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UK Sticks With Nuclear Power

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  • Not a problem (Score:5, Informative)

    by calzakk (1455889) on Saturday June 25, 2011 @05:11AM (#36565988) Journal

    Well, earthquakes and tsunamis are very rare here

    A serious understatement. While the UK does have the very occasional tremor, they're so minor that nothing more than a single roof tile has ever moved*. There are no active volcanoes. And hurricanes/tornadoes/etc are extremely rare.

    The UK must be one of the best places to build nuclear reactors.

    * I'm just assuming this. The point is that they are incredibly minor compared to earthquakes experienced by most other countries.

  • by Alioth (221270) <no@spam> on Saturday June 25, 2011 @05:19AM (#36566044) Journal

    The UK reprocesses spent fuel so there's a lot less waste to start off with.

    In any case, too much CO2 in the air remains harmful for thousands of years. However, the nuclear waste is all in a concentrated, known location instead of being spread around the world resulting in a global problem.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 25, 2011 @05:22AM (#36566074)

    I'm sorry, you must have misread, they plan on building NEW reactors. You know like the type that could say, run on waste, or the type that generate very little waste at all, our the type that generates waste that remains radioactive for decades not centuries.

    Failing that, if the do decide to build a soviet era reactor and shun 40 years of technical progress, the UK has existing very nasty reactors and along with it an existing waste management strategy, be it dump it in the ground, our sell it to someone who will.

  • by MrHanky (141717) on Saturday June 25, 2011 @05:39AM (#36566172) Homepage Journal

    You mean you drop it into the ocean [wikipedia.org].

  • Re:Death per kwh? (Score:5, Informative)

    by TheRaven64 (641858) on Saturday June 25, 2011 @06:19AM (#36566372) Journal

    Why don't you ask your favourite search engine? This was the top hit for me. [nextbigfuture.com] The important data (deaths per TWh):

    • Coal – world average: 161 (26% of world energy, 50% of electricity)
    • Coal – China: 278
    • Coal – USA: 15
    • Oil: 36 (36% of world energy)
    • Natural Gas: 4 (21% of world energy)
    • Biofuel/Biomass: 12
    • Peat: 12
    • Solar (rooftop): 0.44 (less than 0.1% of world energy)
    • Wind: 0.15 (less than 1% of world energy)
    • Hydro: 0.10 (europe death rate, 2.2% of world energy)
    • Hydro - world including Banqiao): 1.4 (about 2500 TWh/yr and 171,000 Banqiao dead)
    • Nuclear: 0.04 (5.9% of world energy)

    So, Nuclear power is 3-4 times safer than wind, and twice as safe as hydro-electric.

  • Re:Obvious (Score:5, Informative)

    by rainmouse (1784278) on Saturday June 25, 2011 @06:36AM (#36566454)

    Had a look at a topographical map of Norway lately? Now, compare it to one of the UK.
    Hydro power doesn't work everywhere in the world.

    -jcr

    Not to mention the fact that the UK has 15.25 times the population of Norway.

  • Re:Good! (Score:5, Informative)

    by somersault (912633) on Saturday June 25, 2011 @07:25AM (#36566708) Homepage Journal

    Sure we invest in wind farms and tidal generators. I work for a company that has designed and is building a tidal turbine, and I've heard talk about wind energy projects. I still think it's important to continue with nuclear as well. I'm glad that our government doesn't seem as dumb and panicky as certain others.

  • Re:Obvious (Score:3, Informative)

    by jeppen (1377103) on Saturday June 25, 2011 @07:41AM (#36566798)
    Space isn't the problem. Intermittency is. The world could aim for 80% wind power if wind towers produced baseload power, or 100% if it were dispatchable. However, wind is very intermittent, and thus cannot be integrated above approximately 20%. You could try to extend this by smart grids, more wide-spread grids, demand-side-management and so on, but you won't get very far.
  • Re:Obvious (Score:4, Informative)

    by RsG (809189) on Saturday June 25, 2011 @12:19PM (#36568946)

    The world could aim for 80% wind power if wind towers produced baseload power

    Are you sure about that?

    According to this [straightdope.com] (scroll down to the list of power sources), building wind turbines in all the locations where they generate sufficient power would produce a grand total of 2.1 terawatts, globally. Which is a lot of power - don't get me wrong, it's totally worth building them to get that energy. But it's nowhere near the 13.5 terawatts needed circa 2002 (the article cites a 2006 paper), or the projected 28-35 terawatts needed by the midcentury (all figures from the same article, feel free to provide counter citations if my source is incorrect or biased).

    I don't think we can aim for 80% wind power even if we had the ability to combat intermittency.

Saliva causes cancer, but only if swallowed in small amounts over a long period of time. -- George Carlin

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