Skip to main content

Another Opportunity to Correct Bad Data

After reading the post,"“Wind power beats nukes,"it looks like we're on another mission to correct some bad data. The blogger in question cites The Australian's article"Doubts over "‘clean nuke power":
Nuclear power stations using high-grade uranium ores would have to run for seven to 10 years before they created enough power to cancel out the energy required to establish them. Wind power takes just three to six months to do the same.
I knew I had heard this claim before several times. So as I read The Australian'’s article where the blogger got the info, I found that Dr. Diesendorf was behind the claim. Here's a previous post where we dealt with the Doctor's assertions:
Nuclear power plants do not emit criteria pollutants such as SO2 and NOx or greenhouse gases during operations. This is a well known fact, but it hasn't stopped some anti-nuclear groups from making misleading statements regarding nuclear power.

One of the most common claims heard is that nuclear power emits greenhouse gases during its entire life-cycle. This is true, just as it is true of renewable generation. Nuclear energy life-cycle emissions include emissions associated with the construction of the plant, mining and processing of the fuel, routine operation of the plant, the disposal of used fuel and other waste by-products, and the decommissioning of the plant.

The World Nuclear Association's analysis provided in the previous post also gives their take on energy inputs and outputs for each fuel, a point the blogger is trying to nail nuclear on. If you scroll down to Table 2 you will find an energy ratio and input % of lifetime output to compare other fuels. The higher the energy ratio and the lower the % of lifetime output the better.

It may (and I would take that with a grain of salt) take 7 to 10 years for nuclear to pay back its energy debt and only 3-6 months for wind. But it takes three times the capacity, three times the years and three times the generation to match what nuclear provides. And according to the WNA's analysis, nuclear eventually pays off better in the end.

To amazngdrx: wind power is one of the cheapest sources of electricity available. And when it comes to curbing climate change, we're going to need every low-emitting source of electricity that we can build. However, wind power cannot provide the everyday base load electricity that is needed as we go into the future, and it's time to stop pretending that we have to choose either renewables like wind, or nuclear energy, to meet future demand. We're simply going to need them all.

Technorati tags: , , , , ,

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Making Clouds for a Living

Donell Banks works at Southern Nuclear’s Plant Vogtle units 3 and 4 as a shift supervisor in Operations, but is in the process of transitioning to his newly appointed role as the daily work controls manager. He has been in the nuclear energy industry for about 11 years.

I love what I do because I have the unique opportunity to help shape the direction and influence the culture for the future of nuclear power in the United States. Every single day presents a new challenge, but I wouldn't have it any other way. As a shift supervisor, I was primarily responsible for managing the development of procedures and programs to support operation of the first new nuclear units in the United States in more than 30 years. As the daily work controls manager, I will be responsible for oversight of the execution and scheduling of daily work to ensure organizational readiness to operate the new units.

I envision a nuclear energy industry that leverages the technology of today to improve efficiency…

Why America Needs the MOX Facility

If Isaiah had been a nuclear engineer, he’d have loved this project. And the Trump Administration should too, despite the proposal to eliminate it in the FY 2018 budget.

The project is a massive factory near Aiken, S.C., that will take plutonium from the government’s arsenal and turn it into fuel for civilian power reactors. The plutonium, made by the United States during the Cold War in a competition with the Soviet Union, is now surplus, and the United States and the Russian Federation jointly agreed to reduce their stocks, to reduce the chance of its use in weapons. Over two thousand construction workers, technicians and engineers are at work to enable the transformation.

Carrying Isaiah’s “swords into plowshares” vision into the nuclear field did not originate with plutonium. In 1993, the United States and Russia began a 20-year program to take weapons-grade uranium out of the Russian inventory, dilute it to levels appropriate for civilian power plants, and then use it to produce…

Nuclear: Energy for All Political Seasons

The electoral college will soon confirm a surprise election result, Donald Trump. However, in the electricity world, there are fewer surprises – physics and economics will continue to apply, and Republicans and Democrats are going to find a lot to like about nuclear energy over the next four years.

In a Trump administration, the carbon conversation is going to be less prominent. But the nuclear value proposition is still there. We bring steady jobs to rural areas, including in the Rust Belt, which put Donald Trump in office. Nuclear plants keep the surrounding communities vibrant.

We hold down electricity costs for the whole economy. We provide energy diversity, reducing the risk of disruption. We are a critical part of America’s industrial infrastructure, and the importance of infrastructure is something that President-Elect Trump has stressed.

One of our infrastructure challenges is natural gas pipelines, which have gotten more congested as extremely low gas prices have pulled m…