So what's going to replace coal?

 

Pinned post created by dthead

Posted 2 years ago

  LancedDendrite Chief Commissioner

Location: North Haverbrook; where the monorail is king!
I know my view on this is very different, and in particular different to that of @LancedDendrite and others here, but Nuclear is un-insurable.
djf101
Wrong.

I did a lot of reading on this after the last time it was debated here, lots of reports on the studies into the effects of Chernobyl. All the people adversely affected by Fukushima will not be properly compensated, even the Japanese can't afford that. On this basis alone, Nuclear is too expensive. If these costs were properly accounted for and attributed to the generators, every nuclear plant in the world would be shut down tomorrow (IMHO obviously).
djf101
Did you bother to read the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR) reports on both accidents? Chernobyl was just about the worst case scenario for a commercial nuclear reactor accident; its impact was no worse than many large scale petrochemical industrial accidents that riddle 20th century history. The only thing that made it special was that it was a radionuclide release instead of a boring old toxic chemical cloud.

And Fukushima? The adverse impacts to residents were from the massive tsunami that hit Fukushima Prefecture and from the large scale, unnecessary evacuation that followed the events at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. Cancer rates haven't changed and aren't likely to for any exposed cohort, including the plant workers.

In my view, the environmental risks associated with Nuclear dwarf the worst climate change has to offer by continued unrestrained use of coal.
djf101
Yeah, coral bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef is no big deal. Neither is most of Bangladesh going underwater, or glaciers melting...
Fact is, the whole world needs to stop burning coal immediately. We need every tool available to achieve that task and nuclear energy is one of them.


And then there are security concerns. I'm sure many countries have nuclear reactors as much as a strategic defence asset than any other reason. In my view, the mere presence of a nuclear industry increases the risks of industy's by-products being deliberately mis-used, either by state or non-state players. The fact it hasn't happened since 1945 really shouldn't give anyone any comfort. Longer term, the extra cost of securing the waste, securing the state against the threat of the industry being mis-used, all dwarf the worst of the environmental and economic risks. If it were up to me, there would be a world wide ban on all fissile material. We'd allow the existing power reactors to serve out their economic lives, we'd use them to destroy all the world's weaponised fissile material, render all of the accumulated waste as harmless as possible, and then completely shut down the entire industry.
djf101
Here's an uncomfortable fact for you: just about every nation in the world that wants to build a nuclear weapon can build one. The genie has left the bottle. And worse still, they don't need a nuclear power station to help do that. Just look at North Korea's programme.
Most nations that elect to use nuclear power also don't elect to acquire nuclear weapons.
I could start talking about proliferation resistance in the modern nuclear supply chain but I don't think you'd either care enough or believe me.

Sponsored advertisement

  djf01 Chief Commissioner

I know my view on this is very different, and in particular different to that of @LancedDendrite and others here, but Nuclear is un-insurable.
Wrong.
LancedDendrite


Wrong?  You mean we do share the same view on this Smile?

I did a lot of reading on this after the last time it was debated here, lots of reports on the studies into the effects of Chernobyl. All the people adversely affected by Fukushima will not be properly compensated, even the Japanese can't afford that. On this basis alone, Nuclear is too expensive. If these costs were properly accounted for and attributed to the generators, every nuclear plant in the world would be shut down tomorrow (IMHO obviously).
Did you bother to read the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR) reports on both accidents?
LancedDendrite


I read everything you posted last time, and then some.  I also read through a bunch of medical literature on the subject.

Lets just say I came to a radically different conclusion to you from more or less the same publications.

As for the spelling corrections, I readily concede affected/effected - I didn't even realise I'd been making this blunder for the past 4 decades until earlier this year, and still having got into enough of a habit of substituting "impacted".  

But ... "Fukushima" is what I originally typed, but thought best to check it.  So I went to a usually implacable source and copied:

... and Fukashima. No, ...
RTT_Rules


So please, I know I've committed a lot of faux paus in this thread, but don't blame me for that one!
  rxclass Junior Train Controller

Location: On the manual turntable at Marino turning an exquisite Rx class steam locomotive.

Yeah, coral bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef is no big deal. Neither is most of Bangladesh going underwater, or glaciers melting...
Fact is, the whole world needs to stop burning coal immediately. We need every tool available to achieve that task and nuclear energy is one of them.
LancedDendrite
G'day all,

What about all the other fossil fuels derived from coal; oil, petrol, diesel, aviation fuels, gas etc. You do not mention that we should stop banning ALL internal combustion engine/hybrid cars, ALL airline flights, ALL Diesel Electric Locomotives etc.

