A call for Action: toward a nuclear free world


English: Anti nuclear power movement's Smiling...

 

Introduction:

 

 

 

The AEPF9 Final Declaration calls the ASEM governments to build a nuclear free world. On “Sustainable Energy Production and Use”, the 5th  “Key Recommendation” states:  “Commit to progressing, with urgency, to a nuclear power free world. This will require decommissioning existing nuclear power stations, stopping the development of planned power stations and taking forward alternatives.”

 

 

 

During Vientiane AEPF9, an “AEPF No-Nuke Circle” was launched to act on this issue. Workshop participants came from nine Asian and European countries. Representatives of networks from other countries supported this initiative, even if they could not be present at the workshop because of simultaneously held meetings.

 

 

 

The following statement – the « Call for Action » – explains why we engage ourselves in the fight for a nuclear free word.

 

 

 

This statement can be endorsed by organizations, networks and individuals.

 

 

 

For endorsement, please write to: prousset68@gmail.com

 

 

 

—————————————-

 

 

 

 

 

At a time when the some of the advanced industrialized countries of North America, Europe and Japan have decided to phase out completely their nuclear energy programmes or reduce their dependence on nuclear energy for electricity production, the main markets for North American, European, Russian and Japanese suppliers of nuclear equipment are in Asia. China and India are the two countries with the most ambitious plans for expanding nuclear power generation. Many other countries are reconsidering or abandoning their plans to start nuclear power production.

 

To bring about an end to nuclear energy programmes in Asia and Europe more than ever do we need a coordinated campaign among civil society activists and groups not only in the different countries of Asia but also similar alliances with civil society counterparts in Europe where popular disillusionment and opposition to nuclear energy has sometimes been successful in making governments change their nuclear power policies.

 

The AEPF therefore is an ideal venue for developing such a coordinated campaign. What follows is a statement of basic arguments for opposing nuclear energy in favour of environmentally appropriate use of renewable energy sources.

 

 

 

Our Stand

 

 

 

The promise’’ of nuclear energy in the 1950s which led to the development of civilian nuclear programmes for electricity generation in numerous countries around the world has been completely belied. Indeed, in the eyes of one expert Amory Lovins, the performance worldwide of civilian nuclear energy programmes has revealed it to be perhaps the single greatest failure of the industrial age! After over 60 years of experience the case against nuclear energy especially given its safety record is now overwhelming. The main arguments can be summed up under six basic categories – too little, too late, too secretive, too centralised, too expensive, too dangerous.

 

 

 

Too Little

 

Nuclear energy constitutes an ever declining proportion of world electricity generation whether measured in terms of capacity or output. It now accounts for less than 12% of world output. Of the world’s 430 odd existing reactors, even as some old reactors are having their life spans dangerously extended, considerably more reactors will be shut down over the next two decades than will be built. The proportion of electricity generated by nuclear power will go down even further. In 2009 the installed capacity in energy generation with “new” renewable sources (excluding large hydropower) worldwide surpassed nuclear power capacity for the first time. Since then the gap has got increasingly wider. Nuclear power isnot the energy of the future! The claims made of a nuclear renaissance are false.

 

 

 

Too Late

 

The most recent and popular argument being made to promote the nuclear power industry is that it is a clean energy source and crucial for addressing the problem of global warming. However, nuclear power is not and cannot be clean given the long lasting and highly dangerous radioactive wastes it generates for which there is no long term safe storage process and for which short term storage processes cannot but carry some level of risk of unforeseeable and possible leakages  due to circumstances/events/developments beyond control.

 

While it is true that nuclear reactors do not directly generate carbon emissions, the whole “nuclear fuel cycle”—from uranium mining to fuel fabrication to building, running and maintaining reactors, and managing and storing/reprocessing their  wastes — produces a substantial amount of carbon dioxide. Therefore the eventual saving or carbon abatement from nuclear power is much less than from most renewable sources although it is more than from fossil fuel burning. However, even such a saving does not make it worthwhile to go in for nuclear power plants since the opportunity costs are so huge and the period of construction (usually 10 to 13 years)  is so long that if the same amount of money was spent for establishing renewable energy sources, the amount of carbon emissions saved would not only be much greater but – and this is very important – the savings would take place much more quickly. Some expert studies conclude that for nuclear energy to make a significant dent in carbon emissions we would need to build close to one plant every fortnight for the next ten years!

