    Our government at the last election also committed to spending 1 billion dollars on Carbon Capture and Storage. The ratio speaks for itself.

    This

    “Wouldn’t it be nice if that were true? But you know that’s a lie. We will have to pay bigtime to access it “freely” including in extra CO2 and extra mining, concrete, water, steel and in an environmental footprint more generally”

    is like so much of the drivel comimg out of the “BraveNewClimateNuclearIsTheOnlySolution” web site that it is a waste of time to dredge through.

    And

    “True but irrelevant”

    is the ultimate “take your existence for granted” statement which epitomises the fanatical nature of the Nuclear position. Ignore the obvious.

    Perhaps the best way to test probable energy outcomes for the future is to think of grid energy as public transport, and personal transport as being distributed energy generation predominately GenII Solar PV. The only variations being that grid energy requires roadways whereas distributed energy does not, on the one hand, and that grid is convenient but costly and distributed is free but requires some small effort. Then apply to that model what you have learnt about human nature in order to attempt to predict the future.

    To make the comparison properly it is necessary to understand the nature of GenII Solar PV. This is a system that for Austalia mainland delivers around 20,000 kilowatt hours of electricity plus full airconditioning, water heating an space heating year round but obviously in different proportions as seasons change. The system is balanced by the grid, just as we all take the bus or the train occasionally, and sometimes just for fun. This is all entirely free and will eventually be an essential inclusion in new house construction with built in Electric Vehicle charging points in every garage thereby eliminating transport fuel bills. All built with todays off the shelf technologies.

    Images of the future. Which one suits you. Free domestic and small business energy including free vehicle fuelling and very occasional maintenance, or grid supplied energy with a quarterly bill along with weekly petrol bills.

  137. Fran Barlow

    BilB

    Arguing with you is like trying to pin the proverbial “jello” to a wall. You will not stay on point.

    Please detail specifically how some combination of renewable resources can, based on the relevant meteorological data over the last two years and the hour on hour load carried by Hazelwood replace that plant. This is a fair question because I saw BZE signs at that rally last year to shut down hazelwood by 2012. Hazelwood carries about 25-27% of Victoria’s load. If renewables can’t do Hazelwood’s job at acceptable cost, then they are not a solution for the system as a whole, and all the analogies in the world about public transport and the features of distributed generation won’t make a tinker’s cuss worth of difference.

    You don’t even refute the central claim that renewables have an order of magnitude bigger footprint than nuclear, but utter “BNC is drivel” and think that solves your problem. Over there, they deal in actual verifiable numbers whereas you come here and deal in what feels good.

    Even were it true that I took the conditions for my existence for granted, it wouldn’t show that humans can harvest and store solar energy and convert it to electricity load with the efficiency and effectiveness needed to replace Hazelwood at acceptable cost. Why won’t you stick to the topic?

    Solar power cannot be harvested in useful ammounts when the sun is too low in the sky, so all of the power needed for the grid must be harvested while insolation is adequate. This implies massive storage since supplying actual demand in real time is a primary performance measure for the grid. You are almost certainly going to have to have at least ten days storage at full rated capacity, since periods of heavy cloud cover and associated low insolation are regular events. Or you can build more capacity, or back up with biomass plants, or gas.

    Whatever combination you choose though, I’d like to see you fit it into a budget and have performance based on historical data, otherwise you are betting the future on something untested in local conditions — and nothing is more site-based than renewables.

    Images of the future. Which one suits you? Free domestic and small business energy including free vehicle fuelling and very occasional maintenance, or grid supplied energy with a quarterly bill along with weekly petrol bills.

    False dichotomy. The first cannot work without a reliable grid, and if nuclear comes in, the cost of recharging your battery overnight will be very low in CO2 and dollars.

  138. Fran Barlow

    BilB

    Arguing with you is like trying to pin the proverbial “jello” to a wall. You will not stay on point.

    Please detail specifically how some combination of renewable resources can, based on the relevant meteorological data over the last two years and the hour on hour load carried by Hazelwood replace that plant. This is a fair question because I saw BZE signs at that rally last year to shut down hazelwood by 2012. Hazelwood carries about 25-27% of Victoria’s load. If renewables can’t do Hazelwood’s job at acceptable cost, then they are not a solution for the system as a whole, and all the analogies in the world about public transport and the features of distributed generation won’t make a tinker’s cuss worth of difference.

    You don’t even refute the central claim that renewables have an order of magnitude bigger footprint than nuclear, but utter “BNC is drivel” and think that solves your problem. Over there, they deal in actual verifiable numbers whereas you come here and deal in what feels good.

    Even were it true that I took the conditions for my existence for granted, it wouldn’t show that humans can harvest and store solar energy and convert it to electricity load with the efficiency and effectiveness needed to replace Hazelwood at acceptable cost. Why won’t you stick to the topic?

    Solar power cannot be harvested in useful ammounts when the sun is too low in the sky, so all of the power needed for the grid must be harvested while insolation is adequate. This implies massive storage since supplying actual demand in real time is a primary performance measure for the grid. You are almost certainly going to have to have at least ten days storage at full rated capacity, since periods of heavy cloud cover and associated low insolation are regular events. Or you can build more capacity, or back up with biomass plants, or gas.

    Whatever combination you choose though, I’d like to see you fit it into a budget and have performance based on historical data, otherwise you are betting the future on something untested in local conditions — and nothing is more site-based than renewables.

    Images of the future. Which one suits you? Free domestic and small business energy including free vehicle fuelling and very occasional maintenance, or grid supplied energy with a quarterly bill along with weekly petrol bills.

    False dichotomy. The first cannot work without a reliable grid, and if nuclear comes in, the cost of recharging your battery overnight will be very low in CO2 and dollars.

  139. BilB

    Taking the last point first. GenII PV works better with a reliable grid, and it requires the grid to optimise the value to the family or business, although it does not absolutely require it. But what I have been at pains to point out is that Nuclear generation is an unsuitable match for distributed power generation of this nature.

    On all of the prior stuff some people have trouble grasping the CSP Hybride concept. In this system the boilers, normally heated by with energy captured in solar arrays also have full output LNG firing backup and or biomass firing backup. The storage provides a demand buffer and can be managed in a broad manner of ways as conditions require. The SolarThermie SM-4 system provides 8000 hours per year and the balance is made up with other renewables such as wind, geothermal, stored hydro, system mass, and demand management. There is no rocket science in any of this. It is not hard to understand. BNC have a huge investment in the notion that energy storage for CSP is a difficult thing to achieve. It is not. And it is the storage that makes CSP the optimal companion technology for large scale GenII PV.