NOWAY is anyone in the whole world going to give up driving their cars, going to Bali by plane etc. So when the Greens party wants to ban coal, the are hypocrites if the do not give up using all fossil fuels.  

Regards,
  nswtrains Chief Commissioner


Yeah, coral bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef is no big deal. Neither is most of Bangladesh going underwater, or glaciers melting...
Fact is, the whole world needs to stop burning coal immediately. We need every tool available to achieve that task and nuclear energy is one of them. G'day all,

What about all the other fossil fuels derived from coal; oil, petrol, diesel, aviation fuels, gas etc. You do not mention that we should stop banning ALL internal combustion engine/hybrid cars, ALL airline flights, ALL Diesel Electric Locomotives etc.

NOWAY is anyone in the whole world going to give up driving their cars, going to Bali by plane etc. So when the Greens party wants to ban coal, the are hypocrites if the do not give up using all fossil fuels.  

Regards,
rxclass
France intends to ban all internal combustion cars replaced by electrical in the near future. I believe a number of other countries are heading in the same direction and once a certain mass of production of electric cars is reached they will become cheaper and more acceptable for city use. In time they will be developed to travel the same distances as internal combustion engines. I am sure the same hysteria prevailed when internal combustion engines first started replacing horses. Change has to start somewhere and mounting generalized spurious arguments will not stop progress in that direction.

Even the Greens realise the adaption of clean energy will not happen overnight. However interest groups allied with the fossil fuel industry will try and slow down the adaption of clean energy as much as possible. The game is to try and strike an acceptable balance that does not kill commerce and industry yet does not destroy the earth.

This stuff is not easy as there is no easy solution in spite of what dullards like Pauline Hanson and supposedly intelligent men, but blinded by religious dogma, like Tony Abbott, suggest.

Doing nothing is not an option because countries like Bangladesh will be mostly underwater within a 100 years or so and that is not mentioning disasters caused by the ice sheet sliding off Greenland in the foreseeable future. Only fools and religious zealots don't believe Global Warming is real. Unfortunately, there are quite a few religious zealots who pray for it to happen as  they believe it will hasten the return of the big fairy in the sky and a so called paradise.
  rxclass Junior Train Controller

Location: On the manual turntable at Marino turning an exquisite Rx class steam locomotive.
Even the Greens realise the adaption of clean energy will not happen overnight. However interest groups allied with the fossil fuel industry will try and slow down the adaption of clean energy as much as possible. The game is to try and strike an acceptable balance that does not kill commerce and industry yet does not destroy the earth.
nswtrains
G'day all,

And therein lies the whole problem. 2 extremely opposing points of view who believe that their stand is the only correct one. And as neither are prepared to compromise the rest of us will in some way suffer a reduction in living standards if either get their way.

Electric cars are ok for city use, but what about the 100,000s of caravan owners  etc who require grunt to tow. Do they give up the life choice so some greenies have a glow in their hearts? If it does happen by government force, what about mass unemployment in the RV/Caravan park industry?

Nowhere did I state that Global Warming/Climate change is not happening. I just believe that no one is going to give up their life style voluntarily to please some else perceived correct point of view.

Regards,
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
The answer is simple, don't force either RE or any other kind of energy down people's throat and pocket. Let the customer whether it be industry, commerical or domestic choose where their power cones from and pay accordingly without a subsidy or penalty.

People are making these choices in every other aspect of their lifes including cars for which few EV or hybrid owners are chosen their purchase based economics.


Regards
Shane
  nswtrains Chief Commissioner

The answer is simple, don't force either RE or any other kind of energy down people's throat and pocket. Let the customer whether it be industry, commerical or domestic choose where their power cones from and pay accordingly without a subsidy or penalty.

People are making these choices in every other aspect of their lifes including cars for which few EV or hybrid owners are chosen their purchase based economics.


Regards
Shane
RTT_Rules
But people like economics is not rational. People make very poor purchasing choices and find themselves in debt. I believe for every dollar earned by Australians they owe something like $2. A lot of debt now involves borrowers taking on interest only loans which was only previously used for bridging finance, unlike in the USA where most housing loans are interest only loans. Any wonder a lot of US citizens end up in trailer parks when they retire because they dont actually own anything on retirement.

