Nuclear’s “remarkable comeback” is long overdue. From Tsvetana Paraskova at oilprice.com:
As governments around the world struggle with a seemingly insurmountable energy crisis, policymakers are reconsidering nuclear energy as a possible solution.
Natural gas prices continue to break record highs, making the clean and reliable nature of nuclear power increasingly interesting for governments.
While the IEA has highlighted the importance of nuclear power in combatting climate change, increasing extreme weather events could actually undermine nuclear power.
Faced with an unprecedented energy crisis, governments in the West are rethinking their long-held positions on the role of nuclear power generation, setting the stage for what could be the biggest energy source ‘comeback’ story of recent times.
Support for nuclear has grown in recent months as policymakers see nuclear energy as an alternative to the most expensive gas countries have ever paid to import, and as a zero-emission electricity source that would help keep climate ambitions and targets alive.
Even Japan and Germany, which had vowed to reduce or phase out nuclear power as a source of electricity in the wake of the Fukushima disaster in 2011, are now considering using nuclear power for longer.
In the United States, the recently adopted Inflation Reduction Act extends tax credits and funding to nuclear power plants, while California is looking to keep its last operating nuclear power plant open beyond the planned closure deadline set for 2025.
Nuclear energy is both the greenest and most efficient energy on the planet. From Felicity Bradstock at oilprice.com:
Energy security has now become a central focus for governments around the world as energy prices soar, and this new focus has seen a revival of interest in nuclear power.
While nuclear power does have problems associated with its cost and its environmental impact, the safety issues that are frequently pointed to by detractors are greatly exaggerated.
The U.S. Department of Energy expects demand for nuclear reactors to reach $1 trillion globally, although any nuclear accident could set the industry back drastically.
Governments are backing nuclear power in a big way but fears of disasters still linger, with any mishap having the potential to derail the big nuclear resurgence. As governments get behind nuclear projects for the first time in several decades, in order to boost their energy security, many continue to be fearful of nuclear developments for both safety and environmental reasons. But will leaders be able to convince the public of the need for nuclear energy as part of a green transition? Nuclear energy was hailed years ago as the cleaner alternative to fossil fuels that could provide reliable energy to countries around the globe. But as it was increasing in popularity, with several major global developments being achieved, three notable disasters undermined the potential for widespread nuclear development. The events of Three Mile Island in Pennsylvania in 1979; Chornobyl in 1986; and Fukushima in Japan in 2011 led to a movement away from the development of nuclear projects in favor, largely, of fossil fuels.
Europe would have to deemphasize wind and solar, allow more development of oil and natural gas, and promote nuclear energy to get within field-goal range of energy independence. From Daniel Lacalle at dlacalle.com:
Europe is not going to achieve a competitive energy transition with the current interventionist policies. Europe does not depend on Russian gas due to a coincidence, but because of a chain of mistaken policies. Banning nuclear in Germany, prohibiting the development of domestic natural gas resources throughout the European Union, added to a massive and expensive renewable roll-out without building a reliable back-up.
Solar and wind do not reduce dependency on Russian natural gas. They are necessary but volatile and intermittent. They need back-up for security of supply from nuclear, hydro, and natural gas. Dependency rises in periods of low wind and little sun, just when prices are highest.
“Solar goes to zero for twelve hours a day, and that is guaranteed. The wind blows sometimes, and sometimes it does not, also guaranteed. They both depend on weather, which is 100% out of human control. They are on their best day a supplement” wrote a Navy pilot follower.
Batteries are not an option either. It is impossible to build an industrial-size network of enormous batteries, the cost would be prohibitive and the dependency on China build them (lithium etc.) would be even more of a problem. At current prices, a battery storage system of Europe’s size would cost more than $2.5 trillion, according to an MIT Technology Review paper. Massively more expensive than any other alternative.
Just the added cost of a battery grid plus the distribution and transmission network would make household bills soar even further.
Inflation was already out of control in Europe before the invasion of Ukraine was even a risk. CPI in Spain was 7.6%, in Portugal it was 4.2% and in Germany, 5.1%. Euro area CPI was 5.8%.
War defenestrates a lot of fanciful notions in a hurry. From QTR’s Fringe Finance via zerohedge.com:
My readers know that I’ve written about nuclear power as a pragmatic solution to the world’s energy needs since I started this blog. While I’ve kept my readers abreast of countries who have started to adopt the idea of nuclear for energy – places like France, Poland and Japan – one of the biggest holdouts on the global stage has been Germany.
Germany hasn’t just been a holdout. The country has been hell-bent on ridding itself of nuclear power – easily making it the most prominent of the major European countries to try and pin the energy source as either too risky, bad for the environment, or both.
