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Graph of the Day: Nuclear prices itself out of market

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The extent to which nuclear is being priced out of electricity markets has finally been revealed by the pricing mechanism unveiled by the British government in the deal to subsidise the Hinkley C nuclear.

The UK government will pay £92.5 for each megawatt hour produced from hinkley ($A154/MWh), around double the prevailing market price. This is after the UK supplied a loan guarantee for 65 per cent of the estimated $24 billion capital cost. The “strike price” – a fancy name for a feed in tariff – also has an escalator to take into account the impact of inflation, so the cost will rise in coming years.

So how does this compare with rival clean energy technologies? Pretty badly as it turns out.

This graph below, published by Craig Morris in Renewable Energy World reveals that the rates that will be offered for new nuclear from 2023 in the UK are far above what solar and wind currently cost. And, as Morris points out, the rates for solar and wind will go down by then, not up! Even offshore wind is getting £95/MWh from 2018 in the UK, but only for 15 years and without any loan guarantees.

nuclear fit

This second graph below is even more interesting. It takes into account all the expensive PV that was installed with really high feed in tariffs at the start of Germany’s energy transition before the price of solar fell dramatically. From 2023, when the Hinkley reactor is due to be switched on, nuclear at this price still fairs poorly, and as the cost of those tariffs continue to decline, the cost of nuclear will continue to rise. It’s probably as good an illustration as any as to why Germany are not interested in new nuclear power station, and few countries are.

nuclear fits

  

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  • RobS

    These numbers don’t even take into account the cost overruns that every new Nuclear project in the last 20 years has suffered from. Some projects have almost doubled in price by the end of the build, I know of none that have come in on budget. The only thing worse than projected nuclear economics are actual nuclear economcs. My guess is that these numbers are ~50% under the eventual costs.

    • Ben Heard

      “These numbers don’t even take into account the cost overruns that every new Nuclear project in the last 20 years has suffered from”.

      You have misunderstood. This is the price they get for the electricity sold. That’s it. Finished. If the wholesale price falls below that level they get that price. If it rises above that level they get that price. If they blow their build budget, they get that price.

      Secondly a great many plants have and are being built on time and on budget, including these same reactors by the Chinese consortium partner. We never hear about them.

      • Matthew Wright

        Yes and if they blow that build budget they will not build another one without government support.

        But hang-on, they already have government support in the form of a 65% loan guarantee which is massive for a nuclear plant which takes 1-2 decades to build.

        Meanwhile solar photovoltaic is on its way to 36cents a watt and with
        300% oversizing of solar arrays capacity factor can be increased by
        200%. It’s a cheap approach to capacity when the panels are cheap, and that’s before we look at cost trajectories for storage which are being driven by the motor industries.

      • Martin

        I might be wrong, Ben, but what I understand is that the two Chinese EPRs are of a different design than the two EPRs built in Finland and France and the ones being planned in the UK.

        More specifically, the two Chinese EPRs are closer to the original design which hasn’t been able to gain regulatory approval in the European countries mentioned because of safety concerns. Apparently, several of these safety concerns haven’t been addressed in the Chinese EPRs.

        • Ben Heard

          I know no better than that. This may be so.

      • AldivosTarril

        You have completely misunderstood what is happening. The strike price for nukes is guaranteed for 35 years, index linked, currently double the market rate. This is paid regardless of what the market price does – unless it exceeds the strike price then that higher price is paid.

        > “a great many plants have and are being built on time and on budget”

        The vast majority do not. Many projects are abandoned altogether at massive cost to consumers and taxpayers.

        > “including these same reactors by the Chinese consortium partner. We never hear about them.”

        Because that is not true. The Chinese EPR is seeing the same technical problems, massive cost and budget overruns.

        The EPR project in the UK has been described by economists as “economically insane”. This article clearly explains why.

        This nuke is being pushed on the British public, not because of any sane economic or technical reasons, but simply to maintain the nuke industry which is entrenched in the British state system – partly due to military connections, but largely because a small number of corrupt politicians will massively benefit from the transfer of wealth from consumers and taxpayers to private bank accounts.

