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Delegates from the LDCs discuss the revised APA text at the Bonn climate conference, May 2017
Delegates from the LDCs discuss the revised APA text at the Bonn climate conference, May 2017. Photo by IISD/ENB/Kiara Worth.
INTERNATIONAL POLICY
19 May 2017 15:27

Bonn climate talks: key outcomes from the May 2017 UN climate conference

Carbon Brief Staff

Multiple Authors

05.19.17
International policyBonn climate talks: key outcomes from the May 2017 UN climate conference

Diplomats from around the world gathered in Germany over the past two weeks for the latest round of UN climate talks.

The “intersessional” talks, which take place in Bonn each year midway between the annual conference of parties (COP), aim to move negotiations forward ahead of the larger meeting which take place towards the end of the year.

A range of topics were on the table this year, including the detailed “rulebook” on how to implement the Paris Agreement, which must be finalised at COP24 in 2018.

Negotiators worked to iron out details of a stock-taking exercise in 2018, which will measure progress toward the Paris goals, and to move forwards with the sticky issue of adaptation finance.

All of this as countries continue to grapple with the uncertainty over whether US president Donald Trump will or won’t pull out of the Paris Agreement.

Carbon Brief takes a look at the major themes and points of controversy to come out of the talks. We have also collated a schedule of upcoming deadlines, reports and meetings under the Paris negotiating track, in the lead up to COP23 in November.

Trump threat

The news during last November’s COP22 annual climate conference in Marrakesh that Donald Trump had won the US election cast an initially heavy shadow over negotiations, not least because one of Trump’s campaign pledges was to pull out of the Paris Agreement.

Four months into his presidency, Trump has yet to announce a final decision on whether he will follow through on this pledge. Despite weeks of media titbits of the to-ing and fro-ing in his cabinet’s closed-door discussions, it remains hard to say what the final outcome will be.

The signals remain mixed. The US signed up to the Fairbanks Declaration, a joint statement of the eight-member Arctic Council that acknowledged the Paris Agreement (having lobbied behind the scenes to water down its language on climate change). But it sent a much-diminished delegation of seven to Bonn, versus 44 last year.

Nevertheless, multiple reports noted that in Bonn the discussions on the finer details of the Paris Agreement went ahead relatively smoothly in the face of this uncertainty, with envoys unusually cooperative as they strive to move ahead with implementing the deal.

“This has gone as far as we could have expected,” Yamide Dagnet, senior associate at the World Resources Institute tells Carbon Brief. “Negotiators will leave Bonn with a roadmap towards COP23.” Dagnet says the talks were marked by determination to make progress.

Stepping stones

The Paris Agreement set out the overarching goals and framework for international climate action, but left many details to be filled in later. These questions, collectively known as the Paris “rulebook”, include who should do what, by when, how and with what financial support.

For instance, it will address how countries communicate their efforts with regards to mitigation and adaptation, climate finance, transfer of technology and capacity building, how they will be held accountable for their commitments, and how collective efforts will be reviewed (and ambition increased) over time.

The process of working out these details began in earnest at COP22, in Marrakesh last November (see the Carbon Brief summary). It continued over the past two weeks in Bonn.

Official  conclusions from the meeting, published yesterday, begin by reiterating the firm deadline to complete the Paris rulebook by COP24, in November 2018, at the latest. The conclusions say that “substantive progress has been achieved” over the past two weeks, with this progress captured in a series of informal notes. However, with typical diplomatic hesitancy, it explains that these notes:

“Attempt to informally capture the views expressed by some Parties to date…[and] do not necessarily reflect the view of all Parties. The notes are not intended to prejudge further work that Parties may wish to undertake, or to prevent Parties from expressing other views they may have in the future. The views presented in the notes…do not signify any consensus among Parties or imply the basis for any future negotiations.”

Finally, the conclusions set out a series of stepping stones towards COP23, which will also be held in Bonn, this November.

Diary dates

Under each topic, parties are invited to submit their views during September 2017. These views will be collected together in another series of papers, with the aim of setting out options for draft text on the rulebook, as well as areas of agreement and disagreement.

“Negotiators [now] know what the stumbling blocks are and where creative thinking will be needed…to advance thinking,” WRI’s Dagnet says.

Negotiators will then reconvene at a series of roundtable workshops, held in early November in advance of COP23 in Bonn. The dates for each issue vary: see the table below for details.

Note that in keeping with the tradition of UN climate talks, negotiations operate under a set of jargon-filled titles and descriptions. The rulebook negotiating track is called the Ad-hoc Working Group on the Paris Agreement, or APA.

The work of the APA continues according to an agreed agenda, with working groups for each agenda item. These include: “agenda item 3” on the contents of and accounting for nationally determined contributions (NDCs); “agenda item 4” on how parties should communicate their adaptation efforts; “agenda item 5” on how parties will transparently report on action they take and on support they give to others; “agenda item 6” on a global stocktake in 2023, where collective progress towards the Paris targets will be checked; and “agenda item 7” on how compliance with the Paris Agreement will be monitored. Agenda item 8 covers other business, including the Adaptation Fund (see below).

Global stocktake

Under the Paris deal, parties agreed they would come together for a “global stocktake” in 2023 and every five years afterwards to measure their collective progress.

COP21 also agreed to undertake a similar process in 2018. Dubbed the “facilitative dialogue”, it aims to measure progress and inform the next round of NDCs, due in 2020.

However, the concrete rules and guidelines over how to do this are yet to be agreed upon. With the facilitative dialogue not set to take place until COP24, progress in this session was slow.

While some had hoped there would at least be concrete progression on the “headings” to be contained in the rulebook, this session resulted only in an “informal note” which collected together parties’ divergent views, rather than any consensus.

One key issue of disagreement is the scope of the process and what progress will be assessed against – for instance how do you measure global progress towards the adaptation goal of the Paris Agreement.

“Even for [the] mitigation long-term target, there will be different understandings, let alone other areas,” Naoyuki Yamagishi, a climate and energy leader with WWF Japan, tells Carbon Brief. However, Yamagishi – who has been involved in the process for 14 years – says he “wouldn’t be so easily disappointed”.  He says:

“It would have been, of course, great if we already had an agreed headings and subheading of the global stocktake part of the rulebook. However, if you listen to the discussion in the informal meetings during the session, you could see that issues to be resolved are getting clearer and [there was] some level of convergence, which I would describe slow but important progress.”

Transparency

Another process established by the Paris Agreement was the “enhanced transparency framework”, which aims to “build mutual trust and confidence and to promote effective implementation” by formalising the ways countries report and review their own progress, as well as the support they have provided to others.

The framework is scheduled to be completed by the end of COP24 in 2018, meaning a draft text is needed by this year’s COP23 in November to ensure there is enough time for negotiations over it to take place.

However, as for the facilitative dialogue, negotiations on transparency are currently still centred on which different areas should be included, and what the procedures and guidelines should be.

For instance, the Paris Agreement included a voluntary option for parties to submit formal communications on their adaptation plans, progress and needs. But it is not yet clear how this would fit in with the transparency framework.

In addition, negotiators are still trying to iron out how best to ensure that the transparency and reporting requirements are flexible enough to avoid them becoming an additional burden on developing countries, while also avoiding any unnecessary backsliding.

As Neoka Naidoo, transparency coordinator at Climate Action Network international, tells Carbon Brief:

“There still needs to be an element where you take national circumstances into account, and that’s the area of flexibility. So at the moment in these negotiations flexibility is quite a theoretical term, it’s like yes we need flexibility because we all have different national circumstances. But the real fact of the matter that’s happening here at the moment is how do you apply the mechanism of flexibility when it comes to reporting and review.”

Climate finance

Developed countries pledged in 2009 to jointly “mobilise” $100bn per year by 2020 to help developing countries mitigate and adapt to climate change, and the Paris Agreement again recognised the importance of this climate finance.

Negotiations on this section of the Paris rulebook, taking place under the transparency heading, are focused on how to account for and track the climate finance that countries have given or received. The result, again, was a collection of informal notes which will form a basis of discussion for COP23.

One related area of contention is the future of the Adaptation Fund, a (relatively small) pot of money created in 2001 as part of the Kyoto Protocol, which provides grants to vulnerable countries to adapt to the impacts of climate change.

While countries agreed in Marrakesh that the fund should also serve the Paris Agreement, decisions on its governance and operations have proved contentious, and delegates left Bonn only with an informal paper that sets out the different options and the Secretariat’s legal analysis of some of the key questions.

Joe Thwaites, an associate at the World Resources Institute, says countries remain deadlocked on the issue. He tells Carbon Brief:

“Developing countries argued that the fund is ready to serve the Agreement right away, and that the decisions to confirm this should happen as soon as possible. However, developed countries did not want to take the decision before examining different options and implications on issues such as changing board membership, future sources of funding, and the role of the fund relative to other climate finance institutions.”

Finally, in one sign of goodwill and (in their words) “increased cooperation”, the EU pledged €800m in support for the Pacific region up to 2020, with around half earmarked for climate action. In a joint statement with the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP) reaffirming their commitment to the Paris deal, the EU also announced €3m to support Fiji’s COP23 Presidency.

However in less hopeful signs, the lead US delegate reiterated that Trump does not currently plan on further contributing to the Green Climate Fund, after his budget proposal in March pledged to cut the remaining $2bn the US had previously promised.

It is also worth noting that the world still remains a long way off from the $100bn climate finance goal.

Peer review

One important part of the Bonn talks, not directly related to implementing the Paris Agreement, was a series of hearings where countries were asked to explain and defend their climate plans, in the face of public questions from their peers.

The process differs somewhat, between a more rigorous format for developed countries and a less formal one for developing nations, but the general idea is the same. See this presentation from WRI for more details.

First, countries submit biennial reports on their plans and progress. Then, their peers submit written questions, and they respond with written answers. (Carbon Brief covered the Q&As for the US, Russia and Japan.) Finally, the debate concludes at public hearings, which were held across the middle weekend in Bonn.

At a hearing on US plans, which are currently under review by the new administration, China and India asked pointed questions on contributions to international climate finance (the US won’t make any this year) and the health benefits of climate action.

In the developing country hearings, India stood out for its optimistic news that the country will achieve its solar energy goals eight years early. Outside the talks, WRI and Climate Action Tracker separately reported on the rapid climate progress being made by China and India.

Separately, Indian energy minister Piyush Goyal told the Vienna Energy Forum: “India stands committed to its commitments made at Paris irrespective of what happens in the rest of the world”, while a declaration from China’s One Belt One Road summit urged those that have ratified the Paris Agreement – which includes the US – to implement it in full.

‘Lifeline’

As negotiators began wrapping up this year’s intersessional a collective of 48 of the world’s poorest nations on Wednesday made a plea for the Paris Agreement to be strengthened.

Members of the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) called the deal their “lifeline” and urged countries to stick to its goal to limit temperature rise to as little above 1.5C as possible.

“Without increased climate action, no country will be great again,” said Emmanuel Guzman, climate change commissioner for the Philippines, in a blatant dig at Donald Trump’s US campaign slogan.

One contentious issue at the talks this year was corporate conflict of interest, with developing countries led by Ecuador repeatedly pressing for tighter rules to prevent fossil fuel firms having influence over the talks.

However, little progress was made towards an outcome, with only a compromise document inviting input from stakeholders by January 2018 on how to “enhance existing practices” on of outside observers to promote “openness, transparency and inclusiveness”.

Meanwhile, while the fraught topic of loss and damage was not explicitly on the agenda this month, vulnerable developing countries continued to emphasise its importance as an issue in COP23 and beyond.

Sven Harmeling, advocacy coordinator at CARE Climate Change, tells Carbon Brief:

“Unfortunately, although the Paris Agreement includes an entire article on loss and damage signalling its political importance, governments have not yet agreed where and how to address this issue from a longer term perspective.”

However the executive committee of the Warsaw Mechanism on Loss and Damage – agreed at COP19 in 2013 – is set to meet this October to refine its plans for the coming years.

Carbon markets

Another issue on the agenda in Bonn was Article 6 of the Paris Agreement, which covers market mechanisms, and could provide a route to the creation of global carbon markets. However, despite devoting significant time to discussions, progress was slow.

David Hone, chief climate adviser to Shell tells Carbon Brief:

“[Views] range from a reincarnation of the CDM [UN Clean Development Mechanism, which supported carbon offsets for use under the Kyoto Protocol] through to a large scale mechanism to help countries develop carbon pricing. It will likely have to incorporate a broad spectrum of approaches, with perhaps more emphasis on projects in the near term and operation on a much larger scale in the medium to longer term.

Jonathan Grant, a director at PWC tells Carbon Brief: “Countries are still in brainstorming mode – the draft outputs from the carbon markets discussions are simply long lists of issues.”

Looking ahead

The next big climate conference, COP23, from 6 to 17 November, will be led by Fiji, the first small island state to assume the responsibility. Incoming COP president and Fijian prime minister Frank Bainimarama addressed delegates in Bonn on 18 May, urging the US to remain “in the canoe” as part of the Paris Agreement.

Fiji set out its aims for COP23 in a tweet:

Before then, Germany will host Fiji and others at its annual Petersberg Climate Dialogue, followed by a meeting of the G7 group of leading nations later next week.

An EU-China summit on 2 June will have climate “very high on the agenda”. Then, in July, the larger G20 group of nations will meet in Berlin.

As questions continue to swirl over the US approach to climate change, observers will be watching these meetings closely, while lobbying world leaders to pressure Trump on his plans. In a sign of the times for global climate sentiment, recent reports from news agency Tass suggest even Russian president Vladimir Putin could ratify the Paris deal in 2019.

Sharelines from this story
  • Bonn climate talks: key outcomes from the May 2017 UN climate conference
  • Joris75

    “David Hone, chief climate adviser to Shell tells Carbon Brief:

    “[Views] range from a reincarnation of the CDM [UN Clean Development Mechanism, which supported carbon offsets for use under the Kyoto Protocol] through to a large scale mechanism to help countries develop carbon pricing.””

    If the CDM is reincarnated, it is essential that nuclear power be fully *included*.

    The historical exclusion of nuclear power from the CDM is one of several disastrous international climate policy mistakes made since the Kyoto protocol was adopted. The world has now run out of time, on climate. The continued opposition to nuclear power by the climate policy community has to end ASAP.

    http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Clean_Development_Mechanism_and_Nuclear_Power

    • Falsum

      I think we can afford to be fairly ambivalent about nuclear. It isn’t showing any real signs of growth, and given how long it takes to commission and build a new nuclear power plant, it doesn’t have much potential to achieve big carbon cuts in the short term. Renewables are a safer bet.

      • Joris75

        I think people who insist on sustaining the exclusion of nuclear power are missing the point. Solving the climate issue will be harder – not easier – if we don’t allow nuclear power to be part of the toolbox.

        • Robert

          Show us a best case time line for siting, permitting, construction, inspection, waste storage, training operators, costs, financing, decommissioning.

          Also, work out the carbon budget for their construction.

          • Sam Gilman

            Robert, the IPCC has done the metanalysis on carbon studies and nuclear comes out as one of the lowest. We really shouldn’t be having such silly conversations as that.

          • Robert

            You are cherry picking….
            And not even citing which IPCC study .

            And studies are looking at one aspect, don’t forget we have a history of what happens at fsilure.

            Perhaps we should be factoring in how many cows die when a when a turbine tower falls over . /s

          • Sam Gilman

            “which IPCC study”?

            Eh? The assessment reports. Quite what carbon emissions have to do with a turbine falling over is something you’re going to have to explain.

          • Robert

            1,2,3,4,5. Wg1,2,3……? Technical summary? SPM?

            But, nice way to miss the point. You don’t quote and cite.

          • Sam Gilman

            Well, it would be a good idea to look at the latest report, seeing as it’s the most up-to-date. I apologise for wrongly assuming you were familiar with the IPCC assessment reports. Here’s the reference:

            Assessment report 5, Working group 3 chapter 7, p. 539.

            And here’s a link in case you find the IPCC site a bit difficult to navigate:

            https://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar5/wg3/ipcc_wg3_ar5_chapter7.pdf

            It’s the figures that turn up in the wikipedia article on lifecycle emissions. Funny – I get the wiki page coming up on the first page when I google for the answer to lifecycle emissions. What did you get? (I mean, obviously, you checked before you got so hostile about citations).

          • Robert

            “Continued use and expansion of nuclear energy worldwide as a response to climate change mitigation require greater efforts to address the safety, economics, uranium utilization, waste management, and proliferation concerns of nuclear energy use (IPCC, 2007, Chapter 4; GEA, 2012).

            Research and development of the next-generation nuclear energy system, beyond the evolutionary LWRs, is being undertaken through national and international efforts (GIF, 2009). New fuel cycles and reactor technologies are under investigation in an effort to address the concerns of nuclear energy use. Further information concerning resources, costs, risks and co-benefits, deployment barriers, and policy aspects can be found in Sections 7.4.3, 7.8.2, 7.9, 7.10, and 7.12.”

            7.5.4 ,your cite.

            Typical. Cherry picking and ‘look at this one graph’.

          • Sam Gilman

            No, it’s not cherry-picking. I was talking specifically about carbon emissions.

            It turns out you do know your way around the IPCC reports and so were deliberately concealing from people that you knew the my carbon emissions claim was correct.

            Behaviour like yours just reinforces the view from outside the anti-nuclear movement that you lot are not to be trusted.

          • Robert

            Yup. You cherry picked ONE part of the many issues around using nuclear.

            And my “deliberately concealing ” showed your work for the low level of intellectual honesty it was. Trying to imply a good resource said something different than what it said.

            So. Thanks.

            By the by: “..you do know your way around ..” is called doing research. A skillset taught from the upper elementary through post doc. It is a wonder how you missed learning that.

            Now. If you want to have a honest conversation on policy about moving from fossil fuel, show us the best case scenerio for implementing /rolling out the number of n. plants and how that matches to the Paris time line for action.

            And, of course, feel free to use the IPCCreport; they’ve done some of your homework.

          • Jag_Levak

            “show us the best case scenerio for implementing /rolling out the number of n. plants”

            Imagine trying to make such a projection about the best case scenario for air travel back in 1905. By that point, we’d had lifting gas balloons for well over a century, dirigibles were a few decades old, and we’d had the first practical demonstration of the principles of powered flight that Cayley had laid out nearly a century earlier. But even into the 1930’s, it wouldn’t be clear whether the future belonged to airships or airplanes, and that was just looking at two basic approaches to air travel.

            Next generation nuclear development is heading off in multiple directions, and some of them might intersect or overlap further down the road, so the picture is a lot more complex. And as with any future projection, the best case blue sky limit depends on where you draw the line on probability. It’s theoretically possible that Lerner could get his focus fusion reactor working within the next few years. The theory looks sound, but the prevailing view seems to be that he is attempting levels of plasma control that is too advanced for our present state of technology. (Lerner, obviously, disagrees.) If he gets his reactor working in, say, five years, the global energy system would be utterly transformed within another ten. It would probably be the fastest and largest energy transformation in history. The critical downside to his approach being that it relies on a fairly rare element to work, so we’d need to come up with another revolution within a century.

            To me, it looks like the highest-probability near-term next-gen approach will be China’s pebble bed gas reactor which they are developing as a drop-in replacement for the burners in their advanced coal plants. The basic concept is well-established, and they are a large way through the development process. They might have a prototype working in a matter of months. Once they have a final design, retrofit at each plant might take two or three years, but there will be a lot of simultaneous retrofits going on. So I think this will be the approach that will be first of the starting blocks, and it will have a rollout rate far faster than with today’s conventional nuclear, and it has a readymade market waiting for it, but whether that is a good enough launch platform to break out into a larger market is still a big unknown. It should be nearly impervious to meltdown with very low risk of combustion, and should be much cheaper than today’s reactors, but it still requires precision fuel fabrication, and being solid fuel, it accumulates fission products, which impedes good fuel utilization, so the scale of the waste issue is hardly improved from today’s reactors.

            A bit further out–around 5-10 years–will be the liquid fuel molten salt reactors. The big hurdle here is coming up with a long-term corrosion management strategy, but the physical reactor designs could be some of the simplest yet. These would be totally impervious to meltdown, no risk of combustion, and fluoride salt is a very robust form of chemical containment for elements like cesium and strontium. With liquid fuel, fission products could be removed during operation, so fuel utilization should be several times better than now, and the possibility of dividing the output into discrete element streams could reduce the waste profile even further. Some, like the Moltex design, could have great flexibility regarding the neutron spectrum and kinds of salts and fuels used. Molten salt reactors would also be good candidates for small modular production. Martingale projects for their Thorcon reactor that a single manufacturing site could produce 100 GW of reactor capacity per year, with an installation time for each power plant being in the vicinity of 2-3 years–much of that being just digging a big hole. And there’s no reason multiple manufacturing sites could not be set up, so the chief limiting factors here would be regulatory restrictions and market demand. Small molten salt reactors could also be good candidates for drop-in replacements for large ship motors, providing as much power in a smaller package with lower operating cost. At the right price point, the transition across the heavy freight shipping industry could be very rapid.

            I think the last big piece of the fission puzzle we’ll get to is full fuel utilization, which would greatly improve the economics of deep borehole disposal. In the thermal neutron spectrum, that’ll mean transitioning to thorium. For uranium, that’ll mean transitioning to the fast neutron spectrum. Or for both cases, we would need some other source of neutrons, like from proton beam spallation or from fusion. We already know how to do all of those things. What we don’t know yet is how to do them cheaply. And it might turn out that the lowest cost approach is a blend of technologies, like having a small fleet of large uranium-burning breeder reactors making fuel for a larger fleet of much smaller and cheaper thorium-burning reactors.

            But nuclear would also include fusion (and fission / fusion hybrids), and there are a number of teams who think they can get there in a fairly short timeframe, so that introduces several more wildcard possibilities for nuclear expansion. On the other hand, I’ve seen remarkable claims for some emerging non-nuclear technologies which also have very high blue-sky projections. These are generally low-probability or long time-scale projects, but it would only take one near-term success to change everything, including the future of nuclear development. But presumably, if it is good enough to displace next-gen nuclear, that’ll mean that in some ways, it’s even better. Whatever course we wind up taking, I think we’ll get our best chances of it being the best course if we develop all our options, and then let them compete on their merits.

          • Robert

            What an odd claim….”But even into the 1930’s, it wouldn’t be clear whether the future belonged to airships or airplanes…”
            We still have blimps, we still have piston prop planes, we used to have supersonic passenger travel….

            Your long screed is masking that we’ve been working on n tech for electricity since the 40s and there is a long history of failure, overbudget, lower production, cost overrun, and no real need.
            Show us who is willing to finance the research and development costs of ‘newer, better, sooner’ Show us who is willing to accept the responsibility of safe storage of waste. Ask why the Hanford budget is being cut . A federal responsibility that is being shirked while the facility continues to deteriorate.

