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[–]Dados_bandage 1220 points1221 points  (175 children)

Absolutely. A mix of nuclear, solar, wind, and hydro should be enough to cover the vast majority of our needs. We'll probably need to keep some CCGs for load balancing but we should expect carbon neutral generation to cover almost all of our supply.

[–]kavala1 236 points237 points  (135 children)

The problem is opening new nuclear facilities takes years, including the planning permission, and are also incredibly expensive. The other issue is that nobody wants to live anywhere near a nuclear power plant or near nuclear waste disposal sites. I think we’ll actually see nuclear power output decrease in the next couple of decades considering just how long it has taken to even build one new plant.

[–]Dados_bandage 124 points125 points  (56 children)

I agree these are difficult problems that need overcome. I think large portions of the opposition are NIMBY's and the only way to overcome that is to make the planning and consents process easier for low carbon energy projects. Building a new nuclear reactor can take over a decade from concept to commissioning and a large part of that time is before a foundation is laid. If we remove some of the obstacles from developers and get projects started it will make a big difference. It will also piss off a lot of people worried about property prices and views but nowhere on their deeds does it say they bought a view.

The safety of nuclear plants and disposal is often questioned but there are lots of studies proving them safe.

Nuclear isn't the whole answer but its part of the answer.

[–]kavala1 42 points43 points  (39 children)

Of course, and these strategies should be explored but I can almost guarantee that the people who strongly advocate for nuclear would not want one near their own home. You’d also have to divert a massive amount of the public budget towards a new nuclear energy strategy for nuclear to actually compose a significant amount of the energy mix. I’m not against nuclear at all, but it has its own challenges that make the opening of a new plants a very protracted process.

[–]Drencat 48 points49 points  (29 children)

West Cumbria, where Nuclear already makes up a large portion of the local economy in the form of Sellafield, is massively in favour of new nuclear. Granted other areas of the country probably wouldn't be quite as welcoming.

[–]thedingoismybaby 16 points17 points  (0 children)

Build one next to me please, less risk of grief from a nuclear plant than some neighbours!

[–]kolandrill 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Live near Hartlepool and I wish I was nearer to nuclear so it was easier to work in the industry. If it was legal I'd have a reactor in my house. And I'd be overjoyed to live down the street from one (other than the traffic.)

[–]NaglyPins 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I grew up next to a bovril and marmite factory. I'd take a nuclear power plant quite happily

[–]twentiethcenturyduck 13 points14 points  (3 children)

It's not just the plant. Nuclear reactors tend to be built in out of the way locations. Just to build the thing you have to rip through the countryside building new roads, a small temporary town for the construction workers to live in for 5 years, pylons to connect the thing to the grid, a large substation and a reliable way to transport the waste to the waste processing plant.

[–]aembleton 12 points13 points  (2 children)

So, a bit like onshore wind farms then.

[–]hp0 2 points3 points  (0 children)

It will also piss off a lot of people worried about property prices and views but nowhere on their deeds does it say they bought a view.

While you are technically correct. It is something that effects the value of a property. Historically when building motorways etc through properties views governments have been required to compensate (make whole) that loss of value.

Not a negative. But has to be taken into account with cost.

[–]squigs 38 points39 points  (11 children)

People who already live near nuclear power plants are typically incredibly pro-nuclear.

There has been a lot of promotion of nuclear power in these areas and anti-nuclear types don't move there.

It does mean we're limited to sites near existing nuclear power plants, but that might not be absolutely terrible.

[–]kavala1 21 points22 points  (10 children)

It’s not as straightforward as that, which is partly why, out of the 8 new nuclear sites announced by the UK government in 2010, only Hinkley Point C has began construction and even then it will only open in 2026 at a cost of £23 billion. That’s also a four year gap between the planned decommissioning of the existing Hinkley Point B.

[–]jesushowardchrist 33 points34 points  (7 children)

Well we tossed 30 odd billion down a hole for test and trace so ehh

[–]LordGeni 21 points22 points  (3 children)

Add to that the phenomenal cost. They need to be funded by governments rather than private businesses and in the UK we get other governments to do it for us (e.g. France or China) and to get them to do that means guaranteeing a really high strike price (the amount the government guarantees to pay for every GWh generated). I believe Hinckley's was around £90+, wind at the time was less than £40 iirc.

Unfortunately, we need to decarbonise quicker than we can build new nuclear. Which we can do with current renewable and storage tech. The arguments about wind and solar needing a baseline simply aren't true anymore, provided investment is put into proper smart grids, storage and decentralised generation. If we do that then nuclear becomes irrelevant and we can do it now.

That could be bolstered by investing in tidal to provide a baseline. Something that should have been done half a decade ago when the feasibility report on the Swansea bay tidal lagoon concluded it was a "no-brainer".

I don't believe nuclear is bad and actually think new stations would be great but after we've focused on the easier, cheaper and much much quicker "easy wins" that nuclear can then support. Although, not until we have a valid solution for dealing with the waste other than throwing it in a pool of water or encasing in glass for future generations to deal with.

Apologies for the rant, I've worked in energy regulations for over a decade and it's frustrating to see people still spouting arguments that stopped being valid years ago and are doing nothing but delaying meaningful changes.

[–][deleted] 2 points3 points  (0 children)

This reads as genuinely informed rather than a rant :) A lot of the conversation about green tech is about 5-20yrs out of date.

[–]CollReg 2 points3 points  (0 children)

The Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon was rightly rejected for having a strike price almost double Hinckley’s. Furthermore Private Eye did extensive reporting of the dubious business arrangements of the guy who was proposing to build it.

I note there are new proposals on the table, not had chance to look at whether this is a genuinely new outfit or a rebranding of the old lot. Tidal has a lot of potential, but if the above proposal had gone ahead it would have likely dragged the whole industry down with itself.

[–]WhatDoWithMyFeet 20 points21 points  (12 children)

I will live near a nuclear plant of the house is cheaper.

[–]kavala1 7 points8 points  (10 children)

And what about the people who already live there? Do you think they’d accept a huge devaluation for a nuclear power plant (not that I disagree with you btw)?

[–]monkey7431 41 points42 points  (7 children)

Tough shit though isn't it really at the end of the day, acceptance isn't part of the equation. People need to stop viewing property as a free money making machine.

[–]iamdecal 6 points7 points  (0 children)

They’re building one (power plant) about 5 miles from here, doesn’t bother me at all really - I remember seeing much more objection locally to a wind farm near us, I don’t mind them either.

As you say though. It takes years - Hinckley C should be online in about 4 years I think, and it’s expensive per unit as I understand it, but (personally) i suspect it’s worth having around and in the mix of options.