        The project is effectively a failure before they even pour the first load of concrete. By the time it might come online in a decade or two, renewables will be massively cheaper so this nuke won’t have a market for its electricity. It would be funny if it weren’t for the devastating cost that will land on the British public.

  • David Osmond

    It is also interesting to note that the UK will need to build additional back-up generation as a result of building these Hinkley reactors. The network needs to be able to cope with the loss of its largest generators, and the new Hinkley reactors will be the largest. If these reactors suddenly & unexpectedly go offline, then the network needs to have back-up ready to fill the void. Thus, the UK needs to boost its levels of back-up capacity. It appears this cost is not included in the tarrif being paid to the nuclear generators.

    See: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/mar/27/renewable-energy-cost-nuclear-reactors

  • Ben Heard

    Giles, a few points.

    This would have seemed a logical place to compare the Hinkley development with the agreed strike prices in the UK for other low carbon technologies. That, surely, is the correct comparison? One that takes into account how all those technologies perform in the UK market? The chart would look quite different since, as you will see below, nuclear has the lowest strike price (which is not a fancy name for a feed in tariff. It’s quite different), and it will lower again to 89 pounds if the Sizewell project goes ahead.

    On-shore wind £95/MWh post 2017

    Off-shore wind £135/MWh for projects after 2018

    Biomass Conversion £105/MWh

    Large solar £125/MWh

    Hydro £95/MWh

    Secondly, wind “only gets 15 years” of the price because… the turbines are rated for a 25 year life. Hinkley will provide reliable clean power for at least 60 years.

    Thirdly, what is the point in comparing 3.2 GW of dispatchable installed generation with solar PV in Germany??? That truly is like saying a Siberian tiger is the same as 50 housecats, except in this case the house cats are asleep for at least 6 months of the year.

    It’s a pretty chart Giles and it illuminates precisely nothing about making sensible energy choices at this point. It has been tailor made for those who like things that reinforce their position of objection to nuclear power.

    All that said, I think this development is both good value and TOO EXPENSIVE as published here http://thebreakthrough.org/index.php/programs/energy-and-climate/the-lessons-of-hinkley-point-c/

    • Matthew Wright

      The two projects using the same reactor type are marred in controversy and have costs that have blown out in excess of 200%. When costs blowout by 200% it increases the Electricity by much more than 200% due to the cost of financing the project during the prolonged and protracted build. There is no reason why the same doubling (or more) of cost will not occur in the UK that has happened in Finland and France.

      Once we adjust for the inevitable massive cost blowout all renewables in the UK are cheaper prior to that date.

      If renewables were furnished with a 65% loan guarantee they would be much much cheaper than the prices you quote in the UK.

      Please give useful comparisons. Cherry picking again to tell a certain story are we?

      Here’s a bit about the controversy around the Finnish plant with everyone sueing everyone else.
      http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/C-Suppliers-raise-Olkiluoto-3-damages-claim-3110134.html

      • Ben Heard

        I would support loan guarantees to any proponent of any technology bringing on 3.2 GW of dispatchable clean energy in one hit. UK offshore wind has currently just over 3.6 GW installed across 22 separate projects, delivering around 8 TWh per year. Which is great. Hinkley C at 3.2 GW will deliver around 28 TWh per year. Which is great too. Point is, they are very different and are consequently treated differently.

        “Once we adjust for the inevitable massive cost blowout all renewables in the UK are cheaper prior to that date.” Finding “adjustments” to make renewables cheaper is not the same as them actually being cheaper.

        • RobS

          The adjustment is to the cost of the Hinkley plant for the inevitable cost overruns that every western nuclear build in the last two decades has suffered from. The planned budget has this almost 4 times more expensive than any other power plant in the UK and thats assuming no cost over run. This project is a joke in the industry.

          • Matthew Wright

            And if the build does blow out, probably doubling and the plant suffers massive losses. Guess who is mostly carrying the can as part of the inevitable write down? The government through the loan guarantee at 65% of the capital build cost.

          • Ben Heard

            “four times more expensive than any other power plant in the UK”.

            Can you clarify? Per GW installed? Compared to current new builds across technologies? Just four times more money?

    • RobS

      Those government cost estimates for renewables are absurd, they use a 3% annual solar cost reduction…it is currently falling faster than 20% per year. Their last estimates in 2008 for costs in 2020 were reached by 2012.

      As pointed out by myself and others in every western country that has built a reactor in the last 20 years the cost has blown out by between 50 and 200%, I guarantee you that EDF is not taking that risk on themselves, there will be contingency clauses in the contract for price blow outs. Its easy to build a nuclear plant on budget in China where the government turns a blind eye to what few regulatory requirements exist for a kickback.

      Talking about any part of this project being sensible is laughable. Peter Atherton, a leading UK energy analyst, described it like this;

      “We are frankly staggered that the UK Government thinks it is appropriate to take such a bet and under-write the economics of any power station that costs £5m per MW and takes 9 years to build.

      As far as we can see this makes Hinkley Point the most expensive power station in the world (excluding hydro schemes) on a per MW basis and also the plant with the longest construction period. By way of contrast, for the cost of £16 billion for the 3,200MW to be built the UK could build 27,000MW of new CCGT gas fired power stations solving the ‘energy crunch’ for a generation.

      Having considered the known terms of the deal, we are flabbergasted that the UK Government has committed future generations of consumers to the costs that will flow from this deal.”

      • Ben Heard

        They are not cost estimates. They are strike prices, negotiated to a level that is intended to balance the competing demands of attracting the necessary investment in large clean energy projects with high up-front capital and providing competetive power prices with certainty.

        Which means, if the costs were less, so would be the negotiated prices, because they would not need to be so high to attract the investment. It would have been in the interest of the Government to negotiate the lowest possible strike prices across all technologies. If project consortium get projects up and running with those technologies for good prices, happy days for them. They will do well under their strike price.

        Your energy analyst has compared it to how much gas they could build, which is entirely the point of this strike price process. In the absence of it, the UK would be building gas with low capital and high variable costs, instead of renwewable and nuclear with high capital and low variable costs, and greenhouse emissions would stay high as a result.

        • RobS

          They’re not negotiated strike prices, they are forward estimates of what the strike prices will be for wind and solar in 2020 and as I said their last estimate for 2020 costs was so overblown that it took 4 out of their expected 12 years to reach their expected strike price. The reason they are not negotiated strike prices is that no one needs to negotiate the cost of a solar project 8 years in advance like you do for nuclear because the average solar project takes less than 2 years to build so the Hinkley plant is competing not with current solar costs but with the cost of solar in 6-7 years at a time when solar costs are not falling 3% annually as the Government estimates peg them but by 20%+ per year. Those strike price estimates for solar will probably be less than half what you quote, just as current costs for solar are already ~30% below their 2008 strike price estimates for 2018.

          • Ben Heard

            Fair points. I’ll watch the process with interest. Hopefully the prices come down as you say and lots of investment comes along with it.

            Off-shore wind seems to have a great role to play. Regardless of price, do you think solar has much of a role for energy generation on a small, dark, crowded island?

          • RobS

            I think solar will have a role to play supplying summer peak demand. Solar and wind even on “small dark crowded islands” complement each other wonderfully. Solar also particularly suits distributed generation which suffers from no line losses, giving them a 5-10% advantage over other sources. I don’t think it will be a huge part of the mix but I think it has a role to play.

          • Ben Heard

            Yes, summer peak demand, I could see that. While the prices talk of “large” solar, I don’t think the UK will end up with much that is large compared to either off-shore wind or nuclear. That being the case, I doubt it will be complimentary to wind with 8 TWh per annum already! It will be a relatively small amount of electricity on sunny days.

          • RobS

            I think large scale solar is largely a fad. It suits contaminated ex industrial and obviously also current industrial and large commercial warehouse rooftops. However the use of greenfield sites for large scale solar seems nonsensical when you can put distributed solar on rooftops which has the advantages of having no additional “land costs”, no issues with transmission and distribution as all such buildings have power already and the generated power is used at the point of production.