I had to explain this to a close US relative of mine, who is degree trained, but had no idea what an interest only loan was. I soon got her into a loan that payed off the principal as well.

I read the other day that 40% of Australians taking on interest only loans didn't know they were in one. Call that rational I think not. Just because someone has an I Phone 8++++ doesn't make them smart.

Shane you should stop spreading this neo-conservative nonsense as Australia has always had a semi-planned economy and not the liassez faire crap you like to spread. It is the job of a proper democratic government to make policy on the basis whats best for the present citizens and also future citizens. If you don't like their outcomes you can always vote them out.

Democracy involves a social contract wherein you act in the interests of yourself to the extent it does no harm to others. This concept was well known to the 18th Century French philosopher Montesquieu who also came up with the concept of social utilitarianism and whose philosophies has a great impact on formulating the great USA constitution. He must be turning in his grave these days.  

If it costs a bit more to provide a better environment tough luck. Spend less on smokes and gambling and bully 4 wheel drives. You will actually be healthier and wealthier. If you don't like it go and live in Trump Clown Town. But I bet you wouldn't.
  LancedDendrite Chief Commissioner

Location: North Haverbrook; where the monorail is king!
What about all the other fossil fuels derived from coal; oil, petrol, diesel, aviation fuels, gas etc. You do not mention that we should stop banning ALL internal combustion engine/hybrid cars, ALL airline flights, ALL Diesel Electric Locomotives etc.
rxclass
I seem to recall that the discussion topic question was 'What's going to replace coal?', not 'what's going to replace fossil fuels?'.

Wrong? You mean we do share the same view on this?
djf101
Your opinion is not backed up by facts. Nuclear power stations are insured. This means that they are by definition not 'un-insurable'.

I read everything you posted last time, and then some. I also read through a bunch of medical literature on the subject. Lets just say I came to a radically different conclusion to you from more or less the same publications.
djf101
That's an interesting way of reading the medical literature.

The answer is simple, don't force either RE or any other kind of energy down people's throat and pocket. Let the customer whether it be industry, commercial or domestic choose where their power cones from and pay accordingly without a subsidy or penalty.
RTT_Rules
That's not going to happen. What will most people pick, given a choice? The cheapest option. A minority will pick the 'clean' option. Market intervention to curb pollution and phase out coal (and eventually gas) is necessary, because the consequences of not intervening will harm all of us.
  nswtrains Chief Commissioner

Even the Greens realise the adaption of clean energy will not happen overnight. However interest groups allied with the fossil fuel industry will try and slow down the adaption of clean energy as much as possible. The game is to try and strike an acceptable balance that does not kill commerce and industry yet does not destroy the earth.
G'day all,

And therein lies the whole problem. 2 extremely opposing points of view who believe that their stand is the only correct one. And as neither are prepared to compromise the rest of us will in some way suffer a reduction in living standards if either get their way.

Electric cars are ok for city use, but what about the 100,000s of caravan owners  etc who require grunt to tow. Do they give up the life choice so some greenies have a glow in their hearts? If it does happen by government force, what about mass unemployment in the RV/Caravan park industry?

Nowhere did I state that Global Warming/Climate change is not happening. I just believe that no one is going to give up their life style voluntarily to please some else perceived correct point of view.

Regards,
rxclass
What you don't seem to get is that if highly populated EEC countries all go electric in the near future it will be forced on us because because no one will be manufacturing cars running on fossil fuels for our small population.

You mention caravans. Maybe that is why so many Australians are so much in debt and waste their retirement savings on luxuries they cannot afford. And we haven't seen interest rates rise yet as they will. For all the free market capitalists out there it will be the market that decides that you cannot have grunty bully wagons but what responsible governments decide is in the interest of the environment, even if you are too blind to see this.
  djf01 Chief Commissioner

Even the Greens realise the adaption of clean energy will not happen overnight. However interest groups allied with the fossil fuel industry will try and slow down the adaption of clean energy as much as possible. The game is to try and strike an acceptable balance that does not kill commerce and industry yet does not destroy the earth.

Nowhere did I state that Global Warming/Climate change is not happening. I just believe that no one is going to give up their life style voluntarily to please some else perceived correct point of view.
rxclass

And here-in lies the public policy challenge.  

I think most people now accept climate change is real, and something should be done about it.  But to suggest it should be up to individuals to voluntarily decide how much they will do as an individual is not just inequitable, it's simply not going to work.

