Nuclear power: yes or no?

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Base load power generation

Coal
0
No votes
Gas
0
No votes
Nuclear fission
24
52%
Nuclear fusion
8
17%
Battery storage and renewables
11
24%
Other (?)
3
7%
 
Total votes: 46

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Wusti
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Re: Nuclear power: yes or no?

#41 Post by Wusti » Fri Dec 17, 2021 2:01 pm

OK - I'm running out of puff on this one, but I'll hang onto the in principle agreement as common ground.

I disagree vehemently with "It absolutely does stand up: If there is no viable low-carbon alternative that can provide the base load electricity we need, and we agree that we need to move to low-carbon alternatives ASAP.." because it doesn't. Each example does not need to stand up against fossil or fissile alternative ON THEIR OWN. They can do so in complementary situations in aggregate. So I disagree with the bar you are trying to set to force your argument.

You have also failed to make your case in the Australian context that Nuclear stands up against the aggregated alternatives (which includes Fossil fuels). Forget the favoured "per capita" measure which makes Australians in to carbon gluttons, and refer it to the global context while you're at it.
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Re: Nuclear power: yes or no?

#42 Post by Wusti » Fri Dec 17, 2021 2:06 pm

"But we don't have a choice between a perfect power source and nuclear; we have a choice between coal/gas and nuclear. " I re-read it and saw this.

This is the crux of your logical failure, you see it as a choice between Fossil and fissile fuel, and I don't.
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Re: Nuclear power: yes or no?

#43 Post by kestasjk » Fri Dec 17, 2021 7:12 pm

Is it comforting to let go of your share of responsibility for climate change because your per capita output is small compared to the output of another country?

If so good for you, but don't pretend you want to move away from fossil fuels and you're just itching to use Twiggy's ammonia or these other unspecified power sources. Just say "it's mostly China's fault, not mine" and be done with it.
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Re: Nuclear power: yes or no?

#44 Post by Wusti » Sat Dec 18, 2021 7:42 am

LNP voter spotted.
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Re: Nuclear power: yes or no?

#45 Post by Wusti » Sun Dec 19, 2021 6:10 am

kestasjk wrote:
Fri Dec 17, 2021 7:12 pm
Is it comforting to let go of your share of responsibility for climate change because your per capita output is small compared to the output of another country?

If so good for you, but don't pretend you want to move away from fossil fuels and you're just itching to use Twiggy's ammonia or these other unspecified power sources. Just say "it's mostly China's fault, not mine" and be done with it.
The arrogance of this post is astounding. I don't accept your logic or argument therefore I'm a climate vandal who abdicates responsibility. Glad to see you actually read anything I had to say on the matter.

How about you cut the shit that the only solution is Nuclear Fission and multi-millennial radioactive waste so you can turn on a fucking light bulb. Your dystopian future is buried in the past of centralised massive generators, and ignorant of the new normal of much smaller power generation facilities in a much more highly distributed architecture which enables a much higher mix of energy inputs into the network.

Nah - single one size fits all solutions or nothing, and anyone who fails to subscribe to your world view gets insulted.

I must've made a mistake and that a debate was welcome instead of this pathetic worship demand at the feet of the great and almighty and all-knowing Kestas.
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Re: Nuclear power: yes or no?

#46 Post by MajorMitchell » Sun Dec 19, 2021 12:18 pm

Let's settle down a bit. Wusti your assertion that I am fixated with nuclear fission energy is incorrect, I am ambivalent, I'm an old duffer so less invested than whipper-snappers. Economics & Science should be the criteria used to decide.
If anyone appears to be fixated, is it you Wusti with your "no nuclear power of any kind ever" attitude?

Nor is your disregard of the per capita emissions footprint of Australians acceptable, arguing that a high per capita emissions level is irrelevant because of our relatively small population is ethically unacceptable in my opinion.

This change to low carbon, low greenhouse gases economies is happening and coal use has to drastically reduce, many other production processes have to change, for example the way we make and use concrete and steel.
When you say Gas Wusti, that's a generic term, it could mean coal seam gas, it could be LPG, LNG or Hydrogen, or others. Not presumably argon or neon.

What annoys me is Puppets for the Australian coal industry using nuclear as a political weapon against the Greens. It's divisive and unhelpful
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Re: Nuclear power: yes or no?

#47 Post by Wusti » Sun Dec 19, 2021 1:31 pm

MM please explain why, in a small population country, per capita emission is the only reasonable measure. My guess is that you will be unable to on any scientific or logical basis, but will instead moralise at me. But I am willing to hear the argument.