            You weren’t able to cite a single study showing a rollout that is effective in stopping use of carbon based fuels.

            The simple truth is, we’ve basically stepped past the need to burn something to make electricity. Not wood, not coal, not nat gas,.not nuclear. We have wind and solar doing just fine and we have industry, econ, govt science, the people,, all behind them .

            “…which they are developing…” “A bit further out–around 5-10 years–will be…” “Next generation nuclear development is heading off in multiple directions, …”

          • Jag_Levak

            “What an odd claim….”But even into the 1930’s, it wouldn’t be clear whether the future belonged to airships or airplanes…”
            We still have blimps,”

            The context was air travel. In the 30’s, it looked for a while there like the great rigid-frame airships might dominate. I would venture the proportion of global air travel carried by blimps today is pretty small.

            “we still have piston prop planes,”

            Piston prop airplanes decided the contest between airships and airplanes. How larger airplanes would subsequently give way to jet airliners is another story.

            “Your long screed is masking that we’ve been working on n tech for electricity since the 40s and there is a long history of failure, overbudget, lower production, cost overrun, and no real need.”

            It isn’t “masking” any of those issues. It had nothing to do with them because your question was specifically about the best case scenario for the future rollout of nuclear. And my reply was long because it’s a huge and complex issue. But by analogy, it might also have seemed in 1905 that there was nothing but a long history of failure with respect to air travel. Balloons were still at the mercy of the wind, dirigibles could barely manage decent ground speeds, and airplanes were finally, after decades of trying, just barely a demonstrated possibility covering only an absurdly tiny distance at very low altitudes. Only a few people with some vision and foresight recognized the scale of potential that powered flight had.

            And whatever our energy future is, it isn’t going to be decided by need. It’s going to be decided by cost and performance. Are the legacy designs of early reactor technology we have today going to be able to compete on that basis? No, of course not. Early designs are usually a long ways from optimal, and they don’t improve merely by getting older. But the best case for future nuclear will be decided by reactors which are radically different from the old modified military reactors we have now.

            “Show us who is willing to finance the research and development costs of ‘newer, better, sooner'”

            Are you asking for a list of the major players currently funding next-gen reactor research? I can, but I thought you didn’t like long replies. Just in North America there are dozens of next-gen projects being funded almost entirely by private interests, and there are a large assortment of private and state-supported programs elsewhere around the world. There are small companies like Martingale and big companies like Lockheed. There are shoestring operations like Lawrenceville Plasma and richly funded companies like Tri-Alpha. China, India, and Russia are the large state players for now, but the U.S. is finally starting to swing the weight of the national labs behind the next-gen effort.

            “Show us who is willing to accept the responsibility of safe storage of waste.”

            There are different waste profiles associated with each kind of technology. Like I said, the first off the blocks, with about the same waste profile as today, will be the Chinese pebble bed gas reactor, and the responsibility will undoubtedly be set by Chinese state policy. For the molten salt reactors, the dangerous part of the output stream is the highly radioactive short-term fission products and derivatives. But they only need to store those for a few years before they become a inventory of usable elements ready for sale, so that’s not really “waste”. Only the not economically recoverable fission products are really waste, and borehole disposal would be funded by the operators who use it. And waste burner reactors would actually diminish the current stockpile of waste, make the remainder much easier to deal with, and provide a source of revenue in the process.

            “Ask why the Hanford budget is being cut.”

            That’s really not related to the future rollout of next-gen reactors.

            “You weren’t able to cite a single study showing a rollout that is effective in stopping use of carbon based fuels.”

            Again, the question was about the best case scenario for the future rollout of next-gen reactors. Those reactors are currently under development, and the properties of their final versions haven’t been established yet. Two of the biggest unknowns at this point will be cost and the regulatory environment. There simply isn’t enough information to conduct any sort of meaningful study at this time. But many of today’s teams have their sights set on undercutting the cost of coal globally, and only one of them has to succeed for that to become a reality. Competing against gas where it is extremely cheap will be much tougher, but there’s a lot of carbon can be displaced before that point, and most gas plants are flexible, so cheap renewables should be able to displace some of the gas consumption in the meantime.

            “The simple truth is, we’ve basically stepped past the need to burn something to make electricity.”

            In theory. Getting from theory to reality is going take time, especially while a large chunk of the human population now living in energy poverty will be increasing their energy consumption. For now, the mainstream projections are not only that we will continue burning carbon fuels for energy, their use is actually projected to continue growing year after year, well into the 30’s–unless there is a large technological game changer which we don’t have yet.

            “Not wood, not coal, not nat gas,.not nuclear.”

            We might be past the need, but we are a species driven by what we want. And one big thing humans want is an energy-rich lifestyle. And for now, they want that more than they want to avoid the consequences of getting that energy from hydrocarbon fuels.

            “We have wind and solar doing just fine”

            The current rapid growth in all categories of low-carbon renewables combined with the current global growth in nuclear is not even enough to keep up with the current global growth in energy consumption. The remainder is being filled with carbon fuels, which means carbon output is still increasing. That is not “just fine”. Cheaper, mass-produced nuclear looks like it has good potential to substantially alter the rollout rate of low-carbon energy, and there are some applications, like heavy shipping, where wind and solar penetration have very poor prospects, but which nuclear could transform rapidly, if it can reach the right price point.

            “and we have industry, econ, govt science, the people,, all behind them.”

            Sure, I like them too. And right now is a great time to grow them because we are at the low-hanging fruit phase of cutting into the variable output buffer from other kinds of energy. But the growth rate isn’t fast enough, and we’ll need something additional if we are to reach high levels of low-carbon penetration. Maybe that’ll be much improved battery storage. Maybe it’ll be much improved nuclear. Maybe it’ll be something else barely on the horizon at this point, Or maybe, if we develop all of them, then all of them can help get us there faster.

          • Robert

            “Are you asking for a list of the major players currently funding next-gen reactor research? I can, but I thought you didn’t like long replies. ”
            Go ahead. Length is not the issue. Completeness and good cites are though.

          • Robert

            You weren’t able to cite a single study showing a rollout that is effective in stopping use of carbon based fuels.

            “The current rapid growth in all categories of low-carbon renewables combined with the current global growth in nuclear is not even enough to keep up with the current global growth in energy consumption”

            “The remainder is being filled with carbon fuels, which means carbon output is still increasing. ”

            “…they want that more than they want to avoid the consequences of getting that energy from hydrocarbon fuels.”

            You’re.really making lots of claims with out a single supporting resource…

          • Jag_Levak

            “You weren’t able to cite a single study showing a rollout that is effective in stopping use of carbon based fuels.”

            Again, there simply isn’t enough information to conduct any sort of meaningful study at this time, so I didn’t even look for one. If someone did try to do some sort of “study” it would basically be numbers based on a stack of premises, which at this point would be mostly conjecture and handwaving. I’ve seen studies which showed how nuclear power in the past was able to accomplish rapid and substantial decarbonization (the example of France still being pretty much unmatched by anyone) but those were generally state-driven, and I think any global transition will have its best chance if it is based on competition. At this time, we don’t know which of the various nuclear development paths will turn out to be the most competitive, we don’t know how soon, and we don’t know what competition to all forms of nuclear will become available.

            Having said that, just look at the hype and excitement that’s already building around the Braga/Goodenough solid state glass battery, based on some very preliminary announcements regarding its potential properties. They still have some substantial hurdles to overcome, and their projections don’t address static discharge rates, but it’s pretty obvious that if they can match the retention of today’s lithium ion batteries and deliver on all the other properties they’ve described, it would be a radical game changer, and nobody needs to conduct a study to see why such a superior battery would lead to a rapid revolution. It is enough just to know how much it is superior to the alternatives.

            [“The current rapid growth in all categories of low-carbon renewables combined with the current global growth in nuclear is not even enough to keep up with the current global growth in energy consumption”
            “The remainder is being filled with carbon fuels, which means carbon output is still increasing. “]
            “You’re.really making lots of claims with out a single supporting resource…”

            Here’s a Bloomberg analysis, optimistically titled “Fossil Fuels Just Lost the Race Against Renewables”
            http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/articles/2015/04/fossil-fuels-just-lost-the-race-against-renewables.html

            Check out that first graphic. That’s increases in capacity (which always makes wind and solar look better than comparing increases in actual production) projected out to 2030. It shows reductions in the growth of fossil fuels through 2030, but the bottom line is that it is still projecting continued growth in fossil fuels through 2030–based on current conditions. But if we develop some technologies we don’t have yet, maybe we can change that projection.

            [“Are you asking for a list of the major players currently funding next-gen reactor research? I can, but I thought you didn’t like long replies. “]
            “Go ahead. Length is not the issue.”

            Here are some of the projects I think could yield competitive forms of nuclear. Brackets include notable funders or supporters.

            Pebble bed gas reactor:
            HTR-PM NECC China (drop in replacement for coal)
            X-Energy

            Traveling wave reactor:
            TerraPower [Bill Gates]

            Molten Salt:
            SINAP (China) projects (pebble bed salt cooled and liquid fuel thorium)
            UC Berkeley (pebble bed salt cooled)
            Flibe [DoD partnership]
            TransAtomic
            Seaborg Technologies
            Copenhagen Atomics
            SAMOFAR consortium [European Commission]
            Terrestrial Energy
            Martingale (Thorcon)
            Thorium Tech Solutions
            Southern Company Services
            Moltex Energy
            Bhabha Atomic Research Centre–India
            Russian Kurchatov Institute ‘MOSART’ and ‘MARS’ MSR projects
            EVOL, a Euratom project, (molten salt fast reactor)

            Fusion:
            EMC2
            Fusion Development Corp.
            Dynomac (Spheromac) [University of Washington]
            General Fusion [Bezos]
            Helion Energy [Peter Thiel–Mithril Capital]
            Lawrenceville Plasma Fusion
            IEC Bussard Physics
            Tri-alpha Energy [Paul Allen, Rockefeller family]
            Lockheed Martin
            Proton Scientific

            fusion/fission hybrid:
            Apollo Fusion
            Kurchatov Research Center

            There are a bunch of smaller research projects which could turn into development projects, but those were the main players that I’d heard about as of the end of last year. I didn’t include liquid metal cooled fast reactors, or small modular water cooled reactors mostly because I don’t see these as having good potential for being game changers. Then again, I thought DBX was far superior to Dolby and Betamax was better than VHS, so clearly there are other factors besides specs and performance. Sometimes, you just have to run the experiment to see who comes out ahead.

            Here’s someone else’s list of notable projects:
            http://www.thirdway.org/report/the-advanced-nuclear-industry

          • Robert

            “Again, there simply isn’t enough information to conduct any sort of meaningful study at this time, so I didn’t even look for one.”

            “Sometimes, you just have to run the experiment to see who comes out ahead.”
            And a p.r. piece from 3rdway…..”.. poised…” “developing…”

            You’ve just done an excellent job of explaining why nuclear isn’t a viable choice.

            Oh, btw, here are some other studies…

            http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_analysis/2736691/false_solution_nuclear_power_is_not_low_carbon.html

            https://www.theccc.org.uk/publication/meeting-the-carbon-budgets-2012-progress-report-to-parliament/

            https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Life-cycle_greenhouse-gas_emissions_of_energy_sources

            http://www.nrel.gov/analysis/sustain_lca_results.html

            onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1530-9290.2012.00472.x/pdf

          • Sam Gilman

            Those aren’t roll-out studies, they’re lifecycle emissions assessments, and by and large they clearly show nuclear as being low carbon.

          • Jag_Levak

            “You’ve just done an excellent job of explaining why nuclear isn’t a viable choice.”

            There are no studies showing the best case scenario for the rollout of new kinds of battery storage which haven’t been developed yet either. Does that mean advanced storage isn’t a viable option? That seems like an absurd position to take.

            “Oh, btw, here are some other studies…”
            [theecologist]

            Right. A literature review by someone in the solar PV field. And this is a look at the lifetime carbon footprint of existing nuclear reactors, and the bulk of the high range estimates relate to a form of uranium mining which is disappearing and now accounts for only a small fraction of uranium production. The assumptions don’t apply to byproduct mining or in situ leach mining, wouldn’t apply to seawater uranium harvesting, wouldn’t apply to thorium, wouldn’t apply to reactors with high fuel utilization, and definitely wouldn’t apply to any kind of fusion or fusion hybrid reactor.

            [2012 Progress Report to Parliament]

            Nothing to do with the properties or prospects for next generation reactors.

            [wikipedia]

            Only addresses the “Future of the industry” in terms of the industry as it exists right now and only in terms of the state of the technology right now. Again, nothing to do with next generation reactors.

            [nrel]

            From that report:
            “Findings from the Harmonized Data
            Like the published data, the harmonized data shows that life cycle greenhouse gas emissions from solar (both photovoltaic and concentrating solar power), wind, and nuclear technologies are considerably lower and less variable than emissions from technologies powered by combustion-based natural gas and coal technologies.”

            And from their summary graph here:
            http://www.nrel.gov/analysis/images/lca_harm_over_1.png

            It looks like they rated nuclear on about a par with solar pv. But again, this is for old-tech nuclear. Nothing to do with next gen.

            [Warner and Heath study]

            This was included in your first link. Again, no relevance to next gen reactors.

          • Jim Young

            I have to agree that the waste problems are already dangerously bad, and can only get worse with this administration’s aims.

            You don’t need to be an expert to see some of the total life cycle problems from extraction to waste management, much of all of them are not very transparent given the proponents better PR budgets (and captured regulators/monitor), but the nuclear waste seems the darkest, least transparent, problem, way beyond the point where we should be doing far better to manage (or reduce/safe guard) what we already have.

            Who cares about how clean or safe the generation point is, if everything else about it is a bigger problem.

          • Robert

            Precisely why Sam, et al, pushing the one graph about carbon is a prime example of cherrypicking.
            There is also a bit of logical fallacy going on there also.

          • Sam Gilman

            I took issue with one of your claims. You tried to gish gallop out of being shown you were wrong.

            End of story.

          • Robert

            So, teasing out one sub issue isn’t cherrypicking. Interesting interpretation that reads like attempted justification via rationalization.
            Nuclear is fought with issues from safety, economics, political, industrial, personnel, sustainability, what if scenerios. And there is little that even suggests it is required to be used in transitioning from carbon based electricit produtuction.

            So, yes, choosing the only issue where it ‘looks’ good drives questions about why that one aspect was consciously chosen to pursue.

            Further evidence is that your own source walks through all the aspects involved. Yet you push one chart out of a whole chapter to support your claim. That is cherrypicking also.

            Now, if you real want to pursue the thinking, write up counter arguments for every aspect you are trying to cover up with your claims of ‘gish gallop, &”deliberately concealing “. Just as you were taught to do when writing a persuasive paper.

          • Sam Gilman

            I challenged you on your suggestion that nuclear was not low carbon, and provided a good source to back that challenge up.

            If there are other issues you want to focus on, we can do that, one at a time.

          • Robert

            It is a package. Separating out one specific issue doesn’t support the whole package.
            Read the methodology for the IPCC WG3 findings. The text. Not just repointing to one graphic. That’s cherry picking

          • Sam Gilman

            Then choose another issue. If I choose one, I fear – quite fairly – you will accuse me of cherrypicking that issue as well. We’re already discussing health impacts, so obviously not that.

          • Robert

            By the by: “..you do know your way around ..” is called doing research. A skillset taught from the upper elementary through post doc. It is a wonder how you missed learning that.

            Now. If you want to have a honest conversation on policy about moving from fossil fuel, show us the best case scenerio for implementing /rolling out the number of n. plants and how that matches to the Paris time line for action.

            And, of course, feel free to use the IPCCreport; they’ve done some of your homework.

          • Sam Gilman

            Fascinating projection. You demand a source as if it doesn’t exist. I give it to you. It turns out you knew it existed.

            And then you blame me for all that.

          • Robert

            Wow. “You demand a source as if it doesn’t exist. ”
            Basic research: cite your source. You should have learned that by middle school and when called on it, you then propose there was some nefarious scheme.

          • Sam Gilman

            I did – I named the IPCC and assumed that someone would be able to google IPCC lifecycle emissions. I then gave you the source when it turned out you wouldn’t do that.

          • Robert

            Thanks for the snark , however it did a poor job of masking the basic fact that you were obfuscating and not citing sources. That is poor academic honesty.

            At this point well also note you proved only one resource, and with your noting that the ipcc report was in wikipedia, you failed to mention there are several studies listed there.
            So, multiple cases of cherry picking.
            Good way to demonstrate bias. Not a good way to further a conversation.

            Oh, and projecting out a 100,000 years. When we don’t even have a grasp on how humans will even be writing or reading warning signs on the waste facilities?

          • Sam Gilman

            The IPCC is not a single study, it’s a summary of the literature. If you have evidence that the IPCC’s metaanalysis is wrong, then you should bring that to the table rather than trying to insinuate that it’s wrong.

            The Wikipedia article isn’t a peer-reviewed article in itself, and so I wouldn’t give the selection of studies it prioritises much credence. One is not supposed to cite Wikipedia itself, although it can be a useful repository of sources. However, WP does feature high in google searches, so I think it’s fair to assume that someone engaging in honest debate could have found the IPCC results it summarises because of that.

            Now, when you talk about 100,000 years, you’re apparently replying here to my reference to the ExternE project regarding the comparative lethality of different power sources going into the future. You’re replying here rather than to the post where I gave that reference, and you’ve done a Gish gallop: in that post I explicitly stated two issues of human health and waste, and that I would deal with human health first. Objecting to the reference on the grounds that it doesn’t go over nuclear waste is one half of the gish gallop. The other half is that you didn’t even bother to check if the ExternE assessment includes the risks from nuclear waste.

            It does.

            From the methdology Q&A:

            Are long-term effects of nuclear energy treated adequately, in particular, nuclear waste storage and other land contamination?
            In estimation of the impacts of future normal operation of storage facilities for nuclear waste is included in the analysis. The risk of leakages has been examined only for low and medium-level radioactive waste. It is expected, and assumed in the analysis, that future storage facilities for high level waste will be built and operated according to strict standards and any remaining risks will be limited to the local zone, which would be chosen in a low population density. Therefore, according to case studies, any leaks would affect only a small number of individuals and the associated damages would be small.

            You are trying to get me to do all the reference work while you throw up objection after objection without checking yourself to see if the objection is valid. That’s Gish galloping, and I learnt about it from debating climate change deniers.

            As for studies directly on waste, here, for example, is the study on Yucca Mountain, safe for a million years:

            https://www.nrc.gov/docs/ML1428/ML14288A121.pdf

          • Robert

            Read again. Only one study /meta-analysis was cited.
            There are several others
            http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_analysis/2736691/false_solution_nuclear_power_is_not_low_carbon.html

            https://www.theccc.org.uk/publication/meeting-the-carbon-budgets-2012-progress-report-to-parliament/

            https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Life-cycle_greenhouse-gas_emissions_of_energy_sources

            http://www.nrel.gov/analysis/sustain_lca_results.html

            onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1530-9290.2012.00472.x/pdf

            Cherry picking one issue in using nuclear
            Cherry picking using one study on carbon.

          • Sam Gilman

            – All but one (the conspiracy theorist-edited Ecologist) have nuclear as low carbon.
            – The Ecologist-cited study (or at least Sovacool’s analysis) I believe is included in the IPCC assessment
            – The NREL citation is the IPCC
            – Wikipedia isn’t peer-reviewed and doesn’t do proper syntheses of research (I believe that’s actually against its rules). It leads with the IPCC

            You’re now cutting and pasting the same material into other posts regardless of whether they address the point at issue. Why?

          • Robert

            Try again. Most have a range, not a single number. There is a reason for the range.

            Cherry pick on carbon.
            Cherry pick on one study.

            And, btw, wiki was included because it is a compilation of resources.Obviously. No encyclopedia does original researce. Obviously.

          • Sam Gilman

            The range is because most are metanalyses. Hope that helps.

            Look at the structure of the range. It shows that very few studies (by people with track records of somewhat poor research, such as Sovacool) disagree with the finding of nuclear as low carbon.

            If you want to look at the outlier cases, you need to do the same for all sources. Otherwise you’re introducing bias.

            I chose to focus on carbon first because, unlike you, I think climate change is the most serious issue.

            Howeve, you are repeating your false claim that it’s the only issue I have addressed. Once you have been corrected and you continue deliberately to repeat it, it becomes a deliberate falsehood. Would you mind not telling deliberate falsehoods?

          • Robert

            Thanks for the strawman.
            “..because, unlike you,…”
            “..want to look at the outlier cases..”

          • Sam Gilman

            Pointing out that focussing on carbon first isn’t a straw man, not if you accept the fact of anthropogenic climate change. Do you?

            Also, pointing out that the clear majority of studies have nuclear as not just low, but very low isn’t a straw man either.

            You don’t seem to have much to say apart from your attempt to gainsay without evidentiary support.

          • Robert

            You have the numbers, cite them.
            And compare.
            Then factor in the other issues that are solely nuclear’s.
            There are several reasons why nuclear isn’t a viable option; among them are the issues with:
            extraction,
            refining,
            transport,
            waste storage,
            siting,
            decommissioning,
            and time frame.

            By focusing only on carbon, which was your choice, you cherypicked.
            Then , by trying to say I was not focused on carbon, that I was not concerned about ACC, was you trying strawman.

            So, in an effort to promote a dead technology, you feel compelled to create logical fallacies and use poor intellectual rigor and honesty.
            Good going.

          • Sam Gilman

            You are an excellent example of how ideological anti-nuclearism is one of the biggest obstacles to tackling climate change.

            You actually took someone to task for focussing on carbon emissions. You actually described someone looking at the impact on the climate as “cherrypicking”.

            You then indulged in Gish galloping, by each time I answered a concern, ignoring that answer and moving onto what you saw as the next issue regardless of whether it had been dealt with in the first place, and regardless of whether you even had evidence to back yourself up.

            This is what your ideological anti-nuclearism makes you do: behave like all the climate change deniers you think you oppose.

            Isn’t it time for a rethink?

          • Robert

            Review the thresd. Notice who hasn’t addressed the whole list of issues that are solely nuclear’s.

            You have the numbers, cite them.
            And compare.
            Then factor in the other issues that are solely nuclear’s.
            There are several reasons why nuclear isn’t a viable option; among them are the issues with:
            extraction,
            refining,
            transport,
            waste storage,
            siting,
            decommissioning,
            and time frame.
            By focusing only on carbon, which was your choice, you cherypicked.
            Then , by trying to say I was not focused on carbon, that I was not concerned about ACC, was you trying strawman.
            So, in an effort to promote a dead technology, you feel compelled to create logical fallacies and use poor intellectual rigor and honesty.
            Good going.

