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Comment Re:Lessor of two evils... (Score 1) 400

To support what the OP says about the safety of nuclear power, this paper compares the mortality risk from a major radiation accident to that from other environmental factors including air pollution. It concludes that living in the Chernobyl exclusion zone poses a lower mortality risk that does living in the air pollution of central London.

Are passive smoking, air pollution and obesity a greater mortality risk than major radiation incidents

A rare nuclear accident is .... an accident. Air pollution is business as usual and it's not going to go away without abandoning fossil fuels.

Comment Re:A little late (Score 1) 961

Trying to convince them that we need to properly employ the scientific method is like farting in the wind.

Another self appointed internet custodian of the scientific method who apparently believes they have a firmer grasp on the scientific method than all the world's national science academies, the US National Research Council, the US Geophysical Union, the US Association for the Advancement of Science, NOAA, NASA and numerous scientific societies, professional bodies and research organizations around the world.

Were the topic anything other than climate change, such extraordinary arrogance would simply be ignored as delusional

Comment Re:Cost of decommissioning? any figures? (Score 1) 102

I believe IEA estimates are 15-20% of the original capital cost. When discounted a fair way into the future, they have a surprisingly small effect on the Levelized Cost of Electricity. The effect on the latter is heavily influenced by assumed discount rate. People sometimes like to confuse matters by equating costs of decommissioning of light water power reactors with the costs for older designs such as UK Magnox reactors or cleaning up some of the mess left from the cold war weapons and dual use facilities. They are not the same.

Comment Re:Not yet, if ever (Score 1) 102

The Russian BN-600 sodium cooled fast reactor has run for more than a couple of decades and is the most reliable power reactor in the Russian fleet. They are building an upgraded version called the BN-800 and China is buying two. Russia has been making a lot of noises lately about fast reactors being their energy future. France has the Astride fast reactor development program which recently received renewed funding. India is bringing it's first power fast reactor on line soon. The EBR-II ran successfully at US Argonne national labs for many years with many engineering advances including use the of metal rather than oxide fuel. etc, etc

China is building a high temperature 200 MWe pebble bed reactor and has announced an program for molten salt reactors.

Just because the US seems currently incapable of taking any real initiative in advanced nuclear power, doesn't mean light water reactors are the end of history. The US is going to be left behind


Submission + - AP Report on Industry Capture of NRC inaccurate (

KovaaK writes: A recent AP article, discussed here, attempts to show that the NRC is bending to the nuclear industry's will in dangerous and scary ways. Do their claims hold up? An expert with 36 years experience in nuclear reliability and risk assessment says no. On the AP's claim that there is no official body in the government or industry that has studied aging problem frequency and impact, he writes "That is an incorrect statement which could have been checked on the NRC website. I suggest that one look at the NRC's web pages that are devoted to equipment reliability trends."

Read more on his responses here.

Comment Re:Does nuclear really equal "progress"? (Score 2) 848

Something is seriously wrong with the US if it cannot generate new nuclear power for less than a range of $0.17-$0.34 per kWh. The IEA 2010 Projected Costs of Electricity Generation surveys costs around the world. The range is given for 5% and 10% discount rates

Sth Korea: $0.029 - $0.042 per kWh

France: $0.056 - $0.092

Russia: $0.043 - $0.068

For some reason, the IEA estimates for the cost of new nuclear in the US are comparable to these figures. All estimates include spent fuel management and decommissioning.

Nuclear Costs around the world

The IEA report also finds that with a $30 per tonne CO2 price nuclear is, in general, price competitive with everything, including coal. For the Asian region, it finds nuclear significantly cheaper than any other option. In general, it is competitive with or cheaper than on-shore wind - the cheapest renewable.

