How long is it going to take for our government to acknowledge that we don't have enough natural gas, that wind power is too unreliable and burning coal is really an environmental no,no. Are we going to be left behind again? I really hope that we are not still having this conversation in 20 years because by then it will be too late. I might have to see if Te Wananga O Aoteraroa offers a course in candle making, it could become a very sort after skill.
I was having a sift around the Electricity Commission website in the week end and came across an FAQ written by Roy Hemmingway who is listed as the commission chair. The FAQ was in answer to the question 'Is nuclear power an option for NZ's electricity needs' You can read it here
This is interesting because Mr Hemmingway states that essentially nuclear is an overkill for little 'ol NZ. Apparently a typical plant is 1000 to 1200 Megawatts where as our current demand is 4500 Megawatts. So the argument is that having all our eggs in the nuclear basket would be a problem if something goes wrong - as in the station 'trips' and we have to switch to back up. I personally think he has it all wrong. Why not build 3 or 4 of the buggers at 1200 Megawatts each? Two could be operational and one for back up. Or why not build smaller plants at around 600 Megawatts and position them near major cities? This way you reduce the transmission distance which in turn reduces lines and transmission towers. Mr Hemmingway also states that to support a nuclear industry we would need NZ universities to train nuclear engineers. Why is that bad? Less lawyers and more nuclear engineers sounds good to me. NZ is sadly lacking in internationally tradable skills and nuclear engineering is one of these skills. Lastly Mr Hemmingway states that the generation cost for nuclear is too high. Where as Mr Moore (ex Greenpeace) says that generation the cost is around US.02 cents p/KWh.
Can you really put a price on the security of supply or in providing enough power for future requirements?
Other related posts:
I Thought I would Come Back
Unemployment does get boring
Over the 'i'
Comment by Yale Simkin, on 18-Apr-2006 14:56
The real (paid industry lobbiest) Patrick Moore: http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Patrick_Moore http://www.prwatch.org/prwissues/1997Q4/badpr.html http://www.seashepherd.org/editorials/editorial_050801 _2.html http://www.lobbywatch.org/profile1.asp?PrId=89 http://www.fanweb.org/patrick-moore/index.html http://www.fanweb.org/patrick-moore/bio.html
Comment by bradstewart, on 18-Apr-2006 15:09
Or why not build smaller plants at around 600 Megawatts and position them near major cities? Put them in Auckland just in case something goes wrong. Heh heh Ive have said for a very long time that nuclear energy is the only option for NZ into the future. It is so much safer than people are led to believe and looks better than building huge ugly dams and hydro lakes. Like you said the skilled jobs it would create would truly benefit NZ, they want a knowledge economy, what is better than creating nuclear phyicists? We could build several large reactors and export excess power. I'm sure Aussie would buy it. Buying nuclear technology from the USA would go a very long way to repairing our crucial relationship which labour governments over the last 20 years have been intent on destroying. Nuclear free New Zealand is the worst thing to happen to this country. When terrorists finally catch on that New Zealand is an ideal target (and one day they will) what military are we going to send to hunt them down? Not ours, we will be forced to go crawling to the US. Better to be close friends than have to grovel for help
Comment by juha, on 18-Apr-2006 16:22
I actually know a a guy who used to design nuclear power plants before he came to NZ. Now he runs a computer company and goes fishing a lot :)
Comment by Felix, on 24-Apr-2006 15:09
Patrick Moore is a sell out... he came here year before last and admited he sells his opinions to the highest bidder... good on him, but you erally need to factor that into anything he says. It's like Dave Chapelle. He's done adds for Coke and Pepsi. He admits he can't tell the difference, but since Pepsi paid him most recently, he currently says Pepsi tastes better.
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