          • Sam Gilman

            OK. Let’s l mook at the first item in your list: “extraction”

            With proper sources (eg not stuff edited by conspiracy theorists), explain what you mean by nuclear power being unviable because of the extraction processes involved. Bear in mind that nuclear power stations have been operating for decades and that your argument implies this shouldn’t have been possible.

            I look forward to your well-sourced and on-point answer.

          • Robert

            I’d say that was a pretty difficult way to misinterpret a pretty simple statement…
            “..that your argument implies this shouldn’t have been possible.”
            Start with the increased level of electricity production you are wanting from nuclear.
            Are the existing mines able to scale up?

            Beyond that, you are cherry picking your argument. Again. Yet again.

            Transport the ore.
            Scale up the facilities for processing.
            Process the ore
            Handle the tailings and other waste products.

            And we still haven’t sited the reactors.
            And we still haven’t scaled up the waste handling.

            And, much like the efforts to clean up coal, the next Gen reactors are still in developement.

            And, financing…..
            And insurance….
            And public safety planning…..

            Let’s also discuss issues like small, local production, developed by cooperatives or municipal owned v monopolistic, large scale, out of local control.

            And where is there a study showing that we can’t do what is needed with solar and wind?

            Hence. The pro nuc agenda needs cherry picking to make a case.

          • Sam Gilman

            Source?

          • Robert

            Ummmm, your claim….

            “..that your argument implies this shouldn’t have been possible.”
            Start with the increased level of electricity production you are wanting from nuclear.
            Are the existing mines able to scale up?

            Beyond that, you are cherry picking your argument. Again. Yet again.

            Transport the ore.
            Scale up the facilities for processing.
            Process the ore
            Handle the tailings and other waste products.

            And we still haven’t sited the reactors.
            And we still haven’t scaled up the waste handling.

            And, much like the efforts to clean up coal, the next Gen reactors are still in developement.

            And, financing…..
            And insurance….
            And public safety planning…..

            Let’s also discuss issues like small, local production, developed by cooperatives or municipal owned v monopolistic, large scale, out of local control.

            And where is there a study showing that we can’t do what is needed with solar and wind?

            Hence. The pro nuc agenda needs cherry picking to make a case.

            Oh, perhaps the last statement. In that case: https://disqus.com/by/samgilman/

          • Sam Gilman

            Source, Robert?

          • Robert

            Actually, try reading the same IPCC report you cited for carbon.
            But, then we’re back to the cherrypicking……

          • Sam Gilman

            This is from the IPCC AR5 WG3:

            Altogether, there are 4200 EJ (or 7.1 MtU) of identi ed conven- tional uranium resources available at extraction costs of less than USD 260/kgU (current consumption amounts to about 53,760 tU per year). Additional conventional uranium resources (yet to be discov- ered) estimated at some 4400 EJ can be mobilized at costs larger than USD 260/kgU (NEA and IAEA, 2012). Present uranium resources are suf cient to fuel existing demand for more than 130 years, and if all conventional uranium occurrences are considered, for more than 250 years. Reprocessing of spent fuel and recycling of uranium and plu- tonium in used fuel would double the reach of each category (IAEA, 2009). Fast breeder reactor technology can theoretically increase ura- nium utilization 50-fold or even more with corresponding reductions in high-level waste (HLW) generation and disposal requirements (IAEA, 2004). However, reprocessing of spent fuel and recycling is not eco- nomically competitive below uranium prices of USD2010 425/kgU (Bunn et al., 2003). Thorium is a widely distributed slightly radioactive metal. Although the present knowledge of the world’s thorium resource base is poor and incomplete, it is three to four times more abundant than uranium in the Earth’s outer crust (NEA, 2006). Identi ed thorium resource availability is estimated at more than 2.5 Mt at production costs of less than USD2010 82/kgTh (NEA, 2008).

            Given that the cost of uranium is a very small part of the overall cost, it looks to me that scarcity isn’t a problem any time soon.

            And before you try to pull the “100% nuclear” gambit, I’m not arguing for that.

          • Robert

            “.thanks for another example of your cherrypicking.
            All you did was identify that there is supposed to be enough idententifed Orr to last 130 years. At current use
            Not how soon it would be available, or any of the rest of the list.
            And now, with added strawman! “..before you try to pull the….”

            Start with the increased level of electricity production you are wanting from nuclear.
            Are the existing mines able to scale up?

            Beyond that, you are cherry picking your argument. Again. Yet again.

            Transport the ore.
            Scale up the facilities for processing.
            Process the ore
            Handle the tailings and other waste products.

            And we still haven’t sited the reactors.
            And we still haven’t scaled up the waste handling.

            And, much like the efforts to clean up coal, the next Gen reactors are still in developement.

            And, financing…..
            And insurance….
            And public safety planning…..

            Let’s also discuss issues like small, local production, developed by cooperatives or municipal owned v monopolistic, large scale, out of local control.

            And where is there a study showing that we can’t do what is needed with solar and wind?

            Hence. The pro nuc agenda needs cherry picking to make a case.

            Oh, perhaps the last statement. In that case: https://disqus.com/by/samgilman/

          • Sam Gilman

            Source, Robert, that says all these issues are insurmountable.

            You gave me a rather pretentious lecture about sourcing.

            Perhaps you need to read it to yourself

          • Robert

            Thanks for the strawman.
            You are pretty good at that.

          • Sam Gilman

            Asking for sources is now invalid?

            That’s a keeper.

          • Robert

            And another example of your expertise is strawmanism. Only your cherry picking skills come close.

            Until you can source how each issue effects the whole, there isn’t a point of continuing your efforts.
            Much like your effort by showing a cleanlooking mine head as proof that there is no issue with extractive resource burning.

          • Sam Gilman

            Uranium mines operate. What possible reason could there be for them being unable to increase production or expand? There is no prima facie case for your assertion that increased supply is not possible. So you need a source.

            Moreover, would you like to explain why the IPCC missed this, and why the IEA has missed this? Neither of us are specialists. You need to produce sources to back up your non-expert assertion.

          • Robert

            Where did I say “.. increased supply is not possible”?
            Strawman.
            And, btw, it is discussed in the IPCC WG3 report you or j.l. cited.

          • Sam Gilman

            Would you like to give a page number?

          • Robert

            Nope. That would be cherry picking.
            Think of the reports as a narrative, Points are discussed in a rational order as they support each other.

            But, you should be acquainted with the report in in entirity, not the bits that can be construed or misconstrued to fit your talking points.

            That said, you do know they discuss the world inventory and discuss theoretical limits and give time frames to when we’d have consumed these one use resources, right?

          • Sam Gilman

            You claimed a source backed you up.

            When asked for a page number, you refused. You could have given a range of pages. You could have pointed to a specific section. But you didn’t do any of that.

            Instead you made an excuse why you couldn’t back up your claim.

            Does that look like someone who is pro-science?

          • Robert

            Nope. Try again.
            “..why you couldn’t back up your claim.”

          • Robert

            Oh, the person who was upset because I used the same resource they did to point out your cherry picking is now upset because they were asked to read the supporting narrative……
            Thanks,

          • Sam Gilman

            I know you would like to upset me, but I’m just astounded at your brazenness in refusing to source properly.

          • Robert

            Where did I say “.. increased supply is not possible”?
            Strawman.

          • Robert

            Replace ‘couldn’t’ w wouldn’t and ‘excuse ‘ w explanation.
            Think of the reports as a narrative, Points are discussed in a rational order as they support each other.

            But, you should be acquainted with the report in in entirity, not the bits that can be construed or misconstrued to fit your talking points.

            That said, you do know they discuss the world inventory and discuss theoretical limits and give time frames to when we’d have consumed these one use resources, right?

          • Sam Gilman

            No page numbers to back yourself up then.

            End of story.

          • Robert

            Says the proponent of citing one graph out of a major report.
            Got it.

          • Sam Gilman

            When the graph directly addresses the point in question and summarises the study’s metaanalysis of dozens and dozens of studies, that seems a fair thing to do.

            On the other hand, claiming a report says something but not being able to say exactly where, is a pretty poor show.

          • Robert

            “When the graph directly addresses….” the one point you want support of.
            That is cherrypicking. And that is why you need to review the text.

          • Sam Gilman

            Again, Robert, you are saying it is “cherrypicking” to focus on carbon emissions.

            So, you don’t care much about global warming. You might believe it’s happening, but it’s not a serious priority for you. Don’t complain about me saying this: it’s directly based on what you say.

          • Robert

            Thanks for demonstrating that you need to make up an argument point.
            Cherry picking
            &
            Logical fallacies.

            Good ways to try supporting your position. /s

          • Sam Gilman

            It’s not even cherry-picking: you’re using the word wrongly.

          • Robert

            Oh?

          • Sam Gilman

            Look up the meaning. It would be cherry picking if the IPCC study were a single study, or if as a literature review it was not representative of other reviews.

            It’s not cherrypicking to have tackling climate change as a priority.

          • Robert

            Cherry picking is an accurate description of your argument as you are citing a single graph out of an entire report. And are relying on one point in the diaspora of issues .

          • Sam Gilman

            No, that’s not cherry-picking. That is answering a specific point about carbon emissions that you raised.

            Robert, you are behaving like a science denier. You made a list. I pointed out how one of those items shouldn’t be up for dispute, as the IPCC metanalysis makes clear. “The graph” is a summary of a metanalysis. It’s not a footnote.

            Your response was first to dispute the IPCC even said that, and to say that it was invalid to challenge you on that point unless I met all the other points. That’s basically a kind of Gish gallop.

            When. I answered a second point on your list, you complained that i had answered a third. I answered a third and another commenter a fourth, a fifth.

            And then what did you do? Reproduce the whole list again and claim nothing had been answered.

            GIsh, gish, gish, gish.

            And here you are, on the day that Trump announces the US withdrawal from the Paris agreement, that focussing on carbon emissions is “cherrypicking”

            This is what is wrong with anti-nuclearism. It’s a cult. It takes over people’s minds and makes them do stupid stuff.

          • Sam Gilman

            Up to one-sixth of the species on Earth could disappear if climate change remains on its current course, according to a new analysis of more than 100 smaller studies.

            “All the studies are in pretty good agreement: The more warming we have, the more species we’ll lose,” says Dov Sax, a conservation biologist at Brown University who was not involved in the work. “This is really important to know, from a policy viewpoint.”

            http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2015/04/climate-change-could-eventually-claim-sixth-world-s-species

            How is it “cherry picking” to focus on carbon emissions?

          • Robert

            Well…..
            Time frame.
            Training
            Siteing
            Extracting fuel
            Technology
            Processing
            Decommissioning
            Waste storage

          • Sam Gilman

            Pretty much all answered or silly (training? Train people.). You dismissed each one individually as cherry-picking. It’s like a freeze frame gish gallop.

            The WHO estimates 150,000 a year dying from the immediate effects of global warming, rising to 250,000 in the near future.

            Why is it cherry-picking to look at carbon emissions? Can you answer that?

          • Robert

            Review the thread. Notice who hasn’t addressed the whole list of issues that are solely nuclear’s.
            You have the numbers, cite them.
            And compare.
            Then factor in the other issues that are solely nuclear’s.
            There are several reasons why nuclear isn’t a viable option; among them are the issues with:
            Time frame.
            Training
            Siteing
            Extracting fuel
            Technology
            Processing
            Decommissioning
            Waste storage
            By focusing only on carbon, which was your choice, you cherrypicked.
            I’ve pointed out several times that the narrative surrounding the only graph you stress in the IPCC report discusses all these
            Then , by trying to say I was not focused on carbon, that I was not concerned about ACC, was you trying strawman.
            So, in an effort to promote a dead technology, you feel compelled to create logical fallacies and use poor intellectual rigor and honesty.
            Good going.

          • Robert

            “…answered or silly (training? Train people.).”

            Run us throughgh the numbers.
            How many people are qualified to train?
            How many new plants?
            How many new applicants?
            How long?
            $$?
            Certification?
            Retesting?
            Evaluation?

          • Sam Gilman

            You’re asking questions without checking to see if the answers suit you:

            Let’s look at how many people are currently employed in each sector, and what they produce:

            100,000 currently work in the US nuclear industry overall. Nuclear provided 19.7% of US electricity in 2016 (EIA).

            200,000-300,000 people work in US hydro. Hydro provided 6.5% of US electricity in 2016

            88,000 work in the wind industry. Wind provided 5.6% of US electricity in 2016

            374,000 work in the US solar industry. Solar provides 0.9% of US electricity in 2016

            So for the same 1% of electricity you need:

            5,076 nuclear workers
            Between 30,769 and 46,153 hydro workers
            15,715 wind workers
            415,556 solar workers.

            Of course, training people up for nuclear may be more complex, but the number of people needed is far, far less, it seems. While I support the expansion of all low carbon sources, this particular issue seems to favour nuclear (and to a certain extent, wind).

            Thanks for encouraging me to look this up.

            On a serious note, plans for decarbonising rapidly using mainly wind and solar involve absolutely astonishing build rates, something they have been criticised for in the literature. (But they’re not usually serious feasibility plans). If you look at China as a real world example, expansion of hydro output has been fastest (but environmentally questionable), followed by wind and nuclear at more or less the same speed, with solar lagging behind.

          • Robert

            “..training people up for nuclear may be more complex..”
            “On a serious note, …”
            That just about caused a spew, thanks we needed some humor today…

          • Sam Gilman

            So no substantive reply?

            No doubt “training” will reappear on your “Gish list” again with the claim no one has said anything in reply.

          • Robert

            And the nuclear deployment schedule.
            Gone missing.
            “..involve absolutely astonishing build rates,…”

            “.. something they have been criticised for in the literature..”
            And left uncited…..

          • Sam Gilman

            “The nuclear deployment schedule”

            I’ve already given you a link that shows how fast nuclear has historically been deployed compared to expansions of wind and solar.

            As for an example of critiques of all-renewable pathway build rates:

            http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/wcc.324/full

            Ask for a citation, rather than presume there isn’t one.

          • Atomsk

            Sadly, this seems true. My conclusion is that only nuclear can save capitalism. If anything. And only temporarily. The inevitable conclusion to me seems to be that only a planned and egalitarian restructuring of the global economy can avoid the worst sh1t that’s coming. And that must include a planned decrease in material economic activity on a global scale, rationing of resources, and everything that entails (no more planned obsolescence and overconsumption and waste and so on).

            I think if a society can manage this process equitably, it can probably even manage to use nuclear responsibly. Not capitalism though. I mean, I don’t see how an economic system that leads to war if it can’t have infinite growth can be trusted with tasks that last for hundreds or thousands of years.

          • Robert

            Ummm, where is your link to your support for your claim about what I said?

          • Sam Gilman

            Here is what you said:

            Start with the increased level of electricity production you are wanting from nuclear.
            Are the existing mines able to scale up?

            Transport the ore.
            Scale up the facilities for processing.
            Process the ore
            Handle the tailings and other waste products.

            And we still haven’t sited the reactors.
            And we still haven’t scaled up the waste handling.

            The link for that is here, your comment written a day ago:

            https://disqus.com/home/discussion/carbonbrief/bonn_climate_talks_key_outcomes_from_the_may_2017_un_climate_conference/#comment-3330011247

            Now that’s out of the way, I would ask again for a more precise reference, but in your comment here:

            https://disqus.com/home/discussion/carbonbrief/bonn_climate_talks_key_outcomes_from_the_may_2017_un_climate_conference/#comment-3331837074

            you refuse to give anything more precise with the surreal comment:

            Nope. That would be cherry picking.

            So it appears that while I will back myself up when asked, you have turned your refusal to back up your own claims into some kind of high-flown principle.

            Does that look like the behaviour of a pro-science person to you?

          • Robert

            Yup. You were unable then and now to show that the mining could scale up in the time frames needed. Or deal with any of the other issues.
            Thank you for demonstrating that most of the pro nuc arguments are not based on data, but rhetoric.
            And logical fallacy.

          • Sam Gilman

            In addition to the low CO2 output, build times, and grid penetration rate data are there, as are estimates of uranium availability. Data-based too are the models that find a problem in the expansion of intermittents beyond a minority of total electricity needs.

            You are choosing to ignore that data and abuse those who produce it. Is that indicative of a science-based approach?

          • Robert

            And, gee, what’s missing in your reply?

          • Robert

            You do know what is missing in your reply, right?

          • Sam Gilman

            Which one hasn’t been sourced?

            Here’s the build rates:

            https://climategamble.files.wordpress.com/2015/08/150521_climate_gamble_image-011.png

          • Sam Gilman

            By the way, it wasn’t me showing the limited impact of uranium mining, it was Jag Levak.

            One of his points was, though, that renewable expansion also implies a whole lot of extraction too. Like him, I don’t understand why that doesn’t count even as it appears to be more damaging.

          • Robert

            Pump oil. Burn it. It’s gone. Except for the carbon in the atmosphere and oceans
            Mine coal. Burn it. It’s gone. ” ” ” ” ” ”
            Mine uranium. Burn it. It’s gone.
            Mine rare earth minerals. Produce wind turbines and solar panels. Usethem. Recycle them. Produce better turbines and panels.

            I see a significant difference.

          • Sam Gilman

            You want to see a difference.

            You’re like the Exxon executive promising carbon capture.

          • Robert

            Wow…..

          • Sam Gilman

            I know. Wow.

            This is where ideology takes people. To irrational places.

          • Robert

            Yup. Absolutely no difference between burning a resource and recycling/reusing one.
            /s

          • Sam Gilman

            If the amount of the resource extracted for fuel is comparable to or less than the resources extracted for “use”, what is the difference?

          • Robert

            One winds up in the atmosphere, trapping solar energy, heating the planet.
            The other is producing noncarbon based electicity and then recycled/reused.

          • Robert

            Pump oil. Burn it. It’s gone. Except for the carbon in the atmosphere and oceans
            Mine coal. Burn it. It’s gone. ” ” ” ” ” ”
            Mine uranium. Burn it. It’s gone.
            Mine rare earth minerals. Produce wind turbines and solar panels. Usethem. Recycle them. Produce better turbines and panels.

            I see a significant difference.

          • Sam Gilman

            So you would choose higher CO2 and worse global warming because you don’t understand seawater extraction of uranium.

            It’s not the best position, really.

          • Robert

            Give me a moment to go make popcorn.
            Meanwhile, work up your resources and argument.
            And…
            https://engineering.stanford.edu/news/how-extract-uranium-seawater-nuclear-power

          • Sam Gilman

            From your own link:

            ““Concentrations are tiny, on the order of a single grain of salt dissolved in a liter of water,” said Yi Cui, a materials scientist and co-author of a paper in Nature Energy. “But the oceans are so vast that if we can extract these trace amounts cost effectively, the supply would be endless.””

            (You’ve done this before: put up links that don’t support your view.)

            Also:

            http://www.pnnl.gov/news/release.aspx?id=4271

            So there are enough resources in mining to sustain nuclear for the next hundred years while we tackle climate change. There are also enough resources for several thousands of years if not more, for those who wish to invoke sustainability into the future as a reason for not using nuclear in the next hundred years to tackle climate change.

            Tackling climate change and ocean acidification are the top priorities, aren’t they?

          • Robert

            Research and “if”
            Got it.
            Thanks.

          • Jag_Levak

            “Research and “if””

            The research establishes that we have a feasible method to extract uranium from seawater. The “if” part is whether it can be done cost competitively. The methods developed so far get the cost down to around double the current cheap price of mined uranium at a time of a supply glut. A little over ten years ago, the state of the art on seawater extraction was more like 15 times the mined price at that time, so there’s been a seven-fold improvement in cost over that period. That would be a very good improvement rate in, say, lab-demonstrated grid-scale battery storage, and I’m sure advocates of intermittents would be cheering and making confident predictions based on the assumption such a trajectory would continue well into the future. Would you be answering them with “research and if”?

            What current state of seawater extraction does establish is that there is a cap on how high mined uranium prices can go before seawater becomes the cheaper option. For now, it doesn’t look like uranium prices are going to double any time soon, but even if they did, that could be more than offset by going to reactors which don’t throw away more than 99% of the energy value in natural U–as today’s reactors do.

          • Kem Patrick

            Sam won’t.

          • Robert

            He said as much already…
            “If the amount of the resource extracted for fuel is comparable to or less than the resources extracted for “use”, what is the difference?”
            https://disqus.com/home/discussion/carbonbrief/bonn_climate_talks_key_outcomes_from_the_may_2017_un_climate_conference/#comment-3332442482

            “Like him, I don’t understand why that doesn’t count even as it appears to be more damaging.”
            https://disqus.com/home/discussion/carbonbrief/bonn_climate_talks_key_outcomes_from_the_may_2017_un_climate_conference/#comment-3331814440

          • Robert

            That is a question that needs serious recasting.

          • Kem Patrick

            Hey Robert,,, I just learned that you have been totally wrong with your arguments with Sam here.

            Sammy has informed me there is absolutely zero difference between the radioactive elements released from a nuclear reactor core meltdown than the normal background radioactive elements which are everyplace on the planet, in our soil, water, our bodies and food like lima beans.

            We were wrong to argue it with Sam ant the other eight idiots he is supporting here.

          • Robert

            Yeah, ‘organic’……
            Did you notice that these two basically are using the same cherypicking ploy as many of the ACC deniers?
            And wishful thinking.
            And strawman.

          • Robert

            The actual important points to remember are that we each have one vote. (Except the large swathes of our population that don’t, or are actively disquaded/prevented from exercising their right.) And there is a strong propaganda machine supplying misinformation. And there is a large contingent of our population that may have gotten on the bus, but didn’t quite get the point of why the bus to them to school.
            Easy for us to see the results. And it has happened before …..

            And we need to look at who didn’t vote. There is where the next elections will be decided.

          • jmac

            Disclaimer: I have not studied the latest information on nuclear.

            But from what little I do know, it does seem an awfully expensive and dangerous way to boil water. 🙂

          • Sam Gilman

            Dangerous? Compared to what?

            Have you ever googled “deaths per TWh”?

            You may be in for a surprise.

            (If you want sources on the issue, I’ll given them to you as I have to Robert if you like, but feel free to find them yourself as evidence that I’m not making things up).

          • Robert

            That we’d be just replacing one extractive system – coal, natural gas – for another is a big issue. The environmental issues are enormous for either. And while some materials needed in solar and wind tech, those are recyclable, not sent into the atmosphere or involving all the issues of nuc waste storage.

            And for themarket drivers, it seems wind and solar has been finding more accepted cell in funding, development, and actualization.

            Another issue is that the big tech of nuclear inherently means large Corp involvement. Whereas wind and solar can be set up locally and by co-ops or municipalities passing the savings and control to those effected by those decisions. I’ll admit a bit of bias the in both the political /economic and from having lived the last 50 some years where both have been successful.

