camiel wrote:I think the anti-nuclear stance of Germany is very damaging, Engineering is held in high regard in Germany and it is very sorry to see that German knowledge and expertise, with regard to nuclear engineering, is decaying. For example, the Germans were experimenting with thorium fuel in high temperature reactors in the 1980s.
It is also bad for EU policymaking concerning nuclear energy. At the moment, there is an anti/pro-nuclear fault line in the heart of Europe, with Germany, Denmark, Italy and Austria in the anti-nuclear camp and France, Finland, Czech Republic, Poland, Sweden and the UK in the pro-nuclear camp.
Russia is, of course, not in the EU, but is, being a European country, also a strong proponent of nuclear energy. It is building a new reactor in Kaliningrad (Russian enclave; former East Prussia) and is also influencing nuclear policymaking of East European countries.
The Germans will eventually have to come to the conclusion that they can't be dependent on solar power. It's only a matter of time, really. But still, it's a shame that they're exploiting the most of their expertise at this time. Every year passing by that they don't do anything new is wasted time.
When I was learning to fly, I was told that if you attach enough horsepower, you can even get a house to fly.
If the Germans are willing to throw 1 trillion euro on this problem, they will solve it, regardless of the fact that we could do it with current Gen III nuclear for 100 billion euro investment in nuclear, plus another 100 billion euro to operate those nuclear reactors over 40 years. The Germans are as crazy green as Vermont, don't you forget all the shutdown yankee reactor protests.
In the end they will have something like 150 GWe solar panels + 150 GWe wind turbine + 1TWh worth of pumped hydro total capacity to produce 60GWe of peak electricity demand (plus whatever Hydro, geothermal and biomass they had to begin with).
The astonishing fact is they aren't deluding themselves that this will be cheap, they know how much it will cost and they are willing to pay for that. I posed the statement that if you put aside 10 billion euro per GWe for a new nuclear power plant, you can build, operate over 40 years and dispose of it, and there will still be billions left in the end.
One guy I was debating over this in slashdot kept telling me that Germany is all prone to 6 pointer earthquakes, so it's unsafe for any nuclear reactors, I said, maybe places that could get 8 pointer (100 times more energy) could be somewhere you would want to avoid putting nuclear on, but 6 pointers are not a factor.
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