Overview of some of global warming realities
There are a lot of discussions about the undesirability of nuclear power and how expensive it is. To answer quickly these concerns I have summarized below the key points to consider. Details are in the different blogs I have written of these issues.
1. GHG are already so high we have little time to slow them down; if we do not, the likelihood of catastrophic climactic events would increase markedly.
2. Fifty percent of the electricity in Germany and the US, and 80% of China is generated by coal, the biggest polluter of all. Even if CCS would work it would take many years to install on a wide scale, and it is risky technically and environmentally. We should not count on it until proven reliable and economical.
3. With all the conservational and efficiency we could achieve realistically, the demand for electricity is increasing in all the developing world. I am all for cutting our use, but the rest of the world is increasing theirs. They are not bound by our ways and situation.
4. The increasing world population coupled with the increasing demand for higher standard of living by the developing world, especially India and China, [with three billion people in several decades,] outstrip any thing we do elsewhere in the developed world combined.
That is: IT DOES NOT MATTER WHEN AND HOW THE ADVANCED COUNTRIES REDUCE THEIR GHG, the emerging nations are on a current path to have some five to ten times the total GHG emissions of all the other nations combined.
5. Let's grasp the magnitude of the energy the world will need: we essentially need the equivalent of one new nuclear plant on line every day for the next forty years!!!
6. We must eliminate all coal-generated electricity in the world if we want to survive the increasing GW.
7. It does not matter what the US and Europe do in nuclear power. There are 440 nuclear plants globally, 104 in the US and about a hundred in Europe. The China/India and rest of Asia have the majority and are building more. Chain is planning 10 more in the next few years and a faster rate later.
What we feel, what we plan, what we like, does not matter at all to the rest of the world. They have their own agenda, they have completely different needs.
8. The capital cost per kWh produced of photovoltaic in an efficient industrial setting is twice the cost of a 1000 MW nuclear plant at ten billions dollar each.
9. We must have human-controlled electrical power to overcome, to supplement the power obtained from nature.
10. Several technologies must be used globally to generate the immense demand for energy, nuclear power will be part of the mix in the rest of the world. The US may as well participate and make this technology safer and available at lower cost. If we do not participate, the outcome may be worse since the rest of the world dos not have the luxury of being over concerned about safety and reliability as the US is. Be a leader or stay to the side.
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