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Siemens To Exit Nuclear Power Business 400

Posted by samzenpus
from the picking-up-my-cooling-rods-and-going-home dept.
jones_supa wrote in with a link about the future of nuclear power in Germany. The story reads: "German industrial giant Siemens is turning the page on nuclear energy, the group's CEO Peter Löscher told the weekly Der Spiegel in an interview published on Sunday. The group's decision to withdraw from the nuclear industry reflects 'the very clear stance taken by Germany's society and political leadership.' Along with abandoning nuclear power, Germany wants to boost the share of the country's power needs generated by renewable energies to 35% by 2020 from 17% at present."
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Siemens To Exit Nuclear Power Business

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  • by c0lo (1497653) on Sunday September 18, 2011 @08:21PM (#37436816)

    The actual unblemished truth is that the popular "renewable" sources can not supply but a minority proportion of the world's needs for energy.

    [citation needed]
    TFA:

    Germany wants to boost the share of the country's power needs generated by renewable energies to 35 percent by 2020 from 17 percent at present.

    Seems that Germany thinks is possible to cover more than 1/3 of its energy needs from renewables, in only 8 years from now. This on top of Germany already producing less than half CO2/capita [google.com] than some other developed nation.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 18, 2011 @08:36PM (#37436894)

    Don't worry. Solar power is going to save us all, provided they get $0.30/kWh subsidies.

    China: Villagers protest at Zhejiang solar panel plant
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-14963354 [bbc.co.uk]

    Oh wait, wind will save us all, provided it doesn't get too hot or cold or windy or calm. That gets wind power 30% efficiency.

    OK, hydroelectric will save us all. OK, that's maxed out already.

    And while we protest, record number of coal and natural gas power plants are getting built. Fraking and ground water pollution is the reality while the "environmentalists" bitch and moan over nuclear. Nuclear, a power source that is not 100% clean. That is not 100% safe. But its the only power source where we require the industry to manage its entire waste. Nuclear gives us the lowest impact on environment from any power sources.

    Heck, in avoidable incidents like Fukushima or even Chernobyl, we, the people, suffer almost entire impact of these events. While some are scared shitless of the word "radiation" and most try to avoid any contaminated areas, nature does not have these inhibitions and goes on. Almost any amount of radiation is vastly preferred by nature to birth control pills or plastics. Why? Because radiation is an equal -opportunity stressor.

    http://jscms.jrn.columbia.edu/cns/2008-02-19/cupido-birthcontrol.html [columbia.edu]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Pacific_Garbage_Patch [wikipedia.org]

    The "environmentalists" can't understand basic physics or biology. They don't get it. Natural world "re-routes" around low environmental stresses, like radiation. Provided an organism can reproduce, it will adapt. It is only people that can't really adapt because we do not want to pay the price of mutation/natural selection.

    The bottom line is, "environmentalists" are trying to protect people from minimal risks at a cost of the natural world, and hence eventually at the cost of future generations. Quite sad actually.

  • wow (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Chewbacon (797801) on Sunday September 18, 2011 @09:03PM (#37437014)
    At first I thought the German government lost it and were overreacting about Japan. But now a company who does business world wide is dropping nuclear power I'm asking myself: is there too much lead in the water over there or is the country just fucking crazy on their own?
  • by A beautiful mind (821714) on Sunday September 18, 2011 @09:07PM (#37437046)
    If instead of trying to increase renewable capacity desperately - I'm doubtful about the execution of a very large ramp-up in renewable energy generation capacity in itself - the German government would try to decrease fossil fuel use, they'd save at least 25k lives per year as compared to shutting down nuclear plants and letting fossil fuel based ones operate.

    Based on deaths per TWh [ibm.com](which includes Chernobyl for nuclear), it takes about 160 lives to generate one TWh by coal and 0.04 lives per TWh by nuclear fission. Germany in 2008 generated [wikipedia.org] 291TWh of electricity from coal, that's about 47'000 lives lost in one year.

