07 November 2012

"PRISMs to Power the UK" open for business!

Here's the link:  PRISMs to Power the UK

I do hope I can get UK LFTR advocates to come on board with part-time support, for what I regard as the entrée technology for the UK's ultimate switch, in two or three generations, to wall-to-wall LFTR power.

Our short term budget for PWR spending for our 'New Nuclear', could surely be better spent on the equivalent PRISM generating capacity.

Politicians eh! Can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em! Let's hope David Cameron can reverse Bill Clinton's dire decision, nearly 20 years ago, to halt IFR progress - energy wars, what energy wars? 

30 October 2012

PRISM is almost here and now! The UK can lead the world into the Breeder Reactor era.

Maybe before the turn of the century, LFTRs will become the pre-eminent power source for the rest of this millennium and millennia to come.  In terms of the benefits which can accrue to the UK, there isn't a ha'p'orth of difference between LFTRs and PRISMs, but the timescales are miles apart. Cold reasoning leads me to conclude that in the very near future, PRISM deployment for commercial electricity generation can become a reality for the UK, whereas LFTR technology will surely be the prerogative of the USA or China. 
We have the technical/design capabilities and the manufacturing capacity here in the UK,  to manufacture PRISMs in their entirety and if we can lead the way in this technology, the benefits to our manufacturing industry, growth and prosperity are dream-worthy.                        
Over the past couple of years I have sadly concluded that nothing much will happen in the UK, by way of Government or private investment in LFTR technology, in the next 2 or 3 decades.

I am persuaded however, that there is an opportunity for the UK to start the world on a course to widespread breeder reactor deployment, by dint of our Government's approach to GE Hitachi, to use their PRISM Breeder Reactor to solve our plutonium stockpile problem.

I have contacted GE Hitachi through the website, with the following request:

I am going to start blogging in the UK, in support of your endeavours to persuade the UK Government to use your PRISM reactor to solve our uranium stockpile problem.

I am particularly convinced by the strength of the arguments, for PRISM to alter public perception of nuclear power, advanced in this recent 'white paper': The Case for Near-term Commercial Demonstration of the Integral Fast Reactor

The aim of my blog will be to argue for an urgent adoption by our Government of your current proposal and my hope is that we will lead the world into the inevitable era of worldwide breeder reactor deployment, for the equitable, clean, plentiful, safe and secure provision of energy for all.

Beyond, what I hope will be your first success, I will be following a blog objective of ultimately powering the UK, to the exclusion of fossil fueled and unjustifiable wind powered sources. Around 30 PRISM Power Blocks of 600 MWe each, will provide all the UK's future electrical energy needs and subsequently, with public perception changed by, say, 5 or 10 years of success of the first PRISM, I think a strong campaign could be mounted.

My reason for contacting your PR department is to ask if I could be kept up to date with the latest PRISM developments, with particular regards to your UK proposals, by way of public/press announcements, newsletters, etc.?

Hoping to hear from you soon.


Colin Megson.

I will be switching soon to:  PRISMs to Power the UK

Anyone fancy taking this blog over, or taking up the UK LFTR banner with another UK based blog?

07 October 2012

Radiation (the lack of it) could impact 1 in 3 anti-nuclear proponents.

More than 1 in 3 (4 in 10) people in the UK will develop some form of cancer during their lifetime.

This blog has established that believing any form of radiation is evil, offers no level of protection whatsoever.

An exhaustive poll carried out on behalf of this blog has established that 99.99% of of anti-nuclear proponents, with morbid fears of radiation, will refuse all forms of radiation therapy, should they develop cancer.

Of the 3 anti-nuclear proponents interviewed for the poll, 2.9997 of them (that's 99.99%) said they would refuse radiation therapy should they ever be diagnosed with cancer. The Grim Reaper will surely knock at the door of one of the 3 interviewees when the malice of his or her untreated cancer has undergone its course.
Some people may think this might not be a bad thing, but I take the contrary view and think it's a good thing - - - that is, they stick wholeheartedly to the principles, to the very end!

Extrapolating our blog findings to the anti- nuclear population as a whole, Dylan Ryan, a self-designated "Energy Guru", with anti-nuclear credentials having particularly vitriolic and verbose characteristics,  will surely carry the banner of "Say No to Radiation Therapy". He will do so with a pride and passion befitting his morbid fear of invisible, evil (but easily detectable) radiation.