          • Ben Heard

            Interesting.

            It’s been a pleasure and I learned some good stuff. Time to work. I’m easily found if you want to send me information. Cheers.

          • wideEyedPupil

            Isn’t UK same latitude as Germany?

          • JonathanMaddox

            There’s some overlap between southern England and northern Germany, but most German solar is deployed in Baden-Württemburg and Bavaria, further south than any part of the UK. And latitude isn’t all that counts — nowhere in the UK is far from the sea or even very far from the west coast, where the prevailing winds come from. Southern Germany is a long way inland and also quite elevated, so it’s much sunnier than eg. the French Atlantic seaboard at the same latitude.

    • juxx0r

      Or you could spend the same amount of CapEx and have 4.5 times the capacity in wind power and have it online 8 years sooner. Without the need for government guarantees on the loan, and this is in an environment of almost free money anyway due to government ‘stimulation’. If it can’t get up on it’s own without help in this environment then it’s clearly too expensive.

      • Ben Heard

        Do you mean generating capacity? Or electricity generated?

        I have shown below that 3.6 GW of generating capacity in offshore wind delivers 3-4 times less electricity than 3.2 GW of generating capacity nuclear. I am entirely supportive of both BTW.

        If the same money would deliver 4.5 times the electricity, sooner, I dare say that’s a no-brainer.

        • juxx0r

          IT is a no brainer, install more than what you need for when you need it and do it for less cost 8 years sooner.
          With future storage, this nuclear plant is like shooting yourself in the foot and that is without taking the financial risks into consideration.

          • wideEyedPupil

            Or considering the environmental danger that mining yellow cake results in. Or the terrorist target it presents. (Okay I probably shouldn’t mention terrorism I’m sick of the autocratic powers that be using it as an excuse for everything bad they do 🙂 )

    • AldivosTarril

      > “compare the Hinkley development with the agreed strike prices in the UK for other low carbon technologies.”

      Do you think those single numbers you quote are indicative of the true and final cost?

      Why are you ignoring the £10 billion loan guarantee handed to the nuke?

      Why are you ignoring the time for which those strike prices are paid?

      Why are you ignoring the fact that renewable strike prices are being ratcheted down in the coming years?

      Economists have described this proposed nuke as “economically insane”. That’s because they have not ignored all the factors that you have.

      > “3.2 GW of dispatchable installed generation”

      Nukes are not “dispatchable”. They are constant, always-on generators. They are not compatible with a grid of distributed clean energy generators.

      > “reinforce their position of objection to nuclear power.”

      You seem to be desperately reinforcing your love of nukes by ignoring all inconvenient facts.

      > “thebreakthrough.org”

      Anything that gets accepted for publication at that ‘free’ market ‘think tank’ can safely be ignored. It’s just another propaganda outfit, working for polluting industries.

      • wideEyedPupil

        NUkes aren’t always on. Their capacity factor is lower than wind, much lower.

  • Ben Heard

    Comments seem quick to get the knives out on me…

    Perhaps a couple of clarifications. I support all clean technology and energy efficiency. That’s not just rhetoric. It’s part of how I make a living.

    I also think this plant is TOO DAMN EXPENSIVE and I went to the trouble of writing about it on my blog, republished here http://thebreakthrough.org/index.php/programs/energy-and-climate/the-lessons-of-hinkley-point-c/

    The problem I take is that this post, and the chart, are being far from honest brokers of information in a way that might help inform smart decisions about energy investments. It’s just set up to feed pre-existing opposition to nuclear energy and that’s really unhelpful.

    • RobS

      Yes but your quoting of future estimates of renewable prices without acknowledging how absurdly overblown those estimates have been every time they are made is similarly a far from honest way to present information. None of your other comments have indicated you felt this buld was way too expensive, this comment “I would support loan guarantees to any proponent of any technology bringing on 3.2 GW of dispatchable clean energy in one hit.” certainly seems to indicate you have no problems with the economics of this project or the Government taking on the board the majority of the financial risks of the project on the taxpayers behalf.

