I have a lot of respect for Germans for trying to produce energy alternatively. If they succeed it will be a revolution for energy producing all over the world. If they fail, bad luck for the Germans.
I think the coal burning is stupid but so is cutting atoms in the half too. I hope they will get over either of those as fast as possible.
Sure the Germans will fail in the world war 3........ i think its the same like in the past Hitler use Biomass to Liquid to make Fuel for his army and the hole world don't like the idea of nazis with unlimited fuel.
maybe the world war 3 starts just because the germans do not fail in produce energy alternatively.
Yes, It's a sad truth that real choice is between these two. And you really have to choose. Windpower will improve, but it will always be just secondary way of making electricity. Hydropower can currently make maybe 10% of global need. And as need is getting higher, it's importance is getting smaller. Everything else is a decade or two away to make real impact on energy market.
No there are more alternatives you can drive a methane synthesis with wind power and use it as a fuel for cars and storage power plants!
Oh, there are so many errors in the arguments here that I had to log in and respond...
Firstly, when you are talking about power output, there are three units that you need to look at:
kW - kilowatt, 1000 Watts which is 1 unit of electricity. Usually equated to a 1 bar electric fire.
kWt - thermal kilowatt. I.e. the thermal power generated by a power station
kWe - electrical kilowatt. I.e. the electrical power generated by the power station
Now, if we ignore the first one (it isn't really needed for this discussion) the ratio between kWt and kWe shows just how efficient a thermal power station is. All thermal power stations operate at a thermal efficiency of between 30-40%. Nuclear power stations are no exception. They operate at a thermal efficiency of between 30-40%, not 4%. :lol:
Qaridarium: Do you actually know anything about radiation and dose? We are surrounded by radiation all of the time. The legal limit in the UK for a member of the public is 1milliSv from all sources of radiation in a power plant. To put this into perspective, the average dose received by the UK population is 2.5milliSv per person per year. In practice, the doses to the public form any station in the UK are much lower than even the limit I quoted above.
Now, flying... 1milliSv = 1000 microSv correct? On a plane trip (for 5 hours) the dose rate expereinced by this guy was 3.8microSv/hr. To exceed the legal limit for a member of the public, you would have to fly for 250 hours (give or take). Last time I looked, an airline pilot or member of the cabin crew weren't classed as radiation workers, so flying for 1000 hours per year (a guess, but probably a good one) means that they are nearly 4 times over the legal radiation limit! When was the last time a plane fell out of the sky because the pilot got 'radiation poisoning'
I also noticed that you said that nuclear plants have no clinical usage, where do you think the radioisotopes for chemotherapy come from?
Oh, and solar power has a maximum power output of 1.4kW per metre. That is the maximum flux we receive from the sun. So, to provide the power of a modern nuclear station we would need 1,200,000 sq metres of solar panels. (Modern EPR has an electrical power output of 1700MW, divide that by 1.4kW to get the size of an equivalent solar station). This also assumes that the panels are 100% efficient and the sun is directly overhead.
What about wind energy? Well, that is only 30% efficient due to variability in the wind velocity. The wind doesn't always blow and when it does, it doesn't always blow at the most optimum speed for the turbines.
Tidal is the best option for green power imo, it is reliable, safe, but again, it is even more expensive than nuclear and will cause vast changes to the local ecosystems (barrages, large pools etc) due to reduction/changes in the tidal flows.
For a thermal plant, nuclear is really the best option. Yes there is the waste problem to think about and deal with, but green power options suffer from low energy density and low efficiency. They are also expensive.
If you've got any questions, let me know and I'll try and answer them.
All thermal power stations operate at a thermal efficiency of between 30-40%. Nuclear power stations are no exception.
Actually fossil fuels are now burned in supercritical steam generators that raise efficiency up close to 50%. This technology will be used in nuclear power plants later, but they have slightly slower pace in taking new technology to use
And nuclear thermal efficiency is few percent worse than other fuels because of decay heat.
Hmmm, I'd have to disagree there. The temperature of the primary circuit in a PWR doesn't get high enough to use supercritical steam generators. A coal burner or gas burner will give you superheated steam at 500-600 degC, but a standard PWR will only give you coolant at a temp of 300degC at most, and that's only in the primary circuit, not the secondary circuit. The secondary circuit temperature is about 250-270degC (from memory) which is nowhere near high enough to be supercritical.
Decay heat??? Decay heat is only an issue once you've shut down the reactor. This is why you still need to provide cooling for a nuclear reactor after it is shut down. When at power, the contribution of decay heat is nothing compared to the operating power output.
Decay heat output is, at most, 1% of the rated power of a reactor, and then only in the minutes after shutdown. The heat generated by the decay of short lived nuclides declines at an exponential rate and is 0.1% of rated power after a day and decays away (pardon the pun) in the days that follow. Do a search on decay heat production in google and see how the decay heat falls off as time goes on.
Last edited by Shielder; 10-04-2011 at 12:53 PM.
Reason: Explain decay heat...