Wind Turbine Syndrome is Bullshit – DownUnder Edition

October 6, 2013

Above, see interviews with landowners around Australian wind turbines where an outside group of right wing fossil fuel interests has been trying to create the illusion of negative effects, health and economic, of wind energy. Take a listen to the actual voices of wind turbine hosts.

I live near one of the midwest’s largest wind arrays in central Michigan.  The turbines have been nothing but benefit to the local communities, and  those that visit the area remark how well the turbines fit into the landscape. In addition, renewable energy is coming in cheaper and more reliable than even some supporters would have envisioned just a few years ago.

Detroit Free Press:

A draft report being circulated by the Michigan Public Service Commission says that, contrary to the dire warnings of electric utilities .., the costs of generating renewable energy are plunging.

Produced at the behest of (Republican) Gov. Rick Snyder, the PSC report says the surcharge that utilities have been levying on their customers to finance the transition to renewable power sources — such as wind and solar — could shrink to zero by 2014, “because project costs are, in some cases, essentially equivalent to conventional generation.”

The Glenn Beck crowd is eventually going to be drowned out by normal folk who begin noticing that communities with wind turbines tend to have better services, better roads, better schools, higher incomes, lower taxes, and plenty of birds, thank you.  Those folks will begin wondering who is lying about renewable energy, and why.

43 Responses to “Wind Turbine Syndrome is Bullshit – DownUnder Edition”

  1. uknowispeaksense Says:

    It never ceases to amaze me the way fossil fuel interests will avoid any evidence that negates their point of view, in this case, the actual residents close to wind turbines.

    The Waubra Foundation recently held an anti-wind rally in our nation’s capital and drummed up a couple of dozen angry old white people to attend…in total.

    Anyway, for a list of some of the nuttier claims made by people like the Waubra Foundation, I linked to it from my blog.

  2. antipodeanspecies1 Says:

    Let’s face it, wind energy opponents will resort to any lie, omission or deception to try and demonise the technology. It has reached the stage where any time I hear somebody criticising wind turbines, I automatically suspect their honesty.

    I have yet to hear a rational explanation from any opponent, they are variously uninformed, ignorant about the basic aspects of the technology, intentionally deceptive, liars or proponents of pseudoscience.

    Opponents don’t seem to get that every day turbines continue generating power, their lies and distortions are revealed for all to see and their pathetic opposition is rendered even less relevant.

  3. I have stood amidst the wind turbines in Gratiot county, just east of route 127.  And in Altamont Pass, and Tehachapi, and the farm which spans I-65 in Indiana between Chicago and Indianapolis, and many others.

    I have also read of the trials and tribulations of the pioneering 750 kW turbine purchased by Traverse City, sited on M-72 just west of the municipality.  Its periods of downtime and marginal economics are a cautionary tale to the optimists.

    A point that people don’t tend to grasp easily is that we do not pay for “electrical energy” as such.  What we insist on is “dispatchable electric power”, something that’s there whenever we deign to flip the switch.  As a rule, we do not align our switch-flipping to the periods when the wind is blowing.  What we consume isn’t what the wind farms generate, and the value of wind farms for serving that consumption isn’t as much as many like to believe.

    The times when you demand the most of your air conditioner are closely aligned with times that a wind farm anywhere near you is going to be in the doldrums.  Facing that reality is essential, and until everyone does there’s really not much to talk about.

    • uknowispeaksense Says:

      and what does this have to do with the topic of this post, which is Wind Turbine Syndrome being bullshit? I’m sure there is another post where windbaggers can claim there isn’t much to talk about.

      • Is it BS?  In all cases which rely on self-reporting, documenting things to the satisfaction of opposing interests is nearly impossible.  Chronic fatigue syndrome is a case in point, and until a test was developed for fibromyalgia there were a great many people claiming it was psychosomatic.

        Until we’ve thoroughly investigated the mammalian response to infrasound, all we can say is that we don’t know.  We DO have people claiming that they’ve had devastating life changes, and the true cause needs to be determined.