    Keeping all the nuclear capacity and spending the ramp-up in renewables to shut down coal plants would save tens of thousands of lives. Shutting down nuclear plants forces Germany to open about 20 new [dw-world.de] fossil fuel based plants, because even with a substantial increase in renewable capacity they cannot meet demand.

    This is nothing short of mass murder through ignorance.
  • by haruchai (17472) on Sunday September 18, 2011 @09:10PM (#37437072)

    Solar PV pricing per watt has fallen dramatically in the last 2 years; at commercial scale it's at or near $1.20/watt. That's one reason why Solyndra folded as they were developing a non-silicon alternative but they can no longer compete on price. Germany installed a ton of solar back when the cost for PV was much higher.

    California has 8 GW on the roadmap ( http://votesolar.org/2011/09/who-says-solar-is-too-expensive/ [votesolar.org] ) slightly more than half of which will cost less than the natural gas equivalent.

  • by Jaktar (975138) on Sunday September 18, 2011 @11:32PM (#37437696)

    I have a combined power plant experience of just about 15 years. 11 of that was nuclear power, the rest has been coal. I live about 5 miles from a nuclear plant.

    In my personal opinion, we need more nuclear plants in the USA. Build the alternative power sources. Supplement what you can. Nuclear power is what we need right now until everything else becomes viable, if ever.

  • Nope... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 19, 2011 @12:53AM (#37437958)

    I'll support no nukes thanks. Not for any hippie bullshit reasons.. But just because the worst case failure modes for nuclear is so bad. And humans and nature have a long established history of fucking things up.

    Yeah coal is bad. Only because we refuse to clean the output or put any modern technology into mineing it. Another fine example of humans fucking something up. There's no reason coal mineing could not be 100% automated. And theres no reason coal output can't be 0 emissions output 100% clean. Except for costs.

    And if you're going to spend money... Why not spend it on wind, solar, tidal, geothermal, and work tward fusion too. You get more out of it than nuclear and then cleaning up a disaster maybe. And the hippies like it too.

    Until humans are smarter and less prone to fucking things up. And we can build things to withstand nature... Nuclear power is a bad option. We've just been damm lucky this far.

  • by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968&gmail,com> on Monday September 19, 2011 @01:13AM (#37438020) Journal

    Riiight. You DO realize that everything he said is actually true, yes? That at our current rate of growth the ONLY choices are nuke, coal, and oil, yes? Because the only other choice is to lock ourselves into a level being used currently and refuse to add capacity. Then we can enjoy rolling black outs, perhaps weeks at a time with no power at all as the strain blows out parts of the grid, or maybe you'd prefer tossing our PCs and ACs and going back to ice boxes and a big fan to cool the whole house?

    Like it or not folks renewables simply don't scale up to the levels we are talking about, not without MASSIVE losses of land which with a growing population isn't really doable. Think the government is in your business now? How about if your wife has to piss in a cup monthly to make sure she is taking her pill as we put a Chinese style one child per couple rule in place?

    Solar? Uses massive amounts of land and the best ones, which cost a ton of money BTW, are looking at more fossil fuels to make them than you get back out in energy and are tops 20% efficient. Wind? doesn't blow all the time and certainly won't ramp up between 3PM-7PM when everyone gets home and turns their devices on. Geothermal? earthquakes. Wave tech? See wind.

    Its not like we have a choice here folks, and if the NIMBYs would quit acting like asses, which BTW I propose any NIMBY that blocks power creation? should be forced to be self sustaining. No power plant? Then no power FOR YOU. I bet that would make them STFU real quick. On the flip side i propose the owner of the plant has to live within 4 miles of the plant WITH his/her family, give them a reason not to skimp on safety huh? But with the new designs nuke can be a hell of a lot safer, cleaner than coal and oil, and can ramp up with need. Hell with the thorium design we could even get rid of transfer losses by building a mini reactor in each city above a certain size instead of running juice halfway across the countryside!

The world is moving so fast these days that the man who says it can't be done is generally interrupted by someone doing it. -- E. Hubbard

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