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Bob Meinetz's picture
Nuclear Power Policy Activist Independent

I am a passionate advocate for the environment and nuclear energy. With the threat of climate change, I’ve embarked on a mission to help overcome the fears of nuclear energy. I’ve been active in...

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  • Oct 12, 2021
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"National leaders around the world are announcing big plans to return to nuclear energy now that the cost of natural gas, coal, and petroleum are spiking, and weather-dependent renewables are failing to deliver. 

'The number one objective is to have innovative small-scale nuclear reactors in France by 2030 along with better waste management,' said French President Emmanuel Macron. 

Macron had previously promised to reduce nuclear from 75 to 50 percent of its power, noted Financial Times. 'But the mood has now changed,' the paper writes today. 'Macron said on Tuesday he would begin investing in new nuclear projects "very quickly."'

'Nuclear is coming [back] to the fulcrum of the energy debate in France and much faster than I ever thought it would,' said a partner at Lavoisier Conseil, an energy-focused management consultancy."

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Andrew Blakers's picture
Andrew Blakers on Oct 13, 2021

Actually, nuclear construction is a cottage industry compared with solar & wind. New solar & wind capacity is being deployed 100 times faster. Nuclear is hopelessly more expensive than solar & wind.

Its important to follow the evidence.

Bob Meinetz's picture
Bob Meinetz on Oct 14, 2021

Andrew, the evidence shows that world leaders are no longer falling for the lie of renewable energy. It's long overdue.

Andrew Blakers's picture
Andrew Blakers on Oct 15, 2021

Nations rarely build generators. Its companies that build generators. And solar/wind is strongly dominant in global commercial generation construction markets.

Saying that "that world leaders are no longer falling for the lie of renewable energy" does not make it true. Follow the evidence of actual facts (and generators) on the ground.

Bob Meinetz's picture
Bob Meinetz on Oct 15, 2021

Saying that "solar/wind is strongly dominant in global commercial generation construction markets" does not make them effective at reducing carbon emissions. It shows entrepreneurs find them easy to sell to a gullible public, that fossil fuel companies (Shell, Chevron) find them useful for "greenwashing" their public image.

France's electricity grid is 75% carbon-free because of nuclear energy. No country in the world has achieved that record with solar and wind, and never will - batteries notwithstanding. That's because the sun goes down at night and the wind occasionally stops blowing - two actual facts that solar/wind promoters have remarkable difficulty remembering, or understanding, or ?.

France was able to accomplish that feat due to a public/private consortium, Électricité de France, that was instituted by France's government by parliamentary decree in 1974. So yes, governments have a big say in how their electricity is generated - and should. Should we allow the world's enviromental future to be determined by the will of the people, through governmental action - or by the whims of profiteers?

Andrew Blakers's picture
Andrew Blakers on Oct 19, 2021

The Australian state of South Australia is currently at 71% solar & wind (up from 10% in 2010). The balance is gas. No nuclear, hydro, bio, coal, geo etc. Current wholesale spot prices are ~US$20/MWh. Australia's National Electricity Market is tracking about 6 years behind SA (currently at 36% renewables).

 

According to the World Nuclear Association's handy information page, global annual nuclear generation in the decade 2010-2020 fell slightly. Right or wrong?

Bob Meinetz's picture
Bob Meinetz on Oct 20, 2021

Andrew, that South Australia can get 71% of its electricity from solar and wind would be fine if

if it didn't have the highest electricity prices and the least reliable grid in the country.

And if Australia didn't get more than half of its electricity by burning coal.


Austalians, and Americans, Russians, Koreans, people everywhere - are getting tired of putting up with a renewable dream that never seems to work out. Enough, is enough.
 

"On Monday BHP’s vice-president of sustainability and climate, Dr Fiona Wild, called for Australia to consider nuclear due to the urgency of the threat of climate collapse.

“We don’t have time to choose our favourite technologies any more, we kind of need to take an ‘all of the above’ approach because the challenge is so great and the pace at which we need to move is so fast that you want to make sure you have all those options available,” Wild said.
 

On Tuesday the Australian newspaper’s contributing economics editor, Judith Sloan, defended the “plight of nuclear power”.
 

“As an energy crisis affects most of the world, with soaring gas, coal and electricity prices, it is surely time for Australia to have a rational debate about nuclear power leading to a definite outcome,” Sloan said."

Andrew Blakers's picture
Andrew Blakers on Oct 20, 2021

Actually, the South Australian grid has been the most stable in Australia over the past 5 years. Average prices in South Australia over 2020 and 2021 are US$46/MWh. This is among the the lowest in Australia.

Please check your facts. See https://opennem.org.au/energy/sa1/?range=7d&interval=30m

I ask again: According to the World Nuclear Association's handy information page, global annual nuclear generation in the decade 2010-2020 fell slightly. Right or wrong?

Bob Meinetz's picture
Bob Meinetz on Oct 20, 2021

Andrew, did you even look at the data at your link? They show that at 6:30 PM on the afternoon of Sunday, Oct. 17, gas generation was forced to rush in late in the day to maintain grid stability as the sun set. At that time, customers were forced to pay more than 30¢/kWh at wholesale cost - likely double that for consumers.

Worse, at 1:30 PM on Friday afternoon, SA electricity prices were negative -  consumers were forced to pay neighboring states nearly $1/kWh to get rid of unwanted solar electricity. Nothing of value to customers, other than preventing unreliable, unpredictable solar energy from destroying their electricity grid.

If you can't understand (or admit) this represents the epitome of instability and unnecessary customer expense, you either A) don't understand negative pricing, or B) you're in denial.

 

Joe Deely's picture
Joe Deely on Oct 13, 2021

Let's make sure we understand how low the the bar is for nuclear this next decade WW.

 

It would be great if nuclear can add an additional 600 TWh to the 2,800TWh that were generated WW in 2019 by 2030.  In other words, a total of 600 TWh of added generation across the full decade.

 

Renewables will AVERAGE an additional 600 TWh/year over the next decade and renewable generation will increase by a total of 6,000 TWh in the 2020s.  10x more additional generation vs. nuclear.  If not, renewables will have fallen short.

 

So far in 2021 for nuclear WW there have been about 4.5 GW of construction starts - about 3.3 GW of nuclear shutdowns and about 5.0 GW of new connections to the grid. Not a good start - already falling behind path to low bar.

 

 

How about renewables? -  the estimate for solar deployment this year is 191 GW. The estimate for wind installed WW in 2021 is 88 GW.  On track.

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