Nuclear energy is an important part of staving off climate change. As you know, the main obstacles are not technical; they are political. Most people suffer from radiophobia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radiophobia). The more there are of us who can collectively talk a bit of sense, the better for humanity. Most people, because they have trouble thinking independently, respond best when there is bandwagon effect. The main way they can open up to nuclear, is to see that others have opened up.
Japan realizes the silliness of solar 'farms'...
Nuclear energy is an important part of staving off climate change. I am a big proponent of LFTR. As you know, the main obstacles are not technical; they are political. Most people suffer from radiophobia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radiophobia). The more there are of us who can collectively talk a bit of sense, the better for humanity. Most people, because they have trouble thinking independently, respond best when there is bandwagon effect. The main way they can open up to nuclear, is to see that others have opened up.
The reality is that when a nuclear plant goes out of service, or never gets built, it is replaced by natural gas. If you sincerely care to avoid climate change, you must be pro-nuclear. Otherwise, you are harboring a form of climate change denial.
As part of addressing the safeness of nuclear power, I stated that a reactor cannot explode like a thermo nuclear bomb (a common misconception), so I fail to see how it was not on-topic. I also mentioned that nuclear was thee, or the joint safest in terms of death per TW/h.
As for nuclear waste, and its connection (lack thereof) to global warming, which you assert was an answer to an argument never presented, it was an aside as indicated by the punctuation and should be read in the context of the preceding paragraph.
"4. When you mention there are 'current reactors' that can use 99% of their fuel, this is a blatant oversimplification of the issue." - my comment says nothing of the sort, it said:
"...current reactors are poor in this regard and only use ~1% of their fuel before it has to be reprocessed/discarded. Some new reactor designs can use 99% of the fuel, resulting in much less waste (and shorter lived waste too)."
...but putting that to one side, the UCS report is mostly focused on solid fuel (MOx) thorium reactors, and only briefly touches on molten salt reactors of the thorium variety. This is hardly surprising as many MSR designs postdate or were not very far advanced in 2009.
The continuous reprocessing that happens in MSRs, and touched upon in the report, is far less of a security risk than the off site processing used in existing solid fueled reactors (which often is transported by road or rail). Reduced overall waste helps in this regard too.
Nowhere did I say nuclear waste is a non-issue, the less we make of it the better, but I see global warming as a more immediate threat than nuclear waste. Although I invest in renewables, until their intermittency is addressed, they will never be able to displace sufficient base load providing power stations, hence emissions, and that is the crux.
Energy capacity of solar is on the order of 150-800 watts per square meter. Even accounting for night and weather one can get from 150-800KWH per sq meter per year in Germany, which has very low solar insolation compared to most of the world. At 1 watt per sq m a wind power plant would produce a maximum of approximately 8KWH per year per sq m.
The mistake that Germany has, so far, not corrected is that they disincentivized storage by requiring the utilities to buy all renewable energy at very high cost. I see a similar issue with net metering rules, as presently applied in the US. There is no economic incentive for storing energy produced by a rooftop solar system if all the energy will be purchased at retail price by the utility. In fact, some utilities will not allow storage systems to be connected to the grid for fear of users storing power at low cost at night and selling it back during peak use times for more money than they paid for it (though most residential meters do not actually charge at different rates vs time of day.)
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