    GenII PV will succeed without government support, subsidisation or feed in tarrifs because the personal economics of it are so robust, particularly where the full future package (including the electric car [google VW Milano for those who are not up to date]) is deployed for both family and business. Further it is one of a number of technologies that make it possible to have an increase in the standard of living while there is nil or reducing economic growth. It is important to recognise this now and shape the future energy infrastructure appropriately.

    So if the arguments are in your view missaligned, then it is because I am talking about a future built on technologies of the present, whereas you are imagining a future based on what you have experienced in the past.

    To understand this better, todays PV would be technologically similar to horseless buggies, GenII PV would perhaps be of the Model T Ford era, thereby leaving scope for other huge solar conversion technology advances currently under development to mature. If the components have been available for some time to make this possible then why has it not happened already? The bits to make the iPod possible had been available for many years. It did not happen until someone put the components and the ideas together with the right kind of marketing in the presence of an identified need. Often it comes down to timing, or just a quirk of thinking.

  140. BilB

    Taking the last point first. GenII PV works better with a reliable grid, and it requires the grid to optimise the value to the family or business, although it does not absolutely require it. But what I have been at pains to point out is that Nuclear generation is an unsuitable match for distributed power generation of this nature.

    On all of the prior stuff some people have trouble grasping the CSP Hybride concept. In this system the boilers, normally heated by with energy captured in solar arrays also have full output LNG firing backup and or biomass firing backup. The storage provides a demand buffer and can be managed in a broad manner of ways as conditions require. The SolarThermie SM-4 system provides 8000 hours per year and the balance is made up with other renewables such as wind, geothermal, stored hydro, system mass, and demand management. There is no rocket science in any of this. It is not hard to understand. BNC have a huge investment in the notion that energy storage for CSP is a difficult thing to achieve. It is not. And it is the storage that makes CSP the optimal companion technology for large scale GenII PV.

    GenII PV will succeed without government support, subsidisation or feed in tarrifs because the personal economics of it are so robust, particularly where the full future package (including the electric car [google VW Milano for those who are not up to date]) is deployed for both family and business. Further it is one of a number of technologies that make it possible to have an increase in the standard of living while there is nil or reducing economic growth. It is important to recognise this now and shape the future energy infrastructure appropriately.

    So if the arguments are in your view missaligned, then it is because I am talking about a future built on technologies of the present, whereas you are imagining a future based on what you have experienced in the past.

    To understand this better, todays PV would be technologically similar to horseless buggies, GenII PV would perhaps be of the Model T Ford era, thereby leaving scope for other huge solar conversion technology advances currently under development to mature. If the components have been available for some time to make this possible then why has it not happened already? The bits to make the iPod possible had been available for many years. It did not happen until someone put the components and the ideas together with the right kind of marketing in the presence of an identified need. Often it comes down to timing, or just a quirk of thinking.

  141. Eric Sykes

    What Fran says.

  142. Eric Sykes

    What Fran says.

  143. Fran Barlow

    And what I don’t understand about BilB’s system above is how the CSP actually contributes, at the margins, to the viability of the facility. If LNG and biomass are in place to cover, why not simply forget the CSP? These facilities are going to be far cheaper per unit of deliverable power and have to be at least running at the capacity credit of the system. Why not run them at optimal efficiency? What is the net gain in CO2 abatement of a solar system over biomass or even LNG in practice per dollar of extra expenditure? And where does one get all the water from to run the solar plant?

    Biomass is generally reckoned to be about 6 times as CO2 intensive as solar operating at maximum efficiency but unlike solar, it is dispatchable and still a lot less CO2-intensive than coal (provided the biomass was dry before use/transport and sourced fairly close by or on a rail link).

    The problem tends to be trying to scale up and having enough local biomass to use. If we weren’t doing nuclear, I’d be a lot more confident about waste biomass as a cost-effective low carbon source than solar thermal. Then there’s geothermal.

    We should have someone put a specific proposal together based on replacing Hazelwood.

  144. Fran Barlow

    And what I don’t understand about BilB’s system above is how the CSP actually contributes, at the margins, to the viability of the facility. If LNG and biomass are in place to cover, why not simply forget the CSP? These facilities are going to be far cheaper per unit of deliverable power and have to be at least running at the capacity credit of the system. Why not run them at optimal efficiency? What is the net gain in CO2 abatement of a solar system over biomass or even LNG in practice per dollar of extra expenditure? And where does one get all the water from to run the solar plant?

    Biomass is generally reckoned to be about 6 times as CO2 intensive as solar operating at maximum efficiency but unlike solar, it is dispatchable and still a lot less CO2-intensive than coal (provided the biomass was dry before use/transport and sourced fairly close by or on a rail link).

    The problem tends to be trying to scale up and having enough local biomass to use. If we weren’t doing nuclear, I’d be a lot more confident about waste biomass as a cost-effective low carbon source than solar thermal. Then there’s geothermal.

    We should have someone put a specific proposal together based on replacing Hazelwood.

  145. BilB

    Fran,

    For starters this is not “my” system, it is a system developed over 30 years by European and US energy interests. Secondly, Solar is totally CO2 free, and cost free. LNG is a fossil fuel which is only used as final security and is likely to be just a few percent of total electricity output in Solar Multiple 4 systems. Biomass is an alternative. The cost of the LNG backup for the CSP is a small part of the total cost. The need to burn alternative fuels in the CSP model is very small so the task of accumulating stockpiles can be regulated to match availability.

    Hazelwood is a political problem not a technical one.

    For those who are interested in scope and scale this represents the cheapest operating cost future travel option developed to date. Certainly not for everyone but it is about what can be achieved: 300 kilometers, 2 hours, fuel cost (60kwhrs) $10.20

    http://blog.cafefoundation.org/?p=970

  146. BilB

    Fran,

    For starters this is not “my” system, it is a system developed over 30 years by European and US energy interests. Secondly, Solar is totally CO2 free, and cost free. LNG is a fossil fuel which is only used as final security and is likely to be just a few percent of total electricity output in Solar Multiple 4 systems. Biomass is an alternative. The cost of the LNG backup for the CSP is a small part of the total cost. The need to burn alternative fuels in the CSP model is very small so the task of accumulating stockpiles can be regulated to match availability.

    Hazelwood is a political problem not a technical one.

    For those who are interested in scope and scale this represents the cheapest operating cost future travel option developed to date. Certainly not for everyone but it is about what can be achieved: 300 kilometers, 2 hours, fuel cost (60kwhrs) $10.20

    http://blog.cafefoundation.org/?p=970

  147. Elise

    Fran @61: “One might presume that you don’t have even a passing aquaintance with volcanology?(sic)

    Well I do at least know how to spell it.”

    Indeed Fran, you just proved my point perfectly.

    Perhaps you might take a gander at this website, just for starters, for a definition and spelling:

    http://www.vip-gac.ca/About.html

    For your info, I have spent years in the company of a volcanologist, and have seen plenty of volcanoes around the world. My mother was an igneous petrologist (a related field of geology), who used her kids as audience for her latest findings and understandings.