Second I have never ever said that Nuclear has no place, oh wait yes I have. I said my ideologue self believes it but my pragmatic self, despite my pathological antipathy towards it, believe there may be geographies and situations where it will be exactly the right technology - just not Australia where we have a ridiculous abundance of alternative sources and storage mechanisms.

As for puppets, should you dox me, you would know how ridiculous a statement that is. I reject both fossil and fissile fuels as the future, I am just patient before we commit multi-decade investments in bad tech.

To be clear CSG requiring fracking is heinous - most especially in the Australian context: the delicacy of the Artesian basin and other aquifers is simply too fundamental a risk to the environment and food security. I am no apologist for the fossil fuel lobby - no matter which bits you choose to cherry pick from my comments.

Honestly, you seem to be playing the player rather than the argument.
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Re: Nuclear power: yes or no?

#48 Post by Yonni » Sun Dec 19, 2021 3:38 pm

What's the cutoff for global emissions percentage that a country needs to hit to care about its own emissions?

5%? If that's the case, the you only Indian, the US, and China caring and combined that's less than 50% of the global emissions.

1%? If that's the case, then Australia is included.

Ballparking from wiki.
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Re: Nuclear power: yes or no?

#49 Post by DarthPorg36 » Sun Dec 19, 2021 4:43 pm

We definitely need nuclear power quickly. Our CO2 ppm (parts per million) current rate fluctuates between 410-425 ppm daily, and it's increasing. The level that the environment should be at is sub 350 ppm, with best levels even lower that that. However, my country (which disgusts me in many different ways that I won't delve into here) is addicted to oil and along with China pumps out so much emissions that these levels are spiking. Combined world emissions project that around 2030 (which is a lot closer than you think!) We will cross the 450 ppm line. This is the point of no return. If we go too much farther past that, even if we cut all emissions the earth will still go into freak CO2 levels that we literally cannot stop.

The effects of this are horrendous
-Complete loss of polar ice, destroying ecosystems up there
-Due to lack of ice, the Northern Hemisphere, North America especially will heat up rapidly
-This will affect regions around the equator, and with enough heating (approximately 4ºC) farming around the equator will collapse. People around the world will starve.
-This means that those of you opposed to refugees better brace yourselves because there will be massive migrations to cooler climates
-The Gulf Stream will shut down, turning Great Britain and other parts of Western Europe into a climate similar to Siberia
-The melted ice will turn to water, and sea level rise could be as high as 20 feet, swamping many major cities.
-Permafrost will melt, releasing methane, extrapolating heating further, and possibly release microbes and diseases we've never seen before
-Freak weather like Hurricanes, Tornadoes, Fires, and the like will become horrifying in damage unlike we've ever seen, and will be way more frequent
-Damage to economies, which will send the world into mayhem

However, the solutions are so easy. Nuclear Energy can be the bridge unti green energy can take over. A 1.2 trillion dollar investment in wind energy, for example, can make, by 2050, 7.5 trillion dollars net, and reduce over 50 gigatons of carbon.

Is nuclear energy perfect, no. But the risks of fossil fuels are too high to say no.
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Re: Nuclear power: yes or no?

#50 Post by MajorMitchell » Tue Dec 21, 2021 3:14 am

Wusti, I did not intend to imply that you are a puppet for the Australian Coal Industry, unless you're Queensland MP Matt Canavan, one of his colleagues receiving donations from the Australian Coal industry or a paid lobbyist for the Australian Coal industry.
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Re: Nuclear power: yes or no?

#51 Post by MajorMitchell » Tue Dec 21, 2021 3:18 am

Wusti, per capita emissions of Greenhouse gases are not the "only criteria of any importance" and I have never made that claim.
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Re: Nuclear power: yes or no?

#52 Post by MajorMitchell » Tue Dec 21, 2021 3:29 am

However as anyone who has dabbled in statistical analysis finds out, it's complex. Per capita metrics are a widely used statistical analysis tool for a multitude of good reasons which I do not intend to elaborate as I am no expert in statistical analysis.
What I am asserting is that using a per capita based assessment of the relative emissions of greenhouse gases is one of many useful tools we should be using to assess the relative progress of nations, communities in reducing their emissions of greenhouse gases. To ignore it, to refuse it's use is impossible in my opinion and to ignore it when, to paraphrase Al Gore, it reveals inconvenient truths, well that's the behaviour of denial of truth.

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Re: Nuclear power: yes or no?

#53 Post by Wusti » Tue Dec 21, 2021 4:24 am

Lies, damn lies, and statistics.

So rather than contradicting you, I'll pose you a question which will explain my lack of confidence in per capita emissions as the de facto standard of measurement.

The USA is only 1.3x larger in area than Australia, but has 300M+ more people.
Australia is more than 20 times the size of the UK, with 1/3 the number of people.