 

 

Too Secretive

 

Given both its inherent dual-use character, i.e., its military potential in terms of generating fissile materials for bomb-making and the risks of leakages at various points in the construction and running of plants and in waste disposal, all civilian nuclear programmes are unavoidably far more secretive than is the case in other industries. All industries are subject to what organisation theorist Charles Perrow calls “normal accidents”. The nuclear industry is no exception. Full transparency about such events would undoubtedly raise great concerns and opposition among the population at large and be highly detrimental to the credibility of all those involved in preserving the nuclear programme – suppliers, operators, governments. The very nature of the industry demands that it must institutionalise deeply undemocratic mechanisms of non-transparency and non-accountability with respect to the wider public.

 

 

 

Too Centralised

 

Nuclear power only makes some sense if its role is connected to a highly centralised system of electricity generation and distribution and use which also means significant distribution and transmission losses, i.e accepted inefficiencies. For most developing and developed countries the only sensible approach is to develop a strongly decentralised system of energy production and use alongside existing grid systems since such a decentralised approach is both cheaper and far more compatible with the use of renewable energy sources and local surpluses in electricity generation can be fed into a network of local and regional grids and even into the national grid. Thus, renewable energies are creating many more jobs than nuclear.

 

 

 

Too Expensive

 

The full costs of nuclear power generation and distribution from the beginning of the fuel cycle to the end of waste disposal and storage are never properly calculated. Indeed, governments from France to Japan to others have always provided open or hidden subsidies of one kind or the other. Among the costs usually excluded in part or full from “levellised costs” or the cost per kilowatt hour produced by nuclear power plants, are the following: a) the cost of decommissioning the plant when its life span is over which is maybe one-third to one-half of the cost of construction itself. b) Not adding the costs, howsoever discounted over a prolonged period, of waste management and storage. c) The ‘real’ financing cost including interest payments made on borrowed capital and other charges associated with long construction periods. d) Costs are fast rising with new security requirements – and if they were not, it would mean that security is traded off against profits. c) The cost of insurance against accidents (including huge premium costs) if liability is absolute (as it should be) and of creating contingency funds for accidents causing economic, ecological and health damage.

 

Yet despite the partial or total exclusion of these elements, the costs stated by industry and publicised by the media are everywhere still higher than all other forms of energy production by fossil fuels and with most renewables. Even the most expensive of alternative energy sources today, namely solar energy, is already lower than the levellised costs of nuclear power in many scenarios and steady technical and scientific improvements are making solar energy progressively cheaper over time compared to nuclear power. The opportunity costs of nuclear energy are prohibitively uneconomical. This is the single most important reason why the private sector will not go in for nuclear power without assured subsidies and liability caps guaranteed by governments.

 

 

 

Too Dangerous

 

There are five kinds of dangers actual or potential.

 

1)      The release of ionising radiation and dangerous isotopes bound up with each step of the nuclear fuel cycle, endangering people in various countries from uranium mining to waste storage. These are invisible poisons, which produce cancers and genetic damage and against which there is no defence or cure.

 

2)      There is the insoluble problem of waste disposal. Present problems and dangers of waste disposal are partly rationalised by the pro-nuclear lobby as the other side of the coin of present benefits and services. But for future generations there are only the problems and dangers and no presumed benefits and services. Nuclear power is poisoning the earth.

 

3)      Accidents are normal in all industries. Consequences small or big always follow. But nuclear power is the sole mode of energy generation in the world, which is vulnerable to catastrophic accidents with enormous and unacceptable consequences. The health and environmental effects of nuclear accidents are of such a nature that they must be deemed unacceptable, although the scale of incidence can vary from small to big. Even if as claimed the probability of a major accident is low it is never zero and no one can give a precise measure of how low. But the consequences of a major accident are beyond measure and simply incalculable. Even absolute liability only means that the culprits behind the accidents will lose money while the actual victims of such accidents are innocent others who have to pay with their health and lives!

 

4)      Nuclear plants are potential targets for conventional assaults by state or non-state actors, and vulnerable to sabotage with huge consequences.

 

5)      The actual or potential military-related dual-use possibilities of civilian programmes means that if the world is serious about wanting to move towards complete disarmament of nuclear weapons then this must require the complete elimination of all civilian nuclear power programmes as well. As long as civilian nuclear power programmes exist, the threat of nuclear weapons proliferation exists.

 

 

 

The countries of Asia and Europe must give up on all or any civilian nuclear power programmes. Where such plants and fuel cycle activities exist, they should be phased out as quickly as possible never to be revived. Nuclear plants can be reconverted wherever possible into other environmentally friendly facilities for productive and employment generating activities.

 

 

 

AEPF initiative on nuclear industry will be articulated with ongoing campaigns for nuclear disarmament and for an overall socially and environmentally appropriate policy on energy.

