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Power Sources (lemmy.zip)
submitted 8 months ago* (last edited 8 months ago) by [email protected] to c/[email protected]
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[-] [email protected] 92 points 8 months ago

When it comes to generating electricity, nuclear is hugely more expensive than renewables. Every 1000Wh of nuclear power could be 2000-3000 Wh solar or wind.

If you’ve been told “it’s not possible to have all power from renewable sources”, you have been a victim of disinformation from the fossil fuel industry. The majority of studies show that a global transition to 100% renewable energy across all sectors – power, heat, transport and industry – is feasible and economically viable.

This is all with current, modern day technology, not with some far-off dream or potential future tech such as nuclear fusion, thorium reactors or breeder reactors.

Compared to nuclear, renewables are:

  • Cheaper
  • Lower emissions
  • Faster to provision
  • Less environmentally damaging
  • Not reliant on continuous consumption of fuel
  • Decentralised
  • Much, much safer
  • Much easier to maintain
  • More reliable
  • Much more capable of being scaled down on demand to meet changes in energy demands

Nuclear power has promise as a future technology. But at present, while I’m all in favour of keeping the ones we have until the end of their useful life, building new nuclear power stations is a massive waste of money, resources, effort and political capital.

Nuclear energy should be funded only to conduct new research into potential future improvements and to construct experimental power stations. Any money that would be spent on building nuclear power plants should be spent on renewables instead.

Frequently asked questions:

  • But it’s not always sunny or windy, how can we deal with that?

While a given spot in your country is going to have periods where it’s not sunny or rainy, with a mixture of energy distribution (modern interconnectors can transmit 800kV or more over 800km or more with less than 3% loss) non-electrical storage such as pumped storage, and diversified renewable sources, this problem is completely mitigated - we can generate wind, solar or hydro power over 2,000km away from where it is consumed for cheaper than we could generate nuclear electricity 20km away.

  • Don’t renewables take up too much space?

The United States has enough land paved over for parking spaces to have 8 spaces per car - 5% of the land. If just 10% of that space was used to generate solar electricity - a mere 0.5% - that would generate enough solar power to provide electricity to the entire country. By comparison, around 50% of the land is agricultural. The amount of land used by renewable sources is not a real problem, it’s an argument used by the very wealthy pro-nuclear lobby to justify the huge amounts of funding that they currently receive.

  • Isn’t Nuclear power cleaner than renewables?

No, it’s dirtier. You can look up total lifetime emissions for nuclear vs. renewables - this is the aggregated and equalised environmental harm caused per kWh for each energy source. It takes into account the energy used to extract raw materials, build the power plant, operate the plant, maintenance, the fuels needed to sustain it, the transport needed to service it, and so on. These numbers always show nuclear as more environmentally harmful than renewables.

  • We need a baseline load, though, and that can only be nuclear or fossil fuels.

Not according to industry experts - the majority of studies show that a 100% renewable source of energy across all industries for all needs - electricity, heating, transport, and industry - is completely possible with current technology and is economically viable. If you disagree, don’t argue with me, take it up with the IEC. Here’s a Wikipedia article that you can use as a baseline for more information: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/100%25_renewable_energy

[-] [email protected] 22 points 8 months ago* (last edited 8 months ago)

Excellently written!

I am so tired of people who have no idea how good wind and solar are/have gotten smugly declaring that wind and solar will never be good enough to meet energy demands...

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[-] [email protected] 52 points 8 months ago

Obligatory Kyle Hill videos because keyword “nuclear energy”:

https://youtu.be/4aUODXeAM-k

https://youtu.be/J3znG6_vla0

Some things to note:

Going back to 1965, air pollution from fossil fuels has cost us around 81 million lives. 4,000 people in China die every day due to fossil fuel pollution. 1 in 5 premature deaths can be attributed to fossil fuels.

Radiation in pop culture is portrayed as difficult to contain, but that isn’t the case. We know how to do it well, and we already do it.

Pop culture depictions fail to illustrate the radiation that is released into the air, unable to be properly managed, as a result of fossil fuel production and consumption.

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[-] [email protected] 51 points 8 months ago

ITT oil and coal propaganda proving propaganda and fear mongering work.

Nuclear is safer in every single regard. Even including weapons nuclear energy has harmed fewer humans than coal or gas by far.

[-] [email protected] 22 points 8 months ago

In Australia, nuclear is being used as a propaganda tool by the coal lobby to defend their interests against renewables because the build time is so long (and I suspect because the miners are more or less the same).

Large scale solar with batteries is 1/6th the cost, 5x faster to build, better for the environment, better for energy independence, and doesn't carry the risk of an event that'll render an entire country uninhabitable. I'm yet to hear a decent argument for nuclear.

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[-] [email protected] 15 points 8 months ago

Is nuclear safer than solar and wind?

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[-] [email protected] 12 points 8 months ago

Just saying anyone who disagrees with you is a shill is the absolute most pathetic argument, it's what conspiracy loons do.