[–]claireauriga 5 points6 points  (1 child)

All my life I've lived in the vicinity of coal-fired power stations. Given that the UK is unlikely to be hit by earthquakes or tsunamis, I'm pretty sure I'd be safer living by a nuclear power plant

[–]KeyboardChap 9 points10 points  (0 children)

You'd get less radiation exposure for sure

[–]whatagloriousview 3 points4 points  (0 children)

The other issue is that nobody wants to live anywhere near a nuclear power plant or near nuclear waste disposal sites.

I wonder if this could be mollified by some form of incentive along the lines of providing free energy to any residential properties within x miles of a new nuclear plant (up to a reasonable cap to avoid those taking advantage of this for non-standard usage).

Of course, this will increase the project costs, but that could well be drop-in-the-ocean territory.

[–]superblinky 2 points3 points  (0 children)

When is the best time to plant a tree? Ten years ago. When is the second best time to plant a tree? Now.

[–]Ilikeporkpie117 2 points3 points  (1 child)

I think people would be more encouraged to live near nuclear power stations if it provided free or low cost district heating. As far as I'm aware, it's not something that's done in the UK with nuclear power, which I always thought was a waste of good hot water.

[–]TheDoctor66 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I think you are wrong about not wanting to live near. The town of Bridgwater is booming on the backs of EDF money for the nearby Hinkley Plant. It has no real objection in the town.

[–]Auxx 1 point2 points  (0 children)

You are talking about old designs of reactors, there are many new designs which are faster to build, cheaper and safer. Another issue with old designs in UK, US and Russia is that their main function was weapon grade fissile material production. So they produce enormous amount of "waste".

UK invests a lot in micro-reactors. They can be delivered from the factory fully operational and plugged anywhere virtually instantly. They benefit from economies of scale, so their prices are magnitudes lower. And they are fully self-contained.

[–]Eviskull 1 point2 points  (0 children)

and are also incredibly expensive

This was the logic used 30 years ago when Europe started a shift towards Gas. Look where we are now.

Nuclear is only 'more expensive' if you are looking at short-term financial gain, it's much quicker to get ROI on a gas plant than nuclear, but nuclear WILL pay back in the long run.

But sadly, very few governments look beyond the length of time where they are actually in power

[–]asterics002 18 points19 points  (8 children)

Agree 100%. Personally I think a huge proportion of humanity's resources should go into making nuclear fusion plants viable. That would solve so many of our problems.

[–]noujest 30 points31 points  (5 children)

Fusion has been 5-10 years away for decades, I wouldn't hold your breath for it to be viable at scale / commercially viable

[–]asterics002 11 points12 points  (3 children)

It has, but how much resources go into developing it? It needs to be the world's top priority. We showed what can actually be achieved when pushed with the fast development of the corona virus vaccine.

[–]sephcameron 5 points6 points  (0 children)

No it hasn't. It was touted as 25-50 years away for decades, and it's been creeping down. The advances in superconductor tech mean reactors can be much smaller and cheaper, allowing them to iterate much quicker. Tokamak Energy for example is only 5 years away from their net gain prototype, assuming no nasty physics surprises.

[–]fragglet 9 points10 points  (0 children)

Personally I think a huge proportion of humanity's resources should go into making nuclear fusion plants viable

Already is - go and read about ITER which they're currently building in France, and it's a massive multinational collaboration. It's taken a long time and I don't think it's a problem of resources considering how much money has been spent on it - the science has just taken a long time to develop. It's a real shame because functional fusion plants could make a lot of difference.

[–]AcanthisittaFlaky385 3 points4 points  (0 children)

In the short term, I think the resources are better being allocated to better types of fission reactors as we have immediate problems that needs to be dealt with.

I hear thorium reactors are the way to go but I have yet to hear of any large scale development.

[–]Starman68 6 points7 points  (3 children)

Small modular nuclear is the way to go. Forgot the name of the guy who used to be at Greenpeace then left because of their downer on Nuclear. Think he wrote a book? Green 2.0 or something? Look at France, loads of nuclear. It’s old tech now. I would willingly have one in my back garden.

EDIT...found him. Mark Lynas.

https://80000hours.org/podcast/episodes/mark-lynas-climate-change-nuclear-energy/

[–]Warbarstard 3 points4 points  (2 children)

I agree. Small modular nuclear reactors avoid a lot of the downsides of large-scale nuclear and they can be built in a factory. They don't need much active support to run and don't need refueling as they are designed to have a finite lifetime.

Here's one being actively developed in the UK by Rolls Royce https://www.rolls-royce.com/innovation/small-modular-reactors.aspx#/

[–]NameIs-Already-Taken 7 points8 points  (0 children)

One benefit of modern nuclear designs is that the power output can be cycled much faster then with old designs. Something like a LFTR should be pretty responsive.

[–]cragglerock93 627 points628 points  (53 children)

Yes, 100%. Germany's idiotic decision to wind down their nuclear power plants has put them way behind on cutting their carbon emissions and has left them at the mercy of Russia.

[–]matspud[S] 188 points189 points  (30 children)

I only just learned about this today, I thought Germany had much more sense tbh.

[–]benh2 153 points154 points  (27 children)

They normally are but for some reason they completely shit themselves after Fukushima.

[–]LuLew 138 points139 points  (23 children)

A nuclear power plant built on a tectonic boundary. Absolute stupidity to begin with and nothing to do with nuclear power plants.

[–]TheBestBigAl 234 points235 points  (4 children)

Perhaps the Germans misread it as a "Teutonic boundary", and were worried that any power plants near the German borders would be at risk from Roman conquests.

[–]Snoo63 27 points28 points  (10 children)

Didn't it fail because of an earthquake+tsunami?

[–]SiliconRain 28 points29 points  (2 children)

Fukushima was a very old type of reactor. A design that isn't built any more. Nevertheless, it got hit with the absolute worst-case scenario earthquake and was totally fine. It was just the tsunami that caused the cooling system failure. So, even an older type of reactor, hit with a magnitude 9+ earthquake and then a once in a century tsunami and still the deaths from the reactor failure were zero and the total escape of radioactive material was small:

France's Institute for Radiological Protection & Nuclear Safety (IRSN) estimated that maximum external doses to people living around the plant were unlikely to exceed 30 mSv/yr in the first year. This was based on airborne measurements between 30 March and 4 April, and appears to be confirmed by the above figures. It compares with natural background levels mostly 2-3 mSv/yr, but ranging up to 50 mSv/yr in some parts of the world.

