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I love wind and solar.  But they are intermittent, diffuse resources.

When the wind does not blow in the North Sea because of changing weather patterns, the turbine blades don't move.  

Baseload electricity only comes from hydroelectric, fossil fuels, and nuclear.  Therefore, if Germany has a problem supplying energy from renewables, it must turn to one of these resources.  If they don't want to buy needed electricity from France, they have to get it from coal plants burning brown coal, which is environmentally really dirty.

Anti-nuclear power folks need to make up their mind about greenhouse gases.  If GHG are their chief concern, then elimination of fossil-fuel electricity plants should be first on the agenda.  To control carbon emissions, nuclear power is essential.

If you follow the logic of the argument that nuclear power will not significantly reduce carbon emissions, especially in the near term, then you have to conclude that carbon emissions from coal plants are insignificant and so are political attempts to reduce emissions, like the carbon tax and Kyoto.

The antis want to have it both ways:  they're saying we desperately need carbon-control programs but also saying that carbon-control is really not a big problem if it means we replace coal with nuclear.

The volume of nuclear waste is extremely small in comparison to the volume of waste in the air, on land, and in water from fossil fuel combustion.  It is possible to isolate and shield nuclear waste for very long periods until it decays to about the level of natural background radiation.

Finland and Sweden are both working on repositories deep in rock.  Spent fuel will be enclosed in casks inside chambers carved inside rock.  Safe storage is indeed possible.  In fact, it is going on every day around the world.

Safe storage of coal waste is possible but it is not being done.  This is causing severe problems for the entire planet.

by Plan9 on Tue Oct 18th, 2005 at 12:59:16 PM EST
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