No one is saying use coal or gas that's a red herring all the nuclear proponents love to try and throw in there, nuclear is hugely expensive and very slow to build with lots of complex supply chain, waste management issues, and security issues where as renewables are able to be installed far faster, cheaper and safer.

It's either waste huge sums on building nuclear reactors while we continue to burn gas and oil for the ten to twenty years it takes to get a reactor online OR invest in renewables and get off fossil fuels quicker, cheaper and safer.

[-] [email protected] 10 points 8 months ago

I love how people will blindly support nuclear power plants so strongly that any argument made against them is automatically called propaganda.

My power electronics professor told us the same thing you did, that nuclear power plants are dead because they're too complex and expensive to maintain in the long run, and that renewables are the better choice at this point. Maybe this will change as fusion reactors improve, but we're probably decades out before industrial fusion plants start showing up, if they ever do.

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[-] [email protected] 42 points 8 months ago

Love that the meme format uses water and hydro isn't fuckin mentioned

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[-] [email protected] 37 points 8 months ago

ITT: People regurgitate oil company propaganda verbatim.

[-] [email protected] 29 points 8 months ago

Nobody wants to maintain anything.

When you fail to maintain coal, gas, wind, or solar, it just stops working for the time being.

When you fail to maintain nuclear systems (be that poor understanding, lack of training, negligence, whatever), things go very bad very quickly.

This is before you get into wider issue's like waste management and environmental concerns.

[-] [email protected] 24 points 8 months ago

Oh boy, another hot take from a well educated and informed source, I’m sure.

80% of what you think about nuclear is fossil fuel propaganda, 10% is because the soviets are dipshits, and the last 10% are reasonable concerns that redundant safety system upon redundant safety systems address.

[-] [email protected] 19 points 8 months ago* (last edited 8 months ago)

While we're criticizing sources, do you have a source on those percentages?

[-] [email protected] 23 points 8 months ago* (last edited 8 months ago)

This is the internet, where 90% of percentages are made up. Including this one.

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[-] [email protected] 17 points 8 months ago

We tend to forget the negligence humans are capable of.

But to be fair, abolishing nuclear was a trick to expand oil, gas and coal afaik. At least the funding came from there iirc.

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[-] [email protected] 12 points 8 months ago

Waste management and environmental concerns are already bad with coal power (even worse than nuclear power, in the sense that nuclear doesn’t launch waste into the air as far as I know, feel free to correct me if I’m wrong)

Although, yes, security has to be higher for nuclear power, but nuclear is not as bad as most people think

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[-] [email protected] 26 points 8 months ago

I don't get it, didn't Europe produce like 100% wind power at one point this past week?

[-] [email protected] 23 points 8 months ago

Solar is also at a record high and cheaper than ever. I think this is just some weird fossil fuel meme meant to be ignorant.

[-] [email protected] 22 points 8 months ago

replace skeleton with cooling rods and this meme gets better tbh 😂

[-] [email protected] 8 points 8 months ago

It's already got the Cherenkov radiation though.

[-] [email protected] 21 points 8 months ago* (last edited 8 months ago)

Correct me if I'm wrong but even though Nuclear sounds cool. In the vast majority of places isn't it less costly, to go with renewables, instead? And for a greater power output? And also renewables can be created in a fraction of the time without any r&d. That's not even mentioning the potential hazards and waste management issues with nuclear.

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[-] [email protected] 19 points 8 months ago

In Australia our conservatives run on the promise of nuclear power, but they've been in power for 20 of the last 26 years and haven't ever attempted to implement it, they just use the promise to stymie the development of renewables.

Imo the time to try to use nuclear to suppress oil and gas was 50 years ago.

[-] [email protected] 12 points 8 months ago

The lack of love for Hydroelectric makes me sad

Hydroelectric power is the backbone of electricity here in Brazil :P

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[-] [email protected] 10 points 8 months ago
[-] [email protected] 11 points 8 months ago* (last edited 8 months ago)

Not a good solution for most of the world, but great for where it can be done, same as geothermal.

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[-] [email protected] 10 points 8 months ago

Nuclear had its time. Solar and wind is cheaper, can be distributed and has a fraction of the waste and supply chain issues.

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[-] [email protected] 9 points 8 months ago

Oh yes, let's focus on an extremely expensive energy source! Let's get rid of dependencies of dicatotors by making us dependent of other dictators to get uran! Why waste any more time on energy sources that pay off after a few years when we can have an energy source they'll still have to pay for in 100 generations? So genious!

[-] [email protected] 10 points 8 months ago

Not to mention how long it takes to find good spots since noone wants to have one in their backyard and even if you have a spot it takes almost a decade to build m

Also you need to guarantee cooling which is going to be a bigger and bigger problem in the coming years...

So much better than spending a fraction of the money to build renewables much faster with less risk...

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[-] [email protected] 8 points 8 months ago

Pollution? That's a problem for future Homer.

[-] [email protected] 8 points 8 months ago

The nuclear power is in the water because Japan dumped it in there to save a buck.

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[-] [email protected] 8 points 8 months ago

Not in France!

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this post was submitted on 19 Sep 2023
681 points (86.3% liked)

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