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Saturday, August 16, 2008

an expensive nuclear option.

A new report (pdf) written and released by Amory Lovins and Imran Sheikh argues that the nuclear option as a dangerous, complicated, and not particularly reliable alternative to fossil fuels. The report also warns of the creation of millennial-lasting pollution and that the money and resources used developing the nuclear option could be more productively spent on renewable energy.

(h/t DeSmogBlog)


Take Notice Canada said...

Well, since generation is completely privatized in Alberta, the only issue that applies to the province is the waste argument (and if you believe it is unsafe, but thats not an argument you can counter with logic).

If renewable is more productive, then it will win out in the marketplace.

Aaron said...

In Edmonton, the property tax codes erase the advantage of having solar panels and selling back into the grid at spot prices. That's all that really has to happen - change the tax code, and suddenly it becomes economical. Nuclear isn't that great, due to the high degree of centralization of the network involved.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Take Notice. So long as the nuke plants aren't supported by public funds and are forced to internalize all of the negative externalities they produce (and other generation methods are similarly billed their full costs), I don't see how this paper has any bearing on the current Alberta nuclear debate.

The report emphasizes that, while nuclear power reduces carbon output, on a per-dollar basis it isn't as efficient at reducing carbon output as renewable and micro-renewable options. That could very well be the case. But so long as carbon emissions are taxed appropriately and neither set of technology is subject to any unnecessary regulatory restrictions, this is a matter that investment bankers and engineers should be figuring out, not government bureaucrats.

Incidentally, the Rocky Mountain Institute is a think-tank dedicated to the promotion of alternative fuels. It shouldn't be surprising they aren't enamored with nuclear power.

Finally, posting links with no context or discussion is disappointing. I'm not sure if this post was meant to suggest that Alberta shouldn't be building nuclear plants, or if it is just an observation that some technologies might be more efficient than others.

for the love of... said...

Yep, the creation of more pollution is irrelevant.

Only money matters in the Alberta context.