Friday, 26 April 2013

UKIP gets my vote, for Energy Policy alone! What does Nigel Farage think?

I don't know - he hasn't replied yet! 

This is what I emailed him nearly a week ago - Nigel, where are you?

No single issue is more important to the well being and life style of my grandchildren than energy security.

Your energy policy is good enough for you to get my vote, in respect of your emphasis on nuclear power and your mention of thorium as a fuel. 

However, you are probably not aware that we have an imminent, unique opportunity to start along the road towards 500 years of energy security from the UK's most precious energy resource.

Any day now, the NDA could choose, or not, to use a GE Hitachi PRISM reactor to burn our plutonium stockpile. It will eradicate this proliferation problem, now costing us £80 million a year, by rendering the plutonium useless as a bomb making material in 5 years. And, it's payment by results - no satisfactory outcome - no cost to the UK taxpayer. Is this a no-brainer decision: Yes! Is supporting this a vote-winner: Yes! Is this something you would be prepared to pursue?

A further little taster about this first PRISM reactor - from the fuel produced by the plutonium burn-up, it will continue generating enough electricity to supply the needs of 750,000 people for a further 50 or 60 years.

PRISM is a Gen IV Sodium-cooled Fast Reactor (SFR) and compared to the proposed 'New Nuclear' Gen III Light Water Reactors (LWRs), it is as advanced as an MP3 player over an old spool-to-spool tape recorder.

SFRs can be configured as a breeder reactor and this is where the 500 years of energy security comes into play. A fleet of breeder reactors can burn what the ill-informed and duplicitous call 'nuclear waste'. The UK has enough of this in existence to supply all of our energy needs for 500 years. The minuscule waste-stream produced, decays to background radiation levels in only 300 years - cheaply and safely stored.

PRISM reactors are inherently safe - they shut down according to the laws of physics, without human intervention, in the worst of accident conditions, such as the absence of  all electrical power and loss of safety devices.

They also operate at atmospheric pressure, so the UK has the nuclear expertise and manufacturing capacity to factory produce them in their entirety. It could mean manufacturing jobs, prosperity and growth we have not witnessed in 3 generations.

I am a retired manufacturing engineer and host the blog: PRISMs to Power the UK. You're not up against strong competition on the energy front:

I hope you take the time to absorb this basic information and would be very interested in your opinion on the points I have raised. I sincerely believe it would do you and your party nothing but good to promote breeder reactors as a solution to the UK's energy security problems.

Monday, 22 April 2013

Electricity Generated from Fossil Fuels Kills Millions - Who Cares?

Macabre Indifference: Gruesome and horrifying lack of concern. 

Accurate, justified description of the vast majority of energy users. We really don't give a you-know-what where the energy comes from, as long as it's there 24/7, on demand.

So - will a peer-reviewed paper, claiming nuclear power has saved  1,840,000 deaths elicit more than a mass shrug of the shoulders and a concealed "So What"? I doubt it!

"...Their numbers come from calculating how many people would have likely died due to air pollution over the years, but didn't, because electricity was created by non-air polluting nuclear power plants instead..."

"...Kharecha and Hansen argue that burning coal over the years that nuclear power has been used as a viable energy source, (since 1971) instead of building nuclear plants would have led to deaths from lung related ailments from both the mining of coal, and burning it to create electricity. They have then used the number of deaths in the past from such ailments to project numbers in the future. They say that if the world would convert to all nuclear power by the middle of this century, 420,000 to 7 million deaths could be prevented. The numbers vary so much because they would depend on which energy source  would replace. Their overall point is that nuclear energy is much safer than coal—when looking at raw death numbers—and therefore should be seen as a replacement source for electricity generation, rather than as menace that should be abolished..."

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Get ready to start giving up something if you want your oil energy - it may be your job!

We don't have it bad at all. If you had to pick anywhere in the world to earn your corn and live and save from the proceeds, most people would probably pick one of the EU-27 countries, the USA or Japan.

