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May 13, 2007

Cycle Against the Nuclear Cycle III

Filed under: Events — schmadzie @ 12:35 am

CHeck out this ride orgainised by a lovely bunch of concerned locals.


 awareness about what the nuclear cycle means

  • Rallying opposition to the production of nuclear power in Australia
  • Promote truly renewable power generation
  • Advocate local power generation and engage local communities in becoming involved in their power generation.
  • Enabling participants to commit to communal goals and experience participatory decision making
  • Giving participants the opportunity to live outside the consumer cycle.

    1. There is absolutely no need for nuclear power plants in Australia because there is a simple mature technology available that can deliver huge amounts of clean energy without any of the headaches of nuclear power.
      I refer to ‘concentrating solar power’ (CSP), the technique of concentrating sunlight using mirrors to create heat, and then using the heat to raise steam and drive turbines and generators, just like a conventional power station. It is possible to store solar heat in melted salts so that electricity generation may continue through the night or on cloudy days. This technology has been generating electricity successfully in California since 1985 and currently provides power for about 100,000 Californian homes. CSP plants are now being planned or built in many parts of the world.
      CSP works best in hot deserts and, of course, these are not always nearby! But with transmission losses at only about 3% per 1000 km, it is entirely feasible and economic to transmit solar electricity throughout Australia from the Australian desert using highly-efficient ‘HVDC’ transmission lines. A small portion of the Australian desert would be sufficient to meet all of the country’s needs for electricity.
      Waste heat from electricity generation in a CSP plant can be used to create fresh water by desalination of sea water: a very useful by-product in arid regions.
      In the ‘TRANS-CSP’ report commissioned by the German government, it is estimated that CSP electricity, imported from North Africa and the Middle East, could become one of the cheapest sources of electricity in Europe, including the cost of transmission. A large-scale HVDC transmission grid has also been proposed by Airtricity as a means of optimising the use of wind power throughout Europe.
      Further information about CSP may be found at , and . Copies of the TRANS-CSP report may be downloaded from . The many problems associated with nuclear power are summarised at .
      Viv Rendall

      Comment by viv rendall — May 14, 2007 @ 5:09 pm

    2. sweet. sign me up!

      Comment by schmadzie — May 15, 2007 @ 5:30 am

    3. Viv Rendall clearly illustrates the difference between scientists and engineers.

      She claims that “it is entirely feasible and economic…”

      Scientists will make claims of what is ‘possible’ and what ‘can be’. Engineers, on the other hand, are constrained by the practical considerations of what is *feasible* and *affordable*. A vast network of solar arrays and HVDC technology that has never been demonstrated on a global scale is currently no substitute for proven existing technologies. Admittedly, it is within the realms of possibility to harness vast amounts of power from the sun and wind, but the present reality means that in the short to medium term we must continue to rely on conventional sources of energy. Even so, this doesn’t absolve us of any obligation to do it as cleanly and efficiently as possible.

      And what about California’s solar power? Check it out for yourself:

      After over 20 years of public subsidy, solar still accounts for less than two-tenths of one percent of the electricity. Given that over 60% of energy is still derived from fossil fuels, the reality of the situation dictates that any breakthroughs in solar, or any other renewable technology for that matter, should be used to offset fossil fuel use, not nuclear energy.

      Comment by Michael Stuart — June 7, 2007 @ 6:49 am

    4. Michael
      Your concept that renewables are for the future and that they can’t provide power in enough quantities now is wrong. We are in dire need to change our direction in how we produce power not just for global warming reduction but also for a safe world, as we will never have a safe nuclear industry because we live in a world that is entrenched in crazy ideologies and anything that leads us away from destruction and can do both should be strongly encouraged. I speak of the best so far in the renewable energy field and it is CSP with storage. It is not something for the future it is happening now! . Great advances have been seen in the renewable industry and a gigawatt solar thermal plant is being built using a cheap flat mirror system together ammonia disassociation storage system which turns out to be easy to do and is based on well understood science and mature technology. There are many storage systems but the ammonia one is closed loop and is cheap and efficient and probably supreme in that it has much greater flexibility enabling base medium or peak power on demand. Not only that, this system beats other storage systems in that energy received and locked up chemically during summer can be released during winter or at any distant future time which is not intrinsically possible with the other systems. As economies of scale kick in, prices in the not too distant future will plummet and this is where the crunch will come in for the nuclear and fossil fuel industry.

      Comment by viv rendall — July 12, 2007 @ 1:23 pm

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