In a sparsely populated, but massive country like Australia, per capita emissions is grossly unfair, because the geography and size means that Australia should be expected to have higher per capita emissions than both the US and UK, where everything else is equal (higher transport costs, higher agrarian % of GDP).

As a result the potential damage to the economy of being judged on the same basis as much more densely populated nations places us at a significant disadvantage.

If you measure carbon emissions per square kilometre, you find Australia at the bottom of emitters.

So MM when you say "What I am asserting is that using a per capita based assessment of the relative emissions of greenhouse gases is one of many useful tools we should be using to assess the relative progress of nations, communities in reducing their emissions of greenhouse gases."

I have explained why I think it is not a good measure that is biased against the Australian situation.

You, however, haven't really addressed WHY it is the best measure - you've just re-stated your opinion, and then thrown in another non-factual reference to Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth. Which is what I suspected would happen:

"MM please explain why, in a small population country, per capita emission is the only reasonable measure. My guess is that you will be unable to on any scientific or logical basis, but will instead moralise at me."

I'm not trying to be a dickhead here - but re-stating opinion doesn't make it fact.
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Re: Nuclear power: yes or no?

#54 Post by MajorMitchell » Tue Dec 21, 2021 4:25 am

Thank you DarthPorg36 for your contribution. A passionate summation of the crisis we face, the global human population has to change it's damaging environmental impacts if it wants to survive. Our wars and the vast inequalities of wealth distribution cause too much environmental damage, our industrial, agricultural methods of production have to change.
Fortunately we are an intelligent animal, homo sapiens, and it's using that intellectual ability collectively which enables us to find solutions.

I think that for many nations using fission reactors and enriched uranium to produce electrical power as a substitute for coal use is what they will have to do, if it enables them to make rapid progress to not using coal at all for that purpose, as they ramp up R&D, implementation of newer energy production technologies that are less polluting.

In the Australian context I am not persuaded yet that we need to invest in nuclear fission using enriched Uranium to generate electrical power.

Over the next few decades we can use LNG & LPG & not coal for base load electrical power, then phase in hydrogen and cut out using LNG & LPG. At the same time investing in the new technologies, building the electrical generation and distribution system that needs neither fossil fuel use or nuclear power.

Yet I do think we have to replace our Lucas Heights nuclear research facility and have a better nuclear waste storage system, and South Australia, where I live has sites that could be used as does Western Australia. We have to have a domestic nuclear capability, for research, training our nuclear physicists, for medical needs etc. Those realities exist.

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Re: Nuclear power: yes or no?

#55 Post by MajorMitchell » Tue Dec 21, 2021 4:28 am

A clarification, the sites in WA & SA are for waste storage. Where we should build the replacement for Lucas Heights is another separate issue

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Re: Nuclear power: yes or no?

#56 Post by Octavious » Tue Dec 21, 2021 2:52 pm

Wusti wrote:
Tue Dec 21, 2021 4:24 am
In a sparsely populated, but massive country like Australia, per capita emissions is grossly unfair, because the geography and size means that Australia should be expected to have higher per capita emissions than both the US and UK, where everything else is equal (higher transport costs, higher agrarian % of GDP).
I'm struggling to understand this point. It'd be true if Australians spent their lives commuting from one side of the country to the other, but in practice the typical commute of a Westerner regardless of nation is from their residential area of a city to the commercial or industrial area of a city. There's no particular reason for Australians to travel any more for day to day purposes than a Yank or a Welshman.

You could argue that Australians are at a carbon disadvantage from the perspective of foreign holidays (and here we should take a moment to pity the Kiwi who lives more in the middle of nowhere than virtually any other nation on earth), but at the same time the sheer amount of space allows for low carbon options with poor land use efficiency that simply wouldn't be viable in the likes of England.
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Re: Nuclear power: yes or no?

#57 Post by Wusti » Tue Dec 21, 2021 10:57 pm

"There's no particular reason for Australians to travel any more for day to day purposes than a Yank or a Welshman."

I'm sorry Octavious, but that's pretty ignorant. Just moving between capitals requires jet travel - Sydney to Melbourne is the third busiest air route in the world - its that or an 8 - 10 hour drive (and that's one of the shortest state capital to state capital distances).

Sydney to Brisbane is 11-12 hour drive. I don't think you quite understand how much travel we do. In my job I travel to Brisbane, Melbourne and Adelaide regularly (or at least I did pre-COVID) and Singapore nearly as much.

Hell even Canberra is a 3 hour drive from Sydney.