        • uknowispeaksense Says:

          Oh no! That dreaded infrasound. Tell me, is there something different about infrasound caused by wind turbines to that caused by vehicles, air conditioners, other household appliances, your own heart and even the wind? I mean, are they something other than soundwaves? Do they have some as yet undiscovered supernatural quality that makes humans report all sorts of ailments from psoriasis to nosebleeds to premature ageing? I say ‘supernatural’ by the way in its true meaning, that is, outside the bounds of known physics, because infrasound has been thoroughly studied. As has human response to it. Im sure somebody here has the link to the study that found overwhelmingly that people preconditioned with negative information about infrasound reported symptoms when subject to the noise. Those that weren’t preconditioned didn’t. It was a doubleblind controlled study so half of the group were subjected to no infrasound and surprise surprise, the preconditioned subjects from this group also experienced symptoms. Its called the nocebo effect and this is what fossil fuel interests instill in gullible people. Perhaps you can also explain why wts only occurs where antiwind groups like the Waubra foundation are active? You are unlikely to be swayed however because you are a windbagger and are only here to troll.

    • greenman3610 Says:

      If you’re familiar with energy in Michigan you are probably also familiar with the Palisades Nuclear plant, which is currently on a watch list as having one of the worst safety records in the US. It sits directly on the Lake Michigan beach, meters from the shoreline, along with enough casks of radioative spent fuel to poison the world’s largest supply of fresh water many times over.
      It’s guarded by a team of “security experts” ex military, mercs, and the like, to head off some team of terrorists placing a few RPGs into the spent fuel pool –
      something wind turbines will never need.
      The Palisades has a spotty operational history, during the early years of its operation, it had an availability factor of about 8 percent or so, something that contributed mightily to the reorganization of the company that built it, Consumer’s Power (now Consumer’s Energy). During the construction phase, Consumer’s sued the contractor, Bechtel, for a number of oversights and misteps, which, the utility stated in court documents, were making the facility “…a dangerous instrumentality.”

      Anecdotes about one early example of wind deployment can hardly impact the operating record that has been accrued over the last decade with thousands of much larger, more efficient turbines across the US, that are working very nicely, thank you – which you would know if you were as much engineer as poet.

      • I’m going to be breaking this response into smaller pieces, and hoping that the links in this one don’t run afoul of too-broad filters.

        If you’re familiar with energy in Michigan you are probably also familiar with the Palisades Nuclear plant

        Not as much as I should be, but I am.  It is here.  I worked here for a while; Palisades supplied all our juice, but never intruded on our consciousness.

        Palisades is rated at 811 MW.  Palisades and Fermi II provide about 30% of the electricity generated in Michigan, yet have no air emissions.  I would love to see this go up to 90%.  To equal the output of Palisades at 90% capacity factor, you would need 2.43 GW of wind turbines at 30% CF.  That would be roughly 1000 Mitsubishi MWT95s, which have 47.5 meter long blades (95 m disc).  If you spaced them at 5 rotor diameters apart, a line of 1000 of them would span 475 km or most of the distance from New Buffalo to the Mackinaw Bridge.  That’s to equal the energy output of ONE nuclear plant sitting on a few dozen acres.

        • andrewfez Says:

          We got lots of Mitsubishi’s out in in CA. According to this slide show (link below) we have 787 sitting in Mojave and 111 sitting in Palm Springs.

          Click to access 7_MHI_Umaya.pdf

          We don’t line them up in a straight row, though – it scares tourists; it’s probably uneconomic regarding the amount of material connecting them all up too.

      • meters from the shoreline, along with enough casks of radioative spent fuel to poison the world’s largest supply of fresh water many times over.

        Ah, yes, this spent fuel.  But what do you mean by “poison”?  The SNF at Palisades (which includes the fuel removed from the Big Rock Point BWR, since decommissioned) is as much as 54 years old now.  The bulk of the radioactivity in that fuel has already decayed; it’s even down to less than half the original quantity of Sr-90 and Cs-137, the oldest pushing 1/4 already.