      • Ben Heard

        As indicated below, I appreciate what you have brought regarding those prices, so I’ll leave that be.

        My very first comment said “TOO EXPENSIVE”. Perhaps you did not make it that far.

        I have plenty of problems with the economics of this project. Perhaps not the ones you think. Read my linked article if you are interested in my thoughts. Yes, we need to build clean energy and loads of it. Yes, if Governments need to guarantee loans for that, that’s ok by me though far from ideal, and the technology is irrelevant. I wonder whether anyone here would care if the guarantee was for 3.2 GW of UK solar with enough storage that it performed with the dispatchability of a nuclear plant. It would be so expensive up-front, there is no way the capital would be raised without a govt guarantee.

        • RobS

          I saw the phrase “I think this development is both good value and TOO EXPENSIVE” it’s hardly unambiguous about your overall thoughts on the project, thank you for clarifying it.

          • Ben Heard

            No problem. I believe “good value” and “too expensive” are perfectly capable of co-existing. They mean different things.

          • RobS

            I’d love to hear an explanation of that, my interpretation is that things are either too cheap or undervalued, good value, or too expensive and therefore overvalued.

          • Ben Heard

            You sucked me back in…

            Example: I consider my Thermomix to be great value. There is little question that it is too expensive were the intention to get one in every kitchen.

            I consider Hinkley good value. Reliable price for reliable clean power, for 60+ years, on a tiny amount of land. It is also too expensive if the intention is to have a major role in replacing and displacing coal and gas at a global scale.

            In your lexicon, that might be a situation of “under-valued” from the point of view of someone who cares a lot about cutting emissions and providing reliable energy.

            I prefer “too expensive”. This speaks to the reality that we do not value things very well, we do have a short term system that favours low capital investment, we do live in liberal democracies where “cheaper is preferable” is one of the few enduring consensuses particularly compared to “climate change is urgent”! We just need to make clean energy cheaper than dirty energy, instead of expecting consensus on making dirty energy more expensive.

            Nuclear is too expensive. Sadly, so is solar, wind…

          • Martin

            Ben,

            Could you expand a bit on your statement that nuclear delivers reliable and clean power?

            How reliable is nuclear power really when, for example, the complete nuclear power fleets of three countries (Japan, Belgium and the Netherlands) recently were off-line simultaneously and for prolonged periods due to safety issues?

            How clean is nuclear power really if you look at the trail of contamination from uranium mining and enrichment to nuclear fuel use and waste?

            And how clean could nuclear power really be when even the Nuclear Insurance Pools “exclude the risk of radioactive contamination” because of “the potentially catastrophic exposure to Insurers’ existing portfolios”?

          • Ben Heard

            Would you source the remarks about Belgium’s nuclear fleet? I am aware that two of seven reactors were taken off-line due to concerns then restarted with no concerns and no repairs required.

            Would you source the remark about the Netherlands? Their “complete fleet” is a single power reactor and I am not aware of a prolonged shut down for safety concerns.

            It’s very, very clean per unit energy generated, across the whole nuclear cycle. That’s not something I will convince anyone of in a comment thread however if you have a more specific question go ahead and ask.

            The insurance pool issue is a good question. The high level of concern about radiation pollution traces origins to the very beginning of nuclear power where it was a very novel power source, poorly understood by most (not much has changed there). Expectations above and beyond other industries were imposed from the very start. We live with that today. That’s one reason nuclear power is the safest power source per unit energy produced except for wind. This perceived high risk was reinforced principally on the experience of Chernobyl which I would regard as a poor basis for making a decision about anything. Fukushima is a better yardstick. There, the picture is mixed. It was about as serious a f*ck up as could be imagined; a triple meltdown with total loss of power and radiation release. The radiological health risk, to date and ongoing, is so low it will never be detectable above the noise of normal living. It caused a big, big problem. It has not caused anything close to the harm of the fossil fuels that have replaced it.

            Radiation risk is something that is taken very, very seriously with some high profile failures. The comparative risk of coal is not. There is no insurance to draw upon for the health impacts of particulate pollution, heavy metal pollution, fly ash, slag, mining wash etc. That’s not because they are safe. To the contrary, they do tremendous harm. It’s because they are not spectacular and we accept the harm as Business As Usual.