But why single out Dylan Ryan? - - - Well, not being a particularly diligent blogger myself, I don't pay a lot of attention to 'Comments' coming after my posts. But, all of a sudden, after a trawl through them, I suddenly find Dylan Ryan in 'Parasitic Wasp'-mode, depositing his blog link 'eggs' all over the place.

After our last confrontation:  Dylan Ryan of Glasgow, Age 32. Speaks English, and writes it very verbosely indeed.  I thought I'd done with him, because I've never wasted another second of my time looking at his useless blog.

Now since I don't pollute your blog with my pro-nuclear opinions, and because of our history of mutual disdain, would you kindly, Sir, reciprocate accordingly.

In the words of Father Jack:

06 October 2012

Robert B. Laughlin - Shame on you - why didn't you tell it as it is?

A Nobel Laureate asks "Fossil energy runs out, then what?"

A Physics Student replies "Right now it would have to be nuclear!"

The Nobel Laureate's response is "What happens when the nuclear runs out?"

A video from Nature Publishing Group, publishers of Nature, which is ranked the world's most cited interdisciplinary scientific journal.  

The energy end game - with Mario Molina and Robert Laughlin.

Doesn't he know that nuclear will last forever? - No! That just can't be.

Why doesn't he impart this fact to the students - the future generation at the sharp end of the energy problem?

This video from prestigeous Nature will get thousands of hits. Why doesn't he tell the world at large that nuclear will resolve his (fictional/confrontational) fears of global wars and, right now,  the science and engineering is in place to do so!

29 July 2012

Learning to live with your local SMR (Small Modular Reactor)

"....The [US] Energy Department has taken a number of steps to help jumpstart America’s nuclear industry and ensure that nuclear power continues to play an important role in the U.S. energy mix. As part of these efforts, the Department has worked to advance small modular reactors, which provide an important opportunity for America’s manufacturing sector to make and sell cutting-edge technology...."The U.S. Energy Department Boosts SMR Technologies

Transportable by road, rail and water, this is how living with your district nuclear power facility will look - it's just another unit at the back of your Retail Park:  SMRs - Now you can see just what it's going to look like!


Baroness Worthington gets William and Kate onside for Thorium

60 years ago, the young Queen Elizabeth II was handed a plastic bag containing plutonium The 
drama of plutonium 

And here's Baroness Bryony Worthington moving the debate into the 'SECOND NUCLEAR ERA':  Baroness Worthington at TEAC4 Only a matter of a week or two ago, in front of throng of thorium supporters, she came up with the 'sound-bite' of the decade - the Duchess of Cambridge being handed a gift-wrapped package of thorium. We'll be on all of the front pages tomorrow!!!

And guess who's handing the package over?  It's Will himself!

28 July 2012

Here We Go, Here We Go, Here We Go! - Does it matter where?

"....The TMSR project is to utilize the thorium energy via the development of molten salt and molten salt-cooled reactor technologies, in order to secure the long-term nuclear fuel supply by diversifying the sources of the fuel...."

"....The Shanghai Institute of Applied Physics is leading the efforts to build a 2 MW molten salt research reactor in five years...."

"....By around 2035, the TMSR project shall build a 1000MWe molten salt-cooled demonstration reactor and a 100MWe molten salt demonstration reactor (liquid fuel), as well as possess the technologies that pave the road to commercialization of the thorium-fueled nuclear energy systems...."

Monday, 06 August 2012. A Presentation at the Department of Nuclear Engineering, University of California, Berkeley.

20 July 2012

Breeder Reactor Advocates Across The World.

This is an extract from a new post on Brave New Climate by Barry Brook and Geoff Russell  on 20 July 2012:
Life is about choices. In 1994, Bill Clinton chose to shut down the US "fast [breeder] reactor" program.
Now the Chinese, the Indians, the Russians and the South Koreans are building these reactors.
With a fast [breeder] reactor, you get much more than 100 times the energy from the same amount of uranium. With fast [breeder] reactors you can use current nuclear waste as fuel. With fast [breeder] reactors, we can shut down all the world's coal mines. We can stop ripping up the boreal forests for tar sands in Canada and elsewhere. Bill Clinton blew it.
Fast [breeder] reactors will run on what is called depleted uranium, or on nuclear waste. There is enough of this already mined not only to shut all  the world's coal mines - but also  to make the Olympic Dam expansion unnecessary.
So our last questions to Jim are: How worried are you about those tailings? How worried are you about climate change? Worried enough to risk the occasional deathless Fukushima accident and go with clean energy from fast [breeder] reactors? Or are local scare stories more important than solving the major environmental problems and keeping our eye on the big picture?
Geoff Russell is a mathematician and long-time member of Animal Liberation in SA.
Barry Brook is professor of climate science at the University of Adelaide.

