Should Ireland go nuclear?

Should Ireland go nuclear?

  • Yes

    Votes: 16 84.2%
  • No

    Votes: 3 15.8%

  • Total voters
    19
But whatabout the fly ash, radon, cadmium, risk equivalence?

It's unadulterated whataboutery m8.
There's no magic bullet solution to net zero, just tradeoffs. Nuclear has some drawbacks but they've been massively overblown.

I also think the trade offs for renewables have been understated, energy storage, land availability and variability are all fundamental blockers to Net Zero from renewables. They mean getting there just on renewables is either far more expensive than folks realise or fundamentally impossible. None of those blockers apply to nuclear.

The fact that solar panels create huge amounts of toxic waste is imo, a problem but a manageable one, same as nuclear waste.
 
There's no magic bullet solution to net zero, just tradeoffs. Nuclear has some drawbacks but they've been massively overblown.

I also think the trade offs for renewables have been understated, energy storage, land availability and variability are all fundamental blockers to Net Zero from renewables. They mean getting there just on renewables is either far more expensive than folks realise or fundamentally impossible. None of those blockers apply to nuclear.

The fact that solar panels create huge amounts of toxic waste is imo, a problem but a manageable one, same as nuclear waste.
You are totally ignoring the massive costs associated with nuclear power stations - the construction costs are huge and the decommissioning costs are equally prohibitive - look at the billions that the UK government are spending on decommissioning their older nuclear stations - funded from taxation.

And you are trying to equate the radiation from some of the nuclear waste to that of fly ash arising from coal.

Generally, your contributions on most topics are well balanced, but on this issue, you have a total blind spot.
 
You are totally ignoring the massive costs associated with nuclear power stations - the construction costs are huge and the decommissioning costs are equally prohibitive - look at the billions that the UK government are spending on decommissioning their older nuclear stations - funded from taxation.

And you are trying to equate the radiation from some of the nuclear waste to that of fly ash arising from coal.

Generally, your contributions on most topics are well balanced, but on this issue, you have a total blind spot.
I'm not ignoring those costs. It's not going to be cheap to get to net zero. Yes, they're high.

But renewables have fundamental problems rooted in physics that are likely to make net zero using them impossible. It might be possible in Ireland, because as a very windy small country, it's probable that Ireland can get 100% of energy* requirements, but few other countries in europe, not to mind the world, are likely to be able to achieve it. Good research saying it's impossible in the UK without enormous environmental costs. So while nuclear is expensive, there is no question at all that we can achieve net zero with it within the next couple of decades. The only blockers are financial and logistical, it can be done with existing technologies, if we have the will.

The same is not true of renewables.



I don't need to equate the radiation from nuclear waste and fly ash, fly ash from coal IS nuclear waste. Yet nobody seems to give much of a shit that it's just piled up next to power stations:

"The exact amounts depend on the source of the coal, but are usually in the range of a few parts per million. That might not sound a lot until you realise that a typical gigawatt-capacity coal power station burns several million tonnes of coal per year. That means every such station creates fly ash containing around 5-10 tonnes of uranium and thorium each year.
According to estimates by the US Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the world’s coal-fired power stations currently generate waste containing around 5,000 tonnes of uranium and 15,000 tonnes of thorium. Collectively, that’s over 100 times more radiation dumped into the environment than that released by nuclear power stations."

What's even worse is that coal plants actually send some of that waste into the atmosphere. Imagine a nuclear power plant that deliberately sent radiative waste into the atmosphere just as part of operations. People would lose their minds. But that is the reality of coal fired plants today. The only way that happens with a nuclear power plant is with a fire that breaches the core, and there have only ever been a handful of those incidents globally.

And the fallout from those very, very rare occurrences is less than is generally appreciated, as I said, in Fukishima, the supposed danger zones are as irradiated as 20% of homes in Sligo.
Hence why I think the risks are massively overblown. That misunderstanding of risk is the primary driver of huge construction and decommissioning costs.




*Note the difference between energy and electricity. Right now, a lot of energy requirements such as home heating are from fossil fuels, so electricity use is going to have to massively increase to get to net zero.
 
HBB wrote: "Note the difference between energy and electricity. Right now, a lot of energy requirements such as home heating are from fossil fuels, so electricity use is going to have to massively increase to get to net zero."

Not to mention charging electric cars, lorries and busses. It's not just electricity production will have to be hugely ramped up, it is also its distribution. The electricity grid will have to be massively upgraded. That's not cheap either.
 
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But the water heats up because of the radioactivity and has to be replaced every so often. But the water can't be just dumped - it becomes radioactive itself, so has to be stored safely for a long time.
The really dangerous stuff has to be stored in massively thick lead-lined concrete tanks for several thousands of years. Currently, in the UK, these tanks are stored in underground vaults, but mine shafts, in geologically stables areas, will probably be used at some stage in the future.

This all costs serious money. And, on top of that, the cost of dismantling a nuclear power plant costs billions, at the end of their life cycle.

These costs are not factored in to the price that the consumer pays for the electricity produced by nuclear stations.

Maybe fusion will become the answer - little or no radioactive waste. But that always seems to be 15 years away.

Perhaps hydrogen is the long term solution. Use wind power to produce it and store the hydrogen in liquified format - like LNG ships do with methane. Use the hydrogen for power stations and transport vehicles. Also use it to replace methane in the gas grids. It's a long term solution and will cost a fortune. But it maybe the only option.

Already, British Gas (or whatever they are called now) are experimenting with hydrogen in a couple of small isolated gas grids. Results to date indicate that it is quite easy to convert existing gas appliances to using hydrogen. Much the same process as the changeover from town gas to natural gas (methane) a few decades ago.

All this could change again if batteries could be made vastly more efficient, lighter and cheaper than they are now. Which would solve the problem of intermittent wind power & solar power switching off during darkness.

It's an interesting debate. Difficult to get impartial assessments of the various options.
A guy who worked in the industry there told me that they dumped/buried them in the Irish Sea? I didn't know whether to believe him or not, but I hope he was joking
 
A guy who worked in the industry there told me that they dumped/buried them in the Irish Sea? I didn't know whether to believe him or not, but I hope he was joking
They did.

If you knkw the physics, you realise that it's an incredibly effective way of safely storing it. For most nuclear waste, the amount of radiation is cut in half for every 7cm of water covering it. Its why water is used in moat nuclear plants as part kf the shielding.


To run the maths on it, under 7cm of water, radiation is cut in half. Under 14cm, its a quarter. Under a metre of water, its 16,000 times less.

Under the 315m of water in the deepest part of the irjsh sea, its 3,485,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 less.




Oh, wait, sorry, I forgot to add another 1,300 zeros onto that number.
 
They did.

If you knkw the physics, you realise that it's an incredibly effective way of safely storing it. For most nuclear waste, the amount of radiation is cut in half for every 7cm of water covering it. Its why water is used in moat nuclear plants as part kf the shielding.


To run the maths on it, under 7cm of water, radiation is cut in half. Under 14cm, its a quarter. Under a metre of water, its 16,000 times less.

Under the 315m of water in the deepest part of the irjsh sea, its 3,485,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 less.




Oh, wait, sorry, I forgot to add another 1,300 zeros onto that number.
Why don't they dump it in the Thames so with all of the other shite.
 
A guy who worked in the industry there told me that they dumped/buried them in the Irish Sea? I didn't know whether to believe him or not, but I hope he was joking
It's true - the radio active water was dumped in the Irish Sea. But when the radioactivity levels of fish caught off Sellafield became too high, they were forced to stop the practice, on health grounds.
 
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