Good standards of living, decent travel, communications and utilities infrastructures. Good health facilities, finance and service industries readily available.  Everything you could need for a sweet way of life, for you and your family. And, all being well, it's just going to carry on nicely for your children, their children and their children's children and their - - - - cue Eric Idle:

But the EU-27, The USA and Japan have peaked - in oil energy terms - in 2004.But what does that mean?

It means we're not willing to pay as much for oil as the rest of the world and so our demand has declined as the rest of the world's demand moves relentlessly upwards.


If we want more energy from oil - and we all know that mainly means our cars and transport - we're going to have to pay more for it - AND FORGO SOMETHING ELSE!

Our Standard of Living is heading DOWN - Their's is Heading UP

"...We in...the Euro-zone, [the United States] and Japan are already past peak oil demand. Oil demand has to do with how much oil we can afford. Many of the developed nations are not able to outbid the developing nations when it comes to the world’s limited oil supply. A chart of oil consumption shows that oil consumption peaked for the combination of the United States, EU-27, and Japan in 2005..." 

"...Peak demand is very much related to jobs. Peak oil demand occurs when a country is not competitive in the world market-place, and because of this, loses industry and jobs. One reason this happens is because the country’s energy cost structure is not competitive in the world market-place. With the run-up in oil prices starting about 2003, oil is by far the most expensive of the traditional energy sources we have available today. Countries that use a large percentage of oil in their energy mix can be expected to have a hard time competing, because of oil’s higher cost..."

Friday, 12 April 2013

What a Forlorn Loser of a Billionaire!

What chance have I got, when there are clueless, defeatist billionaires 'trying to buy time for the world to wake up' and uttering stuff like:
 "... but if we mean to burn all the coal and any appreciable percentage of the tar sands, or even third-derivative, energy-intensive oil and gas, with 'fracking' for shale gas on the boundary, then we're cooked, we're done for" 
and: ""the absolute minimum hope of survival is a gracefully declining population""

This is a comment I made which theguardian is unlikely to print:

Talk about 'can't see the wood for the trees'. What an idiot! All of that personal wealth and control over £10s of billions and he's pratting about with AGW and 'saving the environment'. Why?

It's clean, safe and secure energy Mr Grantham. Nothing else will matter to a nation, when there are 10 billion of us, in just a few decades. The ¾ of the population, who currently use ¼ of the energy produced, will be fighting tooth and nail to reach our standard of living. We will be battling to hang on to our way of life.

I hope, for his grandchildren’s sake, this is metaphoric fighting talk because by 2050 we will need 3 or 4 times more energy than we use now, in the face of declining and evermore expensive fossil fuels and other resources.

One and only one technology has any chance of providing an energy-rich future to every individual on the planet, for all of time; it is that of the breeder reactor.

The UK is uniquely placed at the moment, because we have an imminent decision, likely to go the way of such a reactor, for burning our plutonium stockpile. We could lead the world into the inevitable era of the breeder reactor.

Get thinking clearly, Mr Grantham. Strive for peace and stability in a world where it is technically feasible for everyone to benefit from an energy source, free of greenhouse gas emissions and affordable by all.

People like you can make a difference to the speed of introduction of breeder reactor technology and it needs to be happening now.

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

What's £80 million a year? Not much else to spend our hard-earned taxes on, is there?

"...The UK is currently home to 112 tonnes of what is the most toxic substance ever created and most of it is held in a modern grey building to one side of the site.

Such is the sensitivity surrounding the building and its contents that only a handful of staff, with the necessary security clearance, are allowed inside.

Estimates suggest that the taxpayer currently spends £80m a year to store it safely and stop it falling into the wrong hands..."

Well, the IMechE are pointing - yet again - to a no-brainer solution!

From the Conclusion:
"...but the sodium-cooled fast reactor route is sufficiently attractive to merit significant immediate UK support..."

They Mean - The GE Hitachi offer, to burn the UK's Plutonium Stockpile with the PRISM Reactor!

You've heard all of this before, Mr Davey! When is the (£80m a year) penny going to drop?