The two most logical market methods of fairly distributing the (unrecognised) cost of climate change have failed politically in this country.  The cap and trade ETS couldn't get through the parliament when proposed by both the ALP and Libs, and the fixed price alternative was weakly implemented and mercilessly hunted down and eliminated by Abbot.  

The problem we have now is do-nothing is no longer an option.  Even if Australia - against the wished of the majority of voters - continues along using coal as out primary fixed line power source, it won't be long before our industries find themselves on the wrong side of punitive/self serving tariffs and other barriers because of our perceived lack of action on climate change.

Regardless of how "stable" our energy policy might seem in a domestic political context, no-one in their right mind is going to risk sinking money into new coal fired power here.

Personally, I think we've shot ourselves in the foot with our climate change denialist approach to the issue.  

The ageing power stations in Victorian brown coal fields in the La Trobe Valley, and their proximity to the depleted Bass Straight oil fields were the perfect site to develop C02 sequestration.  It would have been hugely expensive: $10-$15b for zero cash return, and would have taken 10-15, perhaps 20 years to get working properly.  It might not have saved the environment, but it sure would have done a lot to save our coal mining industry.


The answer is simple, don't force either RE or any other kind of energy down people's throat and pocket. Let the customer whether it be industry, commerical or domestic choose where their power cones from and pay accordingly without a subsidy or penalty.


The problem with saying this is the NEM is effectively set up with biases to support (ie help work around) the limitations of coal fired power - specifically how long it takes to fire up and shut down generation capacity.  It's job is to provide a mechanism to smooth out demand to match  the static nature of supply.

As we inevitably move to more of our power coming from renewables - and it's market forces much more than climate policy that is driving there - the supply is likely to have more variance than demand.  We need our market mechanisms to match demand with actual supply, not smooth out demand to create an artificially large base load requirement.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
All,
If Australia was to say tomorrow we will over next 3-4 years replace our existing coal and gas with RE what would the technology be? Any ideas? I can tell you what won't happen, Nth NSW and Qld especially would be in frequent darkness due to the lack of power, the reason being because today right now for Australia there is no suitable RE options that will provide 24/7/365 power at even an expensive price. And in 10 years time, the realistic predictions are not much better. The southern corner has the benefit of wind, solar and more importantly hydro to provide the storage. Nth NSW into Qld, NT and WA does not.

We hear of this country or that country are doing this or that with RE, but most of the examples thrown around are usually small countries with opportunity to harness hydro backed by wind and PV to boost the hydro output. We often hear about Germany, all its wind farms of which they don't even achieve 18% efficiency for the land based units, nearly half the bench mark. Their off-shore are doing better pushing 34%. Germany has a Nuclear phase out policy of 2022 (14%) and 2050 for coal for which the later provides 67% of the countries energy.  Meanwhile when the wind doesn't blow, Germany imports power from its neighbors most of which is coal and/or nuclear.

Meanwhile here, since the early 2000's when coal power stations were still being built to off-set the growth in home AC systems, domestic power bills have doubled and currently around 10% YOY as the subsidises into RE pour in along with grid upgrades to enable moving more power around to cope with RE thus driving power prices across the eastern grid on the back of power station closures in Vic. Meanwhile in WA which is an island, power prices are more stable and now on average cheaper than the east coast when historically it was more expensive. Demonstrating that their island status and inability to have ideology override commonsense and leaching off others seems to be the winner.

If we shut down the Aluminium industry in Australia, the biggest single user we would release nearly 2800MW 24/7/365. Enough to offset the loss of Hazellwood and and Liddel combined if you include the previous loss of two smaller smelters and we could claim this massive CO2 savings along with the CO2 produced in the smelter itself. But guess where the capacity is headed and there isn't a wind farm or PV solar in site.  

Pushing RE is all well and good, but this country was one of the cheapest electrical markets in the world and this is what attracted much of our industry and not just high energy users. Unlike Germany which has numerous domestic industries that thrive on "Made in Germany" and brand loyalty such as BMW in the export markets and thus can pass on higher power prices and labour costs, Australia does not have these large domestic employers as most of its is multinationals and hence will not think twice to walk to the next cheapest market and have been doing so and will continue to do so. Even small industry sector is feeling the pinch with even fishing rod producer in Brisbane claiming power prices are part of their reason for closure.

Without a viable solution for 24/7/365 RE is not going to cut it yet, so lets not kid ourselves that there is a 24/7/365 solution. To fix the problem you need to go back to what worked, let people and industry choose. If the govt really cared about CO2, it would be pushing alot harder on more solvable problems such as commuter transport and interstate freight, both ALP/Greens and LNP have shown their hand here previously.

10 years ago in Qld, we could tick a box to select RE on our power bills, why is this such a bad idea? Let people and industry choose, like most of the number of EV and hybride cars on the road that in most cases do not stack up economically people will still vote with their money if they can afford to in using RE energy, for those that cannot they at least won't go broke or need a tax payer hand out. The growth in RE will still grow, however it will be more organically on the back of commonsense and technology development, not ideology. Most RE apart from hydro is still very much in the infant stage although PV has come along way since 2000 with prices dropping 90% and so much so the panel cost is not a major component in total cost, its more labour. Wind has also improved, but wind is stuck at the 7-8MW per tower threshold, but both of these do not solve the 24/7/365 problem with storage. While battery technology is moving ahead, I believe the total lifecycle Env costs of battery is still open to debate and the industry still operates with numerous ethical and Env questions including mining and waste disposal although this will likely change with time. Solar thermal is still very much a work in progress and likely to be the major winner longterm partnered with gas turbine with small scale industrial operations popping up.

Look around the world and even countries that look on the surface to be RE leaders, including China and Even the UAE with its solar push, they are still reliant on and in many cases growing conventional energy sources as the RE's are not yet ready to take the lead.
  Bogong Chief Commissioner

Location: Essendon Aerodrome circa 1980
I pretty much endorse what RTT_Rules said about the practical effects of transitioning to "renewables" in the five states on the Australian grid. But (sadly) what matters most is the politics of the transition.

As people have already said, the constantly changing policies of governments and oppositions in the last decade have had two effects:
  1. Scaring off any investment in large scale generation.
  2. Giving Australia a reputation for "political risk" for the first time in its history.
Now the constant brinkmanship in politics where whatever one side suggests will be attacked and trashed by the other side (even if it is a fairly good plan) has led us to this stalemate. Sadly the days when both main parties could sit down and work out a common plan (such as the economic reforms of the early 1980s to late 1990s) are long gone. In these days of political hyper-partisanship, the main objective is to trash the other political party rather than improve the economy and make a more prosperous nation.

I can't see any chance of a negotiated common energy policy between Labour and Liberal in the near future (insulting each others ideas is easier and it gets them more votes), but even if that ever happens, there are two small but influential groups who have the power and influence to block most policies. I'll call them the hipsters and the rednecks for the want of better terms (and I apologise in advance for over simplifying them).
  • The hipster bubble. They can be stereotyped as wealthy people living in the fashionable inner parts of Sydney and Melbourne, in the past they've been called 'Doctors Wives'. In reality they are spread throughout most areas and they are not confined to places like Glebe and Fitzroy. This group is mostly detached from the daily struggles of people who work on farms and in factories, so they don't empathise with people struggling to keep industry going when things like gas prices have doubled for some businesses. They also don't understand the fear of unemployment that people working in heavy industry or on farms have. This hipster groups tends to advocate the closure of all coal generation within a few years, and either doesn't know or doesn't care about the mass unemployment and economic damage that would create. This group is disproportionally powerful as many of them work as academics and senior bureaucrats.
  • At the other extreme there are those who live in the redneck bubble. The unfair stereotype of them is that if they live in Sydney they listen to 2UE and if they live in the bush, they vote for the Shooters Party. But in the same way not all of the "hipsters" are Green voting doctors wives who live in Fitzroy, not all "rednecks" are angry, disenfranchised "white trash". Quite a few of those who are suspicious of governments and minimise the danger of climate change are affluent and middle class. But both groups live in bubbles and are not connected with the other 80% of society. The "rednecks" are just as disconnected as the "hipsters" and have a "head in the sand" approach to things like migration from tropical countries and climate change: if they ignore it and shout at those who go on about it, then all the bother will just go away.
Now I can't see a way to silence either of these influential groups, but both of them have enough political influence to block any proposed changes.