Is the Olympic Dam Mine a special case?

The full post is well worth a read. Barry Brook is one of the most mild mannered people around and his video and podcast discourses on climate change and energy are level-headed and informative. This piece is a bit rumbustious, so I imagine there's plenty of Geoff Russell in it>

16 July 2012

Linear-No Threshold Theory (LNT) - What does it take to kill it off?

The sad death this year, of Dr. Bernard L. Cohen.

A couple of tasters from a man of conviction:

In a 1989 article titled “The Myth of Plutonium Toxicity,” Cohen famously challenged activist Ralph Nader: “I offered to eat as much plutonium as he would eat of caffeine, which my paper shows is comparably dangerous, or given reasonable TV coverage, to  personally  inhale  1,000  times  as much plutonium as he says would be fatal.”
Nader did not take up the challenge.

In a 2005 interview with RSO (Radiation Safety Officer) Magazine, Cohen recommended to the scientific community: “Don’t be enslaved to the linear-no threshold theory of radiation-induced cancer; it is almost certainly not valid and over-estimates the risks from low-level radiation. … As a nation, we are wasting tens of billions of dollars cleaning up little bits of radiation. The worst thing is that we are largely giving up on nuclear energy because of this.”

15 July 2012

Oliver Tickell - A Semi-Informed, Strong, Unshakable, Renewables Advocate.

This is the 'Briefing' document authored by Oliver Tickell, April/May 2012.     Thorium: Not ‘green’, not ‘viable’, and not likely

This is a facebook  comment, by a staunch LFTR enthusiast, whose sagacity on matters scientific and, in particular, nuclear is evident from every utterance:   

Robert Steinhaus 
Thorium (dis)information - (Semi-informed Thorium hit-piece from a strong, unshakable, renewables only point of view).

The report is semi-informed, and raises many challenges, economic and technical, to Thorium molten salt technology. While most (all) of the disinformation could be rebutted by a skillfull informed advocate , it would require a fairly lengthly document/presentation to do so. As it stands, all of the document's many claims based on half-informed disinformation and untruths serve to "muddy the water" and introduce fear and uncertainty into public discussion of future nuclear energy planning.

You could try to do a point by point rebuttle of all of the false claims but I am not sure the public would want to read that. Maybe combining a point by point rebuttle document with a public debate might be more effective at dispelling this misinformation.

This is a Claverton Energy piece, and it is obvious that, editorially, they are also vehemently opposed to nuclear energy:     Claverton Energy Article

This is a comment I tried to tack on to the Claverton Energy piece, but it seems to be in suspended animation, awaiting moderation (I fear it will never see the light of day):  

This Briefing just can't get away from continually mentioning the benefits of LFTRs over 'conventional' nuclear - that's PWRs for all of the soon-to-be 'New Nuclear'.

There is tacit acknowledgement of explosion-free operation, impossibility of core meltdowns and minuscule amounts of waste, which decays to background radiation levels in 300 years. Now don't these three benefits pull the rugs from under the vitriolic anti-nukes? And, wouldn't these same facts quell the very doubts, among the public at large, that hold back widespread acceptance of nuclear energy?

In a world of declining hydrocarbon resources, where developing nations will fight (let us hope diplomatically) to improve their standards of living (meaning energy use) and developed nations will fight (ditto) to maintain or improve their standard of living (ditto), it is imbecilic to believe that a spaghetti-like interconnection of windmills and squares of plastic will maintain peace, stability and law and order.

Such conditions could be rushing headlong towards the children of today's young parents. The decision makers of that generation need to appreciate that, in simple arithmetic terms, it is possible for breeder reactors to supply all of the energy needs (including carbon-neutral liquid fuels and ammonia - as feed stock for nitrate fertilisers to feed 9 billion) of every individual on the planet (at developed world standards), until the end of time (from inexhaustible sources of thorium and uranium fuels).

