From a newsletter

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gar

Senior Member
110602-0622 EDT

From a newsletter that I receive the following information was provided.

Deaths per terawatt hour by energy source:

161 ..... coal
36 ...... oil
4 ........ natural gas
1.4 ..... hydro
0.44 ... solar
0.15 ... wind
0.04 ... nuclear

No reference was given for the data.

Then the letter went to compare generation costs

Not only is nuclear power safest, it also happens to be extremely clean. Nuclear power generation produces virtually no greenhouse gases.

It's one of the most economical energy sources, too. It only costs about $0.04 per kilowatt hour (kWh) to produce electricity with nuclear power, compared to $0.08 per kWh for wind and more than $0.18 per kWh for solar.
And on demand:
Moreover, with global electricity consumption expected to surge by 75% to 35,300 terawatt-hours by 2035, we don't have much choice but to turn to nuclear to meet our power needs. It's one of the safest, cheapest, cleanest and most reliable options.
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gar

Senior Member
110602-0848 EDT

It would be useful if anyone can can provide information that would confirm or modify the data I presented. When there is no supporting information as to the origin of the data, then one has to be cautious about its validity.

Locally each month we have an Energy Forum in town. This is sponsored by an organization called Spark. Different speakers on varying subjects present information followed by a question period. There have been speakers on Solar, Wind, The Volt, Insulation, Geothermal, and so no. I find too much hype and lack of sound useful data at these discussions. They mostly want written questions. When I have presented some of these my questions were ignored. I have tried to get real world information on actual production over a year from solar projects. I have only been able to get limited information.

When you look at the data in my post #1 and see $0.04 per KWH for nuclear and compare that with $0.18 per KWH for solar, then solar has a long way to go. And solar only produces full output for about 6 hours per day. This means added cost for storage if solar is to be more than a supplemental source.

For a home installation I do not believe the real cost for solar is close to $0.18 per KWH. If I assume $7/watt rating for initial capital equipment, and a 20 year life, then that cost alone is $0.35 per year per rated watt. In our area you get maybe 1.1 KWH per year per rated watt of solar panel. This translates to $0.32 per KWH. This does not include real estate taxes, time value of money, and maintenance. My actual cost to buy power is about $0.13 per KWH.

There are claims that the cost from the power company is going to rapidly rise. I am not sure that is true, especially if nuclear is expanded. But also the sun can produce superheated steam to drive generators.

Tonight's meeting is discussed at
http://www.annarborusa.org/events/details?e=10754

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Jraef

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Location
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Occupation
Electrical Engineer
Lies, damned lies and statistics...

The lowest cost values used in most of the nuke-slanted discussions I've seen are almost always skewed to NOT include the long-term cost of storing and protecting the waste products for 10's of thousands of years. It's expected that these costs will be absorbed into society ad-infinitum with little or no accounting given for it in the figures used in the arguments. In one paper I read on the South Texas Project from 1996, the long term cost of storing and protecting just that one site were calculated to be $224 billion, and there were 107 such sites. That is for waste ALREADY created that needs to be stored, so in essence we have ALREADY used that energy and will require our progeny to pay for it for longer than recorded human history so far!

In addition, the cost values assigned to fossil fuels usually don't include the long term societal costs of greenhouse gas emissions because they are largely incalculable. Then conversely the long term SAVINGS from LACK of green house gas emissions in solar systems are therefore incalculable as well. So they are not factored in to the higher values assigned to solar cost per kWh either.

I'm actually not anti-nuke, I don't think we have a choice, but I reject these spurious argument statistics that are spewed all over, they are generally skewed to make whatever point the spewer wants to make.

Oh, and the PEAK POTENTIAL cost of human lives likely in a single coal mine accident? Maybe a couple of hunderd? The PEAK POTENTIAL cost of human lives in a single serious deadly Nuke accident? MILLIONS...
 
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kingpb

Senior Member
Solar causes a far bigger problem to utilities, for just the reason you mention and that is duration in which it operates.

Utilities are still on the hook for being able to provide power, so when you start building a bunch of solar to offset the other fuels, the utility is still stuck with needing to maintain what is called spinning reserve, e.g. the ability to provide the power when it is needed. The large swings in demand impact the utility regularly.

It is a fallacy to think solar, in any form is going to be able to offset large scale utility. To me, solar has no future, at least not in any form we currently understand.

The utilities only build renewable projects because they are mandated too, and can bury the higher cost in their utility rate structure, so it seems to be a small incremental cost when they can spread it out over 1000's of users. But the high $/kw installed cost is not sustainable.
 

zog

Senior Member
Location
Charlotte, NC
Oh, and the PEAK POTENTIAL cost of human lives likely in a single coal mine accident? Maybe a couple of hunderd? The PEAK POTENTIAL cost of human lives in a single serious deadly Nuke accident? MILLIONS...
Millions? No. Thousands? Nope. Chernobyl was the worst that we will ever see, yes ever, and nothing close to that in the U.S. All design basis stuff. There are no nuclear plants in the U.s that use moderators with positive coeficients of reactivity like Chernobyl, ours all use moderators with negative coeficients of reactivity so a rise in tempature actually shuts the reactor down. Even Japan was something we would not see here, thier design basis events were not even close to ours, the only type of event that could cause a japan type accident is some asteroid impacting the plant big enough so that the nuclear crisis would be the least of our worries.