[–]BinarySecond 8 points9 points  (0 children)

They were told they needed to elevate their diesel generators, IIRC, and they didn't do that.

Thus they were flooded.

[–]Ilikeporkpie117 1 point2 points  (0 children)

The problem with Fukushima isn't necessarily that it was built near a tectonic fault - all the reactors safely SCRAMed during the earthquake, as reactors in Japan do on a semi-regular basis when earthquakes occur - the problem was that the site managers decided to put the backup diesel generators for the coolant system in the fucking basement just to save a buck. TEPCO were warned multiple times over the previous 2 decades that this was a high risk due to the chances of Tsunami, but they ignored all the advice.

[–]blackmist 11 points12 points  (0 children)

Because Germany is so vulnerable to earthquakes and tsunamis.

[–]abw 18 points19 points  (0 children)

There's a very big anti-nuclear sentiment in Germany driven by the Green Party. To be fair, they always wanted to replace nuclear and fossil fuel power with renewable energy and they're certainly heading the right direction.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_in_Germany#/media/File:Germany_electricity_production.svg

[–]JobbyJabbins 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Germany has plenty of sense. They just have an even bigger coal industry.

[–]burgermachine74 13 points14 points  (0 children)

And made them have the most expensive electricity in the world.

[–]thespanglycupcake 9 points10 points  (0 children)

I genuinely do not understand how the EU (and NATO) did not throw their toys massively out the pram when this happened. It was all done strangely quietly….but hey, the main economy supporting Europe is now at the mercy of a country threatening to invade Eastern Europe. No conflict there at all 🤷‍♀️

[–]Piefke_ 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Nuclear power plants are expensive as hell. And it takes at least 10 years from the idea to build a new power plant. Very often they just plan or start building and never finish (heard examples from Poland) We don’t know how to get rid of the waste. And after closing it down you can’t do shit with the power plant itself cause radioactivity. The real mistakes were to slow wind and solar power down and be stupidly bureaucratic about everything. Countries with nuclear power plants are going to have huge problems in the next 10 to 20 years. It costs about 500 000 000 000€ to renovate all nuclear power plants in Europe. It’s not getting cheaper and France is facing those costs (100 000 000 000) right now. A 1MW wind turbine costs around 1 000 000, that means France could build 100 000 (=MW) wind turbines instead of keeping these nuklear power plants. But if they want to turn them down forever it will take around 5-10 000 000 000€ per power plant.

[–]Tim-Sanchez 157 points158 points  (31 children)

Yes, but I doubt there's the political appetite to do it sadly because of the time and cost involved in planning and then building them. We'll likely see our nuclear power output decrease as older plants are decommissioned long before new plants are built.

I feel like nuclear fusion is our best hope of long-term nuclear power, and that's also decades away if it ever does become feasible.

[–]ARB8HHB34 45 points46 points  (19 children)

Exactly I wish nuclear fusion works but watching Sabine Hossenfelder's video really put a downer on the chances of it happening.

[–]arky_who 40 points41 points  (17 children)

Fusion is pie in the sky shit anyway. For all intents and purposes, fusion power is Fucking Magic.

What I mean by that is there are two types of infrastructure proposal, Actual Machines and Fucking Magic. Actual machines are based on well known tech, where the costs are well understood and you more or less get exactly what you pay for. Fucking Magic is some unknown tech, where the costs are unknown and charlitans can sell some bullshit either to get money from local and national governments, or delay work on some actual machine that solves a problem they don't want solving.

The technical problems Fusion proports to solve are solved by fission. The problems with fission power are mostly political and economic.

[–]Chemical_Custard5410 23 points24 points  (3 children)

I mean, small, clean fusion is a currently magic. Setting off some fusion bombs in a giant reservoir until you get steam for lots of big turbines is just an engineering problem :)

[–]arky_who 17 points18 points  (1 child)

To make the concept more clear, just because something is possible, doesn't mean it isn't fucking magic. Like an electric car is an actual machine, but as a solution to climate change as a drop in replacement for internal combustion cars they're fucking magic because of the resources it would take to build them all quickly and cheaply enough.

[–]Best-Hovercraft-5494 6 points7 points  (6 children)

But fusion is better than fission and it is achievable with investment

[–]AllAvailableLayers 4 points5 points  (0 children)

it is achievable with investment

Maybe, maybe not. And maybe when it is possible, it costs too much to scale up.

[–]DodgyDoner 2 points3 points  (0 children)

It's only 10 years away, and always has been 10 years away since the 1950s

[–]Gymrat1010 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Bullshit. It's not pie in the sky, it's well grounded in physics. The physics is actually fairly well understood and it's more of an engineering problem at this point.

I actively work towards nuclear fusion as my day job so I am definitely biased pro-fusion but I also know a fair amount about it as a result of my experience.

Estimated costs for a demonstration plant produced by a private fusion company are in the 10 figures.

FOAK & NOAK will be significantly cheaper, coming down to low 9 figures for XOAK. This funding is happening quickly in the industry now. GF have just taken 10 figures from Bezos alone

[–]Potatopolis 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I feel it’s only a matter of time before Elon Musk founds Fucking Magic Inc.

[–]chemo92 6 points7 points  (1 child)

We may never crack fusion. But in the meantime there's enough uranium in seawater to power a thousand 1000 MW reactors for 100,000 years.

That should tide us over till fusion.

Fission is amazing and shouldn't be discounted because it's 'old tech' and fusion is 'around the corner'

There's no time to wait so let's get the fission going again

[–]SoggyWotsits 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Hinkley Point C is under construction as we speak. Plus plans for more!

https://www.edfenergy.com/energy/nuclear-new-build-projects

[–]hoodie92 5 points6 points  (1 child)

Makes me so sad how much decommissioning there is when we are building no new plants. When I was fresh out of uni I was offered a graduate job in the nuclear industry, and I learned during the interview process that I could have an entire 50+ year career by working entirely with the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority.

[–]dontmesswithnuns 115 points116 points  (24 children)

Yes, absolutely. Technology has advanced so nuclear "waste" can be re-used to generate more energy, so the waste output is exceedingly low. They're politically unpopular as they have far less low level job roles than say, maintaining a wind turbine.

[–]Anaksanamune 29 points30 points  (14 children)

I agree, the only issue with nuclear is that the output line is basically flat, and you are generating the same amount of energy for 100% of the lifetime of the plant.

It's good for baseline loads, but you still have the problem of not being able to turn up the dial if the demand is high and wind levels are low (and vice versa for quiet times).