The only conclusion those decision makers will need to reach is - will those reactors be LMFBRs or MSBRs?    Breeder Reactors it is - but will it be---Fast or----Thermal?

14 July 2012

Energy Efficiency and the Jevon's Paradox

Energy Efficiency  
a main plank in Greenpeace's 
Energy [R]evolution.

Energy efficiency is a key component of climate change policy, and is promoted as a low cost means to reduce greenhouse emissions and reduce peak demand. Energy efficiency is also a key component of the “soft energy path”, originally articulated by Amory Lovins in 1976 in his famous article in Foreign Affairs as a solution to energy supply concerns and declining resources, then later adopted as a solution to climate change.

Yet Jevon’s Paradox, or the energy efficiency rebound effect, suggests that some, or all, of the gains of energy efficiency are “taken back” in the long-run

Examples of Jevon's Paradox. 

The steadily declining cost of refrigeration has made almost all elements of food production more cost-effective and energy-efficient. But there are environmental downsides. Most of the electricity that powers the world’s refrigerators is generated by burning fossil fuel. Since the mid-nineteen-seventies, per-capita food waste in the United States has increased by half, so that we now throw away forty per cent of all the edible food we produce. According to a 2009 study, more than a quarter of U.S. freshwater use goes into producing food that is later discarded. 

Also discusses the improved efficiency of air-conditioners. In the United States, we now use roughly as much electricity to cool buildings as we did for all purposes in 1955. The problem with efficiency gains is that we inevitably reinvest them in additional consumption. Paving roads reduces rolling friction, thereby boosting miles per gallon, but it also makes distant destinations seem closer, thereby enabling people to live in sprawling, energy-gobbling subdivisions far from where they work and shop.
Read more:      http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2010/12/20/101220fa_fact_owen#ixzz20ceOJXx3

The paper has two main findings.
The first is that Melbourne’s buildings and heating appliances are much more energy efficient than they were 50 years ago – they’ve shown sustained improvements over a long period, but what we tend to do is “spend” the efficiency dividend – we build bigger homes, we heat larger areas for longer, we have less people living in each home, and so on. The remarkable thing is that we use about the same energy per-person on space heating as we did in 1960, and the trend hasn’t changed much over the ensuing 50 years, even though modern homes are more than ten times as efficient. So the efficiency dividend has given us comfort that our grandparents could only dream about, so that’s a good thing, but if the objective is using efficiency to reduce greenhouse emissions, then it simply hasn’t worked. What has worked in Melbourne has been a shift to natural gas, which has relatively lower greenhouse intensity to other heating fuels.

The second main finding is that Melbourne’s heating is going to continue to rely on conventional large-scale energy, whether it is gas, or if we convert to electric heat pumps, then conventional dispatchable power. We hear a lot about renewables and smart-grids and electric vehicles plugging in and supporting the grid, and they capture the public’s imagination, but when you look at all of these things carefully, it becomes apparent that they’ll always struggle to move beyond a supplementary role. The reason for this is simple – during winter on cold or near freezing mornings, and in the early evening, people need affordable and reliable heating and this requires large-scale power on demand. Melbourne’s heating season lasts for 4 or 5 months, so you have this need, twice daily, for large scale dispatchable power.

02 July 2012

En Route To Building The First-Of A Kind LFTR In The UK!

PRISM is not the only reactor that 
can 'burn' our 

What a chance this would be to get some molten salt reactor experience. We could scale up the Molten Salt Reactor Experiment (MSRE), operated at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) from 1964 to 1969, under the Directorship of a true doyen of nuclear energy, Alvin Weinberg. In the last few months of operation, the feasibility of 'burning' plutonium, as a fuel in the reactor core, was put to the test.

For a pittance of a Government investment, we could get this operationally proven technology up and running in 5 years - after all, in 5 years from funding approval, the MSRE was designed, manufactured and 'switched on', in the days of slide-rules, tee-squares, protractors and compasses - what could we do now, with CAD/CAM and 3D computer modelling and planning?

Has Paul Howarth, The Director of the National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL), charged with assessing the likely effectiveness of GE Hitachi's PRISM, got the vision and the guts to at least mention this to Ed Davey as a possible alternative?  