            Fossil particulate pollution causes 2 million deaths of there about per year, 13,000 in the US alone.

            Can you imagine insuring for pollution that causes 13,000 deaths when something is in PERFECT WORKING ORDER??? Impossible.

            Here’s a really simple answer to the question “how clean?”. It has no chimney!

          • Martin

            Thanks for your corrections regarding the Dutch and Belgian fleets. The Dutch nuclear plant at Borssele was feared to have the same problems as two Belgian units, but was only taken offline on 19 September of this year for an unrelated issue. In Belgium it was indeed one unit at each location that was offline for a prolonged period of time, not all units at both locations. In Japan, I think, it is still 50+ units offline of 50+ units in total.

            A quick search shows many more instances of unscheduled stoppages of nuclear reactors, most if not all safety related. Some recent examples:

            “Asia’s fourth-largest economy [South Korea] faces severe power shortages this winter and next summer due to nuclear plants that have been shut amid a safety scandal that started late last year”

            “Unit six at Bulgaria’s Kozloduy nuclear power station was taken offline again for a second time in three days on October 30 [..] The decision was prompted by a loss of power in the reactor power control systems.”

            “Britain currently has nine reactors offline with a combined capacity of more than 5,000 MW, or around half of the country’s total nuclear capacity.”

            “In a new setback for the U.S. nuclear power industry, Edison International said Friday that it would permanently close two reactors at its San Onofre plant in California, ending a contentious battle over whether the units could be repaired and operated safely [..].”

            These examples do not make a case for exceptional reliability of nuclear power, I’d say.

            About nuclear power being clean you write: “Here’s a really simple answer to the question “how clean?”. It has no chimney!”

            With all respect, but I think that answer is so simple as to not be a serious answer at all.

          • Ben Heard

            Martin, thanks for the response.

            Nuclear power provides over 10% of global electricity, reliably. Not perfectly, reliably, in a similar way as fossil fuels and without the pollution. The bulk of the reactor fleet is aging. There will be problems. Making perfect the enemy of good is a trap that will warm the planet whether applied to off shore wind or nuclear.

            As to it being safe and clean it is both. If you need more than I have given you will find ample well referenced pieces at my blog Decarbonise SA. Happy to take specific question there. My job is not to literally convince others. No one did that for me.

          • wideEyedPupil

            We do not accept the pollution from coal power plants as acceptable at all. It;s just that fossil fuels has its influence over almost every state and federal MP in this country. They just have to threaten hand $1M to an electoral opponent in some seat and the sitting member buckles very time. Martin Ferguson is their flag bearer.

            A 15 minute film on the negative effects of coal and gas in this country “The Human Cost of Power”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2V3cJChRj5k

          • wideEyedPupil

            “ The radiological health risk, to date and ongoing, is so low it will never be detectable above the noise of normal living. It caused a big, big problem. It has not caused anything close to the harm of the fossil fuels that have replaced it.”

            Oh yeah? I have an app on my phone that I can see the real time levels and they are still well higher than background levels. If the wind had have been blowing towards Tokyo and not out to sea then an evacuation of Tokyo was to occur and deaths would may well have occurred just due to the ensuing panic, as for exposure it would have been very serious indeed.

            http://blog.safecast.org/maps/

            We have no idea how bad the concentrations of radioactive waste are in the pacific ocean accept for a few indications that wildlife is absent in places and showing levels 50 times ‘normal’ levels (results of superpowers testing nukes in the Pacific for two decades).

            http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-05-26/greenpeace-finds-radioactive-sea-life-off-japan/2732786

          • Ben Heard

            You have an app? What, a real app? Like, on your phone and everything?

            Well, I take it all back then.

            People either attend to the findings of the expert bodies on these matters or they are akin to climate change deniers rejecting the findings of the IPCC.

          • wideEyedPupil

            Of all my comments refuting your assertion you choose this one and offer us Dad jokes/sarcasm?