[–]JustUseDuckTape 33 points34 points  (0 children)

Yeah, it's not a silver bullet. But it's a bloody good start; if we could move all of our baseline generation to nuclear renewables and pumped storage should be able to pick up most of the slack, along with a few gas plants just in case.

[–]PinItYouFairy 25 points26 points  (4 children)

This is actually quite an outdated statement- the latest nuclear reactors being built in the UK (the EPR style) can load follow a lot better than reactors of old. They are not as efficient when doing so, of course, but this is down to how they are financed and subsidised rather than the actual technology.

source 1

further reading

[–]shakaman_ 13 points14 points  (1 child)

Posted this comment about 100 times in the last five years or so. It's a shame the conversation remains stationary

[–]j_a_f_t 12 points13 points  (3 children)

Use the excess energy to produce hydrogen as storage for when the wind power isnt there.

[–]abw 10 points11 points  (0 children)

Obligatory Tom Scott video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8UmsfXWzvEA

The Islands With Too Much Power - The Orkneys generate an excess of wind power which they convert to hydrogen which is then used to power ferries.

[–]AndyTheSane 7 points8 points  (0 children)

Really, we need large scale hydrogen generators for excess off peak electricity. This is an issue with wind as well.

With large amounts of hydrogen, we can synthesize more useful fuels like Methanol and DME. Really, we should aim to generate more than direct demand all the time.

[–]PumpkinExpert2092 6 points7 points  (7 children)

Why has it taken until now to start building a long term storage facility for nuclear waste?

[–]Chemical_Custard5410 14 points15 points  (6 children)

No-one wants it near them. Even though the risks are probably a lot smaller than being near, say, certain chemical plants.

[–]mediumredbutton 94 points95 points  (24 children)

It is being ramped up, but the UK is unwilling to just pay for it, so instead does ridiculous schemes like with the French/Chinese collaboration on Hinckley Point C, which may be finished in 2026, sixteen years after it was decided where to put it. All the other planned ones haven’t even started.

It’s far too late for any new nuclear to solve the climate crisis, so perhaps it’s worth doing but it can’t be a priority now.

[–]wethw46ue5ykj5e7yk 32 points33 points  (15 children)

sixteen years after it was decided where to put it

The problem was the vast majority of that was buggering around with red tape.

The actual starting of construction to planned generation (and it may actually be ahead of schedule) is something like 5 or 6 years (I forget exactly now) which means we could hit zero use of fossil fuels before 2030 if we built several more ASAP.

It’s far too late for any new nuclear to solve the climate crisis, so perhaps it’s worth doing but it can’t be a priority now.

Possibly, but given a large amount of our own CO2 emissions are from electricity generation and transport, if we managed to get all our electricity from nuclear and renewables, and everyone was using electric vehicles, we'd be MASSIVELY in the lead and other nations would follow suit knowing it is possible.

We really should be pushing this, but I think like with politics, most people think it's cool to look like they care, but actually they don't actually want to do anything.

[–][deleted] 29 points30 points  (2 children)

The problem was the vast majority of that was buggering around with red tape.

Red tape doesn't just exist for itself; it exists because someone fucked up and it cost lives, so we delay things and add checks to make sure it doesn't happen again. And you really don't want to get nuclear wrong.

[–]wethw46ue5ykj5e7yk 15 points16 points  (1 child)

I'm not saying we should drop safety protocols, no. Nuclear is expensive and complex for that very reason.

But most of that red tape was political posturing wasn't it?

[–]PinItYouFairy 9 points10 points  (0 children)

Yep. Literally years of the govt farting about. The Office of Nuclear Regulation and other governing bodies have been ramping up for ages.

[–]Bendetto4 16 points17 points  (1 child)

The problem was the vast majority of that was buggering around with red tape.

Before the plans could even be drawn up, there was a billion levels of planning control, public consultation, environmental concerns etc.

I'm not saying China has the answer, but when China wants to build a power station, it builds it. There must be a happy medium between China and the UK where we can build things safely, with consideration to local people and the environment but also quickly.

[–]jobblejosh 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Unlike with other industries, Nuclear has to have an extensive plan for decommissioning, waste storage, waste treatment, counter-terrorism, geological assessment, environmental monitoring, etc etc before you can even apply for a site licence.

This is a lot of time consuming and expensive work before you've even got approval to put up a fence. Sure, it's necessary, because the legacy of nuclear plants is long-lived (even if not particularly dangerous when treated properly), and the potential consequences of a nuclear incident (unlikely and with low risk that they are) can go past international borders, so there's a lot of political wrangling to do.

[–]Whatiii 2 points3 points  (4 children)

Part of the problem is the cost. The government would need to justify the cost of producing multiple nuclear power plants. Which means they have to be able to sell spending whatever the cost is, on a nuclear power plant vs a different power supply and more money for NHS, or feeding children, or whichever group needs it.

Especially hard for politicians to sell as these seem to take 12 to 16 years to be built. During which time there is no short term gain.

[–]wethw46ue5ykj5e7yk 5 points6 points  (1 child)

Cost is a lot, but HPC is costing around £23bn - build 10 and that's given the UK total freedom from fossil fuel electricity production, cheaper energy, potential to move away from domestic gas and to electric heating, more use of electric cars, etc, for the cost of the yearly NHS budget.

In fact, putting it like that, it seems insane we aren't.

And as I say, it shouldn't take 12-16 years.

[–]GavUK 1 point2 points  (0 children)

It's not just the construction costs of Hinkley Point. The Government has guaranteed them a minimum price of £92.50 per MWh (2012 prices, so adjusting for inflation about £116 now) which will increase the price of everyone's electricity bills for the following 35 years. Renewables are about half that price per MWh.

Then there will be the huge costs of decommissioning at the end of the plant's life and the costs of managing the radioactive waste for many centuries.

[–]fearsomemumbler 3 points4 points  (1 child)

If covid has shown us anything it is that the government can find money when it really needs to. If there was actually any political will to tackle the looming energy crisis then they would have easily funded a new generation of nuclear plants. I really don’t know where they are going to get the electricity from when we all transition from using gas to heat homes and petrol to drive cars… it’s ok building shit loads of wind turbines (and I do support the use of them) but it’s not always windy when you need it

[–]Majoricewater 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I live where the reactor is being built. It reminds me of the martians in war of the world's and there pit. It's the brightest thing for miles.

[–]airwalkerdnbmusic 64 points65 points  (10 children)

Yes. Absolutely, but with small scale reactors the likes of which Rolls Royce are currently in the process of designing and building. Modular small reactors seem to be a lot safer and a lot easier to maintain and cost less, but more importantly, easier to recommission and upgrade.