In this post I'm just trying to lay out some of the political hurdles to solving this problem in a very basic way. Sadly, I can't think of any way to resolve them.
  Carnot Chief Commissioner

One idea that gets thrown about from time-to-time is Syngas or Coal-gasification/liquefaction.  There were grand plans for this in the Latrobe Valley, but technical issues and Asian investors no longer being interested in it meant it went nowhere.  And I get the impression that it would fail on cost and environmental concerns in the future.
http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/brown-coal-scheme-designed-to-save-latrobe-valley-in-disarray-20161003-grtrao.html
As for the Guardian-reading 'Hipsters' and Andrew Bolt-reading 'Rednecks', they generally only hear from those on their side of the debate.
  Bogong Chief Commissioner

Location: Essendon Aerodrome circa 1980
Thanks for defining the two groups as Guardian readers and Andrew Bolt readers Carnot. I was searching around for snappy, descriptive terms like that, but at the time I couldn't think of anything better than hipsters and rednecks. I wrote that post late at night as a sort of "flow of consciousness" and posted it immediately because I knew I wouldn't normally have the courage to say what I though the problem was.

I expected to log in and see a bunch of posts attacking my broad and unfair generalisations, but all I see are that a few people gave it a like, so perhaps I (mostly) summarised the impossible political deadlock accurately?
  rxclass Junior Train Controller

Location: On the manual turntable at Marino turning an exquisite Rx class steam locomotive.
You mention caravans. Maybe that is why so many Australians are so much in debt and waste their retirement savings on luxuries they cannot afford. And we haven't seen interest rates rise yet as they will. For all the free market capitalists out there it will be the market that decides that you cannot have grunty bully wagons but what responsible governments decide is in the interest of the environment, even if you are too blind to see this.
nswtrains
G'day all,

Responsible governments! You have to be kidding. Make decisions in the interest of the environment that will in all probability cast them their minimum $4000.00 a week pay(cha-ching). Not to mention the perks and the taxpayer pension that allows them to retire in their 40s on $100,000s a year indexed for life. No not on their watch, they will just keep on kicking it down the road for someone else..

I only mentioned caravanners as just 1 large area of the economy that could be affected by wrong decisions. There are 2.5 million age pensioners now and over the next 12 years there will be the possibility of another 5.5 million more. Do you believe that the career politicians we have now are going to risk the above mentioned incomes etc. by picking on this number of voters now and into the future. Tony Abbott/Joe Hockey tried it in their first budget and got shot down in flames.

In my humble opinion electricity is the 1 product that separates us fro the caveman lifestyle and again no one is going to voluntarily lower their lifestyle to satisfy some-one's warm glow in their heart.

Regards,
  djf01 Chief Commissioner


  • The hipster bubble. They can be stereotyped as ...
  • At the other extreme there are those who live in the redneck bubble. ...
Bogong

My take on this:
Group (1): Elites who think they are bogans.
Group (2): Bogans who think they are elites.  Smile
  Aaron Minister for Railways

Location: University of Adelaide SA
Electric cars are ok for city use, but what about the 100,000s of caravan owners  etc who require grunt to tow. Do they give up the life choice so some greenies have a glow in their hearts? If it does happen by government force, what about mass unemployment in the RV/Caravan park industry?
rxclass
I wish had more time to contribute more in depth way in this thread, but I want to quickly mention that whilst I am no fan of electric vehicles, for towing, electric vehicles are likely to be substantially better than current alternatives.

100% torque at 0 RPM, there is no non electric vehicle in production, now or ever that could achieve this. Our diesel-electric locomotives are indeed diesel-electric for this very reason, and their ONLY use is towing...
  rxclass Junior Train Controller

Location: On the manual turntable at Marino turning an exquisite Rx class steam locomotive.
Electric cars are ok for city use, but what about the 100,000s of caravan owners  etc who require grunt to tow. Do they give up the life choice so some greenies have a glow in their hearts? If it does happen by government force, what about mass unemployment in the RV/Caravan park industry?
I wish had more time to contribute more in depth way in this thread, but I want to quickly mention that whilst I am no fan of electric vehicles, for towing, electric vehicles are likely to be substantially better than current alternatives.

100% torque at 0 RPM, there is no non electric vehicle in production, now or ever that could achieve this. Our diesel-electric locomotives are indeed diesel-electric for this very reason, and their ONLY use is towing...
Aaron
G'day all,

Yes, diesel-electric locomotives are excellent tow vehicles, but they have by definition an internal combustion engine. We are talking about an all electric car for towing. The best hybrid/electric car on the market at present is the Mitsubishi PHEV, but it's maximum braked towing is 1500kgs, about the size of a camper trailer or tent trailer not one of the massive 2.2 tonnes caravans available and out there in the 1000s.