    Not all of us venture comment when we are totally ignorant on a subject. Think next time, before you sneer.

  148. Elise

    Fran @61: “One might presume that you don’t have even a passing aquaintance with volcanology?(sic)

    Well I do at least know how to spell it.”

    Indeed Fran, you just proved my point perfectly.

    Perhaps you might take a gander at this website, just for starters, for a definition and spelling:

    http://www.vip-gac.ca/About.html

    For your info, I have spent years in the company of a volcanologist, and have seen plenty of volcanoes around the world. My mother was an igneous petrologist (a related field of geology), who used her kids as audience for her latest findings and understandings.

    Not all of us venture comment when we are totally ignorant on a subject. Think next time, before you sneer.

  149. Fran Barlow

    BilB said:

    Secondly, Solar is totally CO2 free, and cost free.

    So the materials to build solar panels, the energy neeeded to install and maintain them and ultimately decommission them in (we hope) no less than 25 years — all that is CO2-free is it? All the steel and silicon and copper cable and concrete for CST just appears from nowhere does it? The water that gets there does so without energy input? LNG back up? — that’s totally carbon-neutral and free of charge is it?

    It’s astonishing Scott that you dare make such claims. You sound like a dodgy accountant.

    Hazelwood is a political problem not a technical one

    So not an environmental problem then? In that case, why does BZE want to close it?

    The level of cognitive dissonance here is breathtaking. You want to run about dreaming your dreams of solar plants that will never be built while Hazelwood does its bit to filthy up the planet without ever proposing a single specific thing that could replace it. You can’t deal with that so you call this “a political problem”. But it’s not. Brumby just extended it to 2031. That’s because there is no comparably cheap renewable alternative and he is not going to shut down a quarter of the state without one. If you want to shut it down you have to show that it can be done without serious dislocation. But you can’t — not at any plausible price. The renewable emperor has no clothes and doesn’t even like his form in the mirror so …

    he changes the subject.

  150. Fran Barlow

    BilB said:

    Secondly, Solar is totally CO2 free, and cost free.

    So the materials to build solar panels, the energy neeeded to install and maintain them and ultimately decommission them in (we hope) no less than 25 years — all that is CO2-free is it? All the steel and silicon and copper cable and concrete for CST just appears from nowhere does it? The water that gets there does so without energy input? LNG back up? — that’s totally carbon-neutral and free of charge is it?

    It’s astonishing Scott that you dare make such claims. You sound like a dodgy accountant.

    Hazelwood is a political problem not a technical one

    So not an environmental problem then? In that case, why does BZE want to close it?

    The level of cognitive dissonance here is breathtaking. You want to run about dreaming your dreams of solar plants that will never be built while Hazelwood does its bit to filthy up the planet without ever proposing a single specific thing that could replace it. You can’t deal with that so you call this “a political problem”. But it’s not. Brumby just extended it to 2031. That’s because there is no comparably cheap renewable alternative and he is not going to shut down a quarter of the state without one. If you want to shut it down you have to show that it can be done without serious dislocation. But you can’t — not at any plausible price. The renewable emperor has no clothes and doesn’t even like his form in the mirror so …

    he changes the subject.

  151. BilB

    Fran

    What was being said here

    “Solar is totally CO2 free, and cost free”

    is that the solar fuel SUNLIGHT is CO2 and cost free. LNG on the other hand does have a cost and does release CO2. But having said that there are methods for optimising energy output and minimising CO2 releases. For instance if the LNG is burnt in a gas turbine then the hottest gas is efficiently converted to electricity and the exhaust gas carries on to heat energy storage medium and then further to preheat the energy transfer medium. This raises the overall output of a CSP installation, extending the capacity of its storage system at absolute minimal cost. There are all manner of possible hybride combinations which the engineers will decide upon at the time of taking an order.

    There is absolutely no reason why CSP installations will not last for several hundred years. The mirrors are replaced progressively over one hundred years (1% per annum). The frame work that supports the mirrors, being in hot dry environments, should have an indefinite life.

    Hazelwood? It is simply a matter of placing a purchase order, Fran, making a commitment. That is political. You can rant and rave as much as you like it will not change the reality.

    Hazelwood is political because it was built by the state government, run for 26 years then flicked of for cash 14 years ago. To force its closure would require the state goverment to pay out the balance of the installations commercial life or contribute two thirds to its replacement. That is political.

  152. BilB

    Fran

    What was being said here

    “Solar is totally CO2 free, and cost free”

    is that the solar fuel SUNLIGHT is CO2 and cost free. LNG on the other hand does have a cost and does release CO2. But having said that there are methods for optimising energy output and minimising CO2 releases. For instance if the LNG is burnt in a gas turbine then the hottest gas is efficiently converted to electricity and the exhaust gas carries on to heat energy storage medium and then further to preheat the energy transfer medium. This raises the overall output of a CSP installation, extending the capacity of its storage system at absolute minimal cost. There are all manner of possible hybride combinations which the engineers will decide upon at the time of taking an order.

    There is absolutely no reason why CSP installations will not last for several hundred years. The mirrors are replaced progressively over one hundred years (1% per annum). The frame work that supports the mirrors, being in hot dry environments, should have an indefinite life.

    Hazelwood? It is simply a matter of placing a purchase order, Fran, making a commitment. That is political. You can rant and rave as much as you like it will not change the reality.

    Hazelwood is political because it was built by the state government, run for 26 years then flicked of for cash 14 years ago. To force its closure would require the state goverment to pay out the balance of the installations commercial life or contribute two thirds to its replacement. That is political.

  153. Fran Barlow

    BilB Said:

    “Solar is totally CO2 free, and cost free” is that the solar fuel SUNLIGHT is CO2 and cost free.

    Sunlight is free? You don’t say? Gosh … the things you discover on blogs.

    For pity’s sake BilB … have you no shame? You do know this is first order dissembling right?

    The “fuel” is the least important cost factor and is utterly dwarfed by the collection cost. What if I said uranium was practically free? What if I said that thorium oxide that the US has had locked away since the 1960s was entirely free?

    The mirrors are replaced progressively over one hundred years (1% per annum).

    Good grief. I had no idea they’d been testing them that long. You do know this is first order dissembling right?

    Hazelwood? It is simply a matter of placing a purchase order, Fran,

    Sight unseen, and for what?

    Why don’t you try specifying what is required based on Hazelwood’s output and the last 2 years of meteorological data?

    Hazelwood is political because it was built by the state government, run for 26 years then flicked of for cash 14 years ago. To force its closure would require the state goverment to pay out the balance of the installations commercial life or contribute two thirds to its replacement. That is political.

