We are still screwed: the coming climate disaster


#4407

If we’re talking fission plants, this is a bad idea for a variety of reasons. And I’ll note that I’m no nuclear hardliner; I’ve worked in nuclear power related jobs for most of my 20 year career. Aside from all the ancillary issues with accidents and weapon proliferation and waste disposal, there simply isn’t a large enough supply of nuclear material to power the world for any length of time.


#4408

!!! First I’ve ever heard of that. I’ll have to read that link.


#4409

Nuclear Fusion breakthrough is our only hope!

Actually, I wouldn’t be surprised that in the event of a breakthrough in Fusion, the fossil fuel industry would still actively lobby the world governments from widespread adoption of the new technology.


#4410

They’ll just use leverage to make sure they suck up all the government tax dollars to research and develop the tech to make sure the remain the dominant energy suppliers.


#4411

Here’s a rebuttal to that article.; not very well-written but making some important points.


#4412

I was listening to an interview with Andy Weir about his most recent novel, Artemis, and he was saying that it’s really important to him that the world he creates has a working economic model. One of the areas he can’t suspend his disbelief when reading sci-fi is when the world building doesn’t make any sense on an economic level.

Sometimes when we talk about solutions to climate change, the speculative science approaches sci-fi but folks forget that none of it is actually possible without a supporting economic model. Which is why I think we’re fucked because the scale of change needed is economically and politically improbable.


#4413

I just started reading that article, and immediately hit something which is obviously incorrect…

** Land and location:** One nuclear reactor plant requires about 20.5 km2 (7.9 mi2) of land to accommodate the nuclear power station itself, its exclusion zone, its enrichment plant, ore processing, and supporting infrastructure. Secondly, nuclear reactors need to be located near a massive body of coolant water, but away from dense population zones and natural disaster zones. Simply finding 15,000 locations on Earth that fulfill these requirements is extremely challenging.

I mean… That’s not remotely true. Hell, TMI is right next to Harrisburg. You fly almost directly over it when you fly into the airport. There are houses right across the river from it, 400m away.

If you needed to clear out a space around it such that if it blew up like Chernobyl… Then sure, maybe. But no Western reactor would do that. Certainly modem reactors like the AP1000 couldn’t… It’s literally impossible.

I’m kind of skeptical of the rest of this article…


#4414

It is possible that rules about exclusion zones have changed since TMI was built. Not least because of the incident at TMI. In the UK it seems you can’t have any population within 1km of the reactor and there are density limits up to 20 miles out.


#4415

FWIW, here’s the ultimate source for the claim. Summary:


#4416

Yeah, it says right there in the article that they aren’t just counting the land for the plant itself, though it could be more clear.

…land to accommodate the nuclear power station itself, its exclusion zone, its enrichment plant, ore processing, and supporting infrastructure.


#4417

In a more positive development…

The Minneapolis-based company, which currently produces 60 percent of its power from fossil fuels, said it will slash carbon emissions by 80 percent from 2005 levels by 2030, from a previous target of 60 percent, before going to zero in 2050. It has already slashed those emissions by 35 percent.

In a statement, the utility said its 2030 goal can be reached affordably with renewable energy and other current technologies. To achieve the 2050 goal of all zero-carbon electricity, however, “requires technologies that are not cost effective or commercially available today,” Xcel said.


#4418

That’s a pretty big caveat.

I have a plan to be much thinner and better-looking by 2020, but my scheme requires technologies and surgery that are not cost-effective or commercially available today.


#4419

The other article posted points out the most detailed flaws in that analysis… Like the fact that nuclear plants aren’t bigger than existing coal plants, and most coal plants have the same cooling requirements . So saying “you don’t have room for those plants” is silly, since you could just replace existing coal plants with them.


#4420

#4421

Yeah, I think literally zero carbon emissions is not quite at “pipe dream” level but is very unlikely. The only way they can get there with current tech is by building more nuclear plants, something I wish would happen all over the place but is unlikely.


#4422

I am so fucking sick of these assholes


#4423

Not just the US, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait as well.


#4424

Another attempt underway at carbon capture. Economical? Not so much, at least not yet; but the more attempts, the better the chance someone can make it work.


#4425

At least that makes sense since their economies are based on fossil fuels.


#4426

It makes sense though, our politics are fueled by fossils.