Wind Power. The Scale of the Problem

Take one AP1000 nuclear power plant, output around 1150MW  (If you don't like nuclear substitute  a similar sized gas/coal plant if you like) Now lets compare that graphically with how many turbines and how much space is needed......

Excellent Animation. H/T to designer Gabrielle Hollis


Unknown said...

Great animation and certainly demonstrates the benefits of Nuclear in terms of geographical space. That is of course whilst the nuclear power station is working safely but as we all know they do not always. When the do fail in cases such a Chernobyl and Fukushima of which we are all to familiar the enormity of the devastation is far greater than can sufficiently be demonstrated in any animation, not least because we still don't fully know the extent of such devastation as it continues to this day. For me the positive benefits and documented efficiency of nuclear power stations are utterly outweighed by the human and environmental cost of the practice when on the very rare occasion, disaster strikes.

BilloTheWisp said...

Chris, Thanks for the comment. I feel I should respond to your perception of the risks associated with nuclear and give a few examples of disasters from other generation techniques and their consequences. Nuclear is often regarded in isolation of equivalent power sources and the risks they pose.

First my take on the Chernobyl and Fukushima events.

With Chernobyl I personally have to rely on vigorously peer reviewed and published data by 5000 of the world's leading scientists. That is because this data is endorsed and used by other world renowned and famous scientists (including Hansen, Lovelock, Wigley and Mackay to name just a select few). These are people I respect and admire. I respect their opinions because they produce verifiable and detailed reasons for their statements and theorys. They do not seek publicity for any other reason than the promotion of science and their understanding of it. They most certainly do not indulge in scare mongering or cover-ups.

Two separate reports on Chernobyl were produced for World Health Organisation and UNSCLEAR. In both, the deaths for Chernobyl stand at around 50 with potentially 4000 in total. While that is bad and should it never of happened, the passage of time has shown all initial casualty estimates were massively wrong and are now only promoted by those who believe in some bizarre global "conspiracy". There is no European cancer epidemic from Chernobyl.

Fukushima, a disaster brought about by a 1000 year event resulted in three core melt downs and no radiation related deaths. In fact besides a couple of deaths from industrial style accidents (falling masonry) the only deaths associated with Fukushima were caused by the evacuation. Sadly today, after all the publicity and fear mongering most people have forgotten the tsunami which did kill 20,000 people and leave millions dispossessed.

In both these accidents most of the suffering and related deaths arise out of the panicked (and often needless) mass evacuations. In both cases the fear of radiation was much more lethal than the radiation itself.

But whatever. People died and land was evacuated.

I can appreciate people see that as a risk for future and existing nuclear projects. But what you must do is compare the nuclear risks to those from other Energy generation schemes. When this comparison is made nuclear (by far) comes out as the least dangerous method for generating power.

A few examples: (please google them)

Banquiao dam disaster 1976. Another 1000 year event. This time resulting in dam failure. Officially 198,000 people died. But that is the Chinese government official figure. I have seen plausible accounts that well in excess of half a million died. Thousands of square kilometres were not only evacuated, they were laid waste.

If that's a bit too third world for you, how about the Vijont dam disaster in Italy in 1963. Resulting in 2000 dead and the obliteration of several small towns and villages.

So, as a result of the Banquaio and Vijont disasters, should we drain all our dams? Should we not build any more? You know - just in case? After all if the Hoover dam failed the death toll has been predicted to be in excess of 6 million.

Then how about the 13000 dying each year in USA alone from the respiratory failure brought on by emissions from coal powered generation? Or maybe the thousand or so dying each year in energiewende Germany from Biomass emissions?

One final piece. Jim Hansen recently produced a peer reviewed paper detailing (with statistical rigour) how many deaths had been prevented by nuclear replacing other generation techniques. The figure currently stands at about 1.8 million. Google "Hansen nuclear" you'll find a whole raft of comment on this paper as well as the paper itself.