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453 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 312390 29-Mar-2010 13:23
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AndrewTD: I think one of the major challenges with NZ using nuclear power is that, for resilience purposes, you would need two plants. Nuclear plants are, as I understand it, very very expensive to build. Whilst we probably only need the power that one (expensive) nuclear plant could generate, we would have to pay for two for security of supply. And/or continue to maintain an equivalent amount of other types of power generation.


There's also the downtime for maintenance that you have to factor in, plus as anyone who has ever played SimCity the last thing you want is your one power station for the country going offline ad then having to put one in quickly!

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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 312402 29-Mar-2010 14:09
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Just what 'pollutants' is the article talking about?
Is he is talking about CO2? Or all of the real pollutants that motor vehicles produce? (CO2 is not a pollutant but a naturally occurring gas that is essential to ALL life on Earth.)
If he means the real pollutants then shifting the combustion to a coal or gas fired powerstation where decent exhaust scrubbing can occur, rather than a huge bunch of (poorly tuned) petrol and diesel sitting idling in traffic jams, then it is probably less 'polluting'.

Never mind power production, our distribution infrastructure is barely capable of supporting current electricity use without adding the transport energy load to it as well.

As far as fuel cells or hydrogen engines are concerned, one of their main byproducts is water vapour which is the largest greenhouse gas (but still naturally occurring).




Areas of Geek interest: Home Theatre, HTPC, Android Tablets & Phones, iProducts.

188 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 312403 29-Mar-2010 14:10
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In my opinion Clive Matthew-Wilson is very good at promoting his publications-of-dubious-value and not much else. Every time something car related is in the news he pops up with what I think are his questionable opinion. News reporters have got so lazy they basically just print what he says without really checking anything.
The motoring writers like Dave Moore don't seem to have a very high opinion of him.

393 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 312418 29-Mar-2010 15:12
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ive heard this opinion expressed before, but when it comes down to it fossil fuels are a limited resource. we are going to have to change eventualy and electric cars are a good way to bypass the nasty "trucks full of hydrogen" scenario

i dont see it as a matter of "do we do/dont we" change fuel type but what can we change to with the least amount of effort




this is where a signature goes

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  Reply # 312543 29-Mar-2010 18:56
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n4: Presumably the fact that the pollution is being generated at central points, and can be managed centrally and therefore hopefully more effectively and efficiently, is to be preferred to having pollution generated by private citizens spread out all over the country? Who knows, might even reduce the cost of the WOF Surprised


It's not April 1st yet Money mouth




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Old3eyes


281 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 312567 29-Mar-2010 20:09
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Surely by far and away the best way to reduce car emissions and save energy is to invest in decent public transport?

And I'm not talking about the ancient buses we see spewing out black smoke in most of our cities at the moment...

1917 posts

Uber Geek
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  Reply # 312599 29-Mar-2010 21:17

I think Hydrogen is the way to go... No battery's, they are bad for the environment!

249 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 312602 29-Mar-2010 21:20
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It's carbon emmissions that are allegedly causing the demise of our planet, so clearly we need to find a way to generate electricity that does involve releasing carbon. Hydrogen cells are not the way forward IF they need the release of carbon in order to generate the hydrogen. However, a nuclear plant that can produce 'clean' electricity AND produce hydrogen as a by-product seems rather sensible.

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  Reply # 312608 29-Mar-2010 21:29

manta: It's carbon emmissions that are allegedly causing the demise of our planet, so clearly we need to find a way to generate electricity that does involve releasing carbon. Hydrogen cells are not the way forward IF they need the release of carbon in order to generate the hydrogen. However, a nuclear plant that can produce 'clean' electricity AND produce hydrogen as a by-product seems rather sensible.


That is IF - I reckon with wind power and NZ's high dependency on hydro we can be the leaders. However there is the argument that you need to have more backup if the hydro runs out or the wind dies. Also damming up villages is not seen to be 'good'.

Personally I like Nuclear, but we have too many greens who think otherwise when its probably more efficient and reliable than most other sources of electricity. And don't go off on me... There is a nuclear reactor in Petone! 

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Master Geek
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  Reply # 312678 29-Mar-2010 23:19
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I, for one, favour nuclear; I really don't see a viable alternative UNLESS we learn to harness the sun's energy more efficiently.

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  Reply # 313374 31-Mar-2010 09:57

manta: I, for one, favour nuclear; I really don't see a viable alternative UNLESS we learn to harness the sun's energy more efficiently.


Solar has come very far in recent years, but I favour nuclear. The by-product scares everyone, but that's why we built spaceships right? 

249 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 313506 31-Mar-2010 15:35
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It is still the case, I believe, that the cost to the earth in terms of resources used etc to manufacture a solar panel is still greater than the replacement energy that a solar panel can produce; they are, in other words, a net user of resources.

It seems totally crazy to me that with all the potentially usuable energy in the wind, the waves and the sun that we are still burning carbon and stuffing up the planet.

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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 313509 31-Mar-2010 15:40

I read a story about the Honda hybrids, over their lifetime the resource required to make and run the things was MORE than some of the high end Mercedes... This was purely due to the toxic batterys that required to be disposed of/replaced.

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