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The End of Nuclear Power?


Carabosse e2
11 39.7k 269 England
31 May 2011 1:48AM
Is Germany setting an example for the rest of the world to follow, by phasing out its 17 nuclear power stations by 2022? Or will it be a voice in the wilderness?

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Overread e2
6 3.9k 18 England
31 May 2011 2:57AM
What are they offering to replace the power stations?

Far as I can see oil, gas and coal are not very green and increasingly expensive approaches; whilst HEP (dams and water energy); solar and wind are just not economically viable for the massive power needs of modern societies. Small scale they work, but for big scale urban and manufacture they just don't have it (and if you do use enough you've got your own problems of space and eco troubles - windfarms are massive and slice up poor birdies).

I don't like nuclear, though its short term fairly clean (its the long term storage of the waste that is a problem since long term means centuries and that means a stable society - thus far we've not really got a good track record in keeping that going Wink). Though the events in Japan do show that it can present a major problem (though one can also argue that it was only the old power plants that were the problem and even then it was against a force totally unexpected in its magnitude).

Fission or that water based one is supposed to be the way forward for clean energy, though as I recall its still not quite there as a fully working method.
Andy_Cundell e2
3 1.1k 5 England
31 May 2011 8:22AM
UK will never get rid of nuclear power because the national deterrant is nuclear powered and is nuclear in the first place, as well as the remaining submarines being nuclear powered, they form part of our power projection. Germany has never had nuclear submarines so has no reason to keep nuclear power if it has alternatives/ greener energy.

If anything, you will find UK will build more nuclear power stations because it is the most viable solution for powering the UK. There used to be a good article/ mini game on the BBC website about nuclear power and the alternatives where you 'built' power stations/ wind farms and nuclear stations to provide power. If you got rid of all the nuclear power in the UK, the whole landscape would have to be covered in windfarms, the whole coast would also be covered, so for me, I believe it's the best way.

Andy
Overread e2
6 3.9k 18 England
31 May 2011 8:40AM
True, but even without a nuclear sub fleet Germany still will have the same high demand for electrical power that pretty much all other developed nations have. Unless they are planning to import their power from the EU and will soak that cost against maintaining their own power supplies (something I can't see them doing since it leaves them open to a massive amount of disruption from internal and external problems in other countries - or relations with them). Otherwise they too would have to cover the land in solar panels and windfarms to meet their needs (at which point any "green" angle is totally lost)
lobsterboy e2
11 14.3k 13 United Kingdom
31 May 2011 9:05AM
They are talking about doubling the amount of renewables & decreasing demand by 10%.
Be interesting to see if they can do it.
Andy_Cundell e2
3 1.1k 5 England
31 May 2011 9:42AM
It's a massive leap forward for renewable energy and 'green' living if they can. I know they have the engineering minds to make it work but can they change the way the public think to decrease the demand by 10%. What is their timelimit?
lobsterboy e2
11 14.3k 13 United Kingdom
31 May 2011 9:46AM
Aiming for 2022. I think 10% is achievable if you subsidise the installation costs of renewables, allow people to sell surplus back onto the grid, subsidise insulation measures and improve building regulations.
adrian_w e2
7 3.4k 4 Scotland
31 May 2011 12:08PM
They also have a much more advanced energy efficient house build than the UK, so domestic energy saving is feasible. Commercial buildings must have a high energy efficiency before planning consent is given.
Their biggest problem is going to be generating enough power to run industry & that will have to come from hydro or wind power. It will be interesting to see if they get the same backlash against the massive windfarms that will be required as we are starting to get in the UK.
keith selmes
11 7.1k 1 United Kingdom
31 May 2011 12:48PM
They are supposed to be using windpower, but this requires power lines from coastal windfarms to industrial areas through unspoiled forest areas. The demonstrations against this have already started.
Oddly, the demonstrators seem to be the same people who want nuclear plant shut down.

They will probably actually use more coal and gas.
Otherwise they can buy in from France, which is building more nuclear power stations.

Hard to see why they're cutting their nuclear now, when the Japanese experience shows the industry can cope with disasters much worse than anticipated.

Eventually I expect we will all use more "renewables" but the timescales don't seem realistic right now.
Carabosse e2
11 39.7k 269 England
31 May 2011 12:56PM
We'll probably all end up buying from France! Aren't they installing a new power line from there to here?
lobsterboy e2
11 14.3k 13 United Kingdom
31 May 2011 1:00PM

Quote:the Japanese experience shows the industry can cope with disasters much worse than anticipated.


Interesting definition of "cope" when buildings are exploding, huge areas are evacuated,etc. All due to an entirely foreseeable event, which makes people understandably worry about what would go on if things they didn't anticipate happened.
31 May 2011 1:01PM

Quote:They are supposed to be using windpower, but this requires power lines from coastal windfarms


This had me wondering how much coastline they actually have so I googled it - was somewhat surprised to find it's around 100Km, I suspect I was forgetting about that which was East Germany :-( Still, that's only around a 12th of what we have around the UK and I wonder how much wind some of it will actually get. That on the North Sea coast should get pretty drafty, but what about that which is sheltered by the Danish peninsular?

I honestly think that scrapping nuclear completely is a short-sighted action. Although I don't disagree that it has its problems and risks, those are not as great as certain elements of the media would have us believe. I think at least one more generation of nuclear fission installations will be needed before, hopefully, the Holy Grail of power generation becomes viable, namely nuclear fusion, then fission can be consigned to the scrapheap.
keith selmes
11 7.1k 1 United Kingdom
31 May 2011 1:52PM

Quote:buildings are exploding,
didn't happen

Quote:huge areas are evacuated,
as a precaution, and no-one killed.
why do people make so much fuss about this when about 15,000 people were killed and villages totally destryoyed by a non nuclear event ?


Quote:All due to an entirely foreseeable event,
so far as I have read, it wasn't, it far exceeded previous or forecast events


Quote: which makes people understandably worry
if they're not thinking clearly
lobsterboy e2
11 14.3k 13 United Kingdom
31 May 2011 2:10PM

Quote:buildings are exploding,didn't happen

looks like it did to me.


Quote:All due to an entirely foreseeable event,so far as I have read, it wasn't, it far exceeded previous or forecast events

A tsunami in a subduction zone is an entirely foreseeable event. Saying "oh it was worse than we thought it was going to be" hardly inspires confidence and shows how difficult it is to plan for the unknown.
brian1208 e2
11 10.6k 12 United Kingdom
31 May 2011 3:16PM
did anyone else spot this? Apparently the jet stream is changing according to meteorologists,
Quote:Professor Mike Lockwood, from Reading University, said: “Changes in the jet stream will change the pattern of winds that we get in the UK. That, of course, is a problem for wind power.

“You have to site your wind farms in the right place and if you site your wind farm in the wrong place then that will be a problem.”

Dr David Brayshaw, also from Reading’s Department of Meteorology, added: “If wind speed lowers, we can expect to generate less electricity from turbines – that’s a no-brainer.”

rather bad timing what?

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