Then add in the massive distances we have to ship agricultural produce, minerals etc and no, its not the same as your average Welshman. Hell a 2 hour drive to a little coastal town for the weekend is commonplace. Do Welshmen travel from Cardiff to London most weekends, or equivalent?

MM and Kestas should also be able to set you straight on this one - as distances in WA are huge, and South Oz as well.

To also put it in perspective, I live in Sydney, but my commute to my office on the other side of the harbour is 1.5 hours EACH WAY in peak hour, whether by car or by rail. We all love our 1/4 acre blocks and our cities are large compared to population.
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Re: Nuclear power: yes or no?

#58 Post by Octavious » Wed Dec 22, 2021 8:17 am

Wusti wrote:
Tue Dec 21, 2021 10:57 pm
Just moving between capitals requires jet travel - Sydney to Melbourne is the third busiest air route in the world - its that or an 8 - 10 hour drive (and that's one of the shortest state capital to state capital distances).
I have no reason to doubt that it does, but I also have no reason to believe that it's any more necessary for an Australian to travel between state capitals than it is for a Welshman to travel between European capitals.
Wusti wrote:
Tue Dec 21, 2021 10:57 pm
Sydney to Brisbane is 11-12 hour drive. I don't think you quite understand how much travel we do. In my job I travel to Brisbane, Melbourne and Adelaide regularly (or at least I did pre-COVID) and Singapore nearly as much.
This is a carbon heavy lifestyle choice. It is a perfectly legitimate measure of a person's carbon footprint and highlights areas where considerable improvements can easily be made.
Wusti wrote:
Tue Dec 21, 2021 10:57 pm
Then add in the massive distances we have to ship agricultural produce, minerals etc and no, its not the same as your average Welshman.
Shipping is remarkably light in terms of carbon emissions, but if you wish to show me some figures demonstrating the impact of shipping on the per capita emissions of an Australian and how it is significantly worse than that for Americans and Europeans by all means do so.
Wusti wrote:
Tue Dec 21, 2021 10:57 pm
To also put it in perspective, I live in Sydney, but my commute to my office on the other side of the harbour is 1.5 hours EACH WAY in peak hour, whether by car or by rail. We all love our 1/4 acre blocks and our cities are large compared to population.
Again, all you are doing here is demonstrating how large per capita Australian emissions stem from poor lifestyle choices. It is exactly these sorts of choices that must be reduced in order to avoid the nastier impacts of climate change. Australians are not entitled to special treatment based on their previous unhelpful behaviour.
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Re: Nuclear power: yes or no?

#59 Post by Wusti » Thu Dec 23, 2021 1:25 am

Some pretty spurious and, dare I say glib, pronouncements there Octavious.

Likening intra-country travel to international travel to make a point sounds good, but is logically flawed. If your assertion were correct (regarding equivalence of Welsh to European travel to Sydney Melbourne traffic), then Cardiff would be one of the busiest airports in Europe. You make an assertion without source or justification.

A closer analogy would be London to Birmingham or Bristol - neither of which would require jet travel, nor consume anything like the fossil fuels Syd-Mel does by any method (rail/car/plane).

As for your second point. it actually isn't a choice. Lots of people all over the world travel for business. The Australian context is simply one which I have made over and over again - which is scale and distance between centres in South East Asia, Oceania and Australia compared to Europe. It isn't a "bad lifestyle choice" old mate its a fact.

Shipping and transport is not negligible - it is the third largest contributor to Australian emissions.

Again you attempt to moralise over Australian history. We have a lot of room and people used it before climate change became a thing. Your argument here is like me trying to take you to task for Britain starting the industrial revolution as a "lifestyle choice". It is also this lifestyle choice that has made Australia the Number 1 country in the world for household solar PV installations.

The point I am making is that every measure for emission standards benchmarking is flawed because of inherent bias - whether it be per capita, per square kilometre, per GDP and so on. I would therefore say that all countries should be doing everything they can to address and reduce their carbon emissions in absolute terms, by the fastest, cheapest, and most sustainable way possible.

I would 100% agree that the Australian political class has been almost criminally negligent in this regard, ever since the Greens rejected Rudd's ETS because it wasn't good enough, then forcing the Gillard government into a Carbon Tax that destroyed her government and ultimately delivered years of radical right wing policy setting in lieu of real climate action.

In the end though, every nation must find its own way there. Nuclear is not a one size fits all proposition.
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Re: Nuclear power: yes or no?

#60 Post by Octavious » Thu Dec 23, 2021 5:11 am

Sorry, Wusti, I find your arguments utterly ludicrous. But thank you, you have helped form what had been a mere assumption that Australia can be usefully measured by the same per capita standards as everyone else into a firm and fully informed opinion. It has been a productive discussion.
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