This hot salt reactor plant is just 'glorified' chemical plant and the UK has the design and technological expertise and manufacturing capacity to produce this reactor in its entirety. If we could get a couple of years of operational experience on a plutonium 'burning' unit, we'd be within a shout of getting the first-of-a-kind Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor (LFTR) built and, for the UK, this would mean manufacturing jobs, growth and prosperity we have not seen in 3 generations; plus, as a little aside, operators could halve the price of electricity to domestic and industrial users and still make a handsome profit - because you get twice as much bang for your bucks from a LFTR 'fired' power station.

09 June 2012

One Visionary is all that's needed - Can this Minister of State be the One?

A Plea by Email to Rt Hon Mr Edward Davey, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change.

Dear Mr Davey,

Are you aware of the international interests and activities, regarding Molten Salt Breeder Reactors (MSBRs)? The extracts below indicate investment and research in China, Japan and the USA are well underway:


China Initiates Thorium MSR Project  Sunday, January 30th, 2011

The People’s Republic of China has initiated a research and development project in thorium molten-salt reactor technology, it was announced in the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) annual conferenceon Tuesday, January 25. An article in the Wenhui News followed on Wednesday 

Only a few weeks ago, Japanese actions came to the fore:  The researcher, Takashi Kamei, told a thorium conference in Chicago last week [31 May 2012] that Chubu Electric Power Co. has launched a research program..... and that, “This research center includes the use of thorium as a future fuel.”. A later communication stated:     "....concerning thorium molten salt reactors....We announced our plan of stepped-up efforts for nuclear R&D....Subjects of research will include future nuclear energy like thorium rectors. This program will start in 2013. Our main activity will be to support institutions and universities financially. We consider thorium as one of future possible energy resources, but there are many challenges to be solved toward actual utilization. Therefore we  considered basic studies to be very important from a long-term view point and decided to support institutions’ basic study on thorium utilization...."
Flibe Energy, a USA Start-Up Company, has this to say in the final paragraph of their 'Introduction':  We submit for your consideration that the development of a thorium-fueled, liquid-fluoride reactor is a compelling and achievable goal with broad environmental and societal benefits. Flibe Energy has been created to bring this development to reality. 
What will emerge in this decade is the possibility of factory produced Small Modular Reactor (SMR) versions of these reactors, capable of being shipped by road, rail and container ship. MSBRs are 'glorified' hot-salt chemical plants, operating at atmospheric pressure; you can run by the design and specification of an MSBR and know it will only be half the price of the equivalent PWRs being considered for our 'New Nuclear'. The UK has the capacity and expertise to manufacture this type of plant in its entirety, whereas with new PWRs, we are left watching from the sidelines.
IMHO, the Government need to invest in this technology, to kick-start interest from the private sector for the building of the first-of-a-kind Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor (LFTR), which is the best configuration of an MSBR, for electricity generation. You are on the right path by deploying a GE Hitachi PRISM reactor, which is a Liquid Metal Fast Breeder Reactor (LMFBR), for burning our plutonium stockpile and Professor Paul Howarth is in favour of generating electricity  from the plutonium, instead of burying it. The logical next step is to consider the far safer and more affordable breeder reactor, the LFTR.
To do so, gives us not only energy security, but also emission-free electricity generation to meet our carbon targets in one fell swoop. And, we will see manufacturing growth and prosperity not witnessed in three generations. The APPG on Thorium Energy will certainly be able to contribute towards the debate and I sincerely hope you will be the Minister to open your mind to the enormity of the chance to get our Country to the forefront of LFTR technology and the immensity that this technology holds for peace and prosperity for every individual on the planet.
Colin Megson.

04 June 2012

Problems, Problems - But LFTR takes care of them all.

A cooling tower at the Big Sandy coal-fired plant near Louisa, Ky.

This study was covered by about 20 publications and the study's 'answers' (Adaption strategies) were:  "putting new plants near the sea or building more gas fired power plants"

Nuclear, coal power face climate change risk: study

SINGAPORE | Mon Jun 4, 2012 5:54am BST
(Reuters) - Warmer water and reduced river flows will cause more power disruptions for nuclear and coal-fired power plants in the United States and Europe in future, scientists say, and lead to a rethink on how best to cool power stations in a hotter world.