Now the statisticis GAR posted, sure, all depends on what you want the statistics to show. Case in point, last night Top Gear proved a 450 HP BMW M3 was more fuel efficient than a Prius. (Around a track at the same speed, Prius =17MPG, M3= 19 MPG)
 

mivey

Senior Member
110602-0848 EDT

It would be useful if anyone can can provide information that would confirm or modify the data I presented. When there is no supporting information as to the origin of the data, then one has to be cautious about its validity.
As for the deaths: I don't believe it. Who knows what that is based on? That is about as amorphous as global warming.

The nuclear cost: Not too far off based on today's costs. The government is being a lot more friendly to nuclear builders (mainly by not changing the rules in the middle of construction).

Wind: No idea.
Solar: I have found it to be more like 30 cents/kWh

There are claims that the cost from the power company is going to rapidly rise. I am not sure that is true, especially if nuclear is expanded. But also the sun can produce superheated steam to drive generators.
The main driver for that is the environmentalists. The current administration has said they will bankrupt coal facilities and the regulation that is coming will eventually do it. Our nation runs on coal.

We are going to bankrupt ourselves by making our products be loaded up with environmental costs such that we have to buy products from countries with no environmental morals. We send them money for non-environmentally friendly products and they use that money to buy our debt. We are paying them to buy us lock, stock, and barrel. The energy policy needs to be re-worked.
 

don_resqcapt19

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Illinois
Occupation
retired electrician
... Even Japan was something we would not see here, thier design basis events were not even close to ours, ...
How so? I thought that the ones in Japan are the same basic GE boiling water reactors that we have 39 of here in the US.
 

zog

Senior Member
Location
Charlotte, NC
How so? I thought that the ones in Japan are the same basic GE boiling water reactors that we have 39 of here in the US.
There are a few of that same BWR design in service here, but I was refering to the design basis for the structure, hydrogen venting, DG structure and lacation, etc...the NRC has specific requirements for this basis for each location (Near fault lines, near ocean, etc) with once in a thousand year event assumptions. That same plant, near a fault line, near the ocean, would have much more stringent design basis critera than it does in Japan. These requirements were modified after 9/11 (Called the B.5.b guidelines) to account for certian events and to ensure remote cooling will always be possible to put the reactor in a safe condition follow such events.

The NRC has evaluated all 104 active sites in the US evaluating additional critera based on the Japan accident. You can read for weeks about the criteria I am talking about here http://www.nrc.gov/
As part of the nuclear community and my company maintaining a 10 CFR Appendix B program I get many reports every day from the NRC on these types of things.
 

Besoeker

Senior Member
Location
UK
Oh, and the PEAK POTENTIAL cost of human lives likely in a single coal mine accident? Maybe a couple of hunderd? The PEAK POTENTIAL cost of human lives in a single serious deadly Nuke accident? MILLIONS...
From memory, I think that we have had three major nuclear power stations in my lifetime. And I'm old enough to predate commercial scale nuclear power generation. Then some.
The first that I remember was Three Mile Island. There were no reported accident fatalities. The next was Chernobyl. The death toll there was reportedly thirty some. The Fukushima plant had a couple. One, as I recall, was a fall from a crane and another was a sixty something year old man who did not have excessive radiation contamination. Compared to the 20,000 plus who died as a result of the Tsunami and totally unrelated to the problems at the Fukushima nuclear plant. The media coverage totally disproportionately featured the nuclear ange and not the humanitarian one.

Aberfan in Wales, 144 deaths when a school was engulfed when a coal waste tip engulfed a primary school.
Piper Alpha, North Sea oil rig - 167 deaths.
In UK alone there have been more than 100 coal mining incidents involving 5 or more fatalities in that last 100 years - and we haven't had a coal industry to speak of for the last thirty years.

From Wiki:
Historically, coal mining has been a very dangerous activity and the list of historical coal mining disasters is a long one. In the U.S. alone, more than 100,000 coal miners were killed in accidents over the past century
Think about that. It's more than a thousand a year for a hundred years.

China, in particular, has the highest number of coal mining related deaths in the world, with official statistics claiming that 6027 deaths occurred in 2004
I know that one of the criticisms of the nuclear power industry is subsequent illness for years after a major event. But that same criticism can be laid at the door of mining. There are many, many cases of respiratory problems with miners and ex-miners. Pretty much every human endeavour has risks. Google Bhopal for example.

Please understand that I have no axe to grind here. I get little business from the power industry in general and none at all from nuclear power. I just happen to think that nuclear gets a disproportionately bad rap.
 

zog

Senior Member
Location
Charlotte, NC
Please understand that I have no axe to grind here. I get little business from the power industry in general and none at all from nuclear power. I just happen to think that nuclear gets a disproportionately bad rap.
It makes for a good news story, like sharks, so few incidents every year and perhaps the least dangerous thing about going to the beach.
 

cadpoint

Senior Member
Location
Durham, NC
What do we have 60 years - 80 years of Oil, left ?

If anyone should learn anything from the numbers is that the numbers of what one reports are various and subjective.

The cost of spent nuclear is not shown in the KWH of your Bill, never called out but already exists...

Lets Go In-Series with Solar to the Earth that we In-Habit.

It's 5 o'clock some place and everyplace is getting 4-6 usable hours of Solar...
 
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