|Forget Nuclear - the future is in renewables/alternatives and energy efficiency.
The recent 'Nuclear Is Not The Answer' advisory report to the UK government
(http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/4778344.stm ) should add momentum to the growing investment opportunities in renewables etc. See the following companies and funds:
And the following threads:
|Post removed by ADVFN|
|As a holder of British Energy shares it may sound strange that I am uneasy about running old stations into the ground, but at least BGY do not have to run the old magnox plant!
I just hope the new designs are the "pebble bed" type that the Chinese seem to be developing since they are so much safer. No rods to get stuck and no meltdown possible. Also much simpler and cheaper and therefore much quicker to build.
Less time "settling in" of plant and less down time due to breakdowns and overhauls. Not sure about eventual decommissioning costs though but should be easier and cheaper too.
I am still concerned about the impact of a major event at one of the existing UK stations, the effect of severe earthquakes - very rare but have happened over the centuries even in the UK! Also aircraft impact, though we were reassured on TV the other day that all reactors are proof against this!
Have a look at your home insurance policy by the way and the section which absolves the company against covering any loss due to radioactivity. Would the government indemnify in the case of a large swathe of fall-out I wonder.|
|anyone know of any nuc stocks??|
Wind - useful for base load, ie top up from other sources when the wind doesn't blow enough. It's windier in the winter, when we need the more energy. Incidentally, offshore wind returns the energy invested in construction in 7 months.
Biomass - instead of recycling newspapers, burn them. Wood grown for burning is ideal. This could fill in any gaps when all other supplies are slow.
Solar - expensive if you use PVs for electricity, but putting simple tubes in a black roof to heat water saves loads of domestic energy, and is very cheap.
Waves - hard to get working because the sea is corrosive, but these issues will be solved over time.
Tidal - for example, the Severn barrage would provide around 3% of UK electricity on its own.
Hydroelectric - more useful in places with mountains, but pretty steady supply. Brazil gets 25% of its electricity from one hydro electric facility.
Insulation - money spent on insulation saves more electricity than you could generate with the same money.|
|Every excuse in the book has been made for stalling the progress towards the (utimately inevitable and sensible) use of renewable energy sources. Keeping trials small.. repeating the same investigations every decade (just to appear holy, whilst deferring actual progress). Kicking renewables into the long grass has been very successful, as far as those who favour nuclear are concerned. Brian Wilson in particular has always displayed glee at the possibility of bouncing us into greater reliance on nuclear energy by depressing investment in renewables to a purely token level so he can always name the most distant possible date for progress there.
Despite its love of nuclear, the government is already acknowleging that the economical case for nuclear is lost, and is doing its very best at the moment to condition people into accepting that taxpayers should subsidise nuclear regardless of what it costs. When some of the figures currently being kited are weighed up over the next 6 months or so, people are in for a shock. The numbers are such that we could instantly make around a fivefold increase in our expenditure on development of renewables and, even at this late stage, bring some of those onstream quicker than we could complete the construction of a nuclear power station.
Incidentally, scheduled and unscheduled downtime at existing nuclear power stations means (according to the energy minister's own figures) that the contribution from nuclear is sometimes at or around 18% for several weeks at a time, which is somewhat lower than the politically useful 'average' figure quoted.|
|What are the alternatives?
Wind..........what happens if it dont blow?
Tidal.........expensive (so i'm told) to set up and maintain.
Gas...........we are running out of home produced, now importing...How reliable?
Coal..........Got lots, but no one wants to know...why?|
|The nuclear debate
'Who puts up the cash?'
The case against by energy professor Gordon MacKerron
Sunday December 4, 2005
The headline arguments for building a new generation of nuclear power stations are familiar. The main lines are that nuclear is carbon-free in operation and that it might improve security of supply.
The security argument is weak. A decision to proceed might be made in 2007, followed by a commercial choice of reactor and supplier, a safety licensing process, a public inquiry and a period for construction and commissioning. If all these were to run smoothly, the first power from a new reactor might be produced around 2018 - or more likely around 2020. A series of reactors through the 2020s might significantly improve security of supply, but so might other measures that might be at least as cost-effective.