But, as I’ve argued, advocates for nuclear power know that it is just the opposite: clean, efficient and safe. A key part of my argument for investing in uranium has been that the world is going to “wake up” one day and realize that nuclear power fulfills the practical energy needs of the world, while appeasing ESG investors and “green” activists at the same time.
For all intents and purposes, when considering the power it generates and its carbon footprint, nuclear is as close to a “holy grail” of energy that we have at the present moment – and it’s certainly the most common sense solution to our energy needs.
“A lot of people like snow. I find it to be an unnecessary freezing of water.” – Carl Reiner
At its core, the human body is a symphony of chemical reactions. The complexities and interdependencies of the molecular machinery that makes our bodies function are almost too staggering to ponder. As any chemist can attest, chemical reactions are usually quite sensitive to temperature, and sensitivity to temperature varies substantially across reaction pathways. As such, temperature control not only dictates reaction rates, but it also influences product and byproduct distributions. At one temperature, two reagents might react cleanly to produce a desired product with high purity. At a different temperature, an undesirable pathway might become more kinetically favored, leading to the accumulation of unwanted impurities.
One of the miracles of the body is its ability to maintain strict internal temperature control, which allows it to regulate the speed and product distributions of the myriad of chemical reactions that are occurring inside you as you read this. The equilibria are delicate, so much so that fluctuations of a mere few degrees can be fatal. This concept of “normal” body temperature is widely understood, but its direct, vital connection to the core chemical reactions occurring inside you is less well known.
Because internal temperature is critical to sustaining life, the body has developed elaborate heat management systems, including discomfort nudges (like shivering and sweating) that are meant to directly generate or shed heat and motivate you to relocate to a more suitable environment. If you stand outside for a few minutes in the winter wearing nothing but shorts and a t-shirt, you become uncomfortable rather quickly. Return inside to a warm fire and a rewarding comfort envelops you. Just don’t get too close to the fire, lest the body be forced to nudge you back outside.
A bunch of heads of state are meeting in Scotland to determine how to extend the misery they’ve instituted. From Cynthia Chung at strategic-culture.org:
Either you go along with the green program (that ignores nuclear as green) or you don’t get credit. Which is a policy that will, and is, quite predictably driving up energy prices.
There is a bit of panic flapping about over the number of heads of state who will not be attending, in person, the COP26 Conference that will be held starting on All Hallows’ Eve and lasting till November 12th.
The reason for the panic is because, in case you have been living in some bunker underground, we are in the midst of a very serious energy crisis along with hyperinflation, and there are growing murmurings that the very policies that COP26 wants to maximize to full throttle at this conference, are at the very source of what is causing this energy crisis.
It is no secret that there will be the very vigorous attempt to strong arm the heads of state that do end up attending this conference into signing onto these fully maximized COP26 policies which are likely to only exacerbate the problem, with the projection that citizens across Europe are expected to spend a very cold and dark winter this year….during what we are told is an ongoing pandemic….and this apparently an acceptable thing.
Goldman Sachs has recently released a report confirming these fears, and warning that there is a blackout risk for European industry this winter. This is most certainly highly likely, however, the reason for why this is likely to occur is where the truth of the matter is getting very muddied. The thing is, such outright lies are rather easily verifiable, if one takes the time to look into things past your favourite echo chamber of MSM parroting mouthpieces.
Nuclear energy, according to a recent study by a German research institute, makes no economic sense even before the costs of nuclear waste disposal and decommissioning power plants are added in. From Raúl Ilargi Meijer at theautomaticearth.com:
It’s been a long time since I wrote anything at all about nuclear energy. And even then I thought the whole discussion had been wrapped up and thrown away. But I guess it’s inevitable that as the climate change debate develops, there’d be parties seeking to revive the nukes ‘discussion’, because there’s so much potential profit in there. And then today I came upon this report, and a few interpretations of it, that set me off again, and brought back the whole Yucca Mountain issue to mind.
Please note that in all that follows, there is ONE very obvious notion to keep in mind: nuclear energy is a huge economic loss-maker, no matter how and where you look.
And that makes nukes, right from the get-go, completely unfit to replace anything fossil-fuel based, because coal and oil and gas are sources that do the opposite: they generate huge profits while nukes generate huge losses, i.e.: you can’t run your economy on nuclear. You can not run an economy on any energy source that generates economic losses. It does NOT get simpler than that. It’s the economics of energy, and for once economics are right (though not economists, name me one who understands this. Hi, Steve!).
Mind you, you can’t run our present complex economies and societies on renewables either, no more than you can run them on nuclear. Much simpler economies, sure, but then you will have to figure out how you’re going to pay for that. It’s hard to comprehend to which extent fossil fuels have shaped our world, but we have no choice but to try, because this is one thing you don’t want to get wrong.
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