Nuclear powere may not be enough....

zeromonkey

Monkey
From Sky News:

Nuclear 'Won't Meet Needs':

The Government's plans for a new generation of nuclear power stations will not meet Britain's growing demand for electricity, according to a committee of MPs.


More nuclear power stations could be built in future years

The Environmental Audit Committee said the UK needed to build more gas-fired power stations to avoid widespread energy shortages.

It said Britain could otherwise face widespread electricity blackouts, and more gas-fired stations were needed sooner, not later.

Almost a quarter of the country's current generating capacity is due to be decommissioned by 2016.

And the committee said there was not time to wait for the new nuclear power stations.

It also warned that the need to cut damaging greenhouse gas emissions meant the era of cheap energy was coming to an end as old fossil fuels were replaced by cleaner technologies.

The Government's energy review, due later this year, is widely expected to recommend a return to nuclear power generation in what the committee said would be a "major U-turn" in policy.

However with the first of any new nuclear plants not coming on stream until 2017 at the earliest, the committee said the country would still face a "generating gap".

"Over the next nine years, therefore, very substantial investment in new generating capacity and energy efficiency will be required if the lights are to stay on," it said.

The committee said the shortfall would have to be met through an extensive programme of new gas-fired power stations.

This would have to be supplemented by a significant growth in renewable energy sources such as wind power.
 

Acidcurls

change places
read that article too, scary shit although Nuclear power would meet energy needs if the authorisation of new plants was speeded up. You also have to bear in mind that nuclear power is not an infinite resource, it's just another thing we can slag out of the earth and turn into something harmful. Interestingly enough the same Gov. report does state that if sufficient resources were ploughed into renewable energy regardless of other power sources the upcoming energy crisis could be avoided (newsnight a few months ago). It's interesting how they don't say that in the papers.
 

Sephira

MerKaBa Technologist
Who needs Nuclear we can use Zero Point (c: yay baby!
 

teavibration

in a tree
yeah but there are problems with wave power and wind power regarding the enviroment, to a certian extent any how. The effect that wind farms can have on the surounding enviroment through disrupting insect habitats and pollen courses is still unknown, very much the same with building big tidal power stations. who knows what effect they may have on the eco-system.
 

SugarPixie

unforgoatable
I think hurting birds used to be a big worry about wind farms - the old turbines used to hurt them, but the new ones somehow do it less. I think I recently read there were something like 1.2 bird deaths per turbine per year.. (no, I don't know what 1/5 of a bird looks like either..)
 

duracell_pixie

More trouble than i look
teavibration said:
yeah but there are problems with wave power and wind power regarding the enviroment, to a certian extent any how. The effect that wind farms can have on the surounding enviroment through disrupting insect habitats and pollen courses is still unknown, very much the same with building big tidal power stations. who knows what effect they may have on the eco-system.

I went to stay at the centre for alternative technology in Wales last year and questioned them about this while i was there. I took part in a course on the eco- footprint and what we can do to reduce our effect ont he environment. They advised that the effect on insect habitats and pollen is minimal and when you compare it to the damage caused to the planet by using fossil fuels etc in terms of climate change, its a far better option. The global predicted temperature rise over the next 100 years was absolutely terrifying- i cant remember exact figures and am working at mo but will check info when i get home and post at latr date. Also with tidal power they advised that this would actually provide more shelter for various sea living creatures and increases biodiversity within the area. This is a subject im very interested in and have lots of info from Defra at home and some relevant essays which ill post over the next few days if youre interested?
 

trancetheory

♥♪♫
Nuclear Fusionn is about 50 years away as a viable power source, it uses tiny amounts of Hydrogen to create hugggggggeeeeee amounts of energy (like the sun) and leaves no dangerous biproducts...infact only a lil bit of helium and a tiny bit of Tritium, which has only a 12 year half life , so at most we'd all be talking like munchcins :Grin: (actually we wouldnt at all, but it'd b funny :lol: )
 

Xenomage

Lord High ChillMaester
duracell_pixie said:
Also with tidal power they advised that this would actually provide more shelter for various sea living creatures and increases biodiversity within the area.

Bring on lunar-power, let the land-locked suckers ... ... erm ... ... use the wind and rivers!

Viva la bio-diversity!!




:icry:
 

duracell_pixie

More trouble than i look
Xenomage said:
Bring on lunar-power, let the land-locked suckers ... ... erm ... ... use the wind and rivers!

Viva la bio-diversity!!




:icry:

I totally agree petal! People worry about damage done to the environment by wind turbines and harnessing wave power and sure, to put turbines in, the land does have to be dug up. There's also the annoying not in my backyard syndrome "yeah, im for eco-friendly power but i dont want them built near me!" Understandable sort of but when you compare it to a future of increasing temperatures and loss of bio-diversity caused by increased temp then its def the better option.
:iyes:
 

martin_e

Pantheistic Cyberneticist
The myths of Nuclear Power being low CO2 emission and cheap are ones I find deeply annoying. Yup, fair enough at the time of generation there is no real CO2 emission. However when you're mining and processing the Uranium for the fuel - you're creating just as much greenhouse gasses as you would be in a coal-fired station. As for the cost... billions have been ploughed into our previous nuclear power stations by the government and they've consistantly made massive losses anyway. All of which is without taking into account the clean-up and decomissioning costs.