        All those radioisotopes are still sealed in welded Zircaloy tubes, encased in welded steel enclosures, and wrapped in reinforced concrete outer jackets as both physical protection and radiation shielding; there is no conceivable natural disaster which can budge it sort of an asteroid strike.  On top of this, there’s the chemical barrier:  most of the oxides are not soluble in water.  Yet to you, that’s more worth worrying about than the toxic-laden ash from coal-fired powerplants which is often dumped as slurry and never even fully consolidated, so any breach of the dikes which hold it produces floods of hazardous waste which DO go directly into nearby waterways.  Then there are the toxic-laden fluids pumped out of gas wells after fracking operations, which is often dumped surreptitiously.  You can’t make RE work without gas backup, so RE means fracking forever (or as long as the gas holds out).

        But let’s suppose the radioisotopes got out. says the USA has 65,000 tons of SNF carrying 4.5 gigacuries of Cs-137.  If we arbitrarily assign 1% of this to Palisades, that’s 45 million curies of Cs-137.  Cesium is highly soluble in water because it’s an alkali metal, so let’s presume that it gets mixed throughout lakes Michigan and Huron.  Their combined volume is 8300 cubic kilometers, so 45 megacuries spread between them comes to 5400 curies per cubic kilometer, 5.4 microcuries (200 kilobequerels) per cubic meter, or 200 Bq/liter.  This is only twice the WHO’s recommended limit of 100 Bq/liter for drinking water.  Considering how hard you would have to work to get all of that cesium loose (and how many people would be working to stop you), the prospect of contaminating the Great Lakes to any level of concern cannot be taken seriously.  Meanwhile, half of the Cs-137 and Sr-90 disappear every 30 years.

        Now compare the absolute worst case impact from Palisades to the effect of the carbon emitted from the natural gas backups for the wind farms you’d propose as its “replacement”.

        It’s guarded by a team of “security experts” ex military, mercs, and the like, to head off some team of terrorists placing a few RPGs into the spent fuel pool

        The spent fuel pools are dug into the ground, with the tops of the fuel rods beneath roughly 30 feet of water.  These things do NOT need such protection, because there is damned little that can be done to them (RPGs are for use against personnel and lightly armored vehicles, not concrete bunkers).  The regional SWAT team could deal with any clowns stupid enough to try to make a statement by attacking them; by the time they worked through perimeter fences and into the building with anything more than banners and spray paint, people with guns would be on their way to make certain that they’d only leave in body bags.  The likelihood of their being able to so much as pull any spent fuel out of the pool to play with is minuscule (just pulling the circuit breakers to the building shuts down the cranes).  Nuclear plants are EXTREMELY hard targets, and the spent fuel pools are among the least rewarding parts of them.

        Does “West, Texas” mean anything to you?  How about “Lac Megantic”?  Maybe “San Bruno pipeline explosion”?  You WANT terrorists to go after nuclear plants (where they’ll waste their effort), because so much of our other infrastructure can cause dozens to hundreds of deaths per incident if they focused on it instead.  That infrastructure includes the transmission lines that would be required to move wind power from the regions where it’s abundant (like the Dakotas) to where people and industry are… very long and vulnerable supply lines.  Think about it.

      • Anecdotes about one early example of wind deployment can hardly impact the operating record that has been accrued over the last decade with thousands of much larger, more efficient turbines across the US, that are working very nicely, thank you – which you would know if you were as much engineer as poet.

        Thank you for making the point of “early examples”, because that forces you to admit that Three Mile Island and Fukushima Dai’ichi (which have zero radiation fatalities between them) cannot be used as examples of what can be expected from the modern generation of nuclear plants.  The operating record of US nuclear plants has been exemplary, even with TMI Unit 2 and Browns Ferry included.  The safety record is even more so; wind and PV have many times the fatalities per TWH generated.

        Now, the fact remains that the expected useful life of even today’s modern turbines is about 20 years.  There’s going to be a lot of running-just-to-stay-in-place starting very soon, as the early mortality starts in earnest.