2010 Projected Costs of Electricity Generation

Comment Re:If it's down to coal or nuclear... (Score 1) 822

This is nonsense. In Germany wind has an average capacity factor of about 17%. In good locations worldwide capacity factor for on-shore wind may exceed 30%. Modern nuclear power typically has a capacity factor of ~90%

The upshot is that 1GW nameplate capacity of average wind in Germany produces the same amount of electricity as about 0.19 GWe capacity of nuclear

If you have any regard at all for the consequences of continuing massive CO2 emissions, then you would make an attempt to get the most elementary facts about energy correct

Comment Re:Wait, did you even read your own link? (Score 2) 439

You don't know what you are talking about. The source code for the software that produces the NASA GISS global temperature record is freely available from the GISS web site as are various papers discussing the production of the record.

If that's too hard then try the Clear Climate Code project that has rewritten this software in Python. Guess what? It produces results very similar to GISS. Open source and downloadable. Go on. Knock yourself out and try to falsify the GISS work.

Comment Re:Wrong, data set adjusted (Score 5, Informative) 439

Conspiracy theory trash. All major temperature records show 2010 to be the hottest or near hottest year and an unmistakable upward trend. Ten Temperature Records in a Single Graphic

As for the accusation in the linked article that the raw station data from which the NASA GISS and NCDC temperature records are compiled, not being publicly available, my only comment is that it is either a bare faced lie or astonishing ignorance. The NCDC station data has been available for download for years. Anybody making accusations that it is not is unfit to write anything on the topic of temperature records.

Comment Re:This Is Real Hacktivism (Score 4, Insightful) 361

The whole piece is based on a Fox News article. That by definition makes it unreliable. Quoting anonymous "security experts" is worthless and just citing the number of users signing on to Stuxnet security sites is hardly any better. I don't know if the Iranians have this thing under control or not and in all likelihood neither does Fox News.

While you luxuriate in your little cocoon of ideologically induced ignorance, others might like to consider some of the facts:

1. Iran as a signatory to the NPT has a right to run nuclear power plants. Even Hilary Clinton doesn't object to the Bashehr facility.

2. Bushehr facility is a Russian VVER pressurized water reactor. Russia is supplying the fuel and taking away the spent fuel. PWRs are very unsuited to producing weapons grade material. They must be shutdown for refueling. To produce PU239 uncontaminated with significant PU240, which is for all practical purposes inseparable from PU239, you need a short fuel cycle. The frequent lengthly shutdowns makes this an infeasible proposition. PU239 contaminated with significant amounts of PU240 is just not much use for weapons - it would fry the bomb makers with significant risk of premature detonation.

3. Iran certainly has an uranium enrichment program and this would give them a "break out capability" but whether Iran is actually producing or about to produce nuclear weapons is another matter entirely and not supported by any substantive evidence.

4. Whether Iran's nuclear program is "evil" is at most a matter of opinion. However, what would be construed as evil by most thinking people is the installation of the Shah by the CIA at the behest of British oil interests with the support of the British government. Rather unsurprisingly, nations tend to know their own history and mostly do believe in their right to self determination. Viewed against this historical backdrop, the most likely factor in triggering an Iranian weapons program would be a continuing and ramped up aggressive posture by the United States.

Comment Re:Uh wait... (Score 4, Insightful) 224

Solar thermal may be cheaper than PV but is still a lot more expensive than nuclear. The Arithmetic adds up to Nuclear

I'm not aware that there is any solar thermal plant in existence that has anything like the 90% capacity factor of nuclear. Andasol 1 and 2 in Spain as I understand it have 7 hours of storage. The most likely scenario for solar thermal is that it is backed up by gas in the immediate future.

Comment Re:Uh wait... (Score 4, Insightful) 224

What are you smoking?

Many developing countries have grids where the lights go out on a regular basis because of a the lack of baseload generation capacity. They are in desperate need of baseload (coal, nuclear, gas or hydro) to stabilize their grids and meet demand. You cannot do this with PV - period. Nuclear is the least environmentally damaging option and the lowest cost low emission technology.

Notably Vietnam and Bangladesh have recently signed agreements with Russia to build two VVER nuclear power plants in each country. Vietnam looks to be about to conclude a contract with Japan for two more reactors.

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