environment,energy,greenhouse,gas,carbon,dioxide,global,nuclear energy,clean energy,emissions,global climate change,environmental impacts, Nuclear Energy Can Save US: One Nuclear Kilowatt Equals Five of Solar

Nuclear Energy Can Save US--America�s 100 nukes equal four million barrels of oil per day.

Billions of lives and civilization itself may be at risk from the Global Warming & End of Cheap Oil, Crisis. Rising sea levels and rising oil prices could be the end of civilization as we know it. The problem is so huge that the most powerful answer, many nuclear plants, must be deployed. Currently, America‘s 100 nukes deliver the energy of four million barrels of oil per day. Wind and solar cannot do the job, and may delay the real answer too long. Still, all kinds of clean energy, plus conservation, plus reducing deforestation, will be needed to help the poor half of the world, and for civilization to survive through this century.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

One Nuclear Kilowatt Equals Five of Solar

As a senior, concerned for humanity's very survival, who thinks that nuclear is the only clear answer, I would still be delighted to see 100,000 square-miles of pv cells, and thousands of concentrated solar energy plants in our future. However, there is not enough manufacturing capability in the world to produce such an immense array of structures this century, not even in several centuries beyond. This huge quantity would be needed because solar energy is so weakly diffused. In 12 hours of daylight, a pv cell can only accumulate 4, or at most 5, hours of sunlight for rated output. A nuke delivers rated energy more than 22 hours of the day, 95% of the hours of every year.
Solar enthusiasts make the most of the situation, by saying that a solar cell produces the energy during the heat of the day when it is most needed for air conditioning. This is only a small percentage of the electric energy a household needs. (NOTE: It is my belief that by 20-30 years from now, all air conditioning may well be outlawed; people will be able to survive without air conditioning.)
Other proponents point to houses constructed by experts, that have every possible detail of shape, materials, insulation, heat pumps, etc. in the design. Such houses can be energy neutral, or better. However, America's 300 million people, possibly 75 million households, are not likely to find more than a million with enough enthusiasm and resources to make this a practical part of the energy solution. Government programs can help, but only as a percentage play; unless climate change becomes so serious that everyone must sacrifice and join the fight. If we wait too long to see if to see if solar energy will work, this enlightenment may come too late. The massive potential of nuclear energy would give a much more certain future.


Anonymous said...

Nuclear sounds great but when you look at the complete cycle of nuclear power generation the mining production and transportation of nuclear fuel is rarely taken into consideration - some say it uses the equivalent if not more fossil fuels to produce nuclear energy overall - sure at the nuclear power plant the CO2 emissions are very low but overall the process is definately not a solution to reducing carbon emissions. I'm not saying any way of producing electricity is better than another - just that 'low carbon' nuclear energy production is an oxymoron. Maybe we need to stop driving giant prestige vehicles around and sourcing our products loacally rather than from distant places - sure they are cheaper but they use massive amounts of fossil fuels to get to your door. An extremely helpful short movie is called 'the story of stuff' If you google it you can watch it online for free. All the best.

shawrich said...

If you want to compare transport and other costs of nukes, consider the fact that each year, one nuke gives energy equal to a mountain of oil, 7.5, 1000-foot long, oil tankers (See Feb 24 post).A nuke's 20-ton yearly fuel could be carried on one truck. Compared with coal is more striking. US burns more than one billion tons of coal, vs. 2000 tons of Uranium (20 each times 100 nukes). Coal 24% of US energy, nukes 8% (eia.doe.gov).

shawrich said...

Further to uranium extra costs. Most US uranium comes from in-situ mining. In this procedure, uranium is leached from the ore with acid, and does not even require the waste ore to be extracted. See Google on in-situ mining of uranium. I agree completely with you on the excesses of our consumerist economy.