        • greenman3610 Says:

          of course, we have damn few examples of more recent vintage nuclear plants because so many of the companies that built the first generation, are out of business now due to those plants becoming money pits, and savvy investors will not touch new nuclear with a pole.
          To the degree that we enjoy relatively reliable and “inexpensive” power from older nukes, remember that ratepayers and tax payers took a bath on these babies decades ago and subsidized the capital costs for current operators, who picked these plants, like Palisades, up for a song.
          glad to hear waste casks are impervious. please notify the plant operators so I no longer have to pay for this in my bill. oops, we were told that Fukushima’s “defense in depth” containment shells were impervious, as well. sad to see them evaporate when tested.
          I’m completely open if someone comes up with a new nuclear design that addresses all the known problems, most notably proliferation. unfortunately, building and testing that design, and proving its commercial viability will take 20 to 30 years. Meantime, renewables are running away. sorry, its fact. the industry is a walking corpse.

    • Gingerbaker Says:

      “The times when you demand the most of your air conditioner are closely aligned with times that a wind farm anywhere near you is going to be in the doldrums. “

      Yet, those times ARE aligned with times when the sun is shining. Facing that reality is essential, and until everyone does, all we can do is be thankful and be excited that there IS so much to talk about.

      • philip64 Says:

        I would think that the times when you demand the most of your air conditioner might also be the times when the sun is shining… Perfect for the solar panels then.

        Storage is, on paper, an issue with renewable energy; but there are plenty of ways to deliver such storage, and great leaps forward taking place in technologies such as hydrogen fuel cells. We also have a grid to fall back on; and if the sun goes in and the wind drops everywhere at once (which hardly ever happens) – well, then you can fall back on natural gas (or whatever else you have) as a last resort.

    • ontspan Says:

      Due to lack of aircondioning needs, I can offer you a different story:
      My two nearest nuclear reactors (across the border in Belgium) have been shut down for over a year recently. While not being able to dry your hair now and then is a pain when there is no wind, you can imagine the horrible looks of Mrs. Ontspan hairstyling not being able to use her hairdryer for over a year!

      Hmm, oh, wait, power didn’t get shutdown when the reactors were down and the power doesn’t shutdown when there is no wind either…

  4. Professional publications cite abundant lively discussion of wind power.
    See also. IEEE Transactions on Sustainable Power
    Power is not as simplistic as “something that’s there whenever we deign to flip the switch.”
    In fact, utilities have been lowering demand intentionally for decades.
    Power companies have historically reduced demand by lowering voltage.
    Demand Side Management (DSM) was introduced as far back as 1973 in response to the energy crisis. Today’s methods include smart meters and demand response.

    Solar is particularly good at reducing peak demand, because it follows daily load patterns well. The strategy for intermittent power is to combine power sources. Large thermal power plants are poor at load following. Only peak generation sources like natural gas fired turbines can be used to follow daily peak demands.
    Large base load thermal power cannot follow afternoon peak air conditioner demand any more than wind can.

  5. Right, because if one person is OK with it, it automatically means everyone should be OK with it. That’s settled then.

    • greenman3610 Says:

      what it means is, if the overwhelmingly vast majority of sane, functional people are ok with it, and the ones that are making noise are driven by mental imbalance or ideological insanity, and their complaints are factually incorrect and have no basis in science literature, — they don’t deserve a whole lot of attention, and should in fact be called out as the bullshitters they are.

      • God help us if that lousy video is what passes for science these days. It wasn’t any better or more factual than the videos that say wind turbines *do* present health issues.

        I don’t see what’s so hard to understand about it. All the wind turbines have to do is disturb your sleep for enough nights and boom! you’ll have a health issue. Quality sleep is essential for good health. And we’ve known for a long time that different people’s sleep is affected by different things. Why should wind turbines be any different? Just because one person has no problem with them doesn’t mean that applies to everyone.