The climate change argument is, in principle, much more persuasive. Over a time horizon to 2030 and beyond, nuclear could make a significant dent in UK carbon emissions. But an important question is how nuclear power might get financed and built, given that no direct government money will be involved.
Nuclear is a large-scale technology, requiring large unit sizes and substantial numbers of reactors if costs are to be at their lowest. This is a serious inflexibility. Nuclear power is an extreme case of 'lumpy' investment.
The nuclear industry argues that it is worth taking the nuclear road only if there is a commitment to eight or 10 reactors. These would generate about 10,000 MW, equivalent to about 20 per cent of peak electricity demand. This represents some £15 billion or more.
This would affect investment in conventional gas-powered generation, which competes directly with nuclear. If markets expected a major programme of nuclear investment, they would be unlikely to commit to any further gas-based investment.
The worst-case scenario following a commitment to nuclear new-build would be a sterilisation of non-nuclear investment while the nuclear programme itself stalled. Such a scenario is far from a remote chance - the last time a UK government committed to 10 nuclear stations (Margaret Thatcher's in 1979) only one station was built, Sizewell, and then only after 15 years. If that were to happen again, security of supply would substantially worsen in the 2010s.
While the inflexibility is problematic, it may not be fatal. Capital markets can raise billions if the relation between risk and reward is good enough. The risks attaching to nuclear investment are several. There are three types, corresponding to the nuclear life-cycle - construction risk, electricity market risk and decommissioning and waste risk - plus a more general and pervasive political/regulatory risk.
In the construction process, risks are substantial. First, nuclear plants are large and capital-intensive, at something between £1bn and £2bn a throw. Second, the only designs seriously competing for the UK market are the Westinghouse AP1000, which has yet to be built anywhere in the world, and the French EPR design, the first unit of which has just started construction in Finland.
It is not hard to imagine how financiers will react to the idea that they should stump up for eight or 10 reactors of a kind that no one has yet come near to completing. They will want to lay off this risk to the consortium offering to build the plant or plants. These consortiums may try to absorb the risk by offering a fixed-price or 'turnkey' contract. Something like this is happening in Finland, but such contracts will inevitably contain force majeure clauses, especially in the event of political and regulatory risk becoming manifest. And a turnkey contract may well turn into a 'cost-plus' contract on later plants.
The market risks are also big. In the present electricity market no one can tell the price of electricity more than three years into the future and therefore buyers will not sign long-term contracts to purchase power. But in a capital-intensive project such as a nuclear plant, investors need to know their minimum income stream at least 10 to 15 years after power flows - some 20 or 25 years from now.
This could be done only by guaranteeing a minimum nuclear price for such a period. This could be achieved by setting a 'Nuclear Obligation' at a minimum price, but at the cost of dismantling the painfully constructed electricity wholesale market and inviting State Aids (subsidy) cases to be considered by the European Commission. These risks could be overcome, and rewards guaranteed, but at potentially high cost to consumers, not only from excess nuclear costs but also from a major weakening of competitive forces in the electricity market as a whole.
In the face of such risks, the cost of capital for nuclear projects will be higher than for conventional projects. The premium over a low-risk rate cannot be determined in the absence of detailed project plans but an inflation-adjusted cost of 10 per cent is likely on early projects. For a capital-intensive project such a relatively high cost of capital is a serious handicap.
None of this means that a new nuclear programme could not proceed. But the benefits are delayed and the inflexibility pronounced. The risk for the nuclear industry is that if it argues for 10,000 MW or nothing, it may get nothing. If nuclear is to have the chance to make a serious long-term contribution to climate change, a more flexible and incremental case would seem better than current proposals.
· Professor Gordon MacKerron chairs the Committee for Radioactive Waste Management|
The Times November 21, 2005
Britain is ready to go nuclear
By Philip Webster, Political Editor
Blair courts controversy with power station plan
BRITAIN will start building new civil nuclear power stations under plans backed by Tony Blair, The Times has learnt.
Less than two years after a government paper called nuclear power an unattractive option, the Prime Minister has become convinced that building nuclear power stations is the only way to secure energy needs and meet obligations to reduce carbon emissions.