 

 

 

AEPF “No-Nuke” Circle

 

 

 

For endorsement by organizations, networks and individuals, please write to: prousset68@gmail.com

 

The myths in power generation


E. A. S. Sarma

Power problems are attributed to shortage in generation capacity, not inefficiencies in the supply chain.

From thermal power generation to end-use appliances, energy inefficiency can be reduced. — Raju V

From thermal power generation to end-use appliances, energy inefficiency can be reduced. — Raju V
Distance Energy Courses – Apply, Study & Get Certified Online 1yr PG Diploma & Certificate Course
www.MITSDE.com/DECRecognisedCourse

 

It is a myth that increase in per capita energy consumption measures “development”. The Integrated Energy Policy (IEP) report of the Planning Commission projects the energy needs of the country on the premise that GDP growth and the increase in energy needs are closely correlated.

IPE uses “elasticity coefficients” to estimate future energy needs. Is it a reliable basis?

In his path-breaking book Soft Energy Paths-Towards a durable peace, Amory B. Lovins (1977) provided the following insights into the way the per capita primary energy consumption levels in Denmark varied over the last five centuries.

Denmark’s per capita primary energy use evidently declined between 1500 and 1900, not because of any negative economic growth but on account of the combined effect of a shift in the fuel base and the improvements in efficiency.

The increase in the per capita primary energy use between 1900 and 1975 and the decline between 1975 and 2004 were the compound outcomes of the growth in Denmark’s GDP, the fuel shifts and the efficiency improvements.

These trends show that the per capita energy use is not necessarily linked exclusively to the rate of increase of GDP.

What matters in terms of the quality of life is the per capita useful energy use, not per capita gross energy use, as the latter hides the inefficiencies down the supply chain of electricity from the generation station to the end-use appliance.

THERMAL-HYDEL MISMATCH

The other myth is that “electricity development” is synonymous with “setting up new generation projects”. The end product of electricity is different in different sectors. It is luminosity in lighting, lifting water in irrigation, turning the wheel in industry, circulation of wind in fans and space cooling in air-conditioning. The energy required for this can come from a new MW based on a renewable or a non-renewable resource or from a saved MW through efficiency improvement.

In other words, setting up a new generation project is one among the several alternatives available and it may not be the most optimal from the point of view of cost and long-term sustainability.

If the unit cost is high, the poor cannot access electricity. If the resource is non-renewable, energy security is threatened. The challenge, therefore, lies in choosing the alternative that ensures an affordable cost and long-term sustainability.

Our electricity system is based primarily on large projects generating electricity that is conveyed over long distances to remotely located consumers through an extensive system of transmission and distribution (T&D) network. The investment we have made in T&D has not kept pace with the investment in generation.

As a result, more than one-third of the generated electricity is lost in T&D and the electricity finally supplied to the consumer is of poor quality.

Within the generation sector itself, the investment we have made in peak-load hydro generation has not kept pace with the investment we have made in base-load thermal projects, causing an unhealthy imbalance.

EXPENSIVE POWER

It is an expensive way to provide electricity to the consumers whose cumulative demand has diurnal and seasonal variation. Thermal generation (coal, combined-cycle gas, nuclear) can best cater to the steady component of the demand, whereas the peaking stations (largely storage hydro) can optimally meet the peak load.

As a result of the imbalance in thermal-hydro mix, the thermal capacity, though available, is not utilised fully and the shortfall in peaking capacity has resulted in peak-time shortages that have crippled the economy.

These distortions have imposed a heavy cost burden on the consumer who is not only forced to pay for the high T&D losses but also forced to invest on voltage stabilisers and inverters.

The high cost barrier has stood in the way of electricity reaching the poor. No wonder that it is usually the existing affluent consumers who use highly inefficient electric appliances and grab most of the additional electricity generated in the country. Meanwhile, the poor seem to remain where they are!

Between 2001 and 2011, the country added 85,000 MW of new capacity. The number of rural households who had no access to electricity in 2001 was 7.5 crore. In 2011, it was 7.8 crore! Similarly, in 2001, the number of urban households who had no access to electricity was 0.6 crore. It increased to 0.7 crore in 2011!

DISPLACEMENT EFFECTS

We have a spacious building constructed recently in Visakhapatnam, standing majestically in the salubrious environment of the beach. It is sealed on all sides with heavily tinted glass, letting in neither natural light nor fresh wind. It uses hundreds of inefficient electric lamps to illuminate within and a large number of heavy duty ACs to cool the space. It is a veritable energy guzzler.