The vast majority of current car makers offer excellent tow vehicles, some at huge costs, but they are ALL turbo diesel engines, some of them up to 6.3 litres in size.

Not being an engineer, the problem I perceive with electric motors is on the drive wheels of a car is they will be limited by the space within the vehicle.

Regards,
  Aaron Minister for Railways

Location: University of Adelaide SA
You're confusing though what is available today, with where the world is heading.

Right now there is seldom much call for all electric vehicles, hence you see there implementation being at the vastly more popular commuter markets. Should we eventually have a market requiring all electric vehicles (or even just all hybrid, internal combustion providing battery charge, not kinetic energy for the vehicle), those that can afford them will be falling over themselves for electric tow vehicles.

There is no need for an electric motor per wheel, not even per axle, electric motors if required can drive transmissions/differentals too...
  Aaron Minister for Railways

Location: University of Adelaide SA

I did a lot of reading on this after the last time it was debated here, lots of reports on the studies into the effects of Chernobyl. All the people adversely affected by Fukushima will not be properly compensated, even the Japanese can't afford that. On this basis alone, Nuclear is too expensive. If these costs were properly accounted for and attributed to the generators, every nuclear plant in the world would be shut down tomorrow (IMHO obviously).
Did you bother to read the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR) reports on both accidents?

I read everything you posted last time, and then some.  I also read through a bunch of medical literature on the subject.

Lets just say I came to a radically different conclusion to you from more or less the same publications.
djf01
What did your readings tell you the death toll from the Fukushima nuclear event was? What did you read was the increased cancer risk? The first is definitely ZERO, the second is effectively zero, if you read different, frankly, you read wrong!

Perhaps you want to give us some faulty statistics on Three Mile Island too?

If you want to select your energy source based on death tolls you might need to readjust your position...



EDIT: It's cut the chart title off, but it's deaths per Pwh.
  djf01 Chief Commissioner


I did a lot of reading on this after the last time it was debated here, lots of reports on the studies into the effects of Chernobyl. All the people adversely affected by Fukushima will not be properly compensated, even the Japanese can't afford that. On this basis alone, Nuclear is too expensive. If these costs were properly accounted for and attributed to the generators, every nuclear plant in the world would be shut down tomorrow (IMHO obviously).
Did you bother to read the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR) reports on both accidents?

I read everything you posted last time, and then some.  I also read through a bunch of medical literature on the subject.

Lets just say I came to a radically different conclusion to you from more or less the same publications.What did your readings tell you the death toll from the Fukushima nuclear event was? What did you read was the increased cancer risk? The first is definitely ZERO
Aaron

Zero, so far.

I'm not going to bother re-reading any of this for the sake of this thread, but it was very clear the attitude of UNSCEAR (or whoever it was I was reading) is "unless you can identify precisely who the Chernobyle accident has killed, it hasn't killed anyone else".  

The necessary wide scale studies needed to determine the actual effects simply weren't done.  "If the effect is less than noise, then it's nothing to do with us".  The medical literature is also ambivalent, with conflicting results from studies into exposures to low doses in different circumstances.  Ionizing radiation is unquestionably a carcinogen, by quantifying exactly how dangerous it is problematic ATM.

So, based on the information generally available, as the actuary of a public liability insurer I'd be telling my board "we would be taking on a 1:1000 year risk of a $10tril payout, with near unlimited ongoing claims liability for 50 years after the event."  No insurer has the resources to take on such a risk.  The insurance industry world wide might be able to cover an Australian nuclear industry.  But the way this usually works is the local taxpayers end up underwriting the risk.   Now the risks may not be that great, but that is beside the point.  One single incident has the potential to be another asbestos, and no insurer will properly take it on.  As I said before: uninsureable.
  Clyde Goodwin2 Chief Train Controller

dfj01
you just love not listening to others points.
Most Large companies are actually what is known as Self Insurers,i will leave it to the smarter members here to explain the details of that to you as it is above my level.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
The risks of nuclear is very very low, but agree when it goes bad its bad and many died due to Chernobyl. But this doesn't mean it shouldn't be built. Yes the tax payer will pick up the tab, but in return the taxpayer gets reliable, medium cost energy for 40 years with near zero emissions, no landscape covered in wind turbines or solar panels, no large scale electro-chemical battery storage again with its own issues, which has its own issues, no rivers flooded etc etc.  