            If you had bothered to check the link you will see sources for the maps include:

            Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) (Japan)[background radiation maps]
            NNSA [µSv/h]
            USGS/GSC NURE [µSv/h]
            NNSA 2011-06-30 [µSv/h]
            NNSA Cessium [MBq/m²]
            NURE Uranium
            NOAA Global Radiance
            Geoscience Australia [µSv/h]

            Heard of any of those institutions?

            Plus the Japanese government uses Safecast’s own API and data to produce it’s own maps.

            Safecast was created 1 week after the 3/11 Japan earthquake. The Japanese government was in full denial mode at the time and no Government public health advisories were trustworthy. By fusing mobile geiger counters around Arduino data loggers the hacker community was able to start getting a picture of likely exposure levels across the country. Fixing the devices to cars that drive all of Japan’s roads testing the road surfaces they were able to build detailed and broad data sets, in addition to the many devices individuals carry from location to location.

            The work was so successful that theJapanese government was forced to replicate the design of the system and now provides data to SafeCast too.

            The point of it being an app was real time data. Comparing me to a CC denier was pretty pathetic rhetoric too. Given the hundreds of pro bono hours I’ve donated to Climate Change solutions this year alone it’s a very pointless comparison that reflects your desperation for something resembling a point. But snigger away as you leave rationality behind.

          • Ben Heard

            Fair enough. Sarcasm achieves little. Chalk it up to
            frustration. Perhaps you will be honest enough to acknowledge that you have not been seeking discussion in a genuine way with all those comments you correctly observe I did not even bother to respond to. Martin and RobS appear to disagree with me in part or in full yet can engage productively. I suspect all have learned something, I know I have. If you would like to engage productively, please do. I can normally find the time. Those who want to sound off can do it to the silence of the internet.

            So, consider this genuine.

            When these people http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/10665/78218/1/9789241505130_eng.pdf
            or these people http://www.unscear.org/unscear/en/fukushima.html
            or these people http://www.ipcc.ch/ prepare a report and hand down findings, do you expect they do it in possession of more, the same or less expertise than you and I and whatever apps we may have?

            If I quote them, then people ignore the report and bring
            back whatever argument or data they have dug up, I will use the comparison with climate change denial freely, because that’s what it is: a refusal to acknowledge and give due respect to the work and findings of our scientific experts.
            If the comparison stung, all the more for your admirable commitment of your own time to climate change, good. There was plenty of pain before I got my head straight enough to put science and outcomes ahead of ideologies.

            Some gentlemen you probably respect a great deal more than I wrote you a letter this week. I hope you will read it and take a pause for a little introspection. It will make you a bigger person than many if you do. http://www.cnn.com/2013/11/03/world/nuclear-energy-climate-change-scientists-letter/index.html

          • wideEyedPupil

            You shifted the goal posts: your Thermomix — great value to a connoisseur/foodie with money to spare, single purcahse. Thermomix for entire population — too expensive because many can’t afford them/have no desire for them.

            So what is your proposition around Nuclear energy: cool and possibly dangerous tech must be built because centralised power and mining resources are implicitly good? Or is the question: does nuclear power represent a good return on investment for a country to meet a proposed energy demand scenario?

            I think if your question is the latter you will come to the conclusion that at present and in the foreseeable future nuclear power plants are *very* expensive and fairly poor value for exactly identical reasons. Which is why only governments can build them and insurers will not insure them 🙂

          • wideEyedPupil

            Sophist’s United Party!

        • wideEyedPupil

          Do you acknowledge the damage to the environment the mining of yellowcake does? One Uranium mine in Australia alone uses as much water in a year as the city of Melbourne. This is causing desert oases that have existed as long as Aboriginal lore can say (let’s say at least 40,000 years) to go dry for the first time. Not good for the species that depend on them. Not good for our country.

          And then there is the self-reporting of breaches that see GigaLitres of settling pond water with radioactive and other heavy metal toxins washed into pristine habitats like Kakadu National Park.And the self-reporting usually doesnt happen at all unless someone happens to be in the middle of nowhere and notices the breach.