            There is also that weird pro nuc argument about how it is govt causing the cost overruns, slow production etc because of inspections and quality control requirements and simultaneously claiming how safe the industry is. That seems to be more magical libertarian pipe dream smoke.

          • jmac

            All very solid points IMO.

          • Sam Gilman

            No, they’re not.

            Look here for the particular issue of cost in the United States:

            http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0301421516300106

            If you’re into your peer-reviewed studies, that is.

          • jmac

            Dear Sam, it’s just not an issue of which I am that familiar nor am I that desirous to learn in detail. I have not looked at it since the 60’s. When people don’t know something about the topic, I believe they should STFU about it (me). I pass on this one. 🙂
            Have a great day.

          • Sam Gilman

            It’s really worth looking into.I had a bit of a shock during the early days of the Fukushima crisis. Knowing nothing much about nuclear power and with all kinds of voices shouting doomsday stories over social media at people here in Japan, I applied what I knew about identifying the scientific literature, something I had learnt to do during debates with climate change deniers.

            The anti-nuclear movement operates in a very similar way. They have a lot of fake experts, they target the public understanding of science rather than try to persuade scientists, and there is a cottage industry of groups and institutes trying to paint a front of authority. Their claims are very different to what is found in mainstream science literature. And they have conspiracy theories about why that is.

            The parallels are quite depressing, especially when you can find some of them lecturing climate change deniers on science.

          • jmac

            My first job in research at Dow, we did quite a bit of experimentation with radiation in organic chemical processes, since then very, very little.

          • Sam Gilman

            No, it’s not “government” causing the high costs specifically in the United States. It’s the antinuclear movement forcing high costs. Nuclear is cheaper to build elsewhere.

          • Robert

            How, exactly?
            “..antinuclear movement forcing high costs. “

          • Sam Gilman

            By managing to get regulations imposed that are not justified by evidence.

            The costs in the US case are different and higher to other countries. Here is a source for that claim:

            http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0301421516300106

          • Jag_Levak

            “That we’d be just replacing one extractive system – coal, natural gas – for another is a big issue. The environmental issues are enormous for either. And while some materials needed in solar and wind tech, those are recyclable,”

            Here’s a picture of a copper mine:

            http://i61.tinypic.com/2hrzedi.jpg

            Here is the world’s largest ISL uranium mine:

            http://www.mining-technology.com/uploads/newsarticle/1070392/images/213558/large/5l-tortkuduk.jpg

            Even with recycling, copper extraction would have to expand enormously if we were to try to displace fossil fuels renewables dominated by wind and solar and no nuclear.

            And you’re comparing nuclear extraction to coal?

            German lignite mining:
            https://www.google.com/maps/@50.8978009,6.4471315,10137m/data=!3m1!1e3

            Mountain top removal mining:
            https://www.google.com/maps/@37.9807612,-81.5336049,25336m/data=!3m1!1e3

            Here’s the world’s most productive uranium mine:
            https://www.google.com/maps/@57.7629636,-105.0538649,17146m/data=!3m1!1e3

            It produces about 8500 tonnes of U per year (more than an eighth of the world total), with around a million tons proven reserves. And the uranium extraction profile is only as large as it is because today’s reactors don’t use more than 99% of the energy content of natural U. With high burnup, that one mine could supply thousands of gigawatts of nuclear power. (All of the lignite mines of Westphalia combined generate less than 20 gigawatts on average.)

          • Robert

            http://www.mining-technology.com/features/feature-the-10-biggest-uranium-mines-in-the-world/feature-the-10-biggest-uranium-mines-in-the-world-3.html

            http://www.mining-technology.com/features/feature-the-10-biggest-uranium-mines-in-the-world/feature-the-10-biggest-uranium-mines-in-the-world-6.html

            And we also like your magical pipe dream of new tech being the savior of your preferred industry.
            Much like the promise od clean coal. Which trump/perry just cut the research budget of.

            And it is noted that again, yet again, one issue being brought up from a long list. And with cherry-picked pictures for a rejoinder.

            Got it.

          • Jag_Levak

            [Re: Ranger and Rossing mines]

            Yes, open pit excavation mining used to be the majority source of uranium, but it is rapidly going obsolete. The Ranger mine has already stopped excavation, and production is coasting on what was previously pulled out. ISL is already the largest category of U mining and it’s still growing. And you could drop Ranger into the Kennecot copper mine and its dozen or so tiers would barely amount to a small basin in the bottom of that pit, and there are a lot more open pit copper mines than uranium mines–though that number would have to expand enormously to cover a global wind/solar rollout along with the needed grid infrastructure.

            “And we also like your magical pipe dream of new tech being the savior of your preferred industry.”

            Excuse me, but you were the one who asked about the best case scenario for future nuclear in the context of this passage that you quoted from the IPCC:

            “Research and development of the next-generation nuclear energy system, beyond the evolutionary LWRs, is being undertaken through national and international efforts (GIF, 2009). New fuel cycles and reactor technologies are under investigation in an effort to address the concerns of nuclear energy use.”

            So I take it you set the direction of this discussion so that you could call any pertinent response that was wholly within that context a “magical pipe dream”. What a really clever setup for that zinger you’ve been itching to use. You should try that one out on the nations, corporations, labs, universities, and major investors currently sinking hundreds of millions of dollars into advanced reactor research and development. I’m sure they would be much amused by that assessment of their work.

            “And it is noted that again, yet again, one issue being brought up from a long list.”

            It was a list of three. Your other points were that nuclear involves big corporations–as if the manufacturers of wind and solar are not big corporations–and some disjointed comment implying there is some sort of dissonance between an industry being safe and that industry being burdened by excessive and in some cases pointless regulation, and I didn’t see either of those being substantial arguments or pertinent to future forms of nuclear.

            “And with cherry-picked pictures for a rejoinder.”

            I chose the largest ISL mine in the world and the most productive uranium mine in the world. There are lots of smaller uranium mines I could have chosen. But no individual surface coal mine can convey the overall scale of devastation. Appalachian mountain top removal mining has already denuded an area about the size of Delaware–an area that would dwarf all the world’s uranium mines combined, and that’s just for one kind of coal mining in one region in one country. And the extraction footprint for uranium could be shrunk drastically with either the development of high burnup reactors, or the development of U extraction from seawater. Better still if we develop both.

          • Robert

            Gee, so sorry that I’ve seemed to trigger some conspiracy fixation of yours. Again…

            “So I take it you set the direction of this discussion so that you could …”

            Remember earlier in this conversation when you were upset because I pointed out your cherry picking from the resource you didn’t want to name at first?

          • Jag_Levak

            “Gee, so sorry that I’ve seemed to trigger some conspiracy fixation of yours. Again…”

            I don’t know what conspiracy you are referring to.

            “Remember earlier in this conversation when you were upset because I pointed out your cherry picking from the resource you didn’t want to name at first?”

            Not from that description I don’t. Maybe if you could be a little less vague?

          • Robert

            Yup, you are right; that was sam…
            https://disqus.com/home/discussion/carbonbrief/bonn_climate_talks_key_outcomes_from_the_may_2017_un_climate_conference/#comment-3323381209

            So :
            Gee, so sorry that I’ve seemed to trigger some conspiracy fixation of yours.
            “So I take it you set the direction of this discussion so that you could …”

            is more accurate.

          • Jag_Levak

            Okay, so… you are talking about a conspiracy of one person?

          • Robert

            Well, generally it only takes one person to start, or have, a conspiracy theory.
            And it does rather seem I’ve triggered some conspiracy fixation of yours.
            “So I take it you set the direction of this discussion so that you could …”

          • Jag_Levak

            That’s not suspecting you of being a one person conspiracy. That’s observing that it seems rather unfair to be ridiculing somebody for giving a pertinent reply in the context you set.

            But I’ll plead guilty to suspecting you of having foresight. If you want to say the misattribution was simply due to forgetting what you previously wrote, I’ll accept that.

          • Robert

            “New fuel cycles and reactor technologies are under investigation in an effort to address the concerns of nuclear energy use.”

          • Kem Patrick

            I do believe all of these pro nukers here are insane. There could be 4 reactor cores and 4 spent fuel rod ponds melting down right now at a nuclear power plant and they all would explain that it was not anything to be concerned about.

          • Robert

            Part of the issue is that the $, numbers, and time frame don’t even work out.

          • Jag_Levak

            I’m not clear on what quoting my quote of your quote of the IPCC is meant to convey.

          • greenthinker2012

            Robert,
            Where are you getting your 10,000 year number and what specifically is it referring to?
            Are you claiming that spent fuel rods from civilian nuclear power will be lethally radioactive in that time or something else?
            Please be specific since it is not clear from your comments.
            Cheers

          • Sam Gilman

            The 100,000 years is the time frame for the ExternE study that I cited in a separate post.

            ExternE make actuarial calculations 100,000 years into the future for a projected steady population of 10 billion in order to produce comparative deaths/TWh rates for a variety of sources.

            Their calculations actually include assessments of the impacts of nuclear waste, something he didn’t check before he posted.

          • greenthinker2012

            I am asking because after even a single thousand years the spent fuel is no more radioactive than the Uranium ore it was mined from. Is the idea that we need the spent fuel to become completely inert before it is considered “safe” even though the surrounding natural rocks are more radioactive?

          • Sam Gilman

            Ah – I think you may have got the wrong end of the stick. The 100,000 years is applied to all energy sources, and isn’t a comment on nuclear per se. ExternE takes an actuarial approach where they also assume a constant population of 10 billion.

          • greenthinker2012

            Yes you are right.
            I am reacting to the countless times antinuclear folks parrot the mistaken idea that spent fuel is dangerous forever.
            (Or dangerous for longer than whatever disposal solution they are currently opposed to.)
            For example Canada has a plan for deep geological storage that involves placing the spent fuel kilometres deep into the bedrock of North America. This bedrock has been geologically stable for over a billion years and yet people complain that this is too short a time period.

          • Sam Gilman

            I love the idea that there is a danger that civilisation might collapse and we’d forget how to read warning signs or detect radiation when we happened to start burrowing for no apparent reason.

            If civilisation collapsed, the death toll would be massive even before they stumbled upon a repository. But no one wants to make preparations for that collapse.

            It’s like the volcano on Sakurajima in Kyushu here that was “close” to a nuclear power plant. Anti-nuclearists banged on about the dangers of lava flows and suddenly became vulcanology experts for the day about how lava flows could actually go across the sea and uphill over the mountain range between the two and therefore panic stations, turn off the reactor or we were all going to die.

            None of them seemed a bit worried about the city of half a million people between the volcano and the plant that would get flattened in their scenario way before the lava had even a slight chance of getting anywhere near the plant.

          • greenthinker2012

            That is because death by lava is “natural.”
            🙂

          • Robert

            Up thread a study was cited by someone claiming 100,000 yr projections.

            There has been a fair amount of study and research on how and what warning need be place on waste and given the variety of dead language’s in our short history, it seems even a projection of a few thousand years is problematical.

          • TheDudeofVoo

            Yeah, but tell Sam not to use many elip-sissies.

          • robwheeler

            Sam I have just done a google search on Nuclear and Renewables re carbon and life cycle assessments. The findings do indeed state that nuclear and renewables are in the same range; however I would and do question the analysis in regards to long term wastes and decommissioning. We do not even have good long term storage depositories figured out yet; how do we know what it will cost and how much carbon and energy will be used to safeguard these materials for hundreds of thousands of years?

            Similarly just look at what it is going to take to decommission the Fukushima plants. They can’t even find where the melted fuel is yet much less get any decent pictures inside the facilities. What is going to be the environmental and carbon costs of building the massive ice wall and maintaining it for who knows how long?

            Rob

          • Sam Gilman

            Are you questioning the IPCC from an evidence point of view or because it clashes with personal prejudices?

            Be honest.

          • robwheeler

            Sam,

            I am questioning the IPCC’s findings on this because I doubt they (or anyone else) has done due diligence to truly figure out what the human and energy costs are going to be to take care of the spent wastes for the time period required. No one can or does even know what these costs will be, all we can do is guess. We have no idea how we are going to store the stuff safely for millennia. I am hoping that within another century or so we will figure out how to neutralize the stuff. Right now it is so toxic that you can’t come anywhere close to it for even a second.

            Rob

          • Sam Gilman

            In other words, your response is ideological. There are actually high quality studies looking far into the future on waste and on the human health impact.

            You also don’t ask the same questions of the ecological messes being generated to produce cheap wind and solar which are killing people now and are very toxic. Why don’t these count? I suggest to you it’s because you find it cognitively difficult to process that renewables are not one big happy family of zero-impact resources. Both renewables and nuclear have negative impacts. It’s ideological to deny the former and spin junk science about the latter.

            Is climate change a serious issue for you, or is the promotion of specific technology more important?

          • robwheeler

            Sam, send me links with easy to read and understand articles on such studies and information or post them here and I will happily read and consider them. I have not found or seen them to date.

            Rob

          • Sam Gilman
          • Robert

            “There are actually high quality studies looking far into the future on waste and on the human health impact.”
            Where?

          • Sam Gilman

            Are you asking “where” because you don’t know of any?

          • Robert

            Basic research: cite your source. You should have learned that by middle school .
            So, let’s see if or how they match to your description.

          • Sam Gilman

            Hmm. Interestingly aggressive response.

            Let’s look at health impacts first. Probably the best source for the health impact is the large ExternE project. This looks 100,000 years into the future with a projected population of 10 billion.

            The 2005 methodology update is here with their clearest statement of estimates:

            http://www.externe.info/externe_d7/sites/default/files/methup05a.pdf

            p. 201 following includes material on deaths per TWh for various sources, including for modern nuclear and for the Chernobyl disaster, but notes that of course, no one is proposing to build another reactor like the Chernobyl one.

            As it happens, the ExternE project is also summarised in the graph on this page here from David MacKay’s book Without the Hot Air, including the ExternE estimate for wind:

            https://www.withouthotair.com/c24/page_168.shtml

            Are you with me so far?

          • Jag_Levak

            “how do we know what it will cost and how much carbon and energy will be used to safeguard these materials for hundreds of thousands of years?”

            How do you know it will require safeguarding for hundreds of thousands of years? There are multiple teams in several countries working on the development of fast spectrum reactors, and for fast reactors, around 95% of what’s in spent fuel is simply fuel. The energy potential in the current global stockpile of spent fuel is around 325 terawatt-years (e). If that electricity were priced to provide an average of one tenth of a cent per kWh profit, that would amount to around 2.8 trillion dollars profit. And such reactors would also be able to consume decommissioned bomb fuel and depleted uranium.

            When consumed in a fast reactor, spent fuel, DU and bomb fuel become fission products or fission product derivatives (either decayed or transmuted from fission products). Most of these have half lives of less than 70 days. If these are separated out from the output stream, they will become usable elements in just a few years. A few of the isotopes with extremely long half lives could be usable as is or might be candidates for neutron transmutation. Around a fifth of output stream (roughly 200 kg. per gigawatt year) won’t be economically recoverable in a timeframe short enough to be worth hanging onto it, but there’s also no need to babysit it. Drop it down a deep, hard-cased borehole sequester in a stable rock formation, and seal it, and it won’t bother any living thing on or near the surface for the few hundred years it will take it to drop to the radioactivity levels of the surrounding rock. And the carbon footprint for that would be negligible when weighed against the hundreds of terawatt years of clean energy which would be generated in the process.

            We don’t have practical and economically viable fast reactors now (though I know Russia would disagree with that opinion), and there’s always going to be that clunky initial phase you get with any new technology, so maybe it’ll take 20, 30, or 40 years before the first pretty good fast reactors. Even with such a delay, and all the spent fuel that builds up in the mean time, we’d still be talking on the order of several centuries to consume all the spent fuel. Not hundreds of thousands of years.

          • Robert
          • Sam Gilman

            I’m sorry that you don’t think carbon emissions are important. This is where we disagree. I think tackling climate change is important, while apparently you don’t. (You’ve repeatedly cried foul over me correcting your insinuation that nuclear isn’t low carbon on the grounds, as far as I can see, that it’s not that important.)

            You don’t understand how the IPCC works. It doesn’t do “one study”. It does something called a metaanlysis, whereby it gathers a large number of studies to see where the preponderance of results is. You also didn’t read your NREL link, as it’s actually a link to an IPCC metaanalysis (the link is broken, I can’t tell which AR it is).

            As for your link to the conspiracy-theorist edited Ecologist magazine, that’s to a single study – the very sin that you falsely accuse me of. I believe that study (or at least one of Sovacool’s other efforts) did actually make it into the IPCC review, so I didn’t ignore it.

            Your journal article agrees, unsurprisingly, with the IPCC that nuclear is low carbon, as does the CCC.

            It really does help to read your own links.

          • Robert

            Ah, seaman time. Try reading for content. Carbon is one issue . There are several others.
            Besides picking only one study to ‘prove’ carbon, you are ignoring several other issues that only nuclear has to deal with.
            Which they haven’t done.

          • Sam Gilman

            No, I have addressed human health and waste as well in other comments directly addressed to you.

            It may be a good idea to check your claims before you post. Not just here, but in general. Not doing so gives the impression of gish galloping.

          • Kem Patrick

            You say to Robert, > quote> (“I’m sorry that you don’t think carbon emissions are important.”), < Unquote.

            Why did you write that? It is false, a lie. Whom are you trying to fool?

            It appears most of your replies to Robert are just as dishonest and misleading. What is your objective? It cannot be anything that is honest.

          • Sam Gilman

            Is it false?

            Then why is he up in arms about me challenging his original (unfounded) insinuation that nuclear isn’t low carbon on its full life cycle?

            Why does he continue to complain about me focussing on it when I have looked at other issues? He’s pretty insistent that I have made some kind of unfair move by pointing to nuclear’s low carbon emissions, even as he’s posted sources backing me up on this.

            If someone was concerned with climate change, would they seek to relegate the issue of GHG emissions to some kind of also-ran topic?

            I’d love to hear your explanation, because I’m having difficulty making holistic sense of Robert’s.

          • Kem Patrick

            Why does he complain aoubt yo focusing on nuclear being so low on Carbon you ask…

            (*Why*) is because you ignore so much and the truth about nuclear power being so “Earth friendly” as you argue and so “safe” to use and the true cost of nuclear power in so many different ways.

            There is no use discussing it with you because you will deny truths about the dangerous for all life flaws of nuclear power and the dangers of nuclear power and the truth of how carbon free it actually is.

            You have well demonstrated that here with your obtuse replies to Robert and others by lying by omission and attempts to discredit others with false charges against them.

            The truth is nuclear power is much cleaner than burning coal but there are other much better, cleaner and safer alternatives then splitting atoms to boil water. I will not argue with you further or your many nuclear supporters like Lavek and others here flocked here to protect the nuclear power stupidity.

          • Sam Gilman

            “The truth is nuclear power is much cleaner than burning coal but there are other much better, cleaner and safer alternatives then splitting atoms to boil water.”

            Safer? So why do studies of the relative lethality of power sources find nuclear one of the least lethal?

          • Kem Patrick

            Who conducted the studies is the primary question to that comment.

          • Sam Gilman

            Here’s a graphical summary of two studies:

            https://www.withouthotair.com/c24/page_168.shtml

          • Kem Patrick

            Here is a incredible stupid comment by the author of the study you believe is credible, > (“At the same time, we must not let ourselves be swept off our feet in horror at the danger of nuclear power.

            Nuclear power is not infinitely dangerous. It’s just dangerous, much as coal mines, petrol repositories, fossil-fuel burning and wind turbines are dangerous.”). End crazy quote.

            Tell that bull with a straight face to TEPCO managers and the Japanese government.

            And thank you for showing just how ignorant you actually are Sam.

          • Sam Gilman

            Number of so far dead as a result of radiation exposure at Fukushima: zero. There have been a couple of cases of radiation burns.

            Number expected to die from radiation exposure: in the general public so small as to be indistinguishable from zero. (Source: WHO & UNSCEAR) Workers? We will have to see if exposures suggest a detectably higher rate.

            Number expected to die from the coal power stations opened to replace nuclear: between 10,000 and 26,000. And that’s coal operating normally.

            I live in Japan and am happy to go over the evidence with you.

          • Kem Patrick

            Yeah we’ve herd those lies many times….Bye Sam… I am not going to waste another second with your BS.

          • Sam Gilman

            What are lies? The WHO? Deaths from coal?

            Time and again, we see anti-nuclearists decrying mainstream science and soft-pedalling on fossil fuels and climate change.

            Environmentalists need to wake up and smell the cuckoo.

          • Jim Young

            I was for conversion of Nuclear plants to anything that could start reducing the volume and problems of the existing waste, beyond just spent fuel like the Trans Atomic Power “Waste Annihilating Molten Salt Reactor” was intended to do.

            Then the TAP White Paper 2.1 seems to show the original goals can’t be met in reducing existing waste generation, just a safer SMR that doesn’t produce as much waste, see http://www.transatomicpower.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/TAP-White-Paper-v2.1.pdf

            I greatly appreciate their intent, but it has to work better and actually reduce the waste, which, to me has become a far more dangerous problem through careless and grossly underfunded attention to the growing problem. The Scientific American article “The Nuclear Odyssey of Naoto Kan, Japan’s Prime Minister during Fukushima.” The difference in what they thought to be possible, and what is actually being done seems more reckless than I ever could have imagined, as it seems to have been with nuclear proponent Naoto Kan the day before the Tohoku Earthquake and the day after:

            “…On March 10, 2011, Prime Minister Naoto Kan felt assured that nuclear
            power was safe and vital for Japan. By the evening of the next day,
            following the massive Tohoku earthquake, the ensuing tsunami and the beginnings of the crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, he had changed his thinking “180 degrees.”.

            Kan could not help but wondering how much worse the Fukushima meltdowns might get on the dark nights spent in his office after March 11, 2011. “What was going through my mind at the time?” Kan said through a
            translator during a public event at the 92nd Street YMCA in New York City on October 8. “How much worse is this going to get, and how can we stop this from getting even worse?”

            Kan commissioned a report for the worst-case scenario from the Japan Atomic Energy Commission, which confirmed his worst fears: a potential evacuation area reaching as far as 250 kilometers from the stricken power plant—a zone of exclusion that would have reached all the way to Tokyo and affected roughly 50 million people.

            The potential for disaster was so great because the Fukushima area
            houses a total of 10 reactors and 11 pools that store used nuclear fuel.
            By March 15, three of those reactors were experiencing at least partial
            meltdowns, and four, thanks to a spent-fuel pool that also lost water
            cooling of the still-hot rods, had suffered hydrogen explosions…”

            He later visited our San Onofre plant, appalled at the siting and plans for spent fuel storage according to some of the participants at a meeting discussing how and why the spent fuel from the San Onofre shut down should be stored (allowed to cool sufficiently before moved to dry storage on site right next to the ocean and stored less densely in containers suitable for transportation to far safer sites away from the ocean.

