Submitted by Bob Burton on
The most recent pro-nuclear presentation by Patrick Moore, a former Greenpeace activist turned PR consultant, was at the annual conference of EnergySolutions. EnergySolutions is described by Salt Lake Tribune journalist Judy Fahys as a "Salt Lake City-based company trying to become the nation's - and perhaps the world's - largest nuclear waste company." In his presentation, Moore argued that there should be a massive expansion of the number of nuclear power stations beyond the current 103 nuclear power stations in operation. "We have to talk about 100 or 200 new plants in the U.S.," he said. Vanessa Pierce, executive director of the Healthy Environment Alliance of Utah is unpersuaded. "Patrick Moore is to nuclear power what the Tobacco Institute was to Big Tobacco," she said. "Nuclear power and reprocessing are no more promising solutions for global warming than smoking is for leading a healthy lifestyle."
GerryWolff replied on Permalink
Solar, not nuclear
Regarding "Moore Delivers For Nuclear Waste Client" (2007-01-20), there really is no no need for nuclear power in the US 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 half a million Californians currently get their electricity from this source. 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 it is feasible and economic to transmit solar electricity over very long distances using highly-efficient 'HVDC' transmission lines. With transmission losses at about 3% per 1000 km, solar electricity may be transmitted to anywhere in the US. CSP plants in the south western states of the US could easily meet the entire current US demand for electricity.
In the recent '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 www.trec-uk.org.uk and www.trecers.net . Copies of the TRANS-CSP report may be downloaded from www.trec-uk.org.uk/reports.htm . The many problems associated with nuclear power are summarised at www.mng.org.uk/green_house/no_nukes.htm .
Bob Burton replied on Permalink
Thanks Gerry, I have to confess that I'd never heard of CSP before. Thanks for the links, I'll go have a look. Cheers Bob