Thursday, February 25, 2010


Wind Power: It Not Only Blows, it Sucks

There have been a series of articles lately which call a spade a shovel and say, because back up power has to be available (and, with coal fired power plants, always on) and the expected power is generally higher, by an order of magnitude, from the delivered power, wind generated power is a very expensive way not to save a single ounce of CO2 from being generated. Here's another.

Of course our lame duck Governor is high on wind generated power as part of his new no energy economy. More fool he. The much hyped green job bonanza isn't quite working out. The centerpiece Vestas plant in Windsor, CO is all but shut down. The Pueblo plant is yet to get going. The two planned Brighton plants broke ground about a year ago. Who wants to bet if that actually produce a wind generator? How about when the feds quit wasting money on these projects?


Nuclear energy from thorium. Problem solved.
Well said. I couldn't agree more, except I don't think CO2 is a problem; and think we ought to shoot for 500 ppm of it as a minimum. Do it for the plants.
Pardon my ignorance, but what's different about thorium as a nuclear fuel from other fuels?
Never mind, I think I got it. Abundance and easier waste handling, right?
And I think safety. There is not, to my knowledge, a thorium bomb. At least yet.
During the Cold War-era policymakers had to decide if we were going to go down the uranium route or the thorium route. The uranium route produces bomb making material. Thorium and it's byproducts cannot be used to make nuclear bombs. The decision then was strategic and easy.

Other advantages:
Thorium is 4 times more abundant than uranium.
The radiotoxic by-products last for tens of years rather than thousands of years.
It is easier to utilize.

The problem is that thorium cannot simply be plugged into existing nuclear reactors. New reactors would essentially need to built from scratch. Getting permission to build a new nuclear reactor is nearly impossible. Instead we invest our energy dollars in deadly technologies. How many people have been killed in gas power plants compared to nuclear power plants in the last 50 years? Ignorance is powerful.
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