            It almost seems they are encouraging the public protestors to generate the need to spend what it will take to put the material in far safer, more transportable, containers than leaving it the worst possible site (beyond the imagination of the engineers I trust, though I am not an expert).

            I recall a mix of saying our systems were safe(r) and denigrating the Russians for the carelessness that led to what we now know as the Kyshtym (level 6) disaster in which the cooling system in one of the tanks containing 70 to 80 tons of liquid radioactive waste failed, eventually causing an explosion on 29 September 1957 that blew the 160 ton concrete lid into the air and widespread contamination that both the Russians and our government downplayed.

            This, to me, is more important regarding the waste we are generating so much faster than we are managing it safely (or, as I had hoped, start actually being able to reduce the existing waste).

            I see the Kyshtym disaster as carelessness with the waste, much like we seem to be setting ourselves up for at places like San Onofre (if they actually do no more than what they originally planned).

            I fully expect them to say the fraidy-cat environmentalist anti-nuke people forced them into ridiculous and costly actions (that they know they should take but are afraid to admit how expensive it will be). It seems some effectively did a bit of the same (blaming protestors) when they tried to restart the plant with unapproved modifications, then shut down San Onofre when the inadequately designed steam generator tubes started failing (somewhat more appropriately described in the June 7, 2013 Washington Post story, “San Onofre nuclear power plant to shut down.”

            It really had to be shut down, either permanently, returned to a safer design, or a newer and safer design. Then we have the decommisioning with expensive cooling of the spent fuel for years before it can be put in dry storage/shipping containers (that still remain extremely hot, and unsuitable for underground storage where intolearable heat and radioactivity would seem to be a major problem for the initial century at least, if Kyshtym, Fukushima Daiichi, etc, hot spent fuel problems, and inadequate protection are any indication).

            Kan thought they came far too close to having to evacuate 50 million people (with pure luck limiting the damage to what is bad enough already). He was apparently appalled to see the public beach next to San Onofre, knowing what he found out to be the difference between averaged releases and unannounced peak releases that the beach goers were never told about.

          • Robert

            Well said! Thanks for taking the time to craft a well reasoned and researched post!

          • Sam Gilman

            I see you’ve been collecting some scare stories.

            The account you’ve copied and pasted from Sci Am about Naoto Kan appears to be another iteration of Kan’s “Why Nothing Is Ever My Fault” routine, which he’s been pedalling ever since. The author has, I suspect, misheard Kan: there was no chance that Tokyo actually needed evacuation. If one listens carefully to Kan’s own routine, the problem was that Kan initially didn’t know by himself how bad it could get, and that’s the crisis: his own ignorance and fears. Modelling was done by British and American committees in the days after the releases, and made it clear that Tokyo was not under threat, even in the worst imaginable scenario. (It was, at the time, quite scary to deal with these stories until one realised that scientists were being requested to devise doomsday scenarios, and their attempts to explain why those scenarios wouldn’t happen was being drowned out in the media frenzy. Fukushima broke my faith in modern journalism as an ethical profession.)

            Kan actually made the situation worse. He had a thing about not trusting officials (which had won him fame in the 1990s as health minister), so he ended up half-trying to direct operations at the plant despite not knowing how it all worked, and as a result, directly delayed action (ie directly blocked requests from plant managers) that could have remediated the hydrogen build-up. Somehow that never gets into his speeches. Funny that.

            As for nuclear waste from civilian plants: no one has ever died from the handling of it. Kyshtym was a plutonium factory for nuclear weapons. In 1957.

            Here in Japan we’re building coal plants that – without any accident or malfunction – will kill thousands and thousands of people. I don’t know about you, but that’s not good. And before you go on about Japan turning all renewable, have a good study of the geography of Japan.

          • Jim Young

            If it were only Naoto Kan, you might have a point. He appears to have kept asking the real experts, at all levels, while I only run across the occasional former nuclear engineer, friend’s, and relatives of former or current workers in nuclear plants. What he found on the waste management side alone was not reassuring to him, and seems the same as I hear from the lower echelon’s friends and relatives.

            I have a shaken faith that my hopes for the best types of nuclear power will be lost to inadequate attention to the waste problem.

          • Sam Gilman

            But as I pointed out, the real experts contradict his account of Tokyo being under threat.

          • Jag_Levak

            “Then the TAP White Paper 2.1 seems to show the original goals can’t be met in reducing existing waste generation,”

            What it shows is that their original goals can’t be met using TransAtomic’s preferred approach because the neutron losses are too high. But we know that much higher fuel utilization can be achieved in fast reactors that have better neutron economy. I think the IFR project demonstrated something around 99% utilization for natural uranium, and I expect spent fuel utilization would be something not far from that (the main problems with the IFR approach being its high overall system cost and probable slow build rate). It’s the combination of low cost and low neutron losses that’s the main challenge. I would say a more promising approach than TransAtomic’s to achieving decent fast reactor performance at low cost is the Moltex stable salt reactor.

            “it has to work better and actually reduce the waste,”

            The fastest way to reduce the waste would be to remove the uranium from it. Pulling that out would shrink the spent fuel profile by more than 90% right off the bat. And if we don’t want to use the uranium, we just dilute in mine tailings and rebury it or put it into a water soluble form and flush it into the oceans. The rest of the spent fuel would be a mix of fission products and the remaining actinides (plutonium, neptunium, americium, etc.) Pull the fission products out and you reduce the remaining volume by more than half, and the remaining actinides would burn in fast reactors easier and faster than the spent fuel in bulk would. That just leaves dealing with the fission products, but most of those drop to stable in a few years, so it would only be maybe 1% of your original spent fuel mass that would need long-term sequestering for a few hundred years.

            “which, to me has become a far more dangerous problem through careless and grossly underfunded attention to the growing problem.”

            Spent fuel is at its most dangerous right when it comes out of the reactor, and it becomes orders of magnitude less radioactive over time. The safety record of handling spent fuel during its most dangerous period is simply phenomenal–better than virtually any other similar heavy industry. I would like to see the casks moved underground just to remove the risk of attack from terrorists or greens, but the overall scale of the waste problem is tiny, and it is not growing quickly. Even if we do develop reactors which can economically extract all the remaining energy in spent fuel, it contains so much energy that it will take us centuries to use it all, so in the larger picture, it isn’t going to matter much whether it takes us 10 years or 30 to get there. Actually digesting the spent fuel is going to be the time-consuming part of the process, so we’re going to need storage good enough for a few centuries in any case.

            “and four, thanks to a spent-fuel pool that also lost water cooling of the still-hot rods, had suffered hydrogen explosions…”

            At no point was any portion of the spent fuel in any of the pools not covered with water. The hydrogen did not come from the pools.

            “I recall a mix of saying our systems were safe(r) and denigrating the Russians for the carelessness”

            They were careless, but Hanford shows that we were too. Mostly we denigrated them because they were Commies.

            “that led to what we now know as the Kyshtym (level 6) disaster in which the cooling system in one of the tanks containing 70 to 80 tons of liquid radioactive waste failed, eventually causing an explosion”

            That was an ammonium nitrate-fueled chemical explosion, and the fuel was loaded with radioisotopes. That doesn’t have much relevance to civilian power reactors.

            “Then we have the decommisioning with expensive cooling of the spent fuel for years”

            Cooling the fuel in water is cheap. It’s the reason there is so much fuel in the pools.

            “before it can be put in dry storage/shipping containers (that still remain extremely hot, and unsuitable for underground storage where intolearable heat and radioactivity would seem to be a major problem for the initial century at least,”

            The radioactivity is pretty low outside the shielding of the cask. You wouldn’t want to set up camp next to one, but a few minutes leaning against it would be a similar dose to what you might pick up on a flight. The heat coming off a cask with seven-year old spent fuel would be around 25 kw. Using convection only the heat of the air coming out the top vents might be around 165 degrees F. Deep inside, the fuel might be 600 deg. F, but it can go to 1000 deg. for extended periods without damage. And with time, the heat production falls off. Burying the casks would not be a good idea, but a large underground facility would have no trouble shedding that amount of heat into the surrounding rock.

          • Jim Young

            I believe you described the way things can work, which sounds like very much less dangerous waste can be generated, but it is not economical to reduce the existing waste, so it wouldn’t be done even if it is technically feasible.

            I’m more inclined to understand why Hyman Rickover was against civilian nuclear power, because of his mistrust in their ability to ensure that they would live up to the standards he insisted upon in the Navy programs (and that they would always be funded adequately).

            Lower echelon workers friend’s and family seem to indicate that “best practices” are not always followed. What little I hear about Hanford and WIPP, for example are not confidence enhancing. Count me out until the scuttlebutt from lower echelon workers friends and family (and a former nuclear engineer that described atrocious sounding decommissioning experiences at the Humboldt Bay plant) convinces me they are treating all the waste seriously, and actually reducing the already existing waste.

          • Jag_Levak

            “it is not economical to reduce the existing waste,”

            If by economical you mean cheap, then no it isn’t. Not right now.

            “so it wouldn’t be done even if it is technically feasible.”

            It is way premature to be reaching a conclusion like that. If any of the fast reactor teams manage to hit a competitive price range, the spent fuel could become a self-funding resource. With high burnup, a kilogram of spent fuel could produce a megawatt year of electricity. or roughly 8.8 million kilowatt hours. That’s 88 thousand dollars for each penny’s revenue per kilowatt hour. That’s a pretty comfortable margin to fit the spent fuel processing costs into. But even if we decide not to burn most of the fuel, and just extract the uranium and disperse it in the oceans, that’s not an operation that has to turn a profit or even fund itself. It only needs to be cheaper than the other disposal options for it to be worthwhile.

            “I’m more inclined to understand why Hyman Rickover was against civilian nuclear power,”

            Hyman Rickover wanted to be the father of civilian nuclear power, as he had been for the nuclear Navy. He was the one who decided Navy reactors were good enough, and he and his minions steamrolled dissenting views and put America (and by extension other countries) firmly on an inferior nuclear track. Nuclear engineers were working on an assortment of better reactors, but Rickover knew that engineers would always be trying to make improvements, and that that would be an obstacle to the rollout of any nuclear design, because everyone would be waiting for the better reactor that would always be in the works. So he not only saddled us with a reactor which was ill-suited to the job, he also set about disparaging and undercutting research efforts into better alternatives–ridiculing them as “paper reactors”.

            One of the people who got steamrolled was Alvin Weinberg–the lead inventor of the pressurized water reactor the Navy adopted. He recognized that trying to shoehorn his reactor into a civilian power role was going to lead to a host of problems and risks. He strongly advocated for another kind of reactor that would be a much better fit, and for his trouble, Milton Shaw, a protege of Rickover, bounced him out of his position as head of Oak Ridge and his molten salt reactor team was ordered to destroy their research. Many years later, Rickover would turn against nuclear power because of its many problem–all of which could possibly have been avoided if Weinberg had been allowed to continue his work, and all of which were inflicted on the world by Rickover’s arrogance.

            “because of his mistrust in their ability to ensure that they would live up to the standards he insisted upon in the Navy programs”

            It was Rickover’s naive and unwarranted assumption that his strict protocols which worked well in a regimented military setting would be adopted and scrupulously adhered to in the private sector. It should not have been a surprise when that didn’t happen.

            “Lower echelon workers friend’s and family seem to indicate that “best practices” are not always followed.”

            I remember well the expose at Peach Bottom, where worker morale was through the floor, and technicians and security guards were found sleeping on the job, playing video games, and having rubber band fights to pass the time. But a better reactor design would not have been so heavily dependent on technician vigilance in the first place.

            “Count me out until the scuttlebutt from lower echelon workers friends and family (and a former nuclear engineer that described atrocious sounding decommissioning experiences at the Humboldt Bay plant) convinces me they are treating all the waste seriously, and actually reducing the already existing waste.”

            If by ‘count you out’ you mean you aren’t going to support the development of any solutions until the solutions have already been developed and are successfully being implemented, that is certainly your prerogative, but it pretty much ensures you will be irrelevant and useless to the process of getting there. But that would still be an improvement over the attitudes of certain anti-nukes who will actively oppose and try to hamstring the development of better ways of doing nuclear power and for dealing with the legacy issues. For some people, nuclear without the problems seems to be the nightmare scenario.

          • Robert
        • Aaron Oakley
          • Realiτy022

            James “Mmmbop” Hanson???

          • Aaron Oakley

            Fake account. Reported.

          • Realiτy022

            This is a real account Aaron!

          • Aaron Oakley

            There is a real Disqus user called Reality022. The above account uses the exact same image with the “t” in the username substituted for the Greek letter tau (τ). That stinks of fakery. Reported.

          • Realiτy022

            Different image Aaron!!! I have a penis growing out of my hat.

            I had no idea that there was a person with a similar image. Thanks for letting me know!!!!!

            Are you arguing with some WooOOoohamster about Konspiraceaz?? Black helicopters and DOE stolen magnetic motorz???

          • Aaron Oakley

            “Different image Aaron!!! I have a penis growing out of my hat.”

            Note the very high similarity with the image used by the real reality022:

            https://disqus.com/by/reality022/

            “Thanks for letting me know!!!!!”

            Since you are attempting to masquerade as the real reality022, I’m sure you already knew that. I’m also sure you know how unethical and dishonest your behavior is.

          • Realiτy022

            What a coincidence!!!!!

            You look exactly like this Disqus user: https://disqus.com/by/disqus_UmLBL5l8pj/

            And you have the same last name. I ought to report you!!!!

      • Sam Gilman

        If renewables are a safer bet, why have German emissions failed to fall?

        • Falsum

          I’m not sure where you’ve heard that German emissions aren’t falling, but it’s not true. This graph shows a definite downward trend: http://www.climatechangenews.com/files/2016/03/germany-emissions-e1457969351518.png

          • Sam Gilman

            Not since 2009. They’ve essentially flatlined. The originally sharp fall was just the closing of GDR industry. Your own chart shows how the target in reductions looks pretty impossible now.

          • Falsum

            2009 is a cherry-picked data point. Emissions that year were unusually low, which explains why they are slightly lower than this year. Other than that, German’s emissions have continued to decline. Look at the graph I posted.

          • Sam Gilman

            I am looking at it. Your graph stops in 2015. Emissions rose again in 2016.

            This is a serious problem. At least, it is if you take climate change seriously.

            Do you?

          • Kem Patrick

            They rose in 2016 you claim… Prove it… You are purposefully ignoring the TREND…. You are a very accomplished liar.

          • Sam Gilman

            OK Kem, you’ve accused me of lying.
            That means you are claiming emissions didn’t rise in 2016.

            Let’s see if you’re telling the truth.

            https://www.cleanenergywire.org/news/rising-emissions-threaten-climate-goals-less-interest-e-cars/climate-targets-germany-almost-out-reach

            Germany’s greenhouse gas emissions rose to 906 million tonnes in 2016 (from 902 million tonnes in 2015), making it unlikely that the country will reach its 2020 emission reduction target, according to preliminary data by the Federal Environment Agency (UBA), reports Michael Bauchmüller in Süddeutsche Zeitung (SZ).

            Any chance of you apologising?

          • Kem Patrick

            The trend did not rise, don’t nit pick one year.

          • Sam Gilman

            I didn’t say the trend was rising, I said it’s basically been flat.

            Asking for the full series rather than one with data missing isn’t nitpicking. It’s the opposite of cherry picking.

            Aren’t you worried that Germany is going to miss its emissions targets?

          • Kem Patrick

            You wrote, > (“I didn’t say the trend was rising, I said it’s basically been flat.”)…. Yep; that is what you say but you are wrong and I am not going to waste my time arguing with you and no I am not worried about Germany missing their target…. The targets for all countries are not near strict enough, I worry about the dying ocean coral reefs..

          • Sam Gilman

            “no I am not worried about Germany missing their target”

            Because you don’t care or because you think they somehow will?

          • Kem Patrick

            Nope, because I don’t believe it matters anymore. I worry about much more serious issues.

            You for example stupidly don’t worry about nuclear reactors or spent fuel rods melting down due to an earthquake or some other disaster, or a human error, or war or a terrorist attack. Why don’t you? Do you care that the ocean’s tropical coral reefs are all dying? If not why not?

            Your main purpose in life is to tell lies about how safe nuclear power is…. Knock yourself out you over educated idiot.

          • Sam Gilman

            So you don’t think climate change and ocean acidification matter?

            Germany’s meant to be a model for decarbonisation. If there are problems in Germany, then there are problems for the renewables-only model.

            Again and again, the anti-nuclear movement disrupt the conversation about climate change. Few are as open as you in dismissing the seriousness of it, though.

          • Kem Patrick

            You ask me this stupid question, > (“So you don’t think climate change and ocean acidification matter?”).

            That is the same type of crap you try to pull on Robert…. Where have I ever said I’m not concerned with ocean acidification or climate change due to global warming? No place and you know it but try to discredit me with a dishonest comment like that…. You are a liar by that and by omission Sam…. Stuff it.

          • Sam Gilman

            Let me take you through this slowly.

            Climate change and acidification are caused primarily by CO2 emissions from burning fossil fuels.

            Our time frame to act to decarbonise is short before the consequences become very serious.

            The claim made by anti-nuclearists is that we can decarbonise using only renewables.

            Germany is held up as a model of how to decarbonise using only renewables. It’s a kind of test case.

            Germany’s renewables expansion is failing to cut German emissions.

            Therefore there need to be questions about whether the German model is a good path. This is particularly the case where there have been critiques in the literature of a renewables only-path driven by intermittents, and things like negative pricing reflect problems highlighted by analysts.

            If the German approach doesn’t work or works way too slowly, the anti-nuclear movement has a problem, as well as the planet.

          • Kem Patrick

            One more reply…. You do not have to take it to me slowly Sammy…. Read all of my posted comments…. I know what caused AGW.

            I also know splitting atoms is much cleaner than burning coal and know it is just as stupid a mistake as burning coal and there are far better alternatives starting with geo-thermal.

            Now rave your butt off.

          • Sam Gilman

            I live in a country with lots of geothermal. It’s also a place with a modern industrial economy. Immediately reachable is iirc just over 1% of current electricity demand. Technological innovation might get that to 15%,(all Geothermal Research Society of Japan figures) but it would threaten the tourist industry.

            Climate change isn’t just a thing to pose about. It’s something to try and limit as much as possible.

    • robwheeler

      Investing in nuclear power is way more expensive than investing in renewables instead and takes much longer to bring facilities on line. When you factor in the cost of dealing with nuclear wastes over eons, as well as the risks of environmental contamination it is clear that no more nuclear plants should be built. If we had invested in renewables instead of nuclear a half a century ago and since we would already be well on our way towards transitioning to a fully renewable energy economy.

      Rob Wheeler

      • Joris75

        China and India have only recently – about a decade ago – embarked on vast nuclear power expansions. China alone intends to build a thousand nuclear power plants this century. India is making progress too, but at a slower pace.
        http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/cabinet-clears-proposal-to-build-10-nuclear-power-plants/articleshow/58725625.cms

        If China and India had been able to obtain technological support and financing earlier in their development, they would not have had to build their coal fleets, and co2 emissions would be much less today.

        Historical antinuclearism as captured in the CDM exclusion of nuclear power has done tremendous damage to human health and the environment. I would urge all of us to get our heads around this and put an end to this madness as soon as possible. Don’t let antinuclearism continue to destroy our common future!

        • robwheeler

          Joris, do an honest full life cycle assessment comparing renewables like wind and solar with nuclear and you will see that they are much better environmentally than nuclear in almost all categories. Since around 1970 no one had to build coal or any other fossil fuel or nuclear facility any more. It was already predicted that as soon as sufficient investments were made in renewables that their price would drop dramatically – which is what has finally been proven to be true – now that the investments are finally being made.

          Rob

          • Sam Gilman

            What environmental categories are you suggesting wind and solar clearly outperform nuclear?

            Carbon? No. (IPCC)
            On the biosphere? No. (Chernobyl wildlife sanctuary: that’s after a horrendous disaster)
            Effect on human life? No. (Google deaths per TWh)
            Land use? No.
            Concrete use? No.

            If you care about climate change, you have to be evidence-based on your solutions.

            The evidence also strongly points to wind and solar only partly being able to decarbonise energy. Something else is needed in addition that is dispatchable and independent of geography. Trying to treat climate change as a winner-takes-all competition between low carbon sources is silly.

          • CB

            “Carbon? No. (IPCC)”

            Oops!

            You forgot again so soon?

            Is that because you are working for the nuclear power industry?

            “In addition to creating a soil enhancer, sustainable biochar practices can produce oil and gas byproducts that can be used as fuel, providing clean, renewable energy. When the biochar is buried in the ground as a soil enhancer, the system can become “carbon negative.””

            http://www.biochar-international.org/biochar

          • Sam Gilman

            Ooh, paranoid conspiracy theory, CB. Nutjob.

          • Aaron Oakley

            “Since around 1970 no one had to build coal or any other fossil fuel or nuclear facility any more.”

            I see no evidence for this.

            “It was already predicted that as soon as sufficient investments were
            made in renewables that their price would drop dramatically – which is
            what has finally been proven to be true”

            Prices have dropped, but this does not overcome the non-dispatchable nature of said renewables. So they either need storage (expensive, and not available on anywhere near grid-capacity), or backup (from e.g. gas).

          • Sam Gilman

            Indeed: Japan is building new coal capacity.

            Also, one of the fundamental problems of intermittent supplies is that no matter how much their cost drops, above a certain level of penetration, they will start to produce excess electricity: they can force prices to zero or even negative, meaning that additional capacity won’t pay its way. Storage only ameliorates the problem.

          • Aaron Oakley

            Yep. Last report I saw said Japan plans to build up to 45 new coal fired power stations:

            http://www.abc.net.au/news/rural/2017-01-31/japan-coal-power-plants/8224302

          • Sam Gilman
          • Starviking

            The self-serving nature of Greenpeace renders them unable to appreciate the hypocracy of their stances. What the hell did they think would happen if they pushed to keep Japan’s nuclear plants closed? Some magical green fairy would come and wave a magical wand which would make everything better?

          • robwheeler

            Actually what is happening instead as in Germany is that the utilities are just idling fossil fuel plants like coal and oil to favor renewables when it is running high. Once the renewable plants are built they are cheaper to run without the fuel costs.

          • Sam Gilman

            So why are emissions not falling? You need to grasp the problem with intermittency.

            The goal is not more renewables. The goal is decarbonisation.

          • robwheeler

            No evidence of this, just look at the number of coal plants in US being idled and the number of planned plants in China that have been canceled. This could have happened decades ago.

