Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Video Compilation: Nuclear Fear, Nuclear Power, and the way to save our planet, save our climate, and save our environment.

Drafted 1 April 2019 

In an earlier blogpost on Climate Change, I compiled a list of videos to support the position that Climate Change is already irreversible.

The solution for clean energy is already with us. But we have been manipulated to believe that it is dangerous and worse than the problem.

This first video is about how the fear of Nuclear power was created. It is intriguing.

The next video provides the first hint that the Fukushima nuclear power plant accident did not create as great a nuclear hazard as the hysterics and conspiracy theorists believe or would have us believe.

The other point of her talk, at about 5 minutes into the video is the need for nuclear energy.

Then at about 12 minutes, she starts to sketch out the progress and future of Nuclear energy (Thorium) and "breeder" reactors.

Her frustration is with emotional (irrational fear of Nuclear) resistance to the obvious solution (Nuclear power).

The next video again features Michael Shellenberger. He is featured in 3 of these videos in this post. Maybe he is biased. But his argument is compelling because he is a convert. He give his background as a "child of hippie parents" who has a love for the environment, and was moved by Chernobyl to be an activist against Nuclear Power, and be a advocate for Renewable energy.

Then he changed his mind.

Okay, so Nuclear is not THAT bad, but surely, Clean Solar energy is WAY BETTER than Nuclear?

Isn't it true that SOLAR IS THE FUTURE? So why go back to Nuclear?

Because, Renewables like Solar and Wind are NOT going to save the world. In fact it will destroy the environment as well.

At about 10:50 into the video, Shellenberger says that Solar has a waste problem as well: "There is no plan to deal with solar panels at the end of their 20-25 years..."

In Australia, it is already a problem.

Solar panels that were installed 8 or 9 years ago are being discarded as the companies that installed them go bust and are unable to provide support and service to their customers. There is only one solar panel recycling facility in South Australia, and it is estimated that eventually, about a million tonnes of solar panel will end up in landfills. And the heavy metals in the solar panels would be a hazard to ground water.

Michael Shellenberger being one person presents a coherent consistent argument. But is his perspective correct? Is there perhaps personal bias or prejudice on his part?

Does anyone else share his view?

Yes. Gorden Aubrecht in this 2012 talk:

His video predates Shellenberger's by about 5 years or so. But the theme is similar. Solar is not quite the solution. Nuclear power is the bridge until solar is feasible.

At about 12:50 in the video, he introduces the various generations of Nuclear Power Plants, and points out that most existing Nuclear Power Plants (including Fukushima) are generation 1 or 2 power plants - using 1960s technology.

But there are Generation 3 and 3+ power plants now (China is building 3rd Generation - AP1000 - power plant - see next video at about 9:10 into the video).

Generation 3/3+ are safer with passive safety features, and less complexity (making mistakes less likely).

"Passive Safety Features" means that the Power Plant is design such that if there were a failure, the plant will shut down on its own. Instead of the possibility of runaway reaction or a meltdown.

Think of it this way, you build a fire on a wooden platform over a pool of water. If the fire goes out of control, and burns through the platform, it will fall into a pool of water and put itself out.

And then there is the Small Modular Reactors (SMR):

The point is, solar and wind is just not going to work - not at the scale they need to to replace fossil fuels like Coal, Oil and Gas.

Fusion power is still at least 20 years away.

For now, we need Nuclear (fission) power. to bridge the gap until Fusion is ready.

That is the logical and rational roadmap.

Except for the Nuclear Fear.

Solar and other renewables are sexy and seductive. But they lack substance and true promise.

[See also: "How will Singapore power the future?" from 2016.]

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