If we mine coal with 100 units of heat value to start with, at the end of the supply chain that feeds into an incandescent lamp, the luminosity we get is equivalent to 0.39 units of the original heat energy. The rest, i.e. 91.61 per cent of the original heat energy of coal, is wasted. If we can double the efficiency of the lamp, we can do with coal of 50 units of heat value and reduce displacement of people by 50 per cent!

The corresponding savings in the generation capacity would have avoided the displacement of people at the site of the generation project by 50 per cent. Going one step farther, if we replace the conventional lamp by a solar PV-based LED, we can avoid coal mining altogether and do away with displacement of people at both the coal mine and the thermal power project.

Prayas, in its Discussion Paper on Thermal Power plants on the Anvil – Implications and need for rationalisation, pointed out in August, 2011, that 7,01,802 MW of coal and gas power plants had either been cleared or about to be cleared by the Ministry of Environment & Forests (MOEF) and they were most likely to be set up during the next few years!

This worked out to thrice the capacity addition required to meet the needs of the high-renewable, high-efficiency scenario for the year 2032 projected by the Planning Commission’s Integrated Energy Policy (IEP) study.

This will pre-empt all efforts to remove the existing imbalance in the thermal-hydro mix and compound the problems of both peak-time shortages and the high cost of electricity.

Prayas’ study further reveals that these capacity additions are largely concentrated in areas that are already categorised as “critically polluted industrial clusters” by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).

Plants of 30,470 MW and 24,380 MW capacity will come up in two districts of Chattisgarh, namely, Janjgir-Champa and Raigarh respectively, followed by 22,700 MW within 10 km of Krishnapatnam Port in Nellore district in AP.

In the districts of Rewa, Sonbhadra, Sidhi and Allahabad on MP-UP border, plants of 51,218 MW will come up in close proximity!

The capacity additions proposed include projects that are located in precious wetlands, irrigated tracts and fragile regions rich in biodiversity. The social costs imposed by such projects far exceed the social benefits.

(The author is former Union Power Secretary.)

Excerpts from the recent Girish Sant Memorial Lecture, organised by Prayas, Pune.

(This article was published on February 24, 2013)

 

Interesting stats about nuclear power plants in India #mustshare


The performance of the operational nuclear reactors in India.

It is very easy to project great amounts of power generation,

but the ground reality is different as you can see in this chart compiled by  

Anuj wankhede

plants

Dr. Srinivasan, Half Truths Can Never Tell the Real Story


FROM- WWW.DIANUKE.ORG

Anuj Wankhede

A concerned, educated Indian who does not take paintings at face value.

In a recent Business Standard article, Mr. M.R. Srinivasan – former Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission makes a case for nuclear power in India.

I dare him to a debate.

Half truths cannot ever tell the real story.

The fact of the matter is that, what when you talk of a 1000MW project, all nuclear plants in India operate at average 60% capacity utilization (mostly 40%).

To create that sort of combined wind and solar project, it will not take more than two years. Gujrat did it recently and there is no reason other states cannot. Note that this year itself wind energy contribution in Tamil Nadu is at a historic high.

To state that wind does not always blow and the sun does not always shine is an argument unbecoming of a scientist. Obviously he knows better, because the sun does not shine at night and life goes on because of ‘stored’ energy!

Mr. Srinivasan says it it not impossible to transport coal, it is only difficult. Why are we only looking for easy answers? Is that become our psyche that we can no longer think of alternatives, just because they are difficult?

Transporting coal from Neyveli in Tamil Nadu to U.P. for power generation is not cheap – it is correct only because politics deems it to be. Have you considered the Transmission and Distribution (T&D) losses and ways to plug these criminal wastages? Or are they too difficult.

For every solution given to the Atomic Energy Board, things are either too difficult or politically inconvenient.

The only convenient thing is to put thousands of innocent lives at risk.

There are many other facts that can be discussed, Mr.Scientist.

And even I – as a layman – will counter them.

I dare you to a debate, Sir.

CONTACT- benchmark.anuj@gmail.com

Archives

Kractivism-Gonaimate Videos

Protest to Arrest

Faking Democracy- Free Irom Sharmila Now

Faking Democracy- Repression Anti- Nuke activists

JAPA- MUSICAL ACTIVISM

Kamayaninumerouno – Youtube Channel

UID-UNIQUE ?

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 6,234 other followers

Top Rated

Blog Stats

  • 1,767,597 hits

Archives

December 2019
M T W T F S S
« Jun    
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
3031  
%d bloggers like this: