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The PFM Environment thread

Discussion in 'off topic' started by gavreid, Sep 23, 2022 at 5:25 PM.

  1. gavreid

    gavreid pfm Member

    I've been thinking for ages that we should pull all this together, particularly the kinds of things that Monbiot is writing about regularly (except nuclear power, where he's wrong). Sewage, river destruction, beaches, warming, farming, swimming, nuclear power etc etc

    I would like to kick off with the cost of nuclear power from the C20 that was never paid up front (free power forever they said)

    "The cost of decommissioning the UK’s 20th-century nuclear waste could rise to £260bn as the aged and degrading sites present growing challenges, according to analysis presented to an international group of experts."
  2. Seeker_UK

    Seeker_UK Feelin' nearly faded as my jeans

    Power was a useful byproduct from the reactors built in the 50s.

    It was free power until electricity became the primary output of nuclear power stations.
  3. ks.234

    ks.234 pfm Member

    Today’s budget show how little importance is given to the future of our planet.

    Putting more and more money into off shore tax havens is more important than creating a sustainable economy.
    Chris Marshall likes this.
  4. Sonority

    Sonority pfm Member

    Rivers, a hobby horse of mine that has been forced to a back seat of late as work forced less free time.
    From sitting on committees that helped get the common eel back into most, working on rivers to help habitat, study of fly life, trying to stop run off from farmers, the list is endless.
    Unless something is done with planning law, and we stop building on flood plains, rivers will eventually become lifeless culverts for the rapid evacuation of water from flood events due to global warming. Putting up flood barriers just moves the problem 'somewhere else' and look at what happened this summer. `Running out of water' in the UK is plain daft
    Yet privatised water bosses are fine thanks (even better today!) and not a single resevoir built since they went private..
  5. IanW

    IanW pfm Member

    Unfortunately the requirement to create weapons grade material meant that the wrong nuclear solution was chosen (and there were a couple of engineering problems that needed to be solved before it could be a mainstream solution, both of which have been solved for years now).

    In the 1960s the US were testing a Thorium salt reactor and got it working (being developed for a US nuclear bomber). But for the above reason(s) the project was shut down. Now the Chinese are using all the research papers from then and making an engineered solution (i.e. it is not a science experiment like fusion is). Basically the reactor is very safe in comparison to modern reactors, Thorium is much more abundant than Uranium (available all over the World), cannot be used to create weapons grade material, Thorium is the fuel and is liquid in the reactor and does not need any coolant so can be placed anywhere, difficult to make medical isotopes get created as by products, the energy produced is cheap to make, unlike current reactors the end user is not restricted to one supplier of fuel (current GE reactors can only use GE fuel rods and so this is GE makes a lot of money), 100% of the fuel is used to make energy whereas in current reactors 1% of the fuel in the fuel rod is used to make energy, and the list goes on.

    A video that I watched to get started in terms of understanding the how and why of Thorium reactors:

    A good overview of where developments have got to:

    A commercial view from an American company:
  6. sean99

    sean99 pfm Member

    Thanks for that - I know Bill Gates is a big proponent of nuclear power for lowering our CO2 emissions, and I'm surprised his pilot plant is not using Thorium technology - he's a very smart and analytical guy, so he must have his reasons.
  7. IanW

    IanW pfm Member

    With other nuclear technology you can go to a supplier and buy one, as off the shelf as it gets with nuclear. But there is no commercial Thorium reactor installed anywhere yet. So I would guess that Bill Gates wanted something that he really could buy now to get it into use as fast as possible and not have to wait for Thorium to be proven in the marketplace.

    Once the production and installation process shows that they are viable and people start to see the massive promised benefits compared to current nuclear, then I would expect the market to shift.
    sean99 likes this.
  8. molee

    molee pfm Member

    That's fair enough but I wouldn't promote Monbiot as any kind of environmentalist per se. He has made a very tidy living as an environmental reporter and op Ed writer for decades. He is very much part of the Porritt/Melchett clique who think the problem will be solved top-down with little impact to privileged lifestyles. Some interesting decisions include taking the opportunity to take a holiday kayaking down the Amazon since he happened to be in the area reporting on deforestation anyway. Or maybe it was the other way round. Big on problems, rather more coy about solutions that might interfere with his and his readerships' lifestyles.
    Many of the problems and, indeed, solutions are well researched and arguments rehearsed, the bugbear seems to be the paradigm shift required to get people who's economic interests are wedded to the current state of affairs to even acknowledge the problems (let alone address them).
    Richard Lines and gavreid like this.
  9. MUTTY1

    MUTTY1 Waste of bandwidth

    That’s seems quite a stretch. Given the known actual life of conventional nuclear, most of which is unwelcome, and the disasters and a country like Germany giving up on nuclear it seems Thorium maybe too good to be true?
  10. IanW

    IanW pfm Member

    We will only really be able to judge once we have had Thorium reactors in use for some time and I am unlikely to be around then and so will not know!

    But all that I have read so far suggests very strongly that it offers a much safer and efficient energy creation system than current nuclear.
  11. gavreid

    gavreid pfm Member

  12. ks.234

    ks.234 pfm Member

    Labour’s Green Initiative looks interesting. Though if it is going to work, Labour will have to borrow like the Tories, raise taxes, or do a u-turn on it’s commitments to pay down the deficit and debt.

    Looking forward to the details
  13. gavreid

    gavreid pfm Member

    It's very difficult to see how if they're keeping the income tax rate at 19% and the top band at 45% as Starmer said this morning. They won't have enough money to make any significant changes to anything at all, never mind beginning to tackle the environment. Labour needs to be much bolder and argue for progressive policies and set out a 10 year vision I think, there's still the social care problem for a start...
  14. ks.234

    ks.234 pfm Member

    Yes, I think you identify the problem. From what I’ve heard this morning the extra £25b per year will come from growth, but this raises a number of questions such as what if there is not sufficient growth? Are spending plans then revised down? How is growth measured? If GDP, is this the best measure? If Green measures are important, then any production that harms the environment should be counted as a negative.

    On top of that Labour is still committed to paying down both debt and deficit, so even if there is economic growth, some of that money will have to go to government repaying itself for the money it has borrowed from itself. Madness
    gavreid likes this.
  15. gavreid

    gavreid pfm Member

    I think that will end up being the priority over the first five years in the same way that Brown stuck to the Tory budget in 1997. It'll only disillusion another generation and embolden the far right further
    ks.234 likes this.
  16. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    There is a pressure group, StopFundingHeat, based on the tried and tested StopFundingHate model that attempts to focus public outrage to remove advertising from the science-denying right-wing press such as the Daily Mail, GB News etc etc. Worth supporting both, obviously.
    Sue Pertwee-Tyr and gavreid like this.
  17. dweezil

    dweezil pfm Member

    We have everything in place top stop this, Environment Agency is very tight on housed chickens so we recycle all water from the site and litter is used as a fertiliser under tight restrictions.

    The problem comes when too many chickens are in one place or they poo outside. Transporting bulky litter is expensive.

    Holland and Denmark have had the problem for years.

    It's particularly sad at the moment because chicken litter and effluent contain vast amounts of nutrients which arable farmers are paying a fortune for.

    Human and animal waste should all be recycled; we'll lend you that P and K for a fee but please give it back!
    Sue Pertwee-Tyr likes this.
  18. gavreid

    gavreid pfm Member

    It comes down to the failings of the planning process...

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