Friday, May 18, 2012

Green Party to Go Nuclear?

fin-nukeAs you may know, most European countries have a Green Party as part of the political mix. In most countries, they may pick up a few seats, but generally the goal is to keep their views front and center. Nuclear energy usually fares poorly. Here’s the British Green Party (from last year):

In elections campaigns this spring, for the Welsh Assembly and local elections in England, the Greens are the only political party opposed to nuclear power.

I find that – exceptionally good news, actually.

And here’s the Finnish Green League:

In addition, the party's policy on nuclear energy will be in the spotlight. According to Holopainen, a large proportion of voters who back the Greens, nowadays also back the use of nuclear power.

See? Fairly consistent – wait, what? I couldn’t find much more about this – the story is about the formation of the party platform and the speaker is Hanna Holopainen, a delegate. We’ll have to wait until after this weekend to see if the Green League goes nuclear.

Color me curious.

Where the energy is – the yellow labels show the two Finnish sites. The one labeled as TVO is usually called Olkiluoto.

Finland has four nuclear reactors, producing about 30 percent of its electricity, the most of any source. Coal handles most of the rest, with hydro bringing up the rear (and causing electricity shortages in dry years.) The country is currently building a fifth reactor. More here.

4 comments:

Pete51 said...

Popular Mechanics recently ran an article about Finland's spent fuel repository.
http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/environment/waste/finlands-crazy-plan-to-make-nuclear-waste-disappear-8732655

They call it a "crazy plan", but I don't see anything crazy about it.

Brian Mays said...

Eh ... it's Popular Mechanics. Were they right about the "flying car" 50 years ago?

Do you think that anyone takes Popular Mechanics seriously?!

They've always been a fun, but low-end, brand. It's a shame that their articles have deteriorated this much, but it's not exactly unexpected.

Pete51 said...

The two videos embedded in the article appear to be produced by the Finns, and provide some good information on the design.

Anonymous said...

What is often called nuclear waste actually is not waste; it is unused fuel. The current nuclear reactor technology is so inefficient that it actuually uses less than 1% of the available energy in the fuel. The "waste" should be saved so that, in the future, it can be used as fuel in better nuclear reactors. And, our current nuclear technology should be phased out in favor of more efficient reactors which will use the fuel more efficiently and produce only about 1% as much waste as the current nuclear technology.