In a study published on Monday, a team of European and U.S. scientists focused on projections of rising temperatures and lower river levels in summer and how these impacts would affect power plants dependent on river water for cooling.

The authors predict that coal and nuclear power generating capacity between 2031 and 2060 will decrease by between 4 and 16 percent in the United States and a 6 to 19 percent decline in Europe due to lack of cooling water.

The likelihood of extreme drops in power generation, either complete or almost-total shutdowns, was projected to almost triple.

"This study suggests that our reliance on thermal cooling is something that we're going to have to revisit," co-author Dennis Lettenmaier, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of Washington in Seattle, said in a statement.

Thermoelectric power plants supply more than 90 percent of electricity in the United States and account for 40 percent of the nation's freshwater usage, says the study published in the journal Nature Climate Change.

In Europe, such plants supply three-quarters of the electricity and account for about half of the freshwater use.

Coal, nuclear and gas plants turn large amounts of water into steam to spin a turbine. They also rely on water at consistent temperatures to cool the turbines and any spike in river water temperatures can affect a plant's operation.

Disruptions to power supplies were already occurring, the authors noted.


I just had to post this comment and managed it on about a dozen of them:

4 hours ago (12:48 PM)

Let coal decline - we all want it to. But for nuclear, the answer is so simple - generate our electricity and process heat using high temperature reactors which, if the 'waste' heat can't be put to a useful purpose, can be air cooled. However, high temperature 'waste' heat can be used to desalinate, to produce vast quantities of potable water from brackish groundwater and seawater. It can also be used to implement a hydrogen economy, whereby all liquid fuels can be made carbon neutral, by using atmospheric CO2 in their production. Likewise carbon-neutral ammonia can be made from atmospheric N2 and used as feed stock for fertilisers, to maintain agricultural production to feed 9 billion people. 

There is one outstanding reactor that can do all of this and also is inherently safe - it shuts down according to the laws of physics, even if all safety systems and all electrics are lost. The fuel in the reactor core starts life in the molten state, so no more TMI or Fukushima-Diiachi style meltdowns. It operates at atmospheric pressure, so there is no high powered 'driver' available to expel radiotoxic substances upwards and outwards into the environment. Also, its fuel is thorium - 3½ X more common than uranium and in sufficient abundance to be economically available until the end of time. 

This silver-bullet answer to the most significant problems facing humankind, is the Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor (LFTR). Google: LFTRs to Power the Planet for all of the benefits.

26 May 2012

Energy Security for the UK, Free of Emissions: It's Up To You!

This video compresses all the technicalities of LFTRs into the crucial advantages over PWRs and Fast Breeders: Safety - Minimal Waste - Affordability - Ease of Manufacture - Speed of Deployment:  

ThoriumPetition.com is for people of the USA, but the UK also has the expertise and manufacturing capacity to produce factory-built LFTRs. We have 2 petitions going for manufacture of LFTRs in the UK, to give us growth in the manufacturing sector and prosperity we have not seen in 3 generations.

Please spend 20 minutes of your time on this video and then vote as quickly as you can for:




10 May 2012

LCAs - You can't get a cigarette paper between LWRs and Wind Turbines!

Life Cycle Assessment Harmonization

The U.S. Department of Energy enlisted NREL to review and "harmonize" life cycle assessments of electricity generation technologies. Hundreds of assessments have been published, often with considerable variability in results. These variations in approach, while usually legitimate, hamper comparison across studies and pooling of published results.
By harmonizing this data, NREL seeks to reduce the uncertainty around estimates for environmental impacts of renewables and increase the value of the assessments to the policymaking and research communities:     http://www.nrel.gov/analysis/sustain_lcah.html

Comparison of Harmonization Impacts on Pressurized Water Reactor and Boiling Water Reactor Technologies
Assuming consistent performance characteristics, the median LC GHG emissions estimates were nearly identical for PWR and BWR technologies after harmonization. The median life cycle GHG emission estimates for PWR and BWR technology types are 14 and 21 g CO2eq/kWh, respectively, as published, and 12 and 13 g CO2eq/kWh, respectively after harmonization.