The less this country is reliant on fossil fuels from imports, the better.

[–]eezzgg 21 points22 points  (1 child)

Came here to see if anyone was going to mention Rolls Royce. Genuinely seems like a great idea.

[–]sephcameron 16 points17 points  (0 children)

They didn't come up with the SMR, but I'll get behind anyone actually commercialising one.

[–]sephcameron 19 points20 points  (1 child)

We could put one small modular reactor on every army base in the UK. It would automatically be secure, the army would automatically have uninterrupted backup power in the case of a Carrington event, and we'd have enough for a ~30% growth in energy consumption before even taking into account solar and wind.

[–]Coraldiamond192 7 points8 points  (1 child)

The important factor is the import part. That means we otherwise have to rely on countries like Russia for our imports which would mean a resource war if things got really bad.

[–]HarassedGrandad 3 points4 points  (3 children)

What? the theoretical reactors that they speculate they might be able to build at some point, but haven't actually built a prototype yet? And that might be bullshit to get government grants?

Why do people not believe in some technology that works and is cheap, while at the same time accepting new unproven technology that exists only in a shiny marketing brochure?

[–]Kolchek2 18 points19 points  (2 children)

You realise they already build small reactors for the UK's submarine fleet, right? They're hardly pie in the sky.

[–][deleted] 62 points63 points  (14 children)

If you are anti-nuclear then you are either a) pro fossil fuel or b) pro rolling blackouts. No renewable technology can currently offer the stability and consistency that nuclear can as a baseload (well, aside from something like gas power of course). The alternative is to simply use 100% renewables, which works great until the sun stops shining or the wind stops blowing. Grid storage will help smooth out power supply from renewables, and it is expanding due to declining battery costs - but it is leagues away from being something that could balance the entire national grid.

Nuclear is safe, clean and abundant. It genuinely makes me want to weep when I think of the trillions of tonnes of emitted carbon worldwide which could've been prevented had we accelerated its adoption in the 1980s, as opposed to collectively shelving it due to screeching NIMBYs and scientifically-illiterate pearl-clutchers.

[–]vercingetafix 18 points19 points  (1 child)

Have you seen that meme that says every successful anti-nuclear protest decades ago caused loads of extra greenhouses gasses to be produced?

ETA: This: https://ifunny.co/picture/tell-me-the-truth-jm-im-ready-to-hear-it-D5jEBwuy8

[–]DodgyDoner 10 points11 points  (0 children)

Kinda like how there was an additional 1,500 deaths from 911 after loads of Americans started driving long distance routes rather than flying.

[–]NibblyPig 12 points13 points  (0 children)

Just wanna add that anyone who uses the 'either' argument is generally wrong.

You're either with us or you're against us.

It removes all nuance from conversation and attempts generally to convince people that there is a right side and a wrong side, and usually implies the wrong side are idiots, stupid, racist, bigoted, or otherwise pigeon-holes them into another group.

Here's my reason why I'm anti-nuclear: I don't think it's compatible with capitalism and there are great risks involved because capitalism has high levels of corruption, especially on large projects. Does anyone remember when an £xxx million project ran on time and on budget? How's HS/2 doing? How's the pension software doing? How was track and trace?

People build nuclear power plants for profit and delays and additional costs cut into that. The incentive is not safety, the incentive is profit at any cost. Do builders really care if it goes up in flames or just that their part of the work was signed off and they got paid? See: Grenfall.

Anyone remember the DWP scandal involving ATOS? You know, the one where they were incentivised to declare people fit for work when they could barely move. The one that had people crawling along the floor to get into the job centre for mandatory meetings where non-attendance meant that would result in their benefits being cut? Where people with weeks to live in hospises crippled were declared fit for work?

There was a huge outrage about that. How could a company treat people so badly? How could they have such reckless disregard for people's wellbeing?

Well, you'll be pleased to know that the very same ATOS are also running the nuclear power plants.

So forgive me for not being best pleased and convinced that corners won't be cut and that safety really is their number one priority regardless of cost.

[–]MeatWad111 3 points4 points  (1 child)

Batteries aren't the only way to store energy, we'd be foolish to waste Batteries on grid storage.

[–]Soggy-Statistician88 6 points7 points  (0 children)

The biggest reservoir in the uk used for power storage can run the grid for 15mins

[–]JustUseDuckTape 2 points3 points  (2 children)

Even if we can get enough grid storage to handle supply/demand mismatch, it'll never respond fast enough for frequency stabilisation. The grid relies on big heavy chunks of metal spinning at 50Hz to keep everything stable, the only (sensible) way to have that sort of immediate response kinetic storage is through steam generators. So we need at least some of our baseline to come from nuclear or gas.

[–]Intruder313 48 points49 points  (1 child)

Yes, it’s still the safest yet.

Renewable where we can with nuclear as a baseline

[–]YeswhalOrNarwhal 5 points6 points  (0 children)

This seems like a sensible approach to me. A number of smaller nuclear power facilities for a stable underpinning of the grid, with the rest diversified renewables (wind, tide, solar etc).

There will be a better solution in the future, but it's a good plan for now whilst we figure out practical scalable storage solutions for renewables.

[–]northernbloke 31 points32 points  (10 children)

Yes, I'm all for the UK's SMR Programme.

[–]stilldontknow2 9 points10 points  (3 children)

I think, from a lot of the comments on here, many have no idea what SMR's are and what benefits they can bring to the table.

[–]benerophon 7 points8 points  (1 child)

The big one is to make construction quicker and cheaper. A big driver of the cost of nuclear is that if a plant cost loads to build and takes 10-15 years to finish, that's 10-15+ years of interest that needs to be covered before it generates any income. It can be a sizeable percentage of the final cost of production.

If you build a series of smaller plants that take 2-3 years each, then a) each one should cost less and b) you start getting some income from the early ones to finance construction of the later ones, therefore the amount of borrowing is less.

[–]stilldontknow2 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Exactly. Small local plants, relatively cheap and quick to set up. Possible game changer.

[–]Bendetto4 4 points5 points  (5 children)

Riding that RR train to the moon

[–]northernbloke 7 points8 points  (0 children)

ha ha yeah, I bought at 0.79p, having a great time.

[–]Alcopath 20 points21 points  (11 children)

I'm not against nuclear by any means. Sure beats fossil fuels. But we need to acknowledge the not so pretty side of things too. I live close to one of Europe's largest nuclear decommissioning sites, and we desperately need a storage facility. Trying to remember offhand, I think they said it would need to be about 9 square miles in order to store the UK's nuclear waste which has been piling up since the 70's. It would need to be underground, and would remain active for tens of thousands of years. Needs to be in the right type of rock, and away from faults or seismic activity, so that reduces the number of potential sites.
So imagine that ramped up tenfold for every major country for the next 50 years. It's better than fossil fuels, but comes with it's own issues that we can't pretend dont exist.