In a controversial move, he wants planning procedures to be quickened so that the first stations could be under construction within ten years, far earlier than expected, advisers have told The Times.
After first promising a decision on new stations by the end of this Parliament, then by the end of next year, Mr Blair will face down critics and set up a government review within the next two weeks, asking it to reach conclusions by the early summer.
The stations would be built on existing sites in the hope of reducing public opposition and swifter planning and building procedures. They would involve the latest technology expected to be adopted soon in France and the US.
Margaret Beckett, the Environment Secretary and the Cabinet's leading opponent of nuclear power, hinted yesterday that even she would back the move.
In an interview with the BBC's Politics Show, she said that, although there were many problems with nuclear power, "I've always accepted we can't afford to close the door on nuclear."
But Mr Blair, who has been given private preliminary studies, believes that all the arguments point to nuclear power and has effectively made up his mind, according to authoritative sources. His decision is a remarkable U-turn.
The review, though headed by a senior figure from the Trade and Industry Department, will report to the Prime Minister and Alan Johnson, the Industry Secretary, and contain members from other departments and, crucially, from the Downing Street strategy unit.
Critics will suspect that membership will be chosen to ensure a different conclusion to the last energy White Paper in 2003.
Britain's 12 nuclear power stations provide 22 per cent of the electricity. Unless they are replaced there will only be three stations left by 2020.
Studies prepared for Mr Blair by Sir David King, his chief scientific adviser, and other advisers have convinced him that renewable forms of energy, such as wind and wave power, cannot fill the gap.
As coal-fired and nuclear stations close they will have to be replaced by gas-fired electricity stations and Britain will soon become a net gas importer.
Mr Blair's advisers maintain that the debate should not be seen as a competition between nuclear power and "renewables", which the Government is committed to boosting.
The nuclear option is unlikely to be opposed by the Conservatives. David Willetts, the Shadow Industry Secretary, said at the party conference: "We must make the case for civil nuclear power to tackle the energy crisis with least damage to the environment."
Gordon Brown is not opposed in principle to nuclear power.
He has already asked Nick Stern, a senior official, to carry out an inquiry into the long-term economics of tackling global warming and another headed by Margaret Beckett, the Environment Secretary, on climate change targets is expected soon.
Labour's target is to cut present carbon dioxide emissions by 20 per cent below 1990 levels by 2010, but on current projections that it is likely only to reach 14 per cent.
Sir Digby Jones, the Director-General of the CBI, said: "A decision on the future of nuclear power has been allowed to drift too long. Potential investors and the British public both deserve certainty."
The business group said that public debate must start without delay and be concluded by the end of 2006.
"Nuclear's position as a reliable, low-carbon energy source is without doubt, but understandable concerns exist about costs and waste," he said.
Sensible discussion please. Pro's and cons. Is there any money to be made for us punters?|
|Just been on the news that the new 'spying' powers are to be delayed and 'new controls put in place'. Good.|
|Measures which remove freedoms from innocent people in the name of terrorism prevention should be subject to a referendum.|
|Problem -> Reaction -> Solution
=> More control and power.
But for what end?|
|MaxK you are a plank|
The real reason is control.
Think about it!|
You surprise me.
I thought you would have twigged!
The "bogus" civil liberties thing is exactly the point. This government is going to start to tap into everything you do that is written down, be it paper or on disc. What web sites you visit, what you transmit or recieve.
All in the name of keeping the wierdos out, whilst letting them in through the back door.
What is the real reason?|
|I'm not strange Boc!
Whats your point?|
|Johngreenspains, you are one scary person. Who let you out of the loony bin?|
|Good tip, g4ssg, we should just look out for someone at Sangatte whose name is Muhammed and is carrying a briefcase which glows strangely - as soon as we've put him up in a hotel and looked after his family and given him a job, we should ask him politely if we can look inside the briefcase.
But if he says no, we're screwed.|
|I'm not surprized they couldn't find any in afghanistan......? try the channel
|The US want Israel to show restraint. They want India to show restraint. In the meantime they are planning to take out Saddam. Great stuff. Wonder how they'd react if Israel took out Arafat.|