View Single Post
Old 03-24-2009, 12:30 AM   #11 (permalink)
Master EcoModder
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Earth
Posts: 5,209
Thanks: 225
Thanked 808 Times in 592 Posts
Originally Posted by Bicycle Bob View Post
Nuclear is an industry that can't live without subsidies, can't buy insurance, and will cost our descendants more or less forever.
False, false, and false. Nuclear gets far less in the way of subsidies than coal, and the government BUILT most of the hydroelectric power in this country. Maybe the nuclear industry can't buy insurance (I don't think anyone's ever actually tried), but fossil fuel & hydroelectric aren't required to have the same level of insurance that was forced on the nuclear industry. And there's darned little ongoing cost to burying stuff in the ground: how much did it cost to run Oklo for 1.5 billion years?

Starting today, you need almost a decade to build a nuke...
And you need about the same amount of time and capital investment to build the same amount of solar, wind, coal, or whatever.

...and another decade of running it to pay back the oil used in construction.
That's just flat-out wrong. No, I'll go further than that: it's so far off base that it's not even wrong, it's an example of the "big lie", where you make up something so totally off the wall that people figure it must be so, because they just can't believe anyone would have the chutzpah to say it if it wasn't true. Sort of like investing with Bernie Madoff :-)

For a much smaller initial investment, you can have all the renewable power you want in two decades.
Nope, do the math. Say you want 1 GWatt of generation, 24/7. Get solar panels under $1/watt, that's $1 billion... Well, no, $2 billion, 'cause you have to generate twice as much during the day to make up for the night. And maybe you ought to allow another $billion for cloudy days, and low sun angles in the morning & evening. Then you have to build structure to mount the panels, and pay someone to install them, so there's another $billion or two. Then because you want power 24/7, you have to build some sort of storage facility, so add another $billion for that. Oh, and your storage is maybe 75% efficient, if you're lucky, so add another $billion or so worth of panels to make up for that. So where are we, $6-7 billion for that GWatt of solar? How much was that nuclear plant again...

  Reply With Quote