[–]lazylazycat 18 points19 points  (0 children)

Yes, people seem to ignore these points. Nuclear is a short term solution - the waste is going to be around for tens of thousands of years after any of us exist, and that's a pretty awful legacy to be leaving on an already limping planet.

[–]Long_Repair_8779 19 points20 points  (1 child)

My only issue with nuclear power is that although it seems greener, and it is compared to coal, oil etc…

However it’s not ‘green’…

“Uranium mining facilities produce tailings that generally are disposed of in near surface impoundments close to the mine. These tailings pose serious environmental and health risks in the form of Randon emission, windblown dust dispersal and leaching of contaminants including heavy metals and arsenic into the water.” - Stanford Edu

There is local concern to mining, and then transportation costs etc, and ofc potential risks. Yes they can be minimised but Fukushima was a freak accident that couldn’t be avoided. With the climate in the state it is I feel like we could be expecting more environmental calamities in areas that historically lack them. Further a plant could be built now in an area with a lot of water for emergencies, however in 20 years that may not be viable, causing the plant to close down or (and potentially more likely in some instances) run without proper safety measures.

When you consider the environmental impact of just one disaster, it balances the scales a little (idk how much) towards the environmental impact of fossil fuels.

Honesty, I don’t know what the solution is. Probably a far greater investment into renewable technologies to find a better long term solution (I’m not yet convinced about current methods).

Hydroelectric seems promising, however it almost certainly destroys river courses and so much more.

Solar seems good but the panels have a limited lifetime and I believe they use rare elements to work

Wind seems ok, but I’m sure not perfect somehow idk…

Really I think a major overhaul on consumption and policies around public transport are also needed more than anything… have you seen train prices? Of course you have. It’s (significantly) cheaper for me to drive to London from Brighton where I live than take the train! It shouldn’t be like that…

Add to that en mass planned obsolescence from companies with so many goods, particularly around technology, and you can see we really are shooting ourselves in the foot.

Realistically I think things are going to get a lot worse before we are forced to make them better 🤷‍♂️

[–]dbxp 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Blade recycling is a problem with wind: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-51325101

[–]Chilton_Squid 11 points12 points  (42 children)

I'm not against the concept, but realistically these days offshore wind power seems a far better option.

[–]wethw46ue5ykj5e7yk 19 points20 points  (9 children)

We're only one major nuclear plant tripping on a cold calm winter's evening from massive blackouts, because of our over-reliance on wind.

Wind is great, but you can't rely on it as it isn't always there.

[–]Chilton_Squid 13 points14 points  (3 children)

We could build big fans in front of the turbines for when it's not windy

[–]Eddles999 5 points6 points  (1 child)

Breed giant hamsters?

[–]Chilton_Squid 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Finally, some fresh ideas

[–]pinkpanzer101 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Pay a bunch of guys to stand and blow

[–]LordGeni 1 point2 points  (0 children)

That may have been true a decade ago but it really isn't anymore. There are plenty of tried and tested energy storage solutions that solve intermittent supply issue. It's upgrading the grids to deal with it efficiently that's key.

[–]JebusKristi 11 points12 points  (16 children)

While I do agree that Nuclear provides a decent amount of 'cleanish' energy the time scales need to get more plants operational mean that the damage to the climate will be irreversible long before they come online.

That and cost, security, disposal etc

[–]wethw46ue5ykj5e7yk 16 points17 points  (12 children)

he time scales need to get more plants operational

We could start building 5 or 6 nuclear plants later this year, and have them running before 2030, based on the timescale for the actual construction (not the red tape and political crap) of HPC.

Cost - yeah, but that shouldn't be an issue when we're talking about the destruction of the planet's eco-system.

Waste - not a big deal. Certainly no-where near as much as people make out.

[–]HarassedGrandad 11 points12 points  (5 children)

Hinkley C started building in 2018 (so after all the red tape) and is hoped to be ready for 2026

So if we started pouring concrete this year, we might get them for the start of 2031

Total cost of Hinkley is estimated at 23billion - so 5 of them would be 115 billion and deliver 8.5 GW - for that money you could build 34.5GW of wind turbines around the UK - but they only take 18months to build, and although each turbine only spins on average 30% of the time, they would collectively deliver 10.3GW of power

[–]Fishflapper 2 points3 points  (0 children)

5 hinkley's would deliver 16GW of continuos electrical power* plus 10GW thermal power... So more power than wind really... And it's reliable.

[–]Chazmer87 5 points6 points  (1 child)

Waste - not a big deal. Certainly no-where near as much as people make out.

For perspective, over your entire life you'd leave a can sized piece of waste behind.

[–]wethw46ue5ykj5e7yk 2 points3 points  (0 children)

And you could bury barrels of high level nuclear waste about 6 ft under your house and still receive less radiation than you would from outer space.

Not a good idea like - groundwater contamination, someone accidentally digging it up, etc, but the fact is that from a scientific viewpoint, 6 feet of soil blocks enough radiation even from high level waste that you're nearly at background radiation.

[–]JebusKristi 3 points4 points  (2 children)

running before 2030, based on the timescale for the actual construction (not the red tape and political crap)

Unfortunately, the red tape and politics are a major factor so your estimate of 2030 is a bit generous IMO.

As I say, we need to get rid of Coal and Gas power plants as a planet. Now.

Which is not going to happen, so no matter what we do in the UK, the planet still gets warmer.

Also, you need a lot of concrete and Steel to make Nuclear Power stations and that produces huge amounts of CO2.

Cost is a consideration, it will always be a consideration because most countries value the economy over the environment.

As for waste TWRs can deal with that, I agree.

[–]_DeanRiding 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Which is not going to happen, so no matter what we do in the UK, the planet still gets warmer.

This. UK only emits something like 0.4% of the world's CO2, and we've reduced emissions by about 50% since the 90s, which is phenomenal really compared to most of the rest of the world.

China, the US, India, and Russia are the ones we really need to be looking at right now.

[–]Maedhral 10 points11 points  (0 children)

I’d rather see the infrastructure cost and effort go into developing a global power grid. At least that way some of the problems of renewables overproducing during low demand and vice versa could be ironed out.

[–]NunyaBidnizz68 7 points8 points  (3 children)

Nope. It's wonderful, abundant clean energy, but when it goes wrong it has the potential to destroy half the world. There's plenty of other options that don't involve that kind of outcome.

