Please Reconsider

By DeusExMacintosh

Japan and Turkey sign nuclear deal

The Turkish government has signed a deal with a Japanese-French consortium to build a new nuclear power station.

The $22bn (£14bn) contract is Japan’s first successful bid for an overseas nuclear project since a tsunami wrecked the Fukushima power station.

The deal was signed by visiting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said it would transform relations with Japan into a “strategic partnership”.

“What happened at Fukushima upset all of us. But these things can happen. Life goes on. Successful steps are being taken now with the use of improved technology,” the Turkish prime minister added.

The deal comes as part of renewed efforts to promote Japanese nuclear technologies abroad, despite concerns over safety.

One of the Japanese firms included in the consortium is Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, one of