Comparison of Harmonization Impacts on Onshore to Offshore Wind Technologies
The median published life cycle GHG emission estimates for onshore and offshore technology types are both 12 g CO2eq/kWh and 11 g CO2eq/kWh after harmonization. This similarity, combined with the tight distribution for both technology types, suggests that the two technology types may not have significantly different life cycle GHG emissions.

Comparison of Harmonization Impacts on Specific Photovoltaic Technologies
The median as-published life cycle GHG emissions estimate for c-Si PV is 57 g CO2eqkWh; the harmonized median is 45 g CO2eq/kWh. Harmonization reduced the IQR from 44-73 g CO2eq/kWh to 39-49 g CO2eq/kWh, a reduction of 62%. Additional analysis comparing mono-Si and multi-Si technologies, and ground-mounted with roof-mounted systems suggest that these system differences are not key factors in lifecycle GHG emissions from c-Si PV.


You can run by a LFTR design, or for that matter GE Hitachi's PRISM reactor and know that they only involve a fraction of the material content of an LWR of equivalent power - and, by extension, assume that only a fraction of the energy of construction is used.

30 April 2012


It's not asking much, is it? We want the light switch to turn the lights on any time night or day; this includes 3:00 am, when we've got to get up and find the Alka-Seltzer. In other words, living in an industrialised, developed-world country should entitle us to power on tap 24/7. We want the rest of the world to get up to this standard; we don't want to drop down to a standard lower than this.

So getting away from the figures so beloved by the wind industry and supporters, which are always averages, percentages and totals, what amount of electricity actually gets into the grid from this proposed steel rain forest (less the bio-diversity) of turbines and interconnecting grids, pumped storage and OCGT back-up?

From 'A Report by Stuart Young':   ANALYSIS OF UK WIND POWER GENERATION, March 2011

The final two paragraphs of:  EXECUTIVE SUMMARY:

The nature of wind output has been obscured by reliance on "average output" figures. Analysis of hard data from National Grid shows that wind behaves in a quite different manner from that suggested by study of average output derived from the Renewable Obligation Certificates (ROCs) record, or from wind speed records which in themselves are averaged.

It is clear from this analysis that wind cannot be relied upon to providen any significant level of generation at any defined time in the future. There is an urgent need to re-evaluate the implications of reliance on wind for any significant proportion of our energy requirements.

And leading up to these paragraphs:

in respect of analysis of electricity generation from all the U.K. 
wind farms which are metered by National Grid, 
November 2008 to December 2010 

The following five statements are common assertions made by both the wind industry and Government representatives and agencies. This Report examines those assertions.

1.   “Wind turbines will generate on average 30% of their rated capacity over a year.” 

2.   “The wind is always blowing somewhere.” 

3.   “Periods of widespread low wind are infrequent.” 

4.   “The probability of very low wind output coinciding with peak electricity demand is slight.” 

5.   “Pumped storage hydro can fill the generation gap during prolonged low wind periods.”

This analysis uses publicly available data for a 26 month period between November 2008 and December 2010 and the facts in respect of the above assertions are:

1.   Average output from wind was 27.18% of metered capacity in 2009, 21.14% in 2010, and  24.08% between November 2008 and December 2010 inclusive. 

2.    There were 124 separate occasions from November 2008 till December 2010 when total generation from the wind farms metered by National Grid was less than 20MW. (Average capacity over the period was in excess of 1600MW). 

3.    The average frequency and duration of a low wind event of 20MW or less between November 2008 and December 2010 was once every 6.38 days for a period of 4.93 hours.  

4.    At each of the four highest peak demands of 2010 wind output was low being respectively 4.72%, 5.51%, 2.59% and 2.51% of capacity at peak demand. 

5.    The entire pumped storage hydro capacity in the UK can provide up to 2788MW for only 5 hours then it drops to 1060MW, and finally runs out of water after 22 hours.


Well informed speculators, shrewd wind farm operators and industrial opportunists along with the 'wanna-believers' hope that wind turbine deployment will continue to grow and grow. Well they'd better ponder the nature of essential, back-up technologies which will need to be in place in 2 or 3 generations time, when scarce and unaffordable hydrocarbons disappear.

GE Hitachi - PRISM Power Block
It will be breeder reactors.

So be honest - what's the point in subsidising this inconsequential technology? Why spend massive amounts of already taxed income (much of  it from those who can least afford it) on a mass of interconnected wind farms, when breeder reactors can do it all anyway?