Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Why Can't We Buy 100% Nuclear Electricity?

About half the states in the US have programs that allow residents and businesses to purchase "green" electricity, that which is generated by wind, solar, and hydro. So, why can't people buy the "greenest" electricity -- from nuclear power plants?

Any of you nuclear fans who might read this blog, leave a comment!

16 Comments:

At 8:20 PM, Blogger Stewart Peterson said...

A nuclear electricity purchase program might very well work better without metering--Rod Adams had a proposal a while back that would establish flat-fee billing for nuclear electricity. It would make economic sense to the utilities, since a nuclear power plant is just as expensive to shut down as it is to keep running, and it would obviously have been cheaper for consumers in the long run (not to mention bringing more choice).

Personally, I'd like to see such a program in place, too.

 
At 10:13 PM, Blogger Joffan said...

Interesting... it must an idea whose time is coming, because I was considering writing to my utility with exactly the same request.

 
At 7:31 AM, Anonymous Calixto said...

That is an excellent idea.
I think I shall write FPL.

 
At 10:05 PM, Blogger Tom Benson said...

I've been digging. Haven't found one yet.

 
At 8:39 AM, Anonymous Ruth Sponsler said...

I posted this idea a while back. Have never heard of a utility doing this, but I think that one should. It would help the utility, even if only a bit, to obtain investment capital and public support for a new facility.

 
At 4:45 AM, Blogger Rod Adams said...

Tom and Ruth:

It would be interesting to keep working to convince existing "alternative" energy marketers to think about including nuclear power as an eligible alternative for their special power schemes.

Several times in recent years, I have made contact with groups - governmental, investor, and NGO - that have programs to encourage alternative or distributed energy. Almost invariably, the descriptions provided for the types of energy systems that qualify describe what I think an Adams Engine can do. They want low emissions, not oil, not coal, sustainable, able to be distributed, etc.

However, when I ask if a fission heated power system can qualify, I generally get a resounding no. In some cases, the groups have made it clear that natural gas and even coal gasification might qualify. (Most of the nation's superfund sites were once dedicated to producing coal gas, aka town gas.)

Interesting.

 
At 9:42 PM, Blogger Johnathan Chan said...

Bringing new modern material science technologies to assist the nuclear industry might help make it even greener. Afterall most of today's plants were built over 30 years ago.

Here's another idea that might help with some further study weighing tradeoffs. Build several "clean" power plants along the US/Mexico border. I think it would solve several issues with the same $$ invested. Large numbers of jobs, zero greenhouse emissions while operating, security perimeterization and high power energy density needs all rolled into new initiatives to help us and our neighbors to the south.

-JChan
Atomic Motor Blog

 
At 7:24 AM, Blogger Matthew66 said...

If electricity weren't already included in my rent, I would love to buy nuclear only electricity. I would imagine that it would be cheaper than natural gas or oil fired electricity, which are about the only other options in Astoria NY.

 
At 11:27 PM, Blogger Luke said...

I think it would be great, and I'd certainly sign up for it.

I don't know what it's like in the rest of the world, but here in Oz the "clean, green" electricity supply contracts usually mean a bit of a price premium.

Even though nuclear is not necessarily any more expensive, i'd still be happy to pay a little bit more, for the sake of the environment and a sustainable future, with expanded adoption of nuclear power.

 
At 3:56 AM, Blogger troll beads said...

Whatta nice articles…
Yeah...why we can't use nuclear as our main electricity right???
Recently most people like to save their fuel in whatever way…
By using hydrogen is one of them…
I just find this blog if u like its articles…
http://hidrogen-fuel.blogspot.com/2008/08/understanding-hydrogen-as-alternative.html

 
At 11:35 PM, Anonymous gh said...

A new paper from The Pardee Center at Boston University ("Does Nuclear Energy Have a Future?") suggests that nuclear energy is not really going to take off, mostly for cost reasons.
http://www.bu.edu/phpbin/news-cms/news/?dept=1804&id=51613

 
At 10:25 AM, Blogger The North Coast said...

Great idea, but unfortunately it's not "politically correct".

I'd be happy if my home state, Illinois, would repeal its idiotic moratorium on new nuclear development until a "suitable" method of waste disposal is devised.

 
At 5:01 AM, Anonymous That Guy said...

I'm ecstatic that you brought this up in your post. I have been a huge proponent of expanding our Nuclear Energy program in the US, since I learned of its tremendous potential to generate a ton of clean energy.

Like North Coast, I agree that there is an unnecessary stigma associated with Nuclear Energy. If you ask someone walking down the street, why or why not to use nuclear energy, they would most likely respond negatively citing Chernobyl or the Mile Island disaster as a reason to forgo this alternative to fossil fuels. This is not their fault. The media in the US loves to prey on the fears of its citizens, because you don’t sell ad spots on CNN by presenting stories that don’t scare your viewer to the point that he cant change the channel. Unfortunately for the rest of us, this finger crippling fear, keeps us away from a safe, viable, and real opportunity to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. So hopefully some useful facts that I will present will put a ray of light in the night and scare away the dark.

An article put out in 2008 by Mark Z. Jacobsen offers some needed insight into the world of energy generation. To summarize, he assumes that all vehicles in the US are battery electric (BEV) and calculates the ability, of a multitude of power generation platforms, to successfully power all of the vehicles in the US. He looks at a host different criteria ranging from emissions per Kilowatt Hour (KWh) to the amount of land needed to power the whole US vehicle fleet.

In this article, he is pretty hard on Nuclear, but for all of the wrong reasons. He considers terrorism, nuclear war etc. in his analysis of nuclear, but if you look past those figures, you begin to see how good nuclear energy could be for our future. Here are some things I have found.

The US is the leading generator of nuclear power in the world, producing about 29.2% of the world total in 2005. France generates more than 79% of their total energy from nuclear power plants. The uranium reserves could theoretically sustain the world’s energy generation for 90-300yrs, and this is not including uranium found in the ocean and breeder reactor technology. Nuclear power produces from 9-70g CO2 per KWh, compared to coal (w/ carbon sequestration) 255-440g CO2 per KWh, and wind, which produces 2.8-7.4g CO2 per KWh. The land needed to generate enough electricity to sustain the whole US vehicle, for wind, 9-13% of the US, for nuclear, .045%-.061%.

In my opinion it’s a no brainer. Let’s go nuclear.

 
At 5:02 AM, Anonymous That Guy said...

Like North Coast, I agree that there is an unnecessary stigma associated with Nuclear Energy. If you ask someone walking down the street, why or why not to use nuclear energy, they would most likely respond negatively citing Chernobyl or the Mile Island disaster as a reason to forgo this alternative to fossil fuels. This is not their fault. The media in the US loves to prey on the fears of its citizens, because you don’t sell ad spots on CNN by presenting stories that don’t scare your viewer to the point that he cant change the channel. Unfortunately for the rest of us, this finger crippling fear, keeps us away from a safe, viable, and real opportunity to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. So hopefully some useful facts that I will present will put a ray of light in the night and scare away the dark.

An article put out in 2008 by Mark Z. Jacobsen offers some needed insight into the world of energy generation. To summarize, he assumes that all vehicles in the US are battery electric (BEV) and calculates the ability, of a multitude of power generation platforms, to successfully power all of the vehicles in the US. He looks at a host different criteria ranging from emissions per Kilowatt Hour (KWh) to the amount of land needed to power the whole US vehicle fleet.

In this article, he is pretty hard on Nuclear, but for all of the wrong reasons. He considers terrorism, nuclear war etc. in his analysis of nuclear, but if you look past those figures, you begin to see how good nuclear energy could be for our future. Here are some things I have found.

The US is the leading generator of nuclear power in the world, producing about 29.2% of the world total in 2005. France generates more than 79% of their total energy from nuclear power plants. The uranium reserves could theoretically sustain the world’s energy generation for 90-300yrs, and this is not including uranium found in the ocean and breeder reactor technology. Nuclear power produces from 9-70g CO2 per KWh, compared to coal (w/ carbon sequestration) 255-440g CO2 per KWh, and wind, which produces 2.8-7.4g CO2 per KWh. The land needed to generate enough electricity to sustain the whole US vehicle, for wind, 9-13% of the US, for nuclear, .045%-.061%.

In my opinion it’s a no brainer. Let’s go nuclear.

 
At 5:03 AM, Anonymous That Guy said...

Like North Coast, I agree that there is an unnecessary stigma associated with Nuclear Energy. If you ask someone walking down the street, why or why not to use nuclear energy, they would most likely respond negatively citing Chernobyl or the Mile Island disaster as a reason to forgo this alternative to fossil fuels. This is not their fault. The media in the US loves to prey on the fears of its citizens, because you don’t sell ad spots on CNN by presenting stories that don’t scare your viewer to the point that he cant change the channel. Unfortunately for the rest of us, this finger crippling fear, keeps us away from a safe, viable, and real opportunity to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. So hopefully some useful facts that I will present will put a ray of light in the night and scare away the dark.

The US is the leading generator of nuclear power in the world, producing about 29.2% of the world total in 2005. France generates more than 79% of their total energy from nuclear power plants. The uranium reserves could theoretically sustain the world’s energy generation for 90-300yrs, and this is not including uranium found in the ocean and breeder reactor technology. Nuclear power produces from 9-70g CO2 per KWh, compared to coal (w/ carbon sequestration) 255-440g CO2 per KWh, and wind, which produces 2.8-7.4g CO2 per KWh. The land needed to generate enough electricity to sustain the whole US vehicle, for wind, 9-13% of the US, for nuclear, .045%-.061%.

In my opinion it’s a no brainer. Let’s go nuclear.

 
At 5:04 AM, Anonymous That Guy said...

Hey sorry for the reposting so many times, it kept telling me it was too big, please keep the first one iNuclear.

That Guy

 

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