    No, that’s economic and budgetary and prviding you have a solution that is cost feasible … which you don’t, then there would be no problem.

    What you are admitting in your own round about way is that renewables are not able to do the job needed, even in the worst case scenarios. All your handwaving doesn’t change that Scott.

  154. Fran Barlow

    BilB Said:

    “Solar is totally CO2 free, and cost free” is that the solar fuel SUNLIGHT is CO2 and cost free.

    Sunlight is free? You don’t say? Gosh … the things you discover on blogs.

    For pity’s sake BilB … have you no shame? You do know this is first order dissembling right?

    The “fuel” is the least important cost factor and is utterly dwarfed by the collection cost. What if I said uranium was practically free? What if I said that thorium oxide that the US has had locked away since the 1960s was entirely free?

    The mirrors are replaced progressively over one hundred years (1% per annum).

    Good grief. I had no idea they’d been testing them that long. You do know this is first order dissembling right?

    Hazelwood? It is simply a matter of placing a purchase order, Fran,

    Sight unseen, and for what?

    Why don’t you try specifying what is required based on Hazelwood’s output and the last 2 years of meteorological data?

    Hazelwood is political because it was built by the state government, run for 26 years then flicked of for cash 14 years ago. To force its closure would require the state goverment to pay out the balance of the installations commercial life or contribute two thirds to its replacement. That is political.

    No, that’s economic and budgetary and prviding you have a solution that is cost feasible … which you don’t, then there would be no problem.

    What you are admitting in your own round about way is that renewables are not able to do the job needed, even in the worst case scenarios. All your handwaving doesn’t change that Scott.

  155. BilB

    Desperately talking renewables down, Fran, changes nothing in reality. Trieb is right when he points out that nuclear is failing to maintain its position, and this article shows that governments are watching Finland’s dejevu experience with trepidation.

    “A new fleet of reactors would be standardized down to “the carpeting and wallpaper,” as Michael J. Wallace, the chairman of UniStar Nuclear Energy — a joint venture between EDF Group and Constellation Energy, the Maryland-based utility — has said repeatedly.

    In the end, he says, that standardization will lead to significant savings.

    But early experience suggests these new reactors will be no easier or cheaper to build than the ones of a generation ago, when cost overruns — and then accidents at Three Mile Island and Chernobyl — ended the last nuclear construction boom.

    In Flamanville, France, a clone of the Finnish reactor now under construction is also behind schedule and overbudget.

    In the United States, Florida and Georgia have changed state laws to raise electricity rates so that consumers will foot some of the bill for new nuclear plants in advance, before construction even begins.

    “A number of U.S. companies have looked with trepidation on the situation in Finland and at the magnitude of the investment there,” said Paul L. Joskow, a professor of economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a co-author of an influential report on the future of nuclear power in 2003. “The rollout of new nuclear reactors will be a good deal slower than a lot of people were assuming.””

    Meanwhile renewables deployment is accelerating.

    For the full article

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/29/business/energy-environment/29nuke.html

  156. BilB

    Desperately talking renewables down, Fran, changes nothing in reality. Trieb is right when he points out that nuclear is failing to maintain its position, and this article shows that governments are watching Finland’s dejevu experience with trepidation.

    “A new fleet of reactors would be standardized down to “the carpeting and wallpaper,” as Michael J. Wallace, the chairman of UniStar Nuclear Energy — a joint venture between EDF Group and Constellation Energy, the Maryland-based utility — has said repeatedly.

    In the end, he says, that standardization will lead to significant savings.

    But early experience suggests these new reactors will be no easier or cheaper to build than the ones of a generation ago, when cost overruns — and then accidents at Three Mile Island and Chernobyl — ended the last nuclear construction boom.

    In Flamanville, France, a clone of the Finnish reactor now under construction is also behind schedule and overbudget.

    In the United States, Florida and Georgia have changed state laws to raise electricity rates so that consumers will foot some of the bill for new nuclear plants in advance, before construction even begins.

    “A number of U.S. companies have looked with trepidation on the situation in Finland and at the magnitude of the investment there,” said Paul L. Joskow, a professor of economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a co-author of an influential report on the future of nuclear power in 2003. “The rollout of new nuclear reactors will be a good deal slower than a lot of people were assuming.””

    Meanwhile renewables deployment is accelerating.

    For the full article

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/29/business/energy-environment/29nuke.html

  157. Fran Barlow

    Again BilB … no cost overrun for a nuclear power plant could get it into the up into the cost ballpark of any baseload capable solar plant.

    Nuclear remains the cheapest near zero CO2/low footprint source of power available. We will never have substantial baseload renewables,l this side of a major technological breakthrough, In the meantime, if nuclear isn’t adopted more widely, it will be coal and gas that will be supply the stationary energy for the planet.

    Hiding behind obscure promoters of untested systems may allow you to feel better, but you aren’t fooling anyone else.

    I repeat: specify how you’d replace Hazelwood and justify your figures by reference to the actual data.

  158. Fran Barlow

    Again BilB … no cost overrun for a nuclear power plant could get it into the up into the cost ballpark of any baseload capable solar plant.

    Nuclear remains the cheapest near zero CO2/low footprint source of power available. We will never have substantial baseload renewables,l this side of a major technological breakthrough, In the meantime, if nuclear isn’t adopted more widely, it will be coal and gas that will be supply the stationary energy for the planet.

    Hiding behind obscure promoters of untested systems may allow you to feel better, but you aren’t fooling anyone else.

    I repeat: specify how you’d replace Hazelwood and justify your figures by reference to the actual data.

  159. BilB

    Time will tell, Fran. Hazelwood? Again?? Exactly as I’ve said before. The intersested party approaches the appropriate installing body and a proposal is put forward based on all of the circumstances at the time. That is the proper method.

    Meanwhile wind turbines are being installed, distributed electricity resources expand, geothermal edges forward, wave energy is trialed, biomas projects grow, and GenII PV is rapidly developed.

    The future belongs to renewable energy, based on the evidence.

  160. BilB

    Time will tell, Fran. Hazelwood? Again?? Exactly as I’ve said before. The intersested party approaches the appropriate installing body and a proposal is put forward based on all of the circumstances at the time. That is the proper method.

    Meanwhile wind turbines are being installed, distributed electricity resources expand, geothermal edges forward, wave energy is trialed, biomas projects grow, and GenII PV is rapidly developed.

    The future belongs to renewable energy, based on the evidence.

