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germany the filthiest fossil fuel power polluter - the consequence of spurning nuclear power

“Poland is home once again to Europe's dirtiest power plant, but German utilities still owned 11 of the 30 most polluting facilities in the European Union in 2008, preliminary EU data showed.

“Poland's Belchatow coal plant, run by state-owned utility BOT Elektrownia, spewed out the most climate-warming carbon dioxide (CO2) of any EU installation last year, pumping the equivalent of 30.9 million tonnes into the atmosphere.

“This amount, comparable to the total greenhouse gas emissions of Croatia, was nine percent more than the plant emitted in 2007 and bucked a trend which saw overall EU industrial emissions drop last year.”

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another study labels corn ethanol a bad deal

“Also, by the researchers' accounting, the carbon benefits of using ethanol only begin to show up years after corn growing begins. "Depending on prior land use" they wrote in their report, "our analysis shows that carbon releases from the soil after planting corn for ethanol may in some cases completely offset carbon gains attributed to biofuel generation for at least 50 years."

“The report said that "cellulosic" species -- such as switchgrass -- are a better option for curbing emissions than corn because they don't require annual replowing and planting. In contrast, a single planting of cellulosic species will continue growing and producing for years while trapping more carbon in the soil.”

[Duke university press release]

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wind and pv power much more dangerous than nuclear power

“But the deaths and injuries resulting from wind turbine construction and operation will be dwarfed by the carnage certain to occur in California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's "million solar roofs plant" actually comes to fruition? Falls, currently the second largest cause of accidental deaths after auto accidents and five times the rate from fires, will no doubt take a sizable jump as tens of thousands of amateur installers take to the roofs. And remember, solar voltaic cells must be cleaned regularly else they rapidly lose their already poor efficiencies.” [Quoted from thenewamerican.com]

Marker at abelard.org

“The trend is as expected - the more turbines, the more accidents. There is a general trend upward in accident numbers over the past 10 years. This is predicted to escalate unless HSE make some significant changes - in particular to protect the public by declaring a minimum safe distance between new turbine developments and occupied housing and buildings (currently 2km in Europe), and declaring "no-go" areas to the public, following the 500m exclusion zone around operational turbines imposed in France.” [Quoted from caithnesswindfarms.co.uk (.pdf) ]

These are accidents so far listed.
Number of fatal accidents: 52.

And UK greens stance on nuclear energy now

“ [...] four of the country’s leading green activists have overcome a lifetime’s opposition to warn of the dire consequences of not building more nuclear power stations.

“Scientific evidence about the environmental impact of burning coal, gas and oil has overcome concerns about safety issues, the build-up of radioactive waste and the proliferation of nuclear weapons. So Stephen Tindale, a former director of Greenpace; Lord Chris Smith of Finsbury, the chairman of the Environment Agency; Mark Lynas, author of the Royal Society’s science book of the year; and Chris Goodall, a Green Party activist and prospective parliamentary candidate, are now all lobbying in favour of their erstwhile bete noir.”

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nuclear power - is nuclear power really really dangerous?
the nuclear energy option
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alleged advantages of dictatorship (socialism)

“So pushing China to adopt a "smart" power grid that would have the data-processing ability to allow massive additions of intermittent energy from solar and wind farms could be a matter of convincing as few as 10 people, said Liu, adding that such centralisation means "there are both pros and cons to communism." ”

“ But the countries [USA and China] are more likely to find solutions by working together rather than by themselves, Liu said.”

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iea,darling of government ostriches - now admit they were wrong all along

“In terms of non-Opec [countries outside the big oil producers' cartel]," he replied, "we are expecting that in three, four years' time the production of conventional oil will come to a plateau, and start to decline. In terms of the global picture, assuming that Opec will invest in a timely manner, global conventional oil can still continue, but we still expect that it will come around 2020 to a plateau as well, which is, of course, not good news from a global-oil-supply point of view."

“Around 2020. That casts the issue in quite a different light. Birol's date, if correct, gives us about 11 years to prepare. If the Hirsch report is right, we have already missed the boat. Birol says we need a "global energy revolution" to avoid an oil crunch, including (disastrously for the environment) a massive global drive to exploit unconventional oils, such as the Canadian tar sands. But nothing on this scale has yet happened, and Hirsch suggests that even if it began today, the necessary investments and infrastructure changes could not be made in time. Birol told me: "I think time is not on our side here." ”

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localised nuclear power unit

“The US government has licensed the technology to Hyperion, a New Mexico-based company which said last week that it has taken its first firm orders and plans to start mass production within five years. 'Our goal is to generate electricity for 10 cents a watt anywhere in the world,' said John Deal, chief executive of Hyperion. 'They will cost approximately $25m [£13m] each. For a community with 10,000 households, that is a very affordable $250 per home.'

“Deal claims to have more than 100 firm orders, largely from the oil and electricity industries, but says the company is also targeting developing countries and isolated communities. 'It's leapfrog technology,' he said.

“The company plans to set up three factories to produce 4,000 plants between 2013 and 2023. 'We already have a pipeline for 100 reactors, and we are taking our time to tool up to mass-produce this reactor.' ”

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pv coating claimed to trap more energy and circumvent tracking requirements

“To get maximum efficiency when converting solar power into electricity, you want a solar panel that can absorb nearly every single photon of light, regardless of the sun’s position in the sky," said Shawn-Yu Lin, professor of physics at Rensselaer and a member of the university’s Future Chips Constellation, who led the research project. "Our new antireflective coating makes this possible.”

“After a silicon surface was treated with Lin’s new nanoengineered reflective coating, however, the material absorbed 96.21 percent of sunlight shone upon it - meaning that only 3.79 percent of the sunlight was reflected and unharvested. This huge gain in absorption was consistent across the entire spectrum of sunlight, from UV to visible light and infrared, and moves solar power a significant step forward toward economic viability.

“Lin’s new coating also successfully tackles the tricky challenge of angles.

“Most surfaces and coatings are designed to absorb light - i.e., be antireflective - and transmit light - i.e., allow the light to pass through it - from a specific range of angles. Eyeglass lenses, for example, will absorb and transmit quite a bit of light from a light source directly in front of them, but those same lenses would absorb and transmit considerably less light if the light source were off to the side or on the wearer’s periphery.”

“Typical antireflective coatings are engineered to transmit light of one particular wavelength. Lin’s new coating stacks seven of these layers, one on top of the other, in such a way that each layer enhances the antireflective properties of the layer below it. These additional layers also help to "bend" the flow of sunlight to an angle that augments the coating’s antireflective properties. This means that each layer not only transmits sunlight, it also helps to capture any light that may have otherwise been reflected off of the layers below it.

“The seven layers, each with a height of 50 nanometers to 100 nanometers, are made up of silicon dioxide and titanium dioxide nanorods positioned at an oblique angle - each layer looks and functions similar to a dense forest where sunlight is "captured" between the trees. The nanorods were attached to a silicon substrate via chemical vapor disposition, and Lin said the new coating can be affixed to nearly any photovoltaic materials for use in solar cells, including III-V multi-junction and cadmium telluride.”

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