Wave, wind and solar are the only reasonable options for the future. If we can't generate enough power here then why aren't we putting solar panels in the Sahara ? Would allow money to flow to the 3rd world for a resource they have in their least productive places!
 

trancetheory

♥♪♫
martin_e said:
Wave, wind and solar are the only reasonable options for the future. If we can't generate enough power here then why aren't we putting solar panels in the Sahara ? Would allow money to flow to the 3rd world for a resource they have in their least productive places!

Fusion is the only reasonable option, and its only 50 years away :Smile3: they are already buildling a generator that creates 10 times more energy than it uses, which is a pretty damn good step :ibiggrin:

Wave wind and solar power are not reliable sources of power, but they all rely on one common thing, Fusion! :Smile3:
 

martin_e

Pantheistic Cyberneticist
miszt said:
Fusion is the only reasonable option, and its only 50 years away :Smile3: they are already buildling a generator that creates 10 times more energy than it uses, which is a pretty damn good step :ibiggrin:

Wave wind and solar power are not reliable sources of power, but they all rely on one common thing, Fusion! :Smile3:

Yeah, wonderful if it works. But no-one's even sure they can get it to yet! The first prototype is only at a basic planning stage and there's no guarantee it'll work, or that your 50 year timescale is at all likely.
Solar power is THE MOST reliable source of power - it is the only FUSION generator which we can actually rely on existing, every single living thing on earth, and every single source of energy we have is ultimately a form of solar power (even coal, gas and oil if you think about it). But you need a global network in order for it to be useful.
Similarly wind and wave (especially tidal) power is incredibly reliable and constant - but only if looked at in terms of a global network!
 

trancetheory

♥♪♫
the prototypes have been built and are working with controlled reactions! but they are currently using more energy than they give out.

they are now building a reactor that will give energy not just suck it up :Wink3:

was a program bout it the other night :dancey: bbc4 i fink
 

Goz

Psy-Richard
Staff member
Forum Supporter
Yes ... thus far noone has ever managed to get an energy return from Fusion (ie it takes more energy to start it than anyone has ever managed to get back from it). ITER is supposed to look into that but as Martin says there is no guarantees ...

Miszt said:
Nuclear Fusionn is about 50 years away as a viable power source, it uses tiny amounts of Hydrogen to create hugggggggeeeeee amounts of energy (like the sun) and leaves no dangerous biproducts...infact only a lil bit of helium and a tiny bit of Tritium, which has only a 12 year half life , so at most we'd all be talking like munchcins :Grin: (actually we wouldnt at all, but it'd b funny :lol: )

I recommend you do more reading on nuclear Fusion dude ... Tritium is one of the fuels (Mainly generated as part of the hydrogen-lithium cycle i believe though can be used as a direct input) and, as such, would be fused for more power instead of ever becoming a waste product. The radioactive waste is dangerous for around 70 years and the reactor itself would be radioactive for a few hundred after it is taken out of service. The moon however has enough Helium3 (An important fusion fuel) to last the planet longer than our species is ever likely to survive (We're talking tens of millions of years here).

Tidal and Wind power are good resources but at present they just cannot generate enough power for the entire of the UK. Solar is much the same (though, admittedly, it can during the summer months).

The besty solution on these would be to put solar panels and wind generators on everybody's houses. Install ground source heat pumps in all house for heating too and we are on to a winner.

Nuclear Fission is an interesting one ... as martin rightly points out the damage caused getting uranium out the ground is HUUUGE. But the more and more i read about Fission the more i see it as the only way forward available at present. We should be putting more research money into a type of Nuclear Reactor called an "Integral Fast Reactor" which has the huge advantage of fissioning the transuranic waste elements into less dangerous elements. They are 20 to 30 times more efficient than present nuclear reactors, they cannot go into meltdown due to the way they are designed (Using nature to regulate not technology) and the radioactive waste is only a problem for 300 years (Something even we can effectively handle dealing with).
 

zeromonkey

Monkey
Well said Goz, nuclear power is the way forward. Minig it will mean burning some fossil feuls and making the reactors will requires some too, but it's minimal compared to the amount of C)2 and other greenhouse gases released by coal, gas or oil power plants.

All we do is: dig up the uranium > use it for it's atomic energy > put it back where we found it (underground).

Then global warming is decreased, and the environment can return to its natural state much quicker, and we wont have the problems of rising oil prices. Also we don't reallyw ant to fund some of the countries that are currently producing the oil, as some of them are funding terrorists, so it's a win-win situation really.

And Goz is right about Fusion power. It wont be ready for a very long time and ITER is only an experimental device that isn't actually designed to be a proper reactor, it's just to run fusion experiments in. Zero-point energy is only theoretical and hasn't actually been proved yet, so that's not an option at the moment, you can't just say that in 50years we'll have all these technologies, because some of them may not even be possible. The only fusion reactor that we can use at the moment is the Sun, so solar panels, geothermal power and wind power are the best options.

Lots of environmentalists are actually pro-nuclear now because they've realised the potential that it has to help save the environment.
 
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