  161. BilB

    I read the article incorrectly

    “For those who are interested in scope and scale this represents the cheapest operating cost future travel option developed to date. Certainly not for everyone but it is about what can be achieved: 300 kilometers, 2 hours, fuel cost (60kwhrs) $10.20

    http://blog.cafefoundation.org/?p=970

    That should actually be $5.80 (34 kwhrs) to fill the tank for the 300 klm flight. This is absolutely amazing rate of change in this technology. 3 years ago early versions of these planes were barely lifting off, now they are doing real distance and speed. Put this together with the VW’s Milano concept vehicle (taxi) specification and we are looking at an amazing all electric future world. These 2 concepts represent a technological tipping point. Add to that the GenII PV solar energy system and we are looking at unprecedented future freedom with a massive increase in living standard and potentially significantly improved quality of life. Bring it on.

    Carbonsink was right after all with his all electric argument. It is absolutely clear that future solutions can not be found in the methods of the past.

    A little subnote here that conversion to all electric will make a huge improvement to our near natural environment as electric vehicles are not leaking oil from their motors as petrol engines do. So this makes one less pollutant despoiling our streams and rivers.

  162. BilB

    I read the article incorrectly

    “For those who are interested in scope and scale this represents the cheapest operating cost future travel option developed to date. Certainly not for everyone but it is about what can be achieved: 300 kilometers, 2 hours, fuel cost (60kwhrs) $10.20

    http://blog.cafefoundation.org/?p=970

    That should actually be $5.80 (34 kwhrs) to fill the tank for the 300 klm flight. This is absolutely amazing rate of change in this technology. 3 years ago early versions of these planes were barely lifting off, now they are doing real distance and speed. Put this together with the VW’s Milano concept vehicle (taxi) specification and we are looking at an amazing all electric future world. These 2 concepts represent a technological tipping point. Add to that the GenII PV solar energy system and we are looking at unprecedented future freedom with a massive increase in living standard and potentially significantly improved quality of life. Bring it on.

    Carbonsink was right after all with his all electric argument. It is absolutely clear that future solutions can not be found in the methods of the past.

    A little subnote here that conversion to all electric will make a huge improvement to our near natural environment as electric vehicles are not leaking oil from their motors as petrol engines do. So this makes one less pollutant despoiling our streams and rivers.

  163. Fran Barlow

    Bilb said:

    A little subnote here that conversion to all electric will make a huge improvement to our near natural environment as electric vehicles are not leaking oil from their motors as petrol engines do. So this makes one less pollutant despoiling our streams and rivers.

    This I agree with — and it is exactly why we need clean, safe, nuclear power to underpin this policy direction. With most cars on the grid, near zero emissions and the marginal cost of power below what it is for coal, nuclear can put oil in personal transport largely out of business.

    Australia’s balance of trade in crude oil would look pretty good too.

  164. Fran Barlow

    Bilb said:

    A little subnote here that conversion to all electric will make a huge improvement to our near natural environment as electric vehicles are not leaking oil from their motors as petrol engines do. So this makes one less pollutant despoiling our streams and rivers.

    This I agree with — and it is exactly why we need clean, safe, nuclear power to underpin this policy direction. With most cars on the grid, near zero emissions and the marginal cost of power below what it is for coal, nuclear can put oil in personal transport largely out of business.

    Australia’s balance of trade in crude oil would look pretty good too.

  165. Vesa Kaitera

    Now it seems very likely, that our government will get it’s proposal of two new power plants accepted in our parliament. The crucial voting will happen 01.07.2010. If this really happens, then Finland will have 60% of it’s elctricity made by nuclear power plants in early 2020′ies. If we count the produced nuclear electricity devided by inhabitants, then this ratio (about 11 MWh / inhabitant) will then be the biggest in the world. So no wonder the anti-nuclear activists here are desperate, but the have no means to stop this to happen.

    Finland has well-educated people to run nuclear power plants, a very good infrastructure for transferring the electricity, a very solid ground for radioactive waste preserving and a big pro-nuclear public opinion. We can say, that Finland is a Paradise for us pro-nuclear activists. Our chances to use solar energy (the sun is here too low) and wind power (too little wind) are much more restricted. So we can say, that we Finns actually have just one good option for electricity making, and we are using it.

  166. Vesa Kaitera

    Now it seems very likely, that our government will get it’s proposal of two new power plants accepted in our parliament. The crucial voting will happen 01.07.2010. If this really happens, then Finland will have 60% of it’s elctricity made by nuclear power plants in early 2020′ies. If we count the produced nuclear electricity devided by inhabitants, then this ratio (about 11 MWh / inhabitant) will then be the biggest in the world. So no wonder the anti-nuclear activists here are desperate, but the have no means to stop this to happen.

    Finland has well-educated people to run nuclear power plants, a very good infrastructure for transferring the electricity, a very solid ground for radioactive waste preserving and a big pro-nuclear public opinion. We can say, that Finland is a Paradise for us pro-nuclear activists. Our chances to use solar energy (the sun is here too low) and wind power (too little wind) are much more restricted. So we can say, that we Finns actually have just one good option for electricity making, and we are using it.

  167. BilB

    There is still heavy transport, so oil will be around for a while yet. On the other looking at the future probabilities Nuclear does not fit well and would not do enough to justify damaging the Australian “brand”. As I have said many times nuclear has missed its day, as far as Australia is concerned.

    It is interesting to see the debate in Finland over their nuclear waste site. It is expensive enough to dig a hole to store material. It is another thing altogether to then stand guard over that hole for thousands of years. It would be interesting to know if the electricity to be consumed into the future maintaining services to the site will actually exceed the electricity generated by the Nuclear plants in the present day to create the waste in the first place. Certainly the Fins are skeptical about the probability of the site being responsibly cared for in the medium to long term.

  168. BilB

    There is still heavy transport, so oil will be around for a while yet. On the other looking at the future probabilities Nuclear does not fit well and would not do enough to justify damaging the Australian “brand”. As I have said many times nuclear has missed its day, as far as Australia is concerned.

    It is interesting to see the debate in Finland over their nuclear waste site. It is expensive enough to dig a hole to store material. It is another thing altogether to then stand guard over that hole for thousands of years. It would be interesting to know if the electricity to be consumed into the future maintaining services to the site will actually exceed the electricity generated by the Nuclear plants in the present day to create the waste in the first place. Certainly the Fins are skeptical about the probability of the site being responsibly cared for in the medium to long term.

  169. BilB

    That is good feedback, Vessa. I don’t think that anyone could reasonably argue against Nuclear for Finland. You do have an option though and that is to be part of the Desertec system where Finland would build CSP facilities in Northern Sahara and extract the energy inputs from the European grid at your end. Australia’s per capita is much the same at 200 billion kilowatt hours divide by 22 million inhabitants comes to 11 megawatts or 11 thousand kilowatt hours per person per year.

    Out of interest what are you paying for your electricity per kilowatt hour?

