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The Forum > General Discussion > Nuclear Versus Solar

Nuclear Versus Solar

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The issue of Nuclear Power Generation has burst upon the scene again with the Prime Minister and his cronies advocating this very dangerous method of powering the country!
Intelligent people may wonder why we have to utilize nuclear fission to produce our electricity (Global Warming aside) considering the inherent risks involved,and not forgetting that we ARE supporters of the Nuclear Non Prliferation Treaty!
The real reason for their stance is that these corrupt politicians and their mates support the mining companies, both Coal and Uranium and will realise some form of reward from these organisations in return for their continuing loyalty!
Admittedly this envisaged plan is a costly affair, however at the end of the day this country would have a fully sustainable fresh water and power generation infrastucturethat would make us self-sufficient forever, without the risks of nuclear waste disposal and resultant contamination resulting in premature loss of life!
As long as we had the sun and the oceans we would have potable water and plentiful electricity.
Roughly speaking it would require over a period of time, the construction of Solar Desalination/Generation Plants around the coastline.Each plant would have an array of Solar Tracking Mirrors that would focus their concentrated heat on boiler assemblies creating high pressure steam and distilling salt water.The steam created would power turbines and pumps to draw the required salt water from the ocean and pump the produced potable water out to the areas of need.....the only by-product of the system would be SALT, which is a saleable commodity all over the planet!
The proponents of the Nuclear "solution" would ask what happens at night time during darkness?...the answer is that excess power generated during the day could be accumulated for use at night, or at the worst storage dams could be built at a higher level to facilitate down-flow to turbines similar to the principle employed at Splityard Creek on the Wivenhoe Dam in Queensland.( Unfortunately for Wivenhoe Dam it is dependant upon natural rainfall!)
This alternative is viable and requires a great deal of commitment, but the result would provide sustainability forever!
Posted by Cuphandle, Saturday, 1 September 2007 10:00:44 AM
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Ultimately it is a technical question. So as much as politicians might like to think they can control science, as the Catholic Church once thought and fundamentalists still think, they cannot do so. I note from your comments that you seem to be dictating to science also. More fool you, but you might be interested in this proposal to generate solar thermal power and use the waste heat to desalinate seawater.

The proposal is exciting, but the technology is in its infancy.
Posted by Fester, Saturday, 1 September 2007 11:01:00 PM
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FESTER:I would like to thank you for bringing that particular website to my attention! Very interesting and I would strongly suggest that everyone who may have an interest or misgivings about the use of Nuclear Fission for domestic purposes should consult this website!

The information contained therein only strengthens my suspicions and statement that our Prime Minister and his cronies are intent on pressing ahead with the implementation of Nuclear Plants in Australia purely to satisfy the financial attributes of their mates driving the Mining Industry!

because not only would the obvious risks associated with Nuclear Plants exist, but implementation would give the Government the perfect excuse to accept the rest of the world`s nuclear waste for storage in our desert areas!
Posted by Cuphandle, Sunday, 2 September 2007 8:32:08 AM
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Happy to share the info, Cuphandle. You might also be interested in Vinod Khosla's views if you haven't heard them already.

I find it annoying to see the government committing to long term projects of immense cost like nuclear and carbon sequestration. The big danger I see is that the technology will have been superseded before the projects are completed. As a case in point, Agrichar, a carbon byproduct from pyrolysis, allows long term carbon sequestration and improves soil fertility. Carbon sequestration from coal fired power stations is at least twenty years away and may never be viable. Yet this undeveloped technology gets the big dollars and pyrolysis gets ignored.

While I agree that solar thermal power holds greater promise, I dont believe that anyone can dictate the course of scientific advances. Viable spallation reactors might one day make nuclear power more appealing.

I wouldn't be too worried though. Australia isn't the whole world. So the main consequence will be the wastage of billions of dollars on dud technologies, then further billion of dollars to buy os developed technologies which were ignored here on the basis of nepotism.
Posted by Fester, Sunday, 2 September 2007 9:49:43 AM
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FESTER: Unfortunately I am only on a Dial-up connection with a speed of 28.8kbs, consequently a lot of information is NOT accessible due to download time and size limitations...thanks anyway for the info!

Over the last few days I have been seriously thinking about ALL the contraversial "issues" that we are generally all involved in or affected by in one way or another as occupants of this planet. I listen to the authorities "feigned" concerns about the increasing road toll, only too aware of the disgraceful road conditions, especially in the country areas, and realise that tomorrow there will be more Radar Traps, Fixed Speed Cameras and more "Pollisemen" hiding in bus shelters with Radar Guns! Who wins again,....the Revenuers,... the roads will still stay in the same deplorable condition, plus there will be more and more vehicles and drivers "competing" for their share of this road space!

This is just one of the millions of "side issues" that are part of a plethora of created diversionary tactics, allowing the "Global Dominationists" to carry on overtly and covertly implementing their master plan of world conquest!

Consider in Australia alone: Beatties Amalgamations, Indigenous Issues, Equine Flu, Global Warming, The Drought, Howard`s Industrial Relations Bill, The Gunns Pulp Mill, Logging, The forthcoming Federal Election, Iraq,(the looming planned Iran"adventure"), East Timor, Solomon Islands, Healthcare, Nuclear Plants, Nuclear Waste Dumps, Drugs, Mortgage Rates, Interest Rates, Housing and so the list goes ad nauseum!

We certainly do have a lot of issues to occupy and sidetrack our minds!
Posted by Cuphandle, Sunday, 2 September 2007 11:02:34 AM
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Now I donít really believe that entirely but I figured we were trying to polarise the debate.

Your assertion that Howard is trying to introduce nuclear power in order to satisfy the mining industry doesnít bear any real scrutiny.

Coal, one of our major mining products will lose out in a massive way, if we shift to nuclear. The amount of material needed to run nuclear power plants makes the coal industry look like its digging the whole earth up. A switch to nuclear would definitely mean a significant overall loss for the mining industry.

I am an Electrical Engineer and I can tell you that I have plenty of colleagues who will get good work no matter whether we go solar/renewable or nuclear. The VAST majority of them support NUCLEAR power for a number of reasons.

The most important, is that solar cannot, by itself, produce BASE LOAD electricity. This is a catastrophic flaw which can only be overcome by introducing some type of storage system which has not yet been invented. The possibility of storing all the power required at night and releasing it on demand isnít even close to being available

Modern nuclear reactors are incredibly SAFE, as they should be especially the PASSIVELY SAFE types.

Nuclear power produces no C02. Nuclear plants can also act as desalination plants.

A large nuclear reactor produces 3 cubic metres (25-30 tonnes) of spent fuel each year. That means it would take 600 years to fill an Olympic sized swimming pool. So clearly sequestering nuclear waste wonít be a size issue. Green groups would love to have you believe that our deserts will be full up, like car parks during Saturday shopping, but that will never be the case.

Non proliferation is about the restriction of Nuclear Weapons, it is not about preventing countries from using civilian nuclear power.
Posted by Paul.L, Sunday, 2 September 2007 11:40:33 AM
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