Saturday, October 23, 2010


A Break From Global Warming...

The search for a usable energy source seems a bit competitive, at times. Now, with petroleum products being nudged from various sides, other forms of energy are being considered, and among the best and most prolific is nuclear power.
Not an easy subject to walk in on, the air already fraught with different opinions and guesses about everything from waste control to low level radiation and government standards, as well as deregulation and a return to privatization being the big dog in control of everything.
What do we gain from this?
Well, in the area of deregulation...nothing.
In fact, the very term spells disaster to everyone who lives close or down wind from a nuclear plant.Regulation is highly recommended, although not all countries feel the need for the welfare of their own people, so it begs to be asked, what do these countries think of the rest of the world?
The obvious port of trouble might be India and other areas around India where electronic waste products are dumped, stripped of their value and mass dumped inland.
This is a sad bit of business, yes? Due to an extremely fast technology, computers, teevees, even so little as cell phones get thrown into this country as if there is a deep hole somewhere that will accommodate the world's trash. The more notable point, however, is that there are as many regulations involved with the export of the waste as with the import of the waste, and those are none.
Some water/air regulations, but, others are few and far between.

On two occasions, "business" advances were mentioned as positive points for having nuclear reactors generating power for the population.
That brought me to the graph showing the total population that gets to actually USE the power generated and it is this:

You may have noticed that things have been added to the original graph, and, I am sorry for the crudeness of the following graphs which I left in conjunction with that use level...
Note that productivity levels are not married to the use of nuclear power plants, nor does the overall population evidently gain any significant benefit from its use.

By Population total:

(Note Slovenia, gone from the median to "bottom of the barrel" as a population total)


(About the Republic of Korea...I am NOT going to ask the CIA for anything, if I can avoid it. It just doesn't seem like an organization one would want to get involved with...I don't have a Glock9, I don't speak any foreign languages, and while I liked the Bourne movies, I don't want to have be that kind of person, eh? Fiction or not. ROK gets treated as if the numbers were the same: GDP/GNP)

(...or, YOU can contact them if it's that important...)

So, last but not least GNP which actually confuses me some...not that it would be hard. Just that, it doesn't seem to give me much in the way of inter-country business figures.
None-the-less, here's the same graph by GDP:

So, as far as businesses being generated by more nuclear energy, this set of graphs don't seem to corroborate that thought. While there are several other factors to consider, such as China's total population even wanting electrical power, or where can the new "safe" waste be stored at, or at what point has the economic boom come to the users of nuclear power versus non-use.

If I understand this correctly...the most important nation involved with the use of nuclear power actually doesn't even have nuclear power.
Australia, with a population of 21.4 million people a GDP of $1.02 Trillion, and a GNP of  $798.3 Billion has no nuclear reactors.

And yet it provides:


Now, getting to governments..well. Pick one. Anyone at all.
Even our own, with its fickle leaning towards all that is profitable. Politicians run with the idea that the campaign promise gets them into place, and their actions afterwords are what the people voted for in the first place.
It's as if they assume that their constituents are voting for their ideology and not what they said they would produce from their terms. The father and son team of Paul, who both campaign on reduction of federal gravy sucking BOTH now declare that to be of utmost importance...Suck up as much gravy as possible...
But, then, how does that relate to care of disposal process?
Regulatory practices, which at this time are being contentiously argued as a government or private practice...if left to privatization, leaves NO guarantee of following strict standards of safety for the population.

Oh dang! And there is no guarantee of future regulatory practices, either, are there?
Fickley speaking, that is.
So the concern of proper disposal and care are still an unsettled argument, at least here in the USA.
In China