  170. BilB

    That is good feedback, Vessa. I don’t think that anyone could reasonably argue against Nuclear for Finland. You do have an option though and that is to be part of the Desertec system where Finland would build CSP facilities in Northern Sahara and extract the energy inputs from the European grid at your end. Australia’s per capita is much the same at 200 billion kilowatt hours divide by 22 million inhabitants comes to 11 megawatts or 11 thousand kilowatt hours per person per year.

    Out of interest what are you paying for your electricity per kilowatt hour?

  171. OldSkeptic

    One of the key things that becomes apparent is the lack of like by like costs and risks.

    Costs, has anyone any idea how much is will cost to decommission (say) Hazelwood? These old plants are full of asbestos. It will cost (what) hundreds of millions (billions?) to tear it down and cart away and store safely the dangerous rubbish in it.

    Is that built into cost comparisons with nuclear, or solar or wind? Nope.

    Plus risk, a coal power station puts out more radiation into the environment, unmonitored no less, than a nuclear one (which is monitored). Then the mercury, sulpher dioxide, cadmium, etc, etc environmental pollutants. Costed? nope. Health and environmental impacts .. huge.

    The all the ash that has to be taken away, we are taking about thousands of tons per plant per day (depending on size), which itself is very dirty (and mildly radioactive).

    The the human and environmental costs of digging coal out of the ground and then shipping it. Given the massive volumes needed it dwarfes Uranium mining mining by many orders of magnitude.

    When you go through the numbers, strip away the propaganda, examine the risks and the costs, nuclear power is actually cheaper than coal, far less damaging, far less killing (in all parts of the energy system), far more sustainable and far safer for everyone.

  172. OldSkeptic

    One of the key things that becomes apparent is the lack of like by like costs and risks.

    Costs, has anyone any idea how much is will cost to decommission (say) Hazelwood? These old plants are full of asbestos. It will cost (what) hundreds of millions (billions?) to tear it down and cart away and store safely the dangerous rubbish in it.

    Is that built into cost comparisons with nuclear, or solar or wind? Nope.

    Plus risk, a coal power station puts out more radiation into the environment, unmonitored no less, than a nuclear one (which is monitored). Then the mercury, sulpher dioxide, cadmium, etc, etc environmental pollutants. Costed? nope. Health and environmental impacts .. huge.

    The all the ash that has to be taken away, we are taking about thousands of tons per plant per day (depending on size), which itself is very dirty (and mildly radioactive).

    The the human and environmental costs of digging coal out of the ground and then shipping it. Given the massive volumes needed it dwarfes Uranium mining mining by many orders of magnitude.

    When you go through the numbers, strip away the propaganda, examine the risks and the costs, nuclear power is actually cheaper than coal, far less damaging, far less killing (in all parts of the energy system), far more sustainable and far safer for everyone.

  173. Vesa Kaitera

    I don’t think, that the nuclear waste site will be guarded by any human after the site is fully filled and properly closed. It is possible, that there will be some monitoring by the computers in the first few decades, but if anything suspicious will not be happening, the waste site is just left there. If somebody wonders our lighthearted attitude towards the hazards of tomorrow and beyond, then keep in mind, that there will be around 300 Finns, who will die every year because of the radioactive radon gas. Our ground is very old and solid and when the constructors will blow the rock , then radon will be released from the rock.

    When we are calculating the costs of dismantling the old nuclear power plants, we must remember, that the dismantling will happen some 50 – 60 years after the nuclear plant was built. So if Olkiluoto 3, which will be ready in 2 – 3 years time, demands some 2000 million euros (2400 million US dollars) so, that it can be dismantled in 2073, this sum corresponds some 300 million euros today.

    When I looked my latest electricity bill, it showed, that the price was around 80 euros / MWh. But then there was some additional tranfer payments and taxes, so that the brutto price was around 100 euros / MWh. When I compared the electricity prices among different EU-countries, among the six highets price countries there was only one country, which had nuclear power plants. From the six lowest price countries there was only one non-nuclear country. In Denmark, which is one of the leading countries in use of renewable energy (Denmark has no nuclear power plants), the electricity price for electrisity to consumers, has in recent years been 2 – 2.3 time s more expensive than in Finland.

    The Desertec project might be reality in some decades, but the countries in Sahara area are not stable democraties and the infrastructure is not very high. The sand storms are a threat and lots of money and work will be spent when long transfer lines will be built. If we look the situation from the Sahara end, Finland is behind everybody else. So I am afraid, that even if Desertec project would be a huge success, we Finns would not benefit much. But we still have this nuclear option, which the “poor” Germans probably will not have, so they have to invent something else.

    The Swedish people decided in their referendum in 1980 to stop the nuclear reactors by the year 2010. The Swedes dismantled two reactors, but updated the other 10 so, that now Sweden produces more electricity by nuclear power than any other country (about 8 MWh per capita). What a Great Failure !

  174. Vesa Kaitera

    I don’t think, that the nuclear waste site will be guarded by any human after the site is fully filled and properly closed. It is possible, that there will be some monitoring by the computers in the first few decades, but if anything suspicious will not be happening, the waste site is just left there. If somebody wonders our lighthearted attitude towards the hazards of tomorrow and beyond, then keep in mind, that there will be around 300 Finns, who will die every year because of the radioactive radon gas. Our ground is very old and solid and when the constructors will blow the rock , then radon will be released from the rock.

    When we are calculating the costs of dismantling the old nuclear power plants, we must remember, that the dismantling will happen some 50 – 60 years after the nuclear plant was built. So if Olkiluoto 3, which will be ready in 2 – 3 years time, demands some 2000 million euros (2400 million US dollars) so, that it can be dismantled in 2073, this sum corresponds some 300 million euros today.

    When I looked my latest electricity bill, it showed, that the price was around 80 euros / MWh. But then there was some additional tranfer payments and taxes, so that the brutto price was around 100 euros / MWh. When I compared the electricity prices among different EU-countries, among the six highets price countries there was only one country, which had nuclear power plants. From the six lowest price countries there was only one non-nuclear country. In Denmark, which is one of the leading countries in use of renewable energy (Denmark has no nuclear power plants), the electricity price for electrisity to consumers, has in recent years been 2 – 2.3 time s more expensive than in Finland.

    The Desertec project might be reality in some decades, but the countries in Sahara area are not stable democraties and the infrastructure is not very high. The sand storms are a threat and lots of money and work will be spent when long transfer lines will be built. If we look the situation from the Sahara end, Finland is behind everybody else. So I am afraid, that even if Desertec project would be a huge success, we Finns would not benefit much. But we still have this nuclear option, which the “poor” Germans probably will not have, so they have to invent something else.

    The Swedish people decided in their referendum in 1980 to stop the nuclear reactors by the year 2010. The Swedes dismantled two reactors, but updated the other 10 so, that now Sweden produces more electricity by nuclear power than any other country (about 8 MWh per capita). What a Great Failure !

  175. Fran Barlow

    Thank you for giving us your perspective Vesa. Most informative.

    I believe that Finland also imports nuclear power from Russia in substantial quantities.

  176. Fran Barlow

    Thank you for giving us your perspective Vesa. Most informative.

    I believe that Finland also imports nuclear power from Russia in substantial quantities.

  177. Vesa Kaitera

    Our average electricity import form Russia has been 13 TWh per year, which corresponds the total yearly production of Olkiluoto 3, when it will be in use. Finland will dismantle coal using power plants, which have a total capacity of 2500 MW (that corresponds 20 TWh), during the next 15 years. Then we estimate, that our electricity consumption will increase around 20 TWh (24%) during the next ten years. The electricity concumption in Finland grew 300% between 1970 – 2005, but we are not expecting a similar jump in near future.

    The parliament will probably give a green light to two new nuclear power (24 – 26 TWh) and the big package for renewable energy will bring about 1000 new windmills (6 TWh) to Finland. If Fortum will get it’s nuclear power plant project accepted during the next two years, which is probable (however, there are elections here in April 2011, which might change the power balance), then this will take care of the possible shortage of electricity and it will replace the old Fortum power plants Loviisa I and II (together 1020 MW).

    So far Finland has bought it’s uranium fuel from abroad, but not our Talvivaara mine (nicel, zinc and kobolt) has asked a permission to separate uranium from it’s ore. If it gets the permission, then we can have 75% of total need of uranium from a domestic source.

    Australia is one of the biggest uranium producers in the world, and it sounds very peculiar, that Australia has not build any nuclear power plants to it’s area. Naturally you will have masses of solar energy at your disposal, especially if your situation is compared Finland, which is between the 60th and 70th latitude.

  178. Vesa Kaitera

    Our average electricity import form Russia has been 13 TWh per year, which corresponds the total yearly production of Olkiluoto 3, when it will be in use. Finland will dismantle coal using power plants, which have a total capacity of 2500 MW (that corresponds 20 TWh), during the next 15 years. Then we estimate, that our electricity consumption will increase around 20 TWh (24%) during the next ten years. The electricity concumption in Finland grew 300% between 1970 – 2005, but we are not expecting a similar jump in near future.

    The parliament will probably give a green light to two new nuclear power (24 – 26 TWh) and the big package for renewable energy will bring about 1000 new windmills (6 TWh) to Finland. If Fortum will get it’s nuclear power plant project accepted during the next two years, which is probable (however, there are elections here in April 2011, which might change the power balance), then this will take care of the possible shortage of electricity and it will replace the old Fortum power plants Loviisa I and II (together 1020 MW).

    So far Finland has bought it’s uranium fuel from abroad, but not our Talvivaara mine (nicel, zinc and kobolt) has asked a permission to separate uranium from it’s ore. If it gets the permission, then we can have 75% of total need of uranium from a domestic source.

    Australia is one of the biggest uranium producers in the world, and it sounds very peculiar, that Australia has not build any nuclear power plants to it’s area. Naturally you will have masses of solar energy at your disposal, especially if your situation is compared Finland, which is between the 60th and 70th latitude.

  179. BilB

    Thanks Vesa,

    I had a probe around and it appears that Finnish electricity is about 10 cents per unit. It is complicated by the billing method which seperates the electricty from the cabling, and then there are 2 taxes, it seems. Overall very affordable.

    Desertec is the best thing that Europe can do from a security point of view. The only way to stabilise north Africa is to improve them economically, and CSP is an ideal medium as it is a substantial employer of the right kind for that population. Economic prosperity for that Southern Mediteranean fringe is the best way to quell the refugee flow. And produce reliable electricity for Europe. But as you point out it is a tough ask to pull it off. Sand storms are an issue, but the mirrors have a park position to protect them from most hazards.

    The average cost of dismantlings appears to be 1 billion dollars/euros. But it will always be an open item as dismantling the reactor core and its casing can contain immense unpredictability. Casual disreguard for safety? I would have thought that plenty of Finlandia, rollmops and dill had some influence on this.

  180. BilB

    Thanks Vesa,

    I had a probe around and it appears that Finnish electricity is about 10 cents per unit. It is complicated by the billing method which seperates the electricty from the cabling, and then there are 2 taxes, it seems. Overall very affordable.

    Desertec is the best thing that Europe can do from a security point of view. The only way to stabilise north Africa is to improve them economically, and CSP is an ideal medium as it is a substantial employer of the right kind for that population. Economic prosperity for that Southern Mediteranean fringe is the best way to quell the refugee flow. And produce reliable electricity for Europe. But as you point out it is a tough ask to pull it off. Sand storms are an issue, but the mirrors have a park position to protect them from most hazards.

    The average cost of dismantlings appears to be 1 billion dollars/euros. But it will always be an open item as dismantling the reactor core and its casing can contain immense unpredictability. Casual disreguard for safety? I would have thought that plenty of Finlandia, rollmops and dill had some influence on this.

  181. Vesa Kaitera

    Sweden decided in a referendum in 1980, that all it’s nuclear reactors will be closed in 30 years. However, a few years ago this decision was changed so, that all the ten reactors could be active until their natural closing time. Now yeasterday the parliament in Sweden made a decision so, that all these 10 reactors could be changed to new ones, when originals would be closed (voting numbers were 174 – 172). So the nuclear power will be an essential electricity source in Sweden for several generations. Today Sweden produces more megawatthours of electricity made by nuclear power per capita than any other country in the world.

    In Finland the crucial parlamentary voting for principal decision for two new nuclear power plants will be held 01.07.2010. Despite heavy protests by the anti-nuclear activists it is practically sure, that both these applications will go through.

  182. Vesa Kaitera

    Sweden decided in a referendum in 1980, that all it’s nuclear reactors will be closed in 30 years. However, a few years ago this decision was changed so, that all the ten reactors could be active until their natural closing time. Now yeasterday the parliament in Sweden made a decision so, that all these 10 reactors could be changed to new ones, when originals would be closed (voting numbers were 174 – 172). So the nuclear power will be an essential electricity source in Sweden for several generations. Today Sweden produces more megawatthours of electricity made by nuclear power per capita than any other country in the world.

    In Finland the crucial parlamentary voting for principal decision for two new nuclear power plants will be held 01.07.2010. Despite heavy protests by the anti-nuclear activists it is practically sure, that both these applications will go through.

  183. OldSkeptic

    Vesa I had a Finnish Grandfather.

    You have to understand that the political clout of Australian coal companies is emmense here. Both to use and to export. And we have a lot of coal. And we are the biggest exporter of coal in the World now.

    So, think about it … oh Australia is going to be so nuclear/solar/etc friendly? Nope these are market competitors. So they will do anything to stop them! Including using their Govt mouthpieces to push their agenda (and Australia’s running around at Copenhagen was predictable .. and woeful).