        • uknowispeaksense Says:

          You are absolutley right. Scientists should round up every single one of those people, put them in a sleep laboratory and in a double-blind experiment subject half of them to simulated wind turbine noise and the others not. brainwave activity could be monitoredand somefunky statisitcs done….or we could just ask those people who couldn’t possibly know anything about their own health how they feel. Hmmm…it might not be perfect science as you see it but I have a sneaking suspicion that you wouldn’t have the slightest idea about thevaluesof case studies in this kind of situation. Ihave to ask, what qualifications do you have? Are you a human physiologist, audiologist, sleep expert? Just so you know though, there have been countless studies to examine potential health effects of wind turbines and they all come up empty. This video also is not about science but to highlight the motivation and dodgy MO of a particular fossil fuel company executive to try and prevent windfarms around Waubra because of his vested interests. I suspect though you’re just another windbagger here to troll.

          • I don’t know what a “windbagger” is. I just don’t think the experience of some people should count for everyone. I live downtown in a major city and can tolerate a certain amount of traffic noise, but that doesn’t mean everyone can. And we don’t expect them to. So why do we expect everyone to tolerate turbines?

            Anyway, my deal is that there is no “no downside” energy technology, so we need to use less energy in the first place.

          • The pitfall of wind is that it is diffuse, so collecting large amounts of it requires affecting very large areas (and the people in and around them).

            The advantage of nuclear power is that it is very compact.  Even if nearby people are affected adversely, relocating people from a small area is not nearly as troublesome.

        • Blair Donaldson Says:

          Every alleged adverse health claim made by wind energy opponents is found in any typical population. Why are you not equally critical of the transport, mining or manufacturing industries which can and do produce all types of loud, irritating sounds that affect hundreds of millions of people on a daily basis? Strangely critics of wind energy don’t seem to be damning the other industries mentioned above or demanding they be shut down. Will see such selective criticisms, I can’t help but wonder at the myopia, lack of objectivity and selectivity of wind farm critics.

    • antipodeanspecies1 Says:

      “Right, because if one person is OK with it, it automatically means everyone should be OK with it. That’s settled then.”

      No, you miss the point entirely. WTS is little more than the invention of one quack (Pierpoint) that has been adopted by opponents of wind energy, opponents who in many cases (in Australia at least) have direct interests with the fossil fuel industry. Had you bothered to do a little homework, you would know that the wind energy industry is happy to see more research conducted regarding alleged health issues but that to date, no conclusive evidence has been revealed. There is also the double-stranded of opponents remaining mute regarding the expansion of coal mines, CSG/fracking etc while they whine about “their” visual amenity/environment being adversely affected.

      The rest of us believe there is a cleaner, renewable, sustainable way to derive our electricity needs and that we need to change from our existing generating methods for the long term health of the planet and ourselves. It’s not a difficult concept to understand if you can get past your own self-interest.

      • Turbines aren’t cleaner because they require a lot of energy and other resources to make, transport, install and maintain. Only reducing energy use will get us out of this predicament.

        • uknowispeaksense Says:

          You don’t know what a windbagger is…. do you know what a concern troll is? If not, look it up. You certainly write like one. Have a nice life.

        • ontspan Says:

          I agree that reducing power demand is very important. However, it is unrealistic to expect that we won’t need any energy at all any time soon, hence it is important to replace dirty fossil fuels with renewable sources.

          Open Google Scholar, type: wind turbine eroei
          Read, learn, turbines do this quite well actually.

        • Blair Donaldson Says:

          In fact turbines are cleaner, after their embedded energy costs are recovered, typically within around nine months, their fuel source is free and clean. That cannot be said for fossil fuel sources or nuclear generators where mining, transport and waste removal are ongoing problems for the life of the facilities. And almost everything about the turbine is recyclable, not so for nuclear in particular.

  6. Nick Carter Says:

    To be honest, the two times I was at the National Wind Technology Center in Jefferson County, Colorado, I found the gentle whooshing sound to be very soothing. It was a natural white noise.

  7. Planting – the seeds of fallacious logic are planted within. Really, we have the majority are ok with wind power. The windbag minority wants to impose their non reality based whim on the majority. Their is no scientifically credible evidence. To imply that a minority is in favor of wind power is to ignore reality. You have things reversed. The nutcase explanations of the dangers of wind defy credulity. Wind turbines quieter than crickets, roads, birds, the wind through the trees, and the sound of your heartbeat. WTS is BS. You have to be gullible to believe the windbag nonsense.