The biggest risk however seems to be a lack of understanding on the technical reasons and changes to the nuclear power industry and the ability for Australia to have power stations away from large populations of humanity.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
Coral Bleaching is the flag of the environmental movement, yet the first time I went diving before Coral Bleaching was common knowlegde the dive instructor said "you came at a good time", the coral is white, happens on and off. That was the mid 90's, the guy was in his 40's been diving the southern reef for decades and reports date back much longer than that. Now if the southern part of the reef has gone white "in some locations" whats happened to the north? You guessed it, its not all white.

Also the "coral bleachers" will tell you the coral doesn't recover, its dead. But coral bleaching is a known event and even in my limited diving I have dived on same areas that were white 1-2 years later and its normal again.
  Aaron Minister for Railways

Location: University of Adelaide SA
Zero, so far.

I'm not going to bother re-reading any of this for the sake of this thread, but it was very clear the attitude of UNSCEAR (or whoever it was I was reading) is "unless you can identify precisely who the Chernobyle accident has killed, it hasn't killed anyone else".  

The necessary wide scale studies needed to determine the actual effects simply weren't done.  "If the effect is less than noise, then it's nothing to do with us".  The medical literature is also ambivalent, with conflicting results from studies into exposures to low doses in different circumstances.  Ionizing radiation is unquestionably a carcinogen, by quantifying exactly how dangerous it is problematic ATM.

So, based on the information generally available, as the actuary of a public liability insurer I'd be telling my board "we would be taking on a 1:1000 year risk of a $10tril payout, with near unlimited ongoing claims liability for 50 years after the event."  No insurer has the resources to take on such a risk.  The insurance industry world wide might be able to cover an Australian nuclear industry.  But the way this usually works is the local taxpayers end up underwriting the risk.   Now the risks may not be that great, but that is beside the point.  One single incident has the potential to be another asbestos, and no insurer will properly take it on.  As I said before: uninsureable.
djf01
The expected number of deaths from Fukushima is very close to zero EVER. The reason it's not zero ever, is because we use real mathematics and statistics and arrive at numbers of one in a thousand chance of a reduced life. The fact that we are more than six years on from the accident and have zero deaths leads us to be extremely sure that the likely number is ZERO ever. Recall, if you ever knew to recall, that radio activities DECREASE in time, hence risk decreases with time. If any were going to die, most of them would have already.

I find it interesting that you cannot even accurately identify the source of your 'reading' but nonetheless, I will take it at face value:

"unless you can identify precisely who the Chernobyle[sic] accident has killed, it hasn't killed anyone else".

Well what would have them do? Have some arbitrary number of deaths added to the actual known total just because you think it should be higher? Statistics deal in known numbers we do not sway results by thinking we know something we do not observe (or maybe the IARC do, but that's another story). We do not say 'we think, therefore it is known' - that is not how science works.

Shooters culling foxes etc paid by bounty per head are not paid for twelve kills because they say 'I have ten dead animals, but I fired 15 bullets, and I know I didn't miss five times so I must have killed at least twelve'.

Medical examiners do not say 'I am not sure, but this person died and they have a familiar history of myocardial infarction, so they died of a myocardial infarction' - they list cause of death as undetermined.

Just because someone lived near Pripyat and goes on to die of a suspected (or even known) cancer does not mean that they contracted that cancer because of Chernobyl. It may be some surprise to you, but people all over the world with no contact with radioactive isotopes from a nuclear reactor die from cancers everyday and we don't attribute their deaths to Chernobyl either.

To your third paragraph: If you want me to debate the rationale behind not accepting LNT as a valid basis for risk assessment then I am happy to, but first, there's a caveat, you have to get yourself to a suitable level of understanding on the subject, I have no time or desire to educate you on what it means, and where and why it is unreasonable to be used.

And to your last paragraph: You just cannot do numbers, how did you arrive at 1:1000 years and 10 trillion (which dollars)? Lastly, as someone else has already pointed out, large scale NPPs are insured, therefore by very definition they clearly are insurable, stop with the uninsurable claptrap. I work for a company with vastly less assets and much lower risk than a NPP and my company is not insured - insurance is not always about risk! - Even if it were didn't you see the neat little chart I provided you? Apparently solar carries five times the 'risk' and that green hydro stuff fifteen times the 'risk' are they uninsurable according to you?

Sponsored advertisement

Display from:   

Quick Reply

We've disabled Quick Reply for this thread as it was last updated more than six months ago.