    Now you might think this amazing, but one of the first things the current (supposidly left) Govt did here was kill a scheme giving rebates to individuals and small businesses to put in solar panels? Here in Oz, where we have more sunshine in a month that Finland has in a year.

    We here in Victoria have a brown coal fueled electricity plant which is the worst CO2 generator of any electricity plant in the World and instad of killing it .. its life has just been extended.

    So you see where I’m coming from. Coal is the lifeblood of many (again amazingly mostly foreign owned) companies. So Australian Govts are totally behind coal domestically and in foreign policy, and in reality whatever the ‘media’ soundbites they mouth.

  184. OldSkeptic

    Vesa I had a Finnish Grandfather.

    You have to understand that the political clout of Australian coal companies is emmense here. Both to use and to export. And we have a lot of coal. And we are the biggest exporter of coal in the World now.

    So, think about it … oh Australia is going to be so nuclear/solar/etc friendly? Nope these are market competitors. So they will do anything to stop them! Including using their Govt mouthpieces to push their agenda (and Australia’s running around at Copenhagen was predictable .. and woeful).

    Now you might think this amazing, but one of the first things the current (supposidly left) Govt did here was kill a scheme giving rebates to individuals and small businesses to put in solar panels? Here in Oz, where we have more sunshine in a month that Finland has in a year.

    We here in Victoria have a brown coal fueled electricity plant which is the worst CO2 generator of any electricity plant in the World and instad of killing it .. its life has just been extended.

    So you see where I’m coming from. Coal is the lifeblood of many (again amazingly mostly foreign owned) companies. So Australian Govts are totally behind coal domestically and in foreign policy, and in reality whatever the ‘media’ soundbites they mouth.

  185. Vesa Kaitera

    Yes OldSkeptic, the companies, which are producing energy from coal, oil and gas are globally huge facotrs, which can bend governments. But in Sweden and Finland these companies have a rather small role, and a big part of them are at least partially state owned, which changes the picture here in the North.

    The swedish parliament changed the law yesterday, so that now the building of a new nuclear power plant is legal. But the socialist parties and the Environment party have promised, that is they can reach majority in the next elctions in September, they will reverse the decision. On the other hand it is highly likely, that the center and right wing parties will get a majority again sooner or later, and then the building of nuclear power is legalised again and the building of new nuclear reactors will start almost immediately. It is highly unlikely, that the socialdemocrats would put to halt construction of a half-ready nuclear power plant, if they can get to the power some years later. By the way the voters of sociademocrats are relatively positive to nuclear power in Sweden, although the party leaders are strictly against it and the parliament group voted unanimously against it. The Center party voted nearly unanimously for the approval of new nuclear power plants, although the party voters are very much against nuclear power. We are living in a strange world.

    In Finland the socialdemocrats are devided pretty evenly in this nuclear power plant question, and this gives the pro-nuclear side a certain majority in the crucial voting in 01.07.2010.

    In Australia ther are many uranium mines and Australia is one of the biggest uranium exporters in the world. But because no nuclear power plants are working in Australia, one can think, that the Aussies are more afraid of a nuclear power plant than a uranium mine. But both in Sweden and Finland people are thinking differently. I watched yesterday the discussion in the swedich parliament direct by my computer and I found out, that many parliament members were very much afraid, that there would be a new uranium mine in Sweden. A nuclear power plant had it’s bad affects, but an uranium mine was something utterly horrible. In Finland we already have our Talvivaara mine (mainly zinc, nickel and cobalt) in a productive phase, and that is why this mine only needs a permission to separate uranium from it’s ore. I assume, that this permission will come in a couple of months.

  186. Vesa Kaitera

    Yes OldSkeptic, the companies, which are producing energy from coal, oil and gas are globally huge facotrs, which can bend governments. But in Sweden and Finland these companies have a rather small role, and a big part of them are at least partially state owned, which changes the picture here in the North.

    The swedish parliament changed the law yesterday, so that now the building of a new nuclear power plant is legal. But the socialist parties and the Environment party have promised, that is they can reach majority in the next elctions in September, they will reverse the decision. On the other hand it is highly likely, that the center and right wing parties will get a majority again sooner or later, and then the building of nuclear power is legalised again and the building of new nuclear reactors will start almost immediately. It is highly unlikely, that the socialdemocrats would put to halt construction of a half-ready nuclear power plant, if they can get to the power some years later. By the way the voters of sociademocrats are relatively positive to nuclear power in Sweden, although the party leaders are strictly against it and the parliament group voted unanimously against it. The Center party voted nearly unanimously for the approval of new nuclear power plants, although the party voters are very much against nuclear power. We are living in a strange world.

    In Finland the socialdemocrats are devided pretty evenly in this nuclear power plant question, and this gives the pro-nuclear side a certain majority in the crucial voting in 01.07.2010.

    In Australia ther are many uranium mines and Australia is one of the biggest uranium exporters in the world. But because no nuclear power plants are working in Australia, one can think, that the Aussies are more afraid of a nuclear power plant than a uranium mine. But both in Sweden and Finland people are thinking differently. I watched yesterday the discussion in the swedich parliament direct by my computer and I found out, that many parliament members were very much afraid, that there would be a new uranium mine in Sweden. A nuclear power plant had it’s bad affects, but an uranium mine was something utterly horrible. In Finland we already have our Talvivaara mine (mainly zinc, nickel and cobalt) in a productive phase, and that is why this mine only needs a permission to separate uranium from it’s ore. I assume, that this permission will come in a couple of months.

  187. Vesa Kaitera

    As expected the parliament of Finland gave it’s acceptance to the building of two nuclear power plants. TVO’s project was accpted by votes 120 – 72 and Fennovoima’s 121 – 71. It is likely, that also Fortum will get it’s nuclear power plant project accepted in a few years. However, there will be elections in april 2011 and it is possible, that the new parliament will be less nuclear friendly than the current one. That might hinder Fortum to get it’s approval to a new power plant project.

    In any case Finland will propably produce more nuclear electricity per capita than any other country in the world in early 2020′ies, when the new nuclear power plants are in use.

  188. Vesa Kaitera

    As expected the parliament of Finland gave it’s acceptance to the building of two nuclear power plants. TVO’s project was accpted by votes 120 – 72 and Fennovoima’s 121 – 71. It is likely, that also Fortum will get it’s nuclear power plant project accepted in a few years. However, there will be elections in april 2011 and it is possible, that the new parliament will be less nuclear friendly than the current one. That might hinder Fortum to get it’s approval to a new power plant project.

    In any case Finland will propably produce more nuclear electricity per capita than any other country in the world in early 2020′ies, when the new nuclear power plants are in use.