    • Wnd turbines are certainly not safe for raptors and bats.

      • uknowispeaksense Says:

        Nor are windows, vehicles, buildings and domestic pets. Do you own a cat or dog? If you do, you cannot claim you care about the birds and bats without being a hypocrite. Besides, bird and bat deaths data don’t support your feigned concern. Also, given the incorporation of excellent environmental impact studies over recent years and going forward, bird and bat impacts are being dramatically reduced with placement of turbines in non-sensitive areas. You really should do some research before posting so you don’t appear ignorant.

        • I have one cat.  Her time outdoors is measured in minutes per year, because that only happens when she manages to escape.  The only time she’s ever had a bird is when one killed itself against my doorwall and I decided that she should be allowed a little fun.  After all, it’s so mean of me to restrict her to catnip mice and laser spots if there’s no harm done.

          She is a ferocious predator of spiders and moths, though.

          bird and bat impacts are being dramatically reduced with placement of turbines in non-sensitive areas.

          Too late for this one, and any others which happen to venture into that “sensitive area”.  And this is with one of the modern, low-speed, pylon-tower WTs, not the small and fast-spinning old units which used to be placed on lattice towers (bird magnets).  I had been under the impression that raptors could see and avoid the larger, slower blades; they can’t.  I used to be a defender of the newer, bigger WTs; no longer.

          Your point about “sensitive areas” begs the question, what makes someplace a “sensitive area”?  Wind farms are best sited where the wind is, which is also going to be natural habitat for slope-soaring birds.  You can’t avoid “sensitive areas” without giving up substantial amounts of the resource, and it’s not like there’s a lot of good territory next to consumers.

          • uknowispeaksense Says:

            Despite the fact cats cars and buildings kill birds and bats in numbers orders of magnitudes higher than turbines agw will kill infinitely more animals and plants than everything else. Your faux concern for birds and your ignorance about eis ‘s is duly noted. You better do something about your birdkilling door. Congrats on getting me to go against my own rules of engaging concern trolls. It wont happen again.

  8. An endless supply of already debunked windbagger nonsense. All of this has been well documented right here on climate crocks. Start reading.

    1. Wind energy uses a very small amount of surface area. Opponents claims are based
    on the idea that the area between turbines is unusable. The same fallacious claim
    would be that the area between street lamps in parking lots is unusable.

    2. Wind turbines kill less birds compared
    to nuclear, coal, etc,, much less. In fact, if you wanted to improve
    bird mortality, you would put up more wind turbines. Read Sovacool before you
    make ignorant comments.

    3. Turbines require the least amount of energy in life cycle analysis. (LCA) Sovacool.

    Now, about nuclear myths. Nuke cheerleaders are monotonous.

    1. Deaths, health. There have been scientific mortality and health studies after Chernobyl. The mortality number is huge. Uranium mining has lead to death and illness.

    2. Safety ( Chernobyl, TMI, and Fukushima, and … do you know anything about Kyshtym?)

    3. Alternatives. Wind, solar, geothermal, natural gas, ocean power………

    4. Capacity. Unfortunately nuclear is less than 5% of total energy and falling.

    5. CO2. Nuclear produces CO2 in mining, milling, enrichment, transportation,
    construction, decomissioning, generation, and long and short term waste storage.
    During refueling and maintenance, backup power produces CO2.

    6. Storage- short term. Most spent fuel is in pools. If has the potential to release vast amounts of radioactive poison into the biosphere. In the event of interrupted power, the pool boils off and the fuel catches fire. This was a major concern of Fukushima.

    7. Expense. After 60 years, nuclear still needs massive government subsidies. Google “nuclear cost over run”. WInd and natural gas is cheaper.

    8. Storage. Long term waste storage…. Still none. It has been scheduled 20 years into the future for the past 40 years.

    9. Environmental degradation. Open pit mines, tailing ponds, and other impacts. There are thousands of these sites across the US alone, in Canada, and Australia.