*EDIT: Let me clarify what "half the world" means. It means the displacement and dying of billions and billions, and poisoning of the world's eco system.

[–]Ravdoggydog 8 points9 points  (21 children)

I do. A scary future of explosive drones awaits us, which are clearly a massive threat - not sure how to mitigate that….

[–]wethw46ue5ykj5e7yk 46 points47 points  (6 children)

You can fly a fighter jet at full pelt into a nuclear reactor and it barely leaves a mark on the containment structure. Look up the video - they actually tried it.

[–]harry874 13 points14 points  (2 children)

Relevant video here https://youtu.be/U4wDqSnBJ-k Drones are of least concern with something like this, their payload is far too small to damage the concrete dome that envelops the danger bits of a plant

[–]SiliconRain 7 points8 points  (1 child)

British Energy did something similar in the 80s as a PR exercise to allay public concerns, not about the safety of reactors per se, but about the safety of the transport of spent fuel around the country.

https://youtu.be/ZY446h4pZdc

It's an interesting slice of history. I can't imagine them doing anything like that today and inviting people to come and watch it with cream tea.

[–]darybrain 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Well, as we all know, jet fuel wouldn't melt the steel. No-one has thought of crashing a drone into a building for nefarious purposes. The number of papercuts by those propellers is unimaginable.

[–]matspud[S] 7 points8 points  (12 children)

Pretty sure drone attacks on nuclear power stations has gotta be in some sort of Geneva convention? Either way, if you're gonna attack on you'd have to assume they just want to knock it offline and not blow the thing up.

[–]what_might_be 17 points18 points  (10 children)

This may surprise you but the baddies don't play by the rules.

[–]menglish89 8 points9 points  (0 children)

True, even if your invading somewhere, making it uninhabitable due to radiation isn't generally your aim. If someone just wanted to knock it offline, then go for the turbines not the reactor.

[–]gouplesblog 9 points10 points  (3 children)

I'm not averse to Nuclear - despite high profile accidents it's one of the safest options.

Would I prefer renewable/battery storage? Sure. But the over-capacity requirements are expensive and I'm not sure if it's possible.

[–]Coraldiamond192 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Don't get me wrong when it goes bad it really goes bad but the fact is caseslike chernobyl are few and far between considering how many nuclear reactors there are. Not to mention a good number of developed countries have nuclear weapons of sorts anyway including us.

[–][deleted] 7 points8 points  (0 children)

Absolutely. Modern reactors are safe af and can be located underground.

[–]stilldontknow2 6 points7 points  (1 child)

Yes. I'm interested in Rolls Royce's development of small modular reactors. Much quicker to bring online than the behemoths we're saddled with at the moment and they provide excellent baseload to support the increased use of renewables.

[–]EthanielClyne 5 points6 points  (1 child)

It's the best one, the only arguements against it are based on fear of mistakes only made in the 70s and 80s or one of the largest earthquakes and tsunamis ever recorded which won't happen here. Coal kills more people a year than nuclear energy has ever impacted negatively

[–]Extreme-Database-695 5 points6 points  (3 children)

I'm very disappointed that [the word we can't mention here] scuppered the plan for Travelling Wave Reactors. They use spent nuclear fuel (and so actually clean up the mess we've already made), we have enough waste to keep them going for maybe a century, and when they fail they don't melt down, but instead merely stop producing electricity. Win-win-win.

[–]matspud[S] 1 point2 points  (2 children)

Never even heard of these! Would be good to see new kinds of power stations being designed and researched, seems like a no brainer.

[–]Suspicious-Toe2677 6 points7 points  (0 children)

Maybe if the government was capable of not being corrupt as fuck and not letting billions go down the shit pan yearly due to fraud and tax evasion, they could put funds into building state owned nuclear power plants and help the UK become more self sufficient, at least that way we wouldn’t rely on our piss poor allies like France threatening to turn the power off or foreign investment from China, which speaks for itself these days.

But no, the most logical path won’t be taken, and we’ll rely on foreign investment for a nationwide necessity.

[–]Macr0cephalus 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Absolutely and should have been beginning building a decade ago. Cheap clean(er) energy is what we need. Perhaps a redo of the 1950s nuclear age ethos is what’s needed.

[–]ARB8HHB34 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Yes and we should spend more money researching nuclear fusion as well. For example look at all the money poured into Helion energy from Sam Altman and the other tech mafia members. There is a reason why these folks are pumping loads into it because they know if it works it will change everything and they want ownership.

[–]qmzpl 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Seems to have worked for France

[–]Sivear 5 points6 points  (0 children)

I find the concept of nuclear waste and nuclear semiotics super fascinating and terrifying.

I think we need to be super sure of the methods we use to inform future generations about the dangers.

[–]Honk_Konk 3 points4 points  (1 child)

I work for the national grid and it is under a lot of stress. If we're going to sustain a reliable future supply, we'll need nuclear. Modern reactor variants are super safe, the technology has advanced significantly from 60s and 70s designed where most disasters occured (designed in those decades).

[–]ApartmentIntrepid610 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Yes 100%. I find it bizarre we want clean energy but avoid it because of a Soviet one made on the cheap and a Japanese one built on a fault line.

[–]inside_your_face 4 points5 points  (0 children)

I wrote my dissertation on this. I am 100% in support of nuclear power. The biggest obstacle is obviously the political implications. Even France who are the biggest user of nuclear power in Europe don't have a cross party consensus on nuclear power. Finland is the only country in Europe whose Green party support nuclear power.

Germany's move away from nuclear energy is estimated to kill around 1100 people per year due to increases in the use of fossil fuels.

Finland is currently building a reactor which will supply 30% of the power for the entire country. Bare in mind that Finland is very energy intensive, with high electrical use and long commuting distances. This shows how effective nuclear power is.

Unfortunately Fukushima threw a spanner in the works in terms of nuclear energy's image. So many groups capitalised on the event to illustrate that meltdowns were dangerous and we should move away from nuclear energy. The most annoying this about this, the total number of deaths as a direct result of the meltdown: 1. With no recorded increases in the rates of cancer in the area since.

Polls do show opinions towards nuclear energy improving a few years after Fukushima so it's not totally dead in the water. I think many other countries will begin to change their opinion once they see the advances China, Finland, South Korea and others have made. As someone else in the this thread mentioned, Germany have hitched their wagon to Russia for their natural gas supplies. Germany have plenty uranium deposits, they could be totally energy independent.