            Recent articles state that intermittency etc are no longer considered a problem. You have to include a huge amount of renewables – something like above 50% before it becomes a problem. And by then we will likely have all the battery storage we need with electric vehicles and solar house installations to deal with the challenges. If not there are other means of storage being developed along with broader grid connections.

          • Aaron Oakley

            “just look at the number of coal plants in US being idled and the number of planned plants in China that have been canceled”

            There is still a net increase in thermal coal since the 1970. And as I pointed out, Japan is planning more coal generating capacity.

            “This could have happened decades ago.”

            Wishful thinking?

            “Recent articles state that intermittency etc are no longer considered a problem.”

            Recent articles by whom? Allow me to link to a recent article in the scientific literature showing the unfeasibility of 100% RE scenarios:

            http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1364032117304495

            “something like above 50% before it becomes a problem.”

            Then it is still a serious problem if we want to kill CO2 emissions.

          • Sam Gilman

            “Recent articles state that intermittency etc are no longer considered a problem.”

            ???

            Really?

            You may need to tell the grid engineering community.

          • Robert

            Also:India cancels plans for huge coal power stations as solar energy prices hit record low

            http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/india-solar-power-electricity-cancels-coal-fired-power-stations-record-low-a7751916.html

          • Joris75

            I agree that the current price of renewables was (in the ’60 and ’70’s already) correctly predicted to occur, if renewables were seriously developed.
            I do not agree (and neither does any reputable scientific institute) that full life cycle assessment shows renewables are better than nuclear. In fact, such life cycle assessments show (time and time again) that nuclear and renewables have about the same – low – life cycle costs.
            The key advantage of nuclear, though, is that it provides reliable power, 24/7, uses very little materials and land, and is not geographically constrained, whereas solar and wind power is intermittent, requiring storage, uses a lot of land (or ocean) and is very materials intensive. As long as storage is not available, shutting down nuclear power or blocking its use will harm people and the environment. And no: battery technology is not nearly cheap enough to provide the necessary storage for making solar and wind behave like reliable sources of power, and doesn’t look to be any time soon, if ever. Without cheap storage, fossil fuels will remain the backup of renewable energy and maintain the majority share of energy supply while doing it.
            Which is why opposing nuclear power is the same as supporting fossil fuels. Hence, all concerned citizens need to become active in opposition of the antinuclear movement and it’s misleading propaganda, which is a serious threat to people and nature.

        • Joris75 have you seen this? (6 mins): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R4GSDRqah-0

          It’s a cheap molten salt reactor – cheaper than coal. Hopefully about 10 years away or less. It’s cheap because it doesn’t pump the fuel. Just leaves it sitting there in vertical tubes, with noble gases bubbling out at the top. The tubes are the same stainless steel tubes used in current reactors, galvanised with zirconium to protect them from the molten salt. Its fuel is derived from existing nuclear waste.

          And this this is an estimate to decarbonise the whole atmosphere to 350ppm for a little over $1 trillion. Not only that, it explains that sulphur free petrochemicals could be made from seawater cost effectively (if they ever get round to carbon pricing). It’s based on technology being developed by the US Navy to synthesise jet fuel at sea. It assumes the cheapest nuclear power, i.e. Chinese costs. It’s from an Australian chemical engineer: http://ecomodernist.org/zero-emission-synfuel-from-seawater/

          Lots of business for petrochemical companies, so no need to keep buying off governments to deny climate change.

      • Sam Gilman

        In what way did investment in one low carbon energy source prevent investment in another? Wouldn’t, by the same token, investment in solar preclude investment in wind and hydro and geothermal?

        • robwheeler

          Dear Sam, Yes of course investments in solar will limit the amount of investments in wind, hydro, geothermal etc and the other way around too. Just the nature of government budgetary policy. However, with nuclear it is not really a low carbon energy source when you factor in its full life cycle, amount of cement, steel, fossil fuels used in construction, shipping and storage, etc. And it is also a high water user.

          Rob

          • Sam Gilman

            Nuclear is low carbon over its entire life cycle. The IPCC has established this in metaanlayses of dozens of studies.

            We really shouldn’t be having such silly conversations any more if people aspire to be evidence based.

      • Aaron Oakley

        “way more expensive than investing in renewables”

        That depends on your assumptions. Small-scale deployment of wind/solar may indeed be cheaper, but their value falls with increasing grid penetration. And so we end up with the situation in Germany where emissions have effectively flat-lined in spite of billions being poured into RE.

        • Realiτy022

          … with increasing grid penetration.

          I love it when you say that!!!! Say it again with the word “ass” instead of the word “grid”!!!!

          • Aaron Oakley

            Impostor mimicking real Disqus user @reality022:disqus.
            Flagged.

          • Thanks, Aaron.
            I would also suggest users report my impersonating troll Rene to Disqus by clicking on his avatar to bring up his profile and then clicking on the blue “…” next to the “private”. That will display the report user pop up. Click on report user to get the next pop up and one of the reasons for reporting is “impersonating” another Disqus user. Click that and you’re done.

            Then we’ll see how long it takes for Disqus to ban the lunatic Rene.

          • JoeFarmer

            Done.

          • Proponent

            Hey hey, Reality.. might wish to edit your post above a tad.

            ‘Cause..

            The reason for reporting, since he is not impersonating me.. would be; “Inappropriate profile — profile contains inappropriate images or text”.

            And that has certainly been true of Rene’s posts/comments numerous times.

          • Realiτy022

            Hey look, It’s my impersonating troll.

            Flagged.

            I encourage everyone to do the same.

          • Damo

            What kind of a sad sack loser pretends to be someone else just to defame that person?

            Gotta be a low life anti-vaxxer or lying anti-gmo troll.

          • Realiτy022

            Not me. Different image; different name.

            You inability to discern highlights the sad condition of your nervous system. You should cut-down on the aluminum!!!

          • Damo

            Yup, like I said, a loser.

          • Realiτy022

            You’re a moron.

          • Damo

            Oh, why is that? Because I called out your childish behavior? Or pointed out that you must be so desperate for a win in your argument that you have taken to impersonating someone. This all looks rather sad to anyone that isn’t dumb enough to support Wakefield.

          • Realiτy022

            For the last time, I am not impersonating anyone. I have a totally unique name and avatar.

            Maybe you should see the ophthalmologist!!!111!!!!

          • Damo

            And I am the moron?

            Good bye, idiot.

          • Damo

            He’s gone now, apparently.

  • robwheeler

    Joris and Sam,

    I doubt we are going to agree on any of this; so after this message I am going to quit writing. Actually renewables use relatively little land as compared to farming, transportation, deforestation, etc. and mixes well with agricultural uses etc for many applications such as wind and can be placed in under-utilized sites such as concentrated solar.

    With renewables hopefully the materials used can be recycled into reuse at end of life, though I would like to see articles and info on this. With nuclear once it becomes nuclear waste – it is nuclear waste. End of story. Imagine producing 1000 years of the stuff. It would start to become a pretty big bunch of piles. What humanity needs to create is a fully circular regenerative economy and ways of living on our one planet home.

    Intermittency is not a problem because we already have lots of fossil fuel plants already built everywhere that can continue to be used as needed until we can transition fully to renewables. We don’t need to build any more. The only places we might need to add new plants would be in the developing world where distributed energy makes more sense anyway. Efficiency and renewables could fairly easily fill the rest of what is and will be needed.

    • Aaron Oakley

      “With nuclear once it becomes nuclear waste – it is nuclear waste. End of story. Imagine producing 1000 years of the stuff.”

      Spent fuel is a political problem –thanks to fear mongering environmentalists, not a scientific one.

      “It would start to become a pretty big bunch of piles.”

      Actually, volumes of spent fuel are tiny compared to the amount of energy produced.

      “What humanity needs to create is a fully circular regenerative economy and ways of living on our one planet home.”

      We can’t power our lives with wishful thinking. Reality is not optional.

      “until we can transition fully to renewables.”

      Definitely wishful thinking.

      http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1364032117304495

      • Aluminati

        Hmm. I don’t know about that Aaron. A graphene photocell coupled with plasmonic wave guides can achieve a pretty high Fermi velocity.

        Graphene plasmonics
        http://www.nature.com/nphoton/journal/v6/n11/full/nphoton.2012.262.html

      • Kem Patrick

        The spent fuel rods stored in water at nuclear power plants are more dangerous if there is a meltdown than a meltdown with a reactor core.

    • Sam Gilman

      Hi Rob,

      You say

      Intermittency is not a problem because we already have lots of fossil fuel plants already built everywhere that can continue to be used as needed until we can transition fully to renewables.

      I think the source of disagreement here is that I think the target is a reduction in carbon emissions as fast as possible, whereas as you think it’s changing all our energy sources to renewables as fast as possible. You might benefit from reading more about climate change (and ocean acidification) and the scale of how bad it could be. It seems you lack a sense of urgency about it.

      There is no scientific reason for having “renewables” as the end goal. Some renewables have environmental challenges, such as with a large expansion of hydro. Some face sustainability, land and emissions issues on any substantial scale, such as biomass. And some face serious constraints as to how much we can use them on a grid, such as wind and solar. These are all “renewable” sources, but they are actually a diverse bunch of resources with a diverse impact on the environment and diverse behaviours as energy sources.

      That isn’t to say that some or even all of the energy sources labelled as renewables can play a role in decarbonisation, but that this label of “renewable” is incredibly misleading because it effectively leads people such as yourself to treat them as all identical and all as having all the best traits of each and none of the downsides.

      Regarding nuclear waste: I fear you are raising questions as if they don’t have good answers when they do. You also, regretfully, chose not to respond to the evidence provided about environmental damage caused now by the production of renewables that far outstrips that caused by nuclear waster now.

      • Anaussieinswitzerland

        “Regarding nuclear waste: I fear you are raising questions as if they don’t have good answers when they do”

        LOL, Sam.

        I always enjoy reading your comments and agree with you on the vast majority of the issues I see you posting on but this is simply not true.
        The volume of waste created by nuclear power plants and the length of time that waste needs to be safely stored make it completely untenable as a long term contributor to humanity’s energy requirements.

        • Kem Patrick

          Thank you…. Very well said.

        • Sam Gilman

          OK, so the proposition is that the volume of waste produced from nuclear is unmanageable.

          Presumably this is because there are other options that produce less toxic waste per KWh generated. Have you done the calculations for that?

          The thing is, I’m not sure we even know how much toxic waste is produced by, say the solar industry. I found this:

          The Associated Press compiled a list of 41 solar makers in the state, which included the top companies based on market data, and startups. In response to an AP records request, the California Department of Toxic Substances Control provided data that showed 17 of them reported waste, while the remaining did not.

          The same level of federal data does not exist.

          The state records show the 17 companies, which had 44 manufacturing facilities in California, produced 46.5 million pounds of sludge and contaminated water from 2007 through the first half of 2011. Roughly 97 per cent of it was taken to hazardous waste facilities throughout the state, but more than 1.4 million pounds were transported to nine other states: Arkansas, Minnesota, Nebraska, Rhode Island, Nevada, Washington, Utah, New Mexico and Arizona.

          45 million pounds is 20,000 tonnes. Over a four 1/2 year period that would be 4,400 tonnes annually.

          That’s for 17/41 companies for the solar industry in one country for an energy source that produced less than 1% of world electricity over that period. Let’s be generous and imagine that the California industry is the whole world, and solar produced 1%.

          4,400 * 41/17 = 10,600 tonnes annually for 1%. This stuff is, as far as I understand, largely permanently toxic.

          Nuclear provides 10%. Annual waste is: on various estimates about 45,000 tonnes of high level waste, including spent fuel. This is ignoring the potential for reprocessing and reducing that waste.

          So even on a preposterously generous to solar estimate, nuclear appears to produce less toxic waste than solar, and as it stands, it is disposed of more safely, with massively better accountability.

          That’s a simple look at the figures I could find. Do you have different ones?

          • Anaussieinswitzerland

            “Annual waste is: on various estimates about 45,000 tonnes of high level waste, including spent fuel. This is ignoring the potential for reprocessing and reducing that waste.”

            Sam, I bow to your vastly greater knowledge of the nuclear industry.

            The problem is that the maths just don’t work for nuclear.

            Let’s work on 50% of the numbers you quote.

            That means that each year humanity needs to safely store over 20,000 tonnes of material.
            Multiply that by the number of years before the waste from year one returns to the level of radioactivity as the original ore (300,000 years or so?) and how much physical space is required to store 6 billion tonnes of waste?

          • Sam Gilman

            You’ve somehow managed to miss the point: how does this compare with the permanently toxic material from an industry you insist is fundamentally superior?

            Are you arguing that low carbon energy in general is unsustainable and we shouldn’t bother?

          • Anaussieinswitzerland

            A by-product of the building of any power generation facility is waste.
            That is true of coal, gas, solar, wind, hydro, nuclear and everything else.

            The difference with solar, wind and hydro is that after the initial build there is essentially zero pollution created as a result of the plant’s operation.

            That is the point Sam.
            Try as you like you cannot avoid the fact that nuclear plants produce waste as result of their operation which must be stored for hundreds of thousands of years in order to avoid serious environmental damage.

          • Sam Gilman

            Environmental damage?

            Do give a source for that.

          • Anaussieinswitzerland

            Come on, Sam.
            Are you now going to suggest that nuclear waste can be released into the environment without causing environmental damage?

            Seriously?

            If that is the case why are we worried about million year storage facilities?
            Why not just leave it at the back of the council tip with a sign saying “don’t touch”?

          • Sam Gilman

            Yes, actually, if it was just left there, the damage to the environment and human health would be rather more limited than, say, pouring the byproducts of the solar industry over the ground and into rivers which would be your equivalent in this example. We see this now with the contrast between the mess of Chernobyl, a thriving wildlife sanctuary (and an acknowledged disaster), and stages in the production of solar and other “green tech” in China, as part of normal “non-disaster” processes. If your argument is that we should stop building solar or wind or batteries, then say it. If it isn’t, then stop making the weaker argument against nuclear.

            The volume of material – which was your original objection – is far less year on year for the energy yield. It is also more recyclable, and requires less energy to dispose of.

            Until you apply to the same standards to all energy forms, you are wide open to the charge of bias.

          • Anaussieinswitzerland

            Google “children of Chernobyl”.

            You should be ashamed of that post. It is beneath you.

          • Sam Gilman

            My ches-playing pigeon friend, you’ve moved from environment to human health, and misrepresented Chernobyl as an example of what happens with waste. Nuclear waste done badly won’t harm biodiversity as much as the waste from solar done as it is now. Chernobyl is an example of what’s even worse than waste. No one is suggesting we deliberately give children waste to drink.

            If you want to change focus and look at health going into the future, I’m afraid you don’t have a leg to stand on, as I suspect you know. The ExternE project looks 100,000 years into the future, and includes waste disposal of nuclear.

            There, nuclear is plainly less lethal than wind.

            https://www.withouthotair.com/c24/page_168.shtml

            So are you saying we should abandon solar, wind and nuclear? Because that is the implication of your argument if it is applied equally to all sources of energy.

            But when I ask you to apply your arguments equally, you point-blank refuse.

            That there is your anti-nuclear ideology crippling your thinking. See?

          • Anaussieinswitzerland

            Sam, you continue to conflate toxicity with radioactive.

            You are being ridiculous and the only person who can’t see this appears to be you.

          • Sam Gilman

            I’m looking at this comparatively, whereas you implicitly frame it as nuclear energy or no energy at all. Your implicit assumption is what is ridiculous. I’ve asked you again and again “compared to what”.

            I am therefore defining the outcomes so as to make the comparison. Environmental impact is biodiversity. Health impact – deaths are a fair proxy measure for health issues.

            if you have alternative ways of operationalising these concepts, let people know. But you are edging rather close to the religious/magical view of radiation in which one of two apparently identical outcomes becomes somehow more wicked if it involves radiation. And you do insist you’re not irrational or weird about this topic.

          • Anaussieinswitzerland

            “I’m looking at this comparatively, whereas you implicitly frame it as nuclear energy or no energy at all.”

            Sam, there are nuclear power currently producing power and that power is less polluting in the short term than producing the same power from fossil fuels.

            My point is and always has been that an insurmountable reason nuclear power cannot form part of the long term solution for production of the world’s energy needs is the requirement to store the waste from those plants for hundreds of thousands of years in facilities like Yucca.

            The sheer volume of waste makes the task impossible.

            Your attempts to paint this as an equivalent issue with the disposal of waste from solar panel production are simply not valid and your, quite frankly, bizarre position that radioactive waste is no more hazardous to the environment and human health than other industrial by-products are simple straw man arguments designed to divert away from the this point.

            I ask you again, how many cubic metres of million year secure storage do you need in order to house the waste from nuclear power by the time the first batch has returned to the same radioactive state as the original ore?

            Why are you so frightened of this question?

          • Sam Gilman

            Why isn’t comparing one form of energy with another on the same measures valid?

            Your view is that 300,000 years worth of nuclear waste is too much to storeand so it should not be use daily even for a hundred years. To get a handle on how much is too much on this bizarre view, I ask you how much is the same figure for solar’s toxic waste, which you accept as manageable.

            I admit, I’m asking the question rhetorically because your view is silly. I’m trying to get you to see that.

            I admit I’m not very good at getting you to see the silliness.

          • Anaussieinswitzerland

            Sam, why do you insist on misrepresenting my position.

            I have pointed out that nuclear is not a long term solution. I do not appreciate you putting words in my mouth.

            Why are you so scared of the question I asked you that you have spent an entire day clown dancing around it?

          • Sam Gilman

            I’m not misrepresenting you. You appear to have forgotten what you wrote, or you made a mistake in your maths:

            That means that each year humanity needs to safely store over 20,000 tonnes of material.
            Multiply that by the number of years before the waste from year one returns to the level of radioactivity as the original ore (300,000 years or so?) and how much physical space is required to store 6 billion tonnes of waste?

            That’s you asking me to calculate 300,000 years worth of waste from nuclear power, a length of time I have never ever suggested as necessary, and which you also seem now to be disowning.

            (By the way, here is you doing the same calculation for solar:

            [tumbleweed]

            I’m not clowndancing. I have my feet firmly on the ground here.

          • Anaussieinswitzerland

            “Your view is that 300,000 years worth of nuclear waste is too much to storeand so it should not be use daily even for a hundred years.”

            Absolute misrepresentation.

            Your increasingly desperate attempts to avoid the question are becoming embarrassing.

            How many Yucca Mountain style facilities would be required to store the spent fuel and highly radioactive waste from nuclear power stations if they remain a permanent part of the energy supply mix?

          • Sam Gilman

            No, it is absolutely your position as you stated it.

            Try state it again in different words. It appears you misspoke.

          • Sam Gilman

            Perhaps the problem is you think I am arguing for current nuclear technology to be made a permanent part of energy generation for ever.

            I have never said that. I would not look beyond the lifetime of current new build. The task for me is addressing climate change, so what we do now is what is important, not what we do in, say, 500 years time when who knows what improvements and breakthroughs have been made.

            The problem with anti-nuclearism is that it corrupts and distorts the debate on climate change mitigation. As I’ve said before, the issue is not promoting nuclear. It’s recognising that something very like nuclear is needed: low carbon, scalable, dispatchable, independent of geography, sustainable in the short to medium term at least.

            Surely it’s better to come up with something else that can play the same role but better, rather than stand in denial of the problem with renewables-only approaches.

          • Anaussieinswitzerland

            Now we are getting somewhere.

            It appears that our only significant area of disagreement is the time frame for the end of nuclear as part of the mix.

            I would argue that new nuclear is not necessary but current facilities should remain open until the end of their design life. This gives time to further develop the technology while stimulating development by introducing a time limit on nuclear power.
            You would argue that this is untenable given existing technological problems with alternatives and that nuclear should not be phased out until true renewables are able to take over the load.

            If this is a correct summation we can get back to talking about the issue like grown ups.

          • Sam Gilman

            You’ve got the immediate time frame kind of right. But beyond that, it’s not quite my position: I don’t think “renewables” should be a goal. Sustainability should be, and that can be seen in the short, medium and long terms, especially as we haven’t yet achieved proper long-term sustainable solutions.

            The immediate and strong priority is carbon emissions. For that, because there is simply nothing else like it, amongst other things we clearly need to build more nuclear now – globally, that is, if we want to make a substantial mitigation impact. That’s pretty much what the IEA thinks too, and what seems to be explicitly or implicitly found in the literature that is not a direct extension of the anti-nuclear movement (the latter consisting of some very dodgy bits of “research”). Historical evidence also shows it’s a quick way to reduce emissions because of its behaviour on the grid. Of course we also clearly need to build wind, solar and, with care, hydro. Wind seems to roll out rather fast and I’m rather more positive about its potential, solar less so (it is also more resource intensive), but solar’s popular which eases its path. But in any case, all hands to the pump makes sense in the immediate future, rather than tying our favoured hands behind our backs for no adequate evidence-based reason. Public concern is an easier thing to change than the laws of physics.

            While we do that, we need to research new tech, and there is no contradiction between acting now with what we’ve got while researching new tech. Storage would help both nuclear and intermittents, but how the economics of a storage system will work out are not clear – well, they don’t look great for an intermittent based system, as far as I can see. Cracking hydrogen too would surely be better than placing all one’s hopes for an intermittent dominated energy system entirely on materials intensive batteries.

            But beyond the immediate time frame of what do we do now, which is the next few decades, who the hell knows what energy options will actually be available. Not much of what we have right now is sustainable for 300,000 years as done presently with today’s circumstances.

            I don’t like the term “renewables”. I have found it misleads people into all kinds of fallacies and errors, or worse, enables their prejudices:
            – people struggle to comprehend the difference between dispatchable and intermittent renewables (eg see Costa Rica’s hydro advertised with pictures of solar panels not dams)
            – people mistakenly believe they’re all low carbon (biomass)
            – people mistakenly believe they’re all thoroughly “natural” ie environmentally tolerable (would you like a list of solar waste products?)
            – people mistakenly believe they’re all sustainable (biomass at scale)
            – people mistakenly believe they are all environmentally neutral (in particular hydro, biomass, but any green tech in general)
            – people mistakenly believe they have no impact on human health (biomass, hydro, extraction for wind and solar)
            – people mistakenly believe they are free from serious waste issues (wind, solar and batteries)

            When you line nuclear up against current “renewables”, on these sorts of measures it actually does rather well in comparison. I know you don’t believe that, but when a fair comparison is done, that’s actually how it looks. Of course, that runs contrary to a lot of environmentalists’ deepest prejudices about nature and technology, which is why there is so much junk confidently promoted by people one might think as impeccable “on the science” in other areas. You can see here people who might be very fluent in climate science suddenly call conspiracy theory and lies when it comes to the mainstream science of nuclear power and radiation and health. (It helps to break the spell if you’ve been on the sharp end of their BS during a nuclear crisis. One sadly learns to check their claims against the authoritative literature for pretty much everything. It took me a couple of years before it occurred to me to check their claims about waste. False, as most everything they say.)

            So I don’t see why there’s any particular urgency to go completely “renewable”, which is kind of an arbitrary label, rather than “sustainable”. But ultimately, it can get so far in the future that it isn’t our fight, especially as we just don’t know what the situation or state of the art will be. I’ve no personal financial interest in any of these industries. But I do live on this planet, and I’d like it not to be trashed. I am more and more drawn to the idea of limiting our impact on the Earth rather than harmonising with it.

          • Kem Patrick

            Incredible Aussie… It does not matter of the facts you give them these pro nukers will tell you that you are wrong.

          • greenthinker2012

            It would be great if you actually provided some facts.
            You do know that a fact is different than an opinion don’t you Kem?

          • Kem Patrick

            And Sam doesn’t want to discuss the fire in the plutonium storage cave in New Mexico…. A fire no one wants to discuss.

          • greenthinker2012

            Just to add some clarity…
            The spent fuel will reduce its radioactivity to the same levels of the ore dug from the earth in a few hundred years.
            Your “million year” statement is off by a factor of over a thousand.

          • Anaussieinswitzerland

            “The majority of the material in spent nuclear fuel is a relatively stable form of uranium called uranium 238 (U-238). It has a half life of over four billion years, so it will be around for a long time. The next largest fraction of material is unspent uranium 235 (U-235) and plutonium fuel with half lives of 700 million years and 24 thousand years respectively. These materials are do not change substantially in character except on geological time scales. That is, they are not going away very quickly if we just wait.”
            https://www.visionofearth.org/news/does-nuclear-waste-last-millions-of-years/

          • greenthinker2012

            Funny that you did not read the next paragraph of your link which basically confirms what I said.
            I have pasted it below and highlighted the bits you should have read…

            “See our section on half life for an explanation of why the longest-lived substances are less dangerous radioactively than the short-lived. It is incredibly misleading to say that nuclear waste lasts for millions of years. Some of these materials certainly would last that long, but what is our metric for what is dangerous?

            Compare radioactivity to uranium ore

            It is impossible to ask for zero radioactivity because our world and our universe has notable low level radioactivity going on constantly. We would be comparing to a theoretical zero-radiation ideal that does not exist. A better measure of radioactivity is to compare our waste to the radioactivity of natural uranium ore dug up from the ground. After all, this exists in nature and it is the original source of our materials. Using this metric, we can estimate that in general it will take a few hundred years for our current stockpiles of used fuel to be at around the same level of activity as natural uranium ore.In short, the nuclear fuel can return to being as radioactively dangerous as natural uranium ore in few hundred years, rather than millions.”

          • Anaussieinswitzerland

            It also says this……

            “Waste can still be dangerous!
            It is important to note that waste in this form, even after having decayed to a more safe level of radioactivity, can still present notable dangers to humans. Firstly this waste would have a complex chemical profile that would make it difficult to store and/or deal with in any permanent fashion. It is possible to deal with this, but it remains a notable difficulty that should not be understated. Another important factor is that used fuel in this dense form may also have an internal gaseous pressure of many atmospheres. This could introduce difficulties in storage considering that the waste may break apart or emit gases. Keeping this contained may be an additional engineering difficulty that again should not be trivialized.”

            The reason I always link to source is so that readers can easily see the full article in context.

          • Jag_Levak

            “an insurmountable reason nuclear power cannot form part of the long term solution for production of the world’s energy needs is the requirement to store the waste from those plants for hundreds of thousands of years in facilities like Yucca.”

            The way we’ve been doing nuclear power has had a large waste profile because it has very poor fuel utilization, but there’s nothing insurmountable about developing and changing to other forms of nuclear power, and we have a number of options where waste is concerned. Over 90% of spent fuel is uranium, which can be chemically separated from spent fuel. If we ultimately don’t want to do anything with it, it can be dissolved, diluted, and put into the oceans where it will add effectively nothing to the billions of tons of uranium already there, plus the tens of thousands of tons which wash into the oceans each year. Or we could develop fast reactors and extract the remaining 95% of energy in spent fuel. Each metric ton of spent fuel could then become roughly a gigawatt-year of electricity and a ton of fission products. Out of the fission products, roughly 4/5th will need a short term sequester for a few years, and then they’ll be stable and ready to use or disperse. Some of the very long-lived fission products are actually usable or transmutable, and the remainder can be dropped down a borehole and they will reach ambient radioactivity levels in a few hundred years. We’ll also be developing the thorium fuel cycle, and the output stream will have many of the same properties. The main difference is that it will have a greater tendency to accumulate plutonium, but that can be burned in fast reactors. Or, if plutonium is extracted as it forms, it will yield high purity Pu-238, which we actually have uses for, so it isn’t really waste. In these scenarios, Yucca could provide temporary centralized storage for the few hundred years it will take to consume the spent fuel. It might be worth having more than one storage facility just to cut down on transport distances, but in terms of capacity, Yucca might already have as much as we’ll need. It just depends on how soon we can migrate to better reactors.

          • Joffan

            Interesting article I saw today on solar panel waste; Japan alone expects to have to deal with hundreds of thousands of tons of scrap solar panels every year starting around 2030 from the recent installation boom.

            http://asia.nikkei.com/Tech-Science/Tech/Japan-tries-to-chip-away-at-mountain-of-disused-solar-panels?page=1

            Of course not all of that mass is toxic, but a proportion of it certainly is, and just retrieving and handling that much waste dispersed around the community is a task which carries its own risks.

            By contrast, the far smaller amount nuclear waste is located and controlled on regulated sites, with the handling and storage planned out in advance. The hazards of that waste are not disproportionately more than any other hazard, and your insistence that the comparison is impossible is not rational.

          • Anaussieinswitzerland

            There is very little in a solar panel that is not easily recycled and there is nothing in a panel that isn’t found in many modern electronics devices.
            You would be better informed if you read more articles like this……

            “Nuclear storage crisis grows as reactor restarts continue”
            http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2017/05/28/national/nuclear-storage-crisis-grows-reactor-restarts-continue/#.WS2Md2iGM2w

          • Joffan

            As I said, only a proportion of solar panel waste is toxic, but the sheer quantity of panels is highlighted in the article as needing an industrial research effort to deal with, so a small proportion can still be more total toxicity exposure than the nuclear waste for the same amount of electricity.

            I am already very well-informed on nuclear waste, thanks; I am unlikely to learn anything from popular-press articles that always like to slide over into the dramatic.

          • Sam Gilman

            Certainly not the JT, which is at times hysterically anti-nuclear. It’s happy to carry surreal nonsense like claims that people get radiation sickness from riding the Shinkansen through Fukushima city station (Fukushima city not even being within the evacuation zone). They’re pretty low on journalistic ethics in this area.

          • Anaussieinswitzerland

            “but the sheer quantity of panels is highlighted in the article as needing an industrial research effort to deal with”

            They are just another piece of technology that requires recycling and reusing.
            If you are going to condemn solar for this you need to consider campaigning against a host of other products.

            “In Europe, the volume of WEEE (electronic and electrical waste) was estimated by the European Union at 750,000 tonnes in 2010 and could increase by 10% by 2020. Only 15% of this volume is said to be collected, resulting in losses of $500 million a year for mobile phones alone..”
            https://blog.econocom.com/en/blog/the-volume-and-cost-of-recycling-electronic-products/

            “I am already very well-informed on nuclear waste, thanks; I am unlikely to learn anything from popular-press articles that always like to slide over into the dramatic.”

            And yet you linked to a popular press article in your OP.
            Go figure.

          • Joffan

            I don’t think that the amount of waste from solar is insupportable, once effort has been spent to recover some parts. It’s a comparison; I think both solar and nuclear waste streams can be handled safely, although solar will require handling larger volumes and produce somewhat higher exposure risks.

            You haven’t figured out that nuclear power is treated as a source of dramatic hyperbole in popular press articles? That doesn’t really happen for solar.

          • Robert

            And he rather seems to miss a critical difference between waste storage and recycling….

          • Aaron Oakley

            ‘Google “children of Chernobyl”.’

            How about examining the peer-reviewed scientific literature?

          • Anaussieinswitzerland

            Yes, let’s…….

            “RESULTS: The overall rate of neural tube defects in Rivne is among the highest in Europe (22.2 per 10 000 live births). The rates of conjoined twins and teratomas also seem to be elevated. In Polissia, the overall rates of neural tube defects are even higher (27.0 vs 18.3, respectively; odds ratio: 1.46 [95% confidence interval: 1.13–1.93]), and the rates of microcephaly and microphthalmia may also be elevated.

            CONCLUSIONS: The malformation patterns observed suggest early disruptions of blastogenesis, manifesting as alterations of body axes, twinning, duplications, laterality, and midline formation. The results are sufficiently compelling to justify continuing and expanding this investigation of malformations in chronic low-dose radiation-impacted regions of Ukraine.”
            http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/125/4/e836?sso=1&sso_redirect_count=1&nfstatus=401&nftoken=00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000&nfstatusdescription=ERROR%3a+No+local+token

          • Aaron Oakley

            You do know, don’t you that and odds ratio of 1.46 with a 95% confidence interval: 1.13–1.93 is a very weak signal?

            How about a comprehensive review?

            http://www.unscear.org/unscear/en/chernobyl.html

            Conclusions
            The accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in 1986 was a tragic event for its victims, and those most affected suffered major hardship. Some of the people who dealt with the emergency lost their lives. Although those exposed as children and the emergency and recovery workers are at increased risk of radiation-induced effects, the vast majority of the population need not live in fear of serious health consequences due to the radiation from the Chernobyl accident. For the most part, they were exposed to radiation levels comparable to or a few times higher than annual levels of natural background, and future exposures continue to slowly diminish as the radionuclides decay. Lives have been seriously disrupted by the Chernobyl accident, but from the radiological point of view, generally positive prospects for the future health of most individuals should prevail.

          • Anaussieinswitzerland

            LOL

            So you were all in favour of peer reviewed, scientific literature right up to the point where it was presented to you.

            Go figure.

          • Aaron Oakley

            “So you were all in favour of peer reviewed, scientific literature right up to the point where it was presented to you.”

            Wrong. I’m still in favour of peer reviewed literature. I’m pointing out that the particular paper you cited reports a very weak signal (in terms of defects) that may or may not be due to Chernobyl.

            And I have cited the UNSCEAR report that summarizes much more literature. It’s not so useful to those who want to spread fear.

          • Joffan

            That’s quite a strange study. Chernobyl is in Kyiv Oblast, then there is another oblast (Zhytomyr) between that and Rivne Oblast. Then the selection of Polissia seems to be based on data mining. So I would disagree that the confidence intervals given can be set as narrowly as given there; selecting for outliers is not legitimate statistical analysis.

          • TheDudeofVoo

            Radioactive material is released all the time … The Monterrey Bay Aquarium sucks in seawater, passes it through the aquarium, and discharges that water back into the ocean. That seawater is contaminated with 13,000 Becquerels per cubic metre when it is discharged back into the ocean. Count the Becquerels – not the tonnes. BTW, the seawater sucked into the Monterrey Bay Aquarium is contaminated by about 2000 Bq per cubic metre, from natural 210Polonium, and about 11,000 Bq/m^3 from natural 40Potassium … nothing new, there.

          • Kem Patrick

            Any you know there is no harm whatsoever to ocean life due to that. Can you prove that is factual and true?

          • TheDudeofVoo

            What? …are you serious? Yes, I’m certain, only because the oceans have always been radioactive. Always. Totally natural.

            Radioactivity in seawater:

            14Carbon is present in ordinary seawater at about 5 milli-Becquerels per litre

            235Uranium is in seawater at 3.03 μg/l 33 mBq/l [another source 40 says mBq/l]

            Tritium 0.6 mBq/l

            87Rubidium 1,100 mBq/l

            210Polonium, 2,000 mBq/l

            40Potassium, 11,000 mBq/l

            The partial inventory of natural radionuclides in sea water in Table 1 (see page 22) amounts to 1–2 × 10 22 Bq, without including the uranium daughters or the 232 Th series nuclides.

            [10,000,000 to 20,000,000 PBq]

            Read more: http://www.waterencyclopedia.com/Po-Re/Radionuclides-in-the-Ocean.html#ixzz3k8b04cIl

            http://www.waterencyclopedia.com/Po-Re/Radionuclides-in-the-Ocean.html

          • TheDudeofVoo

            If you had a chance to be a tourist in the Dead Sea, would you swim in it? I would. The excess salt makes a tremendous buoyancy. The Dead Sea has more than 183,000 mBq/litre of radioactive material in it. ” … found in the Persian Gulf (22 Bq/kg) [22,528 mBq/litre], the Red Sea (15 Bq/kg) [15,360 mBq/litre], and the eastern Mediterranean (14.6 Bq/kg) [14,950 mBq/litre]. ”The average activity (both natural and anthropogenic) for the world’s oceans is 13.6 Bq/kg water. [13,926 mBq/litre] More than 88% of this activity is due to the naturally occurring potassium isotope 40K [12,255 mBq/litre]”.

            P. Varskog 2003 Naturally occurring radionuclides in the marine environment – an overview of current knowledge with emphasis on the North Sea area Norse Decom AS

          • greenthinker2012

            Nuclear waste could indeed be released into the environment without much environmental damage.
            If the entire nuclear plant at Fukushima and all the associated spent fuel and reactor cores were released into the oceans it would not raise the level of radioactivity enough to cause serious issues. Of course I AM NOT suggesting we do this,rather I am suggesting you put things into perspective.
            Nuclear waste is not some bogey man to be irrationally afraid of.

          • Kem Patrick

            That is without any reasonable doubt the stupidest comment posted here so far.

          • TheDudeofVoo

            From my other conversation bits, with you, Kem, it seems as though you have no concept of the natural radioactive material in the oceans (and the land, as well) that has been there before the dawn of Mankind’s atomic age.

          • Kem Patrick

            Ummm.. I know our bodies are radioactive, soil, water, everything is radioactive, bananas, lima beans and so on.

            However that type or radioactivity isn’t gonna kill us VOO DUD, the radiation in nuclear power plant reactors and spent fuel rods, DU can kill us.

            Apparently you are trying to out do Greenthinker here to win the stupidest comment prize of the year.

          • TheDudeofVoo

            So, I told you that natural, un-contaminated seawater already has about 13,000 mBq per litre of radioactivity, from just a few nuclear isotopes … Convert from the milli-Bq per litre, that’s 13 Becquerels per cubic metre of seawater. So, how many cubic metres in the worlds’ oceans? The oceans contain about 1.37 x 10^18 cubic metres of seawater.
            13 x 1.37 = 17.81 the natural radioactivity in the worlds’ oceans is about 17.81 aka 18 x 10^18 Becquerels … so the oceans contain, naturally, 18,000 Peta-Becquerels of natural radioactive material.
            Fukushima released about 30 PBq of Caesium isotopes into the environment … Chernobyl, about 170 PBq … totalling 200 PBq of Caesium isotopes (this ignores the short-lived 131Iodine and Xenons, and the nasty Sr and Pu, they are far less radioactive) … So, just considering the bulk of radioactivity (the Caesium isotopes) then those accidents increased the radioactivity of the oceans about 1% …

            So, green thinker has not posited how much of the spent fuel rods, in his thought experiment, would be distributed (dissolved) or if the fuel rods (undamaged) were just tossed into the sea (the cladding would contain a large amount of the radioactive material) so I cannot apply math to that.

            ”…uranium concentration of seawater is only about 3 parts per billion, which is about 3 milligrams of uranium per cubic meter. [1] The total volume of the oceans is about 1.37 billion cubic kilometers, so there is a total of about 4.5 billion tons of uranium in seawater.” (from Ferguson, at Stanford)

          • greenthinker2012

            Yet it is true.
            The oceans already contain billions of tons of Uranium and other radionuclides.

          • Kem Patrick

            You don’t know the difference between natural radiation and that from man made radiation.

            Yes I know there have been trace amount of Pu in an area of Africa where somehow Pu developed naturally many millions of billions of years ago so it is not necessary to raise that weak argument.

            Where does anyone find (natural) DU, cesium 137 and weapons grade plutonium? You are still in place to win the stupidest comment posted prize but there is another fool named Dude of Voo right on your tail

          • greenthinker2012

            Please explain the difference between “natural” and “man made” radiation.
            Be specific.
            Use science.

          • Kem Patrick

            Why should I waste my time trying to explain anything to you? You spout off about radioactive elements like you believe you are an expert on the subject already, you would not pay any attention to me.

            Your purpose in life is to try to downplay the dangers of nuclear power and you will say anything in that endeavor.

          • Sam Gilman

            Kem,

            Alpha, beta and gamma radiation are the same no matter the source. There is no difference in how they act depending on whether the source is “natural” or not. A dose of radiation has the same effect on what is dosed no matter the source. There is, in sum, no meaningful distinction in health between “natural” and “artificial” radiation.

            Where did you read that there was a difference? Perhaps if you produce the source, we can examine it for quality.

          • Kem Patrick

            Really Sam? __Okay, I see…. So when a nuclear reactor like three mile Island, Chernobyl, or Fukushima suffers a meltdown there is no problem.

            It was stupid to try to stop the meltdowns at those three accidents because the radioactive elements released were no more dangerous than normal radioactive elements that are everyplace on the planet.

            Have you notified the NRC to let them know about that Sam?

          • Sam Gilman

            I was responding to your specific claim that there was a material difference between “natural” and “artificial” radiation. There isn’t.

            So, if the exposure from a nuclear accident is so low as to be the same as moving from an area of lower natural background radiation to one of higher natural background radiation, we should not expect to see any ill effects. If the addition of artificial uranium to natural uranium in seawater is inconsequential to the total amount, it’s inconsequential, even if the uranium was from an “artificial” source.

            That’s the point I was responding to.

            The exposures to the general population at both TMI and Fukushima are so low that the mainstream consensus is no effects should be detected, and indeed the consensus is they have not been in the former and the latter cases.

            That is not to say that high acute doses cannot cause harm. But actually, based on what we know from the study of atom bomb victims and Chernobyl, it seems you need fairly high doses before this happens. It’s worthwhile reading the WHO and UNSCEAR reports on Chernobyl.

            Nuclear accidents can of course be very dangerous. But overall, the level of danger bears comparison with the risks to health from the production of other sorts of energy, including supposedly “green” forms. (And no one is suggesting building something as stupid as Chernobyl any more.)

          • Kem Patrick

            So when the atomic bombs were used on Japan there really wasn’t any serious issue about radiation hazards…. Wow, all those years of BS about people dying from radiation sickness in Japan.

            I always knew they were making a big fuss over nothing…. Thanks for the info Sammy. I always thought that you were just a mouthing jerk… Sorry for giving you such credit.

          • Sam Gilman

            Did I say that radiation couldn’t harm people? No, I didn’t.

            So why did you make up that I did say that?

            What is wrong with your position that you need to make things up?

          • Kem Patrick

            I didn’t say you had said radiation couldn’t harm people. Why did you make that up?

            You did say the man made radioactive elements like Pu and cesium are no different than the normal radioactive elements such as those in a banana split that do not harm us.

            Of course I do suspect for some reason that you are again being a stupid moron, a mouthy jerk and an idiot when you discuss the issue.

          • Sam Gilman

            Hi Kem,

            You say:

            “I didn’t say you had said radiation couldn’t harm people. Why did you make that up?”

            I didn’t make it up. Here’s what you said in reply to me:

            “So when the atomic bombs were used on Japan there really wasn’t any serious issue about radiation hazards…. Wow, all those years of BS about people dying from radiation sickness in Japan.”

            It would be really helpful if you could stick to one story.

            Cheers.

          • Sam Gilman

            Oh, and by the way:

            “You did say the man made radioactive elements like Pu and cesium are no different than the normal radioactive elements such as those in a banana split that do not harm us.”

            No, I didn’t say that either.

            I have the feeling that the problem is you are using concepts and words that you don’t quite understand. For example, you appear to use radiation and radioactive isotope interchangeably.

            Perhaps if you took care with how you expressed yourself on this topic, there would be less confusion.

          • greenthinker2012

            I asked because I wanted you to realize how ridiculous your claim was. There is no difference between “natural” and “manmade” radiation.
            I do have a degree in nuclear physics so I am certain I know more than you on this topic.
            It would not be a waste of your time to try and clarify your thoughts.
            My purpose for engaging with you is to bring some rationality and perspective into the discussion.
            It makes sense that you would view my comments as “downplaying” danger because you have an exaggerated irrational fear of nuclear power.
            The reality is most certainly less dangerous than your imaginings.

          • Kem Patrick

            Hey; cool it Greenthinker… Sam Gilman has already straightened me out on the subject.

            I always believed when there was an accident at a nuclear power plant and radioactive elements such as Cesium and plutonium and others were released into the air that it was a serious issue.

            I thought with ignorance, that if there was a partial or full reactor core or spent fuel rod pond meltdown it was a very serious health issue.

            I understand now that I was mistaken and the Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and Fukushima disasters were really not disasters at all, there was really nothing to be concerned about it.

            Any radiation emitted was (no different) than the radioactive elements which are in our body or in a bowl of lima beans or a banana split.

            Where did you earn your degree in nuclear physics, from reading Mad magazine?

          • greenthinker2012

            Hey Kem,
            I have no problem if, after examining the facts, someone holds a different opinion than me.
            However it does bother me when a person ignores verifiable facts and bases their opinion fear and ignorance.

            I got my degree at a regular university.
            How did you arrive at your ignorance?
            Is it natural or did you have to work at it?

          • Sam Gilman

            Again, you’ve made things up about what I’ve said, Kem.

            If you need to tell lies to keep your position, isn’t something wrong with it? If you were right, you wouldn’t need to. Surely you can see that?

            Or do you have some weird Scientology-esque notion that it’s OK to tell lies about “the enemy”, in this case, people who have committed the crime of having a different opinion to you?

          • Jag_Levak

            “You don’t know the difference between natural radiation and that from man made radiation.”

            If you could examine a pool ball mid-roll, do you think you could tell whether it was set rolling by a human or a machine? When an isotope beta decays and emits an electron, one electron is the same as another, so the only thing that varies is the energy imparted to the electron at decay. But natural and artificial isotope decay energies are mixed, and the electron loses energy along its track, so even if you could determine the exact energy at a given point, that wouldn’t tell you whether the electron originated from a natural or artificial isotope. Alpha decay, emitting a helium nucleus, is the same story. So radiation from cesium 137 is basically the same kind and energy as what you get from potassium 40 (K-40 is slightly more energetic at the point of emission). Plutonium 239 radiation is basically the same (not quite as energetic) as from natural polonium 210–which you eat pretty much any time you have ocean fish. What matters is the dose. By mass, natural polonium 210 is far more radiotoxic than plutonium 239, because it is so much more intensely radioactive.

            “Where does anyone find (natural) DU,”

            DU is a distillation of the least radioactive part of natural U. It is less radioactive than natural U.

            “weapons grade plutonium?”

            The highest weapons grade plutonium blend would be the least radioactive mix of plutonium isotopes.

          • Sam Gilman

            It appears what he means by “natural” radiation is naturally occurring radioactive isotopes. That clarification doesn’t help his argument as far as I can see, though.

          • Jag_Levak

            Well, all the isotopes in DU are naturally occurring. I suspect he doesn’t actually have a coherent or definable meaning in mind.

          • Sam Gilman

            Also, could you give a reference that says the waste from the solar industry ceases even though solar panels will be on a constant pattern of replacement?

            Thanks in advance for your well-sourced reply.

          • Anaussieinswitzerland

            “As with any industrial product there is an environmental impact associated with solar Photovoltaic panels. The main areas of potential concern are:

            The energy required to produce them, particularly the photovoltaic cells
            What happens to them at the end of their lifetime
            Toxic and other potentially harmful materials used or created in the production of PV panels/cells
            However, it is important to take these issues in context. All electronic equipment can cause these concerns, and whereas many electrical goods are only designed to last for a couple of years, PV panels are expected to last for at least 30 years (here at CAT we have some that are 15 years old and still functioning well). Furthermore, PV panels are used in place of other sources of electricity which have a much greater environmental impact per unit of electricity generated.”
            http://info.cat.org.uk/questions/pv/what-environmental-impact-photovoltaic-pv-solar-panels/

          • Sam Gilman

            Again, you don’t appear to grasp the question: how does it compare per unit of electricity produced with other sources?

          • Anaussieinswitzerland

            Sam, this a fabulous attempted pirouette but the point you still haven’t addressed is the simple mathematics of nuclear waste storage.

            So far you haven’t disputed the 6 billion tonne number I used or provided an answer to the question of how much space is required to keep this safely locked away for 300,000 years.

          • Sam Gilman

            Again, you’re missing the point: How much space is required for the same amount of permanently toxic waste from, say, solar? Or, the batteries that will magically make solar grid penetration completely unproblematic?

            Your argument – and you were very confident about this at the beginning (“LOL”), perhaps rather less now – rests on things like this volume being notably smaller than that from nuclear.

            At the moment, it doesn’t seem like it to me. You haven’t actually managed to give any figures on this. Your point about solar panels not creating waste once they’re built misses the point: they’ll need rebuilding and replacing on a regular basis.

            I’m not against solar. But you are against nuclear. I don’t need to make a case that nuclear waste is better than solar waste. On the other hand, you need to make a case that solar waste is significantly less of a problem than nuclear waste. You haven’t done that.

            Perhaps a comparative study from the literature?

          • Anaussieinswitzerland

            No, Sam.

            You need to demonstrate that storage of billions of tonnes of nuclear waste is possible.

            How much room under how many mountains?

            All energy production is problematic to some degree. Nuclear energy is not problematic, it is completely unworkable as part of the long term solution.

          • TheDudeofVoo

            Most of the “billions of tonnes” of so-called “nuclear waste” are so low, in terms of actual radioactivity, that they shouldn’t’ be classified as such. See, anything that comes from a “nuclear” facility that is even a tiny bit radioactive, is classified as “nuclear waste” but natural Earf items, such as Uranium, Thorium, Potassium that are discovered, outside of “nuclear facilities” are classified as “NORM” and dealt with in a rational fashion; as opposed to the irrational statement regarding “Nuclear Waste”.

          • Kem Patrick

            Right and the major thing is to SAFELY store it for thousands of years.

            It has been well established it is not possible to safely store it for 60 years.

          • Robert

            And the proposed budget cuts back on the funding for Hanford…….

          • Joffan

            Hanford is a weapons-production mess. It’s not relevant to a discussion on nuclear power.

          • Robert

            It demonstrates that there is not a serious concern for being accountable.

          • Joffan

            Hanford demonstrates muddled short-term thinking and poor delivery from government on past military issues. It doesn’t say anything about current regulation of civilian nuclear power, which is very stringent, including for waste control.

          • Joffan

            It’s been well-established that even temporary storage in casks is good for 100 years. It’s also well established from examination of the ancient natural nuclear reactor at Oklo that putting nuclear waste products into rock is very safe, with very little transport by groundwater even in wet porous.rock, representing a straightforward permanent disposal option.

          • Kem Patrick

            Well I hate to burst your sleeping bubble Joffan but you really shoudl wake up to the truth and facts about safely storing of HIGHLY RADIOACTIVE nuclear waste during the past 67 years.

            Here are two examples and in Trump’s budget he has cut millions from the Hanford storage facility which has been found to be a unsafe disaster.

            http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-nuclear-environment-idUSKBN18M2OP

            A quote from the article, > quote > (“The reluctance of U.S. federal regulators to require operators of nuclear reactors to spend $5 billion to enhance the security of spent fuel rods stored underground threatens the country with a potential catastrophe, scientists warned”). < Unquote.

            http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-nuclear-waste-accident-20140824-story.html

            The 2014 accident at the only military weapons grade nuclear waste dump at Carlsbad, New Mexico in an underground salt mine sent a plume of radioactive plutoneum into the atmosphere.

            The cause of the fire is still unknown. It was shut down for years and not known if it has been put back into service yet.

            Would you like to have at leat a thousand more examples of how un "SAFE" radioactive nuclear waste has been un SAFELY stored during the past 67 years?

            There have been far more than just a 1,000 mishaps so far in the US…. The total number globally is not knnown.

          • Joffan

            All that very difficult Hanford waste is from weapons processing, not from nuclear power generation. The waste stored at WIPP is also from military research projects.

            The main difference is that weapons processing requires a lot of chemical processing of material after it has been through the reactor, and generates waste that is both radioactive and chemically toxic/corrosive.

            Power generation produces an inert mineral, which has a steadily-declining level of radioactivity.

          • Kem Patrick

            I never knew the Nuclear Regulatory Commission was anti-nuclear… And you are saying the nuclear waste accidents didn’t happen? How many more do you wish to have listed until you shut it off.

            There have been over a thousand incidents and accidents with stored nuclear waste and your denials won’t alter the truth or the facts.

          • Joffan

            The Union of Concerned Scientists is anti-nuclear. They raised an issue over earthquakes, the NRC investigated and found it was not a problem, and in that article the UCS are whining about it.

            To keep the discussion practical, why don’t you just put up the three incidents you consider most problematic, and we can discuss those. I’ll give you a pass on wrongly raising Hanford already, you can pick three more.

          • Kem Patrick

            I see the light now Joffan; I see,,, I see,,, thank you,,, oh Lord thank you Joffan.

            The accident at the nuclear waste site in New Mexico never happened… The accidents at Hanover never happened…. The other 1,000 + nuclear waste accidents never happened.

            I understand now….. I see it… Thank you so much for your incredible educational information Joffan… You are incredible.

          • Joffan

            Well, sarcasm is not a useful debate tactic either.

            Perhaps you have reviewed your “over a thousand incidents” and not found any that will stand up to debate?

            Once again, for clarity: Hanford: not nuclear power. WIPP: not nuclear power.

          • Kem Patrick

            You are not debating…You are just spewing out the regular pro nuclear patented bull shut.

          • Joffan

            So, you still haven’t picked out those three defensible incidents yet? The ball is in your court.

          • TheDudeofVoo

            Maybe you should look at the EPA’s release of muck from the mine in Colorado. Accidents happen, people die. For all the hype, far fewer people have died from those “nuclear” accidents, compared to other accidents that are common in life… Consider Bhopal, India …

          • Kem Patrick

            You have the figures of that don’t you Voo Dud? You know exactly how many people developed cancer from radiation from nuclear accidents too don’t you?

          • TheDudeofVoo

            ”The thyroids from 93 autopsies, performed on children, and young adults younger than age 40 years, … occult papillary carcinoma (OPC), giving a prevalence rate of 14%. The youngest affected patient was a boy aged 18 years. The prevalence rate of individuals between age 18 and 40 years was 27%. The rate appears to be rather constant in adults, although there may be a slight rise in middle age.”

            ”…100 papillary carcinomas from the whole country, there were six patients younger than age 21 years and three of them were younger than age 16 years (unpublished observation).” 6% of kids, age 21 or less

            ”In most of these studies, no correlation was found between the prevalence rate of OPC and the age of the patients. The series have not, however, included almost any children and only few young adults.”

            Franssila, Kaarle O., and H. Rubén Harach 1986. “Occult papillary carcinoma of the thyroid in children and young adults: A systemic autopsy study in Finland.” Cancer

            ”Thyroid glands from autopsies on 138 adults, ages 20 to 40 years, with no known clinical or laboratory evidence of thyroid disease, were serially sectioned at 2 mm intervals and microscopically examined for occult thyroid disease and anatomic variations. Occult papillary carcinoma was found in 3% of the glands, …”

            Komorowski, Richard A., and Gerald A. Hanson 1988. “Occult thyroid pathology in the young adult: an autopsy study of 138 patients without clinical thyroid disease.” Human pathology

          • Kem Patrick

            You wrote, > (“There’s nothing in the article you linked apart from an opinion by an anti-nuclear group,”).

            Which one of (*the 2*) articles I linked are you referring to?

          • Joffan

            The Reuters piece with UCS trying to keep alive a studied and dismissed concern. As I said, WIPP is military material disposal. I could discuss that incident but it would be a distraction from the main topic.

          • Joffan

            Incidentally, the cause of the fire at WIPP is well-known.

          • Kem Patrick

            Your argument is childish… The article says it is still unknown. The primary point is it happened and a perfect example of how storage of radioactive nuclear waste is not safely done.. Your answer with that lame blat.

          • Joffan

            It’s a 2014 article. You were the one who said it “still unknown”, but you were wrong – was that childish of you?

            Actually WIPP is an example of safe storage. The minor fire had no health impact.

          • Kem Patrick

            It was closed for over a year….. Why it is childish of you is because there was a serious accident there and you nit pick about my comment that the cause of the fire is still not known…. I have yet to read anything that tells what the cause was except to hear you say the cause is well known. What was it? you have a reference to back up your claim?

            I replied because you had replied to me to inform me that storage of nuclear waste is perfectly safe and added the dry cask storage method for spent fuel rods.

            Of course few spent fuel rods have ever been put in dry cask storage, they are mostly in tanks of water.

            Those located along one of the most dangerous earthquake fault lines in the world are catastrophic accidents waiting for another magnitude 8 or 9 quake to hit that area and there are thousands of them sitting there on or very near the New Madrid earthquake fault line. .

          • Joffan

            The cause of the incident at WIPP was use of an organic, instead of an inorganic, absorbent in a drum with sludgy materials that required some continuing chemical stabilization. And it’s still military waste, and still had zero health impact.

            Thousands of spent fuel assemblies are in dry cask storage. There are a number of closed nuclear power stations where their entire used fuel inventory is sitting in dry casks on a rather small patch of land. For example map coordinates 46.042N 122.885W Even a huge earthquake would have no impact on these casks, nor on the massively strong spent fuel pools.

          • Kem Patrick

            So you say…You lie though. Less than 10% of spent fuel rods are in dry casks. Most are in water tanks.

          • Joffan

            Really, Kem, you need to take a second look at wherever you’re getting these mistaken impressions from, and perhaps dial back the hostility a bit.

            There’s no hurry to take spent fuel out of the pools at operating reactors, especially since the NRC makes yet another expensive hurdle out of a setting up a spent fuel storage pad. But equally there’s no doubt that a lot of spent fuel is in casks. The percentages are immaterial; both storage methods are very safe.

          • Kem Patrick

            Do you believe sensible honest people believe you?

          • Joffan

            Do you believe yourself to be sensible and honest? Do you feel any sense of chagrin at the mistake you just made about the WIPP incident? Are you surprised at your own inability to find a few incidents concerning nuclear power waste that support your doom-laden preconceptions?

          • TheDudeofVoo

            Yes, I believe Joffan, with regards to this nuclear stuff.

          • Kem Patrick

            Hi Joffan; spent fuel rods are (just one) type of radioactive waste…. Read the article I liked and find they aren’t being safely stored.

          • What’s unworkable about this? (6 mins) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R4GSDRqah-0

          • Sam Gilman

            I’m trying to get a grip on what you see as too much. The immediate issue is tackling climate change over the next hundred years.

            By the way, since you refuse to apply your arguments equally, here’s the problem with your six billion figure. I was hoping you’d discover it for yourself. If you plug in the same figures for the issue of waste for permanently toxic material, you get an infinite amount of waste to deal with. Reductio ad absurdum.

            How would you tackle the immediate threat of global warming? I would be both nuclear and solar and wind and a few ther things. Applying your arguments equally, you would build neither nuclear nor solar, and from another comment about the impact on human health, you would also not build wind.

            What other tech is left available for you?

          • Kem Patrick

            Another very serious issue Sam and his friends ignore is the fact that here in the US there are more than a dozen nuclear reactors and spent fuel rod ponds located on or near one of the most dangerous earthquake fault lines on the planet, the New Madrid earthquake fault line which is overdue another strong earthquake.

          • Best

            Diablo Canyon comes to mind in California. I wonder too about the effect of rising seas. A higher more radioactive ocean would only be entertaining in a SciFi flick.

          • Kem Patrick

            Then there is the damage of mining the uranium and shipping it and then making the uranium pellets used in the fuel rods.

          • Kem I got a Disqus email with a comment from you re Brise Norton – thanks. I’m glad to hear you were well treated in Blighty back then.
            I think I misled you about the hot liquid. Molten salt just enables heavy metals – actinides such as U and Pu – to fission while suspended in a liquid. The two big advantages of that over solid fuel are 1. the gaseous fission products (xenon and krypton) can simply bubble out, removing the need for high pressure operation. 2. nearly all the other fission products form chemically stable compounds instead of being in a form that can carry in the air if accidentally released.

            As I understand it, any reactor that *destroys* (transmutes) all its waste does so because it is a ‘fast reactor’. That means its neutrons are allowed to travel at the speed they’re naturally emitted from each fission. i.e. they’re not moderated. That means Pu and all other actinides end up getting transmuted and then at some point fissioned. So only fission products remain at the end, and these decay away after 300 years.

            This 6 min Moltex video explains it more nicely, if you can forgive the sales pitch:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R4GSDRqah-0
            My analogy about the horse was re nuclear. Yes it has got some nasty stuff going on. Techies have been working on ways to minimise the hazards of that nasty stuff since the 50s. The amount of energy needed to draw down CO2 to 350ppm is unimaginably gargantuan. If it could be done safely using ocean fertilisation I’d be in favour of that too.
            But I fear that the industrial complex needed to draw down the last 50 years’ emissions with renewables might itself destroy the planet. Nuclear energy is very dense. You might have seen it said already that 1million times as much energy is produced by a nuclear fission than by the oxidation of a single carbon atom. To me that is a horse worth trying to tame – if that might be possible.

          • Best

            All waste is not created equal.

        • Robert

          I’m thinking much of the new pro nuc is arising because those with financial interests are seeing an opportunity to gain traction/$$$ from the market share of coal dropping and investor money moving elsewhere.
          There is the ‘we say the is developments just over the horizon, we need more money/engineering developement $$$$, get in on the ground floor with this new $$opportunity,’ implied and reiterated here in the comments.

        • Robert

          If you haven’t seen this, it goes pretty deeply into some of the aspects of storage.
          Containment
          http://www.pbs.org/independentlens/films/containment/

  • steven452345

    Such kind of technology is more essential for us and i i hope most of the people are like this to change the climate in here. I hope every body are ready to help in there.

  • These climate talks look like a gravy train for snouts in troughs to me. Trump has reason to walk away from the Paris agreement. (Not that I’m a Trump supporter in any way.) The US is the only large industrial economy to have reduced emissions while remaining energy intensive. It has done so by switching from coal to gas, which happened under Obama. Meanwhile Germany, for all its Energyweinde has increased emissions by closing nuclear plants and building new coal plants! All 1600 of the Fukushima accident-related fatalities were due to the evacuation, none from the effects of radiation. That’s a big fat zero. And probably no one will die prematurely from radiation effects either. You have to receive over 100mSv per month for that to even register. Yet they’ve closed down nearly all their nuclear plants as well, and are having to build coal. Well done anti-nukes.

    Sorry to rant but the anti-nukes really are the enemy of the planet. In the same way certain African women and girls are killed for being witches, the anti-nukes *know* Fukushima will kill millions. It’s all touchy feely prejudice and superstition. Why do they point blank refuse to learn the basics of radiation safety? What will they do if they ever need radiotherapy? That’s more like 2000mSv (or 2000mGy, since Alpha particles are irrelevant). Their problem is numbers mean nothing to them. I wish I ran the Greenpeace shop – I’d charge them £100 for a pint of milk.

    ..Or are they shills for the fossil fuel lobby? That would make more sense.

    What’s needed is fewer anti-nukes and more revenue neutral carbon pricing, like it’s done in British Columbia, Canada where it’s been a political success. This is what mainstream economists have been arguing for, for decades. Then energy companies would be able to see for themselves what’s the most cost effective energy to invest in, instead of us all trying to do their job for them. Anti-nukes just add to costs = keeping the poor down. Economies thrive on cheap energy.

    http://ecomodernist.org/british-columbias-carbon-tax/

    • Kem Patrick

      Nope Clive… The world does not have the time nor the money to go nuclear. We also do not have the methods of safely storing nuclear waste so just forget it.

      We do have the time to have a GLOBAL non killing war on AGW and develop clean energy, geo-thermal, solar, wind and tidal but we have to do it quickly and stop burning coal as we are now on the doorstep of runaway and irreversible globalwarming.

      Nuclear is not the answer and never has been… With Trump n office, we can forget having any support from the US of A if there is a major program put in force to attack the problem.

      America is on the doorstop of falling apart anyway with their drug abuse issues, gun violence and a few million insane druggies running loose… Even their most precious military force their Navy Seals are in serious trouble due to the use of mind altering drugs.

      The US of A rally has become a Paper Tiger with a falling apart military, not enough in service aircraft for their pilots and a military force that is a GD mess. Dam; they are afraid of North Korea.

      Write em off Europe and with China fix it yourself…. Leave the Psycho Trump to build his beautiful, stupid, useless wall and allow his country to fall apart.

      • Thanks for your peaceful answer, and I apologise for my earlier ranting tone. I’ve been asking people to respect the views of others and you’ve been the better example on this occasion.

        I’ve visited your country a few times and have generally found American people to be welcoming and accommodating. I wish us Brits could find it in ourselves to be similarly hospitable. (We’re not all bad.)

        On nuclear – It took me a long time to change my mind and wouldn’t expect you to change yours any time soon. But I would ask you to consider there’s a fundamentally new way of disposing of nuclear waste – safely ‘burning’ it. That means fissioning it in Sodium Chloride (table salt) that’s so hot it has melted. The two nastiest fission products then dissolve into that hot liquid to become Sodium Iodide and Caesium Chloride – two other salts, albeit radioactive ones. (Even normal table salt contains other salts: Potassium chloride and Magnesium Chloride I believe.) If a bomb blows the reactor apart the liquid would likely get blown 10s of yards around the vicinity – perhaps further – but all that salt quickly solidifies and there are no airborne fission products that can carry in the air for potentially 1000s of miles. It can’t melt down – it’s already liquid. Nearly all fissionable material is destroyed and what’s left will produce background levels of radiation after 300 years if your descendants sprinkle it on their gardens. If the process is used to heat steam for turbines the electricity is cheaper than coal power. This could power atmospheric CO2 removal.

        Yes it’s a good 10 years away, so I’d agree AGW needs to be tackled in other ways. In any case a mix of energy sources is always the best bet. Forgive me for using this analogy – I’d say “Don’t kill your strongest horse just because it plays up sometimes. Learn to tame it.” It still might not be your favourite, but at least it might pay its way. Quaint I know but I can’t think of a better one.

        It’s interesting to see your ‘hand in the till’ comment. My wife can’t stand it every time Mr Trump appears on TV for that very reason (and others). The American people surely deserve better. I admire those upholding the American constitution and shudder to think what some of them are going through.

        • Kem Patrick

          Very interesting Clive…. I spent time in England in the 50s, Brize Norton Royal AFB and found the natives to be very friendly and fun with dry senses of humor and very thrifty, after WW2 of course where they lost so much and had to learn how to make it with so little during that war they fought long before we became involved.

          I cannot imagine any radioactive material such as Pu being nullified by heat, but I am not at all familiar with what you explained…. I’d have to study it.

          Anyway we must reduce the atmospheric CO2 level to at least 350 ASAP or we are gonna be toast when GW becomes runaway and irreversible…. It will be so dam nasty no one can conceive of how it will be.

          Thank you for the nice reply… It is not common with the pro nuclear crowd.

          As for our new leader or steed, it is not possible to tame a sociopathic horse. He’s goona run wild and it is not good or funny… It is dangerous in this world. He is a spoiler too, once he has what he wants, he runs.

    • TheDudeofVoo

      ”… In Fukushima Prefecture, the casualties from radiation terror number more than 1,600, exceeding direct deaths from the natural disaster in that area, because of government-mandated evacuation that forced people from their homes and usual support systems into crowded evacuation centers. … The effects of low-dose radiation are in fact grossly misstated. The resulting fear-based regulatory regime deprives people of life-saving technology. In the event of a nuclear detonation or dispersal of radioactive material, panic could cause preventable mass casualties, and ignorance- or fear-based official directives could thwart rescue efforts and produce disastrous economic and social disruption.” …

      “Psychosis is the most grave and wide impact of this accident, both at the regional and global scale. It caused the greatest medical, economic and societal harm,” Jaworowski concludes.33”

      Orient, J. 2014 “Fukushima and reflections on radiation as a terror weapon.” Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons

      • Sam Gilman

        Hey Dude,

        Jaworowski is a legitimate source, and it’s certainly true that the evacuations, inspired by irrational fear, led to entirely avoidable suffering, and that the biggest health impact of Fukushima has been the result of fearmongering (see here and here.)

        But this particular journal (JPANDS) should be avoided like the plague. It’s a crank publication, particularly into anti-vaccinism and AIDS-HIV denialism.

      • Joffan

        While maintaining that the evacuation far more harmful than no evacuation at all, I am deeply skeptical about the precise figure for evacuation deaths. The majority of the people dying were elderly with significant health challenges and general debilitation; the chance of them dying in the same period were far above zero. I would guess that the figure is inflated by a factor of ten or so.

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