    The list goes on. That’s enough.

    • andrewfez Says:

      =7. Expense. After 60 years, nuclear still needs massive government subsidies. Google “nuclear cost over run”. WInd and natural gas is cheaper.=

      A bit more insight into the costs and opportunity costs of nuclear:

      ‘Construction costs worldwide have risen far faster for nuclear than for non-nuclear plants. This is not, as commonly supposed, due chiefly to higher metal and cement prices: repricing the main materials in a 1970s U.S. plant (an adequate approximation) to March 2008 commodity prices yields a total Bill of Materials cost only ~1% of today’s overnight capital cost. Rather, the real capital-cost escalation is due largely to the severe atrophy of the global infrastructure for making, building, managing, and operating reactors. This makes U.S. buyers pay in weakened dollars, since most components must now be imported. It also makes buyers worldwide pay a stiff premium for serious shortages and bottlenecks in engineering, procurement, fabrication, and construction: some key components have only one source worldwide. The depth of the rot is revealed by the industry’s flagship Finnish project, led by France’s top builder: after three years’ construction, it’s at least three years behind schedule and 50% over budget. An identical second unit, gratuitously bought in 2008 by 85%-state-owned Électricité de France to support 91%-state-owned vendor Areva (orderless 1991–2005), was bid ~25% higher than the Finnish plant and without its fixed-price guarantee, and suffered prompt construction shutdowns for lax quality.’

      ‘Nuclear power, being the costliest option, thus delivers less electrical service per dollar than its rivals. So not surprisingly, it’s also a climate-protection loser, surpassing in carbon emissions displaced per dollar only centralized, non-cogenerating combined-cycle power plants burning natural gas29. Firmed windpower and cogeneration are at least 1.5 times more cost-effective than nuclear at displacing CO2—or about 3 times using the latest nuclear cost estimates. So is efficiency at even an almost unheard-of seven cents per kWh. Efficiency at normally observed costs, say around one cent per kWh, beats nuclear by about 10–20-fold. New nuclear power is so costly that shifting a dollar of spending from nuclear to efficiency protects the climate severalfold more than shifting a dollar of spending from coal to nuclear. Indeed, under plausible assumptions, spending a dollar on new nuclear power instead of on efficient use of electricity has a worse climate effect than spending that dollar on new coal power! If we’re serious about addressing climate change, we must invest resources wisely to expand and accelerate climate protection. Because nuclear power is costly and slow to build, buying more of it rather than of its cheaper, swifter rivals will instead reduce and retard climate protection.’


      andrewfez says:

      Now I have no idea what the cost is of dealing with all that spent fuel, but if a third gen plant could be made, via the tax payer, and it would eat a significant portion of that spent fuel, reducing poisoning risks, and turn it into energy then that might be worth it.

      [Cost to build+maintain] – [Cost offset of not having to store, long term, spent fuel that such a reactor could eat, for a given period of time] – [Estimated costs of poisoning related disasters, for a given period of time] – [Environmental cost offset of displacing a fossil plant/CO2]

  9. Spent Fuel – Fukushima has a crisis with Unit 4 spent fuel pool which is perched precariously above ground level. This fuel pool caught fire following an explosion in Unit 4 and released radioactivity. This is not a theory. This kind of reactor is also used in the US. Not all spent fuel pools are at ground level. One lesson from Fukushima Unit 4 spent fuel pool catching fire is that spent fuel pools like this are at least as much hazard as reactors. They contain much more radioactivity.,_5_and_6
    There are many dangers from spent fuel pools. Because there is no long term storage, fuel pools are accumulating large amounts of spent fuel. If they are over filled, criticality is a possibility. If the spent fuel rods are not covered in water and cooled, they burn. Any extended loss of power or cooling can result in exposure of the spent fuel and release of radioactivity. An earthquake, tornado, storm, or any number of disasters or human error are capable of causing such a release.

  10. […] Wind Turbine Syndrome is Bullshit – DownUnder ( […]

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