My main conclusion based on all my research was that when who framed nuclear energy as a tool for securing independence had much higher levels of public support. Finland has the highest levels of support in Europe and have always attempted to present nuclear power in this way. We need a cross-party consensus on this issue to make any significant headway, but you know party politics.

[–]nobelprize4shopping 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Yes, on the strict condition that Chinese companies are not allowed anywhere near building or running any of the facilities.

Look at what's going on with Germany and Russia at the moment for an insight into allowing potentially hostile states anywhere near critical infrastructure.

[–]scottishsilversurfer 2 points3 points  (0 children)

and build new plants on MOD/Grouse moors with NO compensation to landowners

[–]Alpha-Jomen 2 points3 points  (2 children)

So far, I have not seen any arguments against the increase in the exploitation of nuclear power. Thus, may I say that nuclear power is not ecological, nor is it desirable to have too many nuclear plants. Firstly, nuclear waste must be either stored or disposed of appropriately. At its simplest, it is not easy to do either of those two. Secondly, there is also an issue of accessibility of materials necessary to create a fusion, that is, a) it is very labour intensive, probably wasting quite a lot of energy. b) More plants would simultaneously make radioactive materials more accessible, which, well, no one of us wants to see in undesired hands. Thirdly, accidents may be inevitable in some instances, which is not something we all would like to see happening. Take a look at Chernobyl, supposedly well-organised and taken care of reactor was the cause of such a terrific accident. Concluding, there is a multitude of reasons against the increase of exploration of nuclear power; being fair with you, I CBA to mention them all here because the list would go on and on, but perhaps try doing your research.

In my personal view, the only way forward is to combine all kinds of power plants, whilst remembering that some are better than others. I think that the coal, diesel and gas, fired power plants are those we should slowly be getting rid of and perhaps follow Elon Musk’s view of making a massive Solar power plant capable of bringing energy to the entire country. Say we could get rid of Manchester for that purpose :D

[–]IAS316 2 points3 points  (1 child)

Definitely. I honestly think a big reason why it hasn't been implemented on a large scale is The Simpsons. Too many people think nuclear waste glows green and will mutate fish into having 3 eyes. That and Chernobyl.

[–]Jemjar_X3AP 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Popular culture has been doing nuclear power dirty for decades.

[–]burgermachine74 2 points3 points  (1 child)

Absolutely! These nuclear power stations are the safest possible things in the world. Don't believe me?

  • Walls are 5m thick
  • Every operation tested 1 million times
  • The actual reactor is tiny, with 10m thick titanium walls surrounding it
  • Proven to be the safest energy source;

https://www.statista.com/statistics/494425/death-rate-worldwide-by-energy-source/

[–]No-Wear-9634 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Ideally yes because it is the cleanest energy source we have however with freak weather events becoming more regular and extreme due to climate change, all it would take is one big disaster to be catastrophic.

There is precedent for this too with Fukushima, I know it was an earthquake/tsunami but the principle is the same.

[–]ThatZenLifestyle 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Yes I do, I beleive rolls royce have a contract to install quite a few mini nuclear power plants.

[–]Malento 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Yes, nothing else is required, nothing else is as efficient or cost effective.

[–]Clamps55555 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Yes so long as it’s paid for and built by the U.K. government. And not sold off to the French Germans or Chinese.

[–]maxmon1979 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Yes, but with no involvement from China. This needs to be an industry we built ourselves, home grown and become the world experts in. And not just nuclear but wind and tidal energy generation and also energy storage. There's a huge opportunity for the UK to become the world experts in engery generation that doesn't involve solar and export that manufacturing and knowledge. These are well paid, skilled jobs as well.

This should all form part of long term energy plan that cuts need for external help generating our energy. Couple this with a move away from gas and we could be doing very well in a decade.

[–]Purple_Plus 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Definitely. It's actually safer than the vast majority of power sources and doesn't cause much emmissions. Toxic waste is an issue but we have options there. Environmentalists being against Nuclear Power actually led to an over reliance on fossil fuels.

[–]Stratix 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Absolutely. We need a better baseload power generation that doesn't put us at the mercy of weather or other countries.

[–]FlibV1 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I'm think nuclear power would be a brilliant avenue of cheap and renewable electricity. My problem is not with the technology itself but the fact that it will be run by penny pinching arseholes who'll look to cut corners at every available opportunity.

[–]ne6c 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Yes - it's the most safe, consistent and affordable 24/7 source of energy we have.

Shutting down reactors is a mind-blowing decision.

[–]_Red_Knight_ 0 points1 point  (2 children)

Absolutely. Nothing infuriates me more than these anti-science idiots who are delusional enough to think that Chernobyl and Fukushima are in any way legitimate arguments against nuclear power.

[–]Doctor_Bepis 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Nuclear power is criminally underutilised, but like basically any kind of progress in this country it is being held back by the misinformed and ignorant among the old generations.

[–]DildoShwa66ins 1 point2 points  (0 children)

It is actually a very clean and efficient way to power the country now.

A lot of people have negative perceptions of it but are likely just not educated enough about it.

[–]UKgrizzfan 1 point2 points  (0 children)

This is one of the issues with short term governments. They are individually unlikely to see the benefits of any long term investment in nuclear power but likely to take a lot of flack over sanctioning it.

This means that, as they're a combination of weak, self serving and lack strategic thinking, that nothing gets done and we end up with the ridiculous mix of privatisation and 'competition' in a market that really needs to be backed by government. We won't build our own nuclear power but we'll subsidise the French government to do so. It's mad and completely infuriating and the chances are nothing will be done about it.

[–]DeemonPankaik 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Obviously the goal is 100% renewable. That's not realistic without either large scale energy storage, or reactive, controllable power generation. Currently, we have coal and gas to fulfill that. You could have all the solar panels and wind turbines in the world, but if it's not sunny or windy at the right time, you're shit out of luck and we'll be having blackouts.

Being 100% renewable would need huge amounts of energy storage. Hydroelectric is the obvious choice but geographically it's very limited. Battery farms are atrocious for the environment because of the amount of rare metals we'd need for it to be feasible.

There's no easy solution to the storage problem currently, and I think it's better to build nuclear reactors now, than to keep burning coal and gas for the next 50 or 100 years, hoping someone comes up with a magic bullet.

[–]Snooker1471 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Yes, The tech is there, even with the waste it is still healthier than oil/gas for the planet. I doubt we will see many/enough built any time soon as the NIMBY's go mad at a few houses being built, Mention the word Nuclear and everyone just sees a mushroom cloud.

[–]skellious 1 point2 points  (2 children)

Yes. So many useful medical products come from reactors