Nuclear Power in China

(Updated 22 October 2010) 
  • Mainland China has 12 nuclear power reactors in operation, 24 under construction, and more about to start construction soon. 
  • Additional reactors are planned, including some of the world's most advanced, to give more than a tenfold increase in nuclear capacity to 80 GWe by 2020, 200 GWe by 2030, and 400 GWe by 2050. 
  • China is rapidly becoming self-sufficient in reactor design and construction, as well as other aspects of the fuel cycle. 
Most of mainland China's electricity is produced from fossil fuels (80% from coal, 2% from oil, 1% from gas in 2006) and hydropower (15%). Two large hydro projects are recent additions: Three Gorges of 18.2 GWe and Yellow River of 15.8 GWe. Rapid growth in demand has given rise to power shortages, and the reliance on fossil fuels has led to much air pollution. The economic loss due to pollution is put by the World Bank at almost 6% of GDP .1 In 2009 power shortages were most acute in central provinces, particularly Hubei, and in December the Central China Grid Co. posted a peak load of 94.6 GW.
Domestic electricity production in 2009 was 3643 billion kWh, 6.0% higher than the 3,450 billion kWh in 2008, which was 5.8% more than in 2007 (3,260 billion kWh) and it is expected to rise to 3,810 billion kWh in 2010. Installed capacity had grown by the end of 2009 to 874 GWe, up 10.2% on the previous year's 793 GWe, which was 11% above the previous year's 713 GWe.2 Capacity growth is expected to slow, reaching about 1600 GWe in 2020. At the end of 2007, there was reported to be 145 GWe of hydro capacity, 554 GWe fossil fuel, 9 GWe nuclear and 4 GWe wind, total 713 GWe. In 2008, the country added 20.1 GWe of hydro capacity, 65.8 GWe coal-fired capacity, and 4.7 GWe wind.
These capacity increase figures are all the more remarkable considering the forced retirement of small inefficient coal-fired plants: 26 GWe of these was closed in 2009, making 60 GWe closed since 2006, cutting annual coal consumption by 69 million tonnes and annual carbon dioxide emissions by 139 Mt.
The grid system run by the State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC) is sophisticated and rapidly growing, utilising ultra high voltage (1000 kV AC and 800 kV DC) transmission. By 2020, the capacity of the UHV network is expected to be some 300 GW, which will function as the backbone of the whole system, having 400 GWe of clean energy sources connected, of which hydropower will account for 78 GW, and wind power from the north a further significant portion (wind capacity by 2020 is planned to be 100 GWe). Also by 2020, operational transmission losses are expected to be 5.7%, down from 6.6% in 2010. At the end of 2009, China had budgeted to spend $600 billion upgrading its grid.
Among the main listed generators, Huaneng Power produced 203.5 billion kWh from its domestic plants in 2009, 10.2% up on 2008. Datang Power produced 141.9 billion kWh, 12% up on 2008. Huadian Power produced 107.5 billion kWh, 6.75% above 2008. CPI Development produced 43.9 billion kWh, 2.0% above 2008 level.
While coal is the main energy source, most reserves are in the north or northwest and present an enormous logistic problem – nearly half the country's rail capacity is used in transporting coal. Because of the heavy reliance on old coal-fired plant, electricity generation accounts for much of the country's air pollution, which is a strong reason to increase nuclear share. China recently overtook the USA as the world's largest contributor to carbon dioxide emissions. The US Energy Information Administration predicts that China's share in global coal-related emissions will grow by 2.7% per year, from 4.9 billion tonnes in 2006 to 9.3 billion tonnes in 2030, some 52% of the projected world total. Total carbon dioxide emissions in China are projected to grow by 2.8% per year from 6.2 billion tonnes in 2006 to 11.7 billion tonnes in 2030 (or 28% of world total). In comparison, total US carbon dioxide emissions are projected to grow by 0.3% per year, from 5.9 billion tonnes in 2006 to 7.7 billion tonnes in 2030.3
Nuclear power has an important role, especially in the coastal areas remote from the coalfields and where the economy is developing rapidly. Generally, nuclear plants can be built close to centres of demand, whereas suitable wind and hydro sites are remote from demand. Moves to build nuclear power commenced in 1970 and the industry has now moved to a rapid development phase. Technology has been drawn from France, Canada and Russia, with local development based largely on the French element. The latest technology acquisition has been from the USA (via Westinghouse, owned by Japan's Toshiba) and France. The Westinghouse AP1000 is the main basis of technology development in the immediate future.
Government targets for nuclear power have been increasing. As of June 2010, official installed nuclear capacity targets are understood to be 80 GWe by 2020, 200 GWe by 2030 and 400 GWe by 2050.
In September 2010, the China Daily reported that China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) alone plans to invest CNY 800 billion ($120 billion) into nuclear energy projects by 2020. Total investment in nuclear power plants, in which CNNC will hold controlling stakes, will reach CNY 500 billion ($75 billion) by 2015, according to CNNC. In order to fund the company's expansion target, CNNC plans to list its subsidiary, CNNC Nuclear Power Co Ltd in 2011, to attract strategic investors.

I listed the map because it seemed pertinent to the conversation that almost all of the nuclear plants were on their much to do with the location of coal fired energy production... And there was at least one concern about building in California, being a Pacific Rim area, and then look again at the Chinese plans for atomic sites...
Along their Pacific Rim, as it were.I would venture to guess that disposal is of prime concern to them, though, that in itself may prove problematic. I can little afford to discount another nation for their internal practices, but, again, how does their concern over the welfare of the rest of the world fare with their own "fickle" government standing?

 While the fact of less waste pollution is evident in the opening of these new units, there doesn't seem to be any reason to believe that it also marks the end of present energy production measures such as the dams and coal burning energy providers...much as it has little or no bearing on USA energy providers. In fact, at least twice in the recent past, coal fired energy was viewed as the better choice of energy production.


That fact alone should be fair warning of how political posturing creates policy. Coal fired energy production creates acid rain for Canada, black lung for miners, and many more brown moths than white. And we breath it in everyday.
Fickle strikes again.

(technologies change so fast now-a-days that ... what I have written here may be out of date before the next time change this Spring. I can only report on what I find, and try to write my own ideas as obviously as possible.
I am opinionated, I reckon, but, I  take pride in being able to learn more.
Learning IS living, I think.)

No comments: