Finland are a similar size in population to NZ and they are nuclear. In my pervious blog today I pointed out that the Mr Hemmingway (ex chair of the Electricity Commission) states a number of reasons why we shouldn't go nuclear. Well this extract from the IAEA regarding Finland seems to counter some of his arguments:
"The existing nuclear power plants in Finland are operating as base load units and had most of the time an average annual load factor of more than 90 %. The electricity production costs are low for both Loviisa and Olkiluoto NPPs. The investment costs of the existing nuclear plants are to large extent already paid and the operating costs are low compared with conventional thermal power stations. Hence, the deregulation of electricity market does not have any significant impacts on the competitiveness of nuclear power. The present nuclear power plants will be even more competitive in case environmental fees, for example CO2 taxes, would be introduced. In that case, a long lifetime for most of the existing nuclear power plants can be foreseen."
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Comment by juha, on 18-Apr-2006 16:26
Finland's neighbour Sweden decided to to ditch nuclear power after a referendum against it in the eighties - there was a lot of scare tactics at the time, but there has never been any accident of any kind with the Swedish reactors as far as I know. The plants have not been decommissioned either because it'd be kind of tricky to be greenie without them. Across the Oeresund straight, the more "enviro mental" Danes are anti-nuclear power and often protest against the Barsebaeck reactor which is close to them. However, the Danes are quite happy to burn masses of coal to generate their electricity. The emissions blow over to Sweden and cause acid rain, deforestation and increased pH in the lakes there that's killing fish and frogs. Nice one.
Comment by Peter, on 22-Nov-2006 04:48
Well yes but... One of the things not considered is the effect of the hot water that nuclear plants produce.
Global warming is not only caused by burning fossil fuels. In fact every heat source contributes to the phemomenon because it must be dissipated. Clouds, air polution and shiny things in the sky reflect the radiation back to the ground. Yes even the heat generated by a car engine contributes a little to the big picture.
Water used to cool nuclear power plans must be discharged somewhere and the world's getting warmer, isn't it? I suppose it must be, afterall Siberia is melting.
What's the name of that one in Florida thats changed the ecology of an entire harbour even though it has 240Km of cooling canals that are supposed to dissipate the energy completely before the water enters the harbour?
Hmmm and the ice cap is melting too... Maybe NZ shouldn't be compared to Finland. But then, the alternative, Denmark, isn't that great either.
There are still untapped resources such as sea currents that will help a bit, assuming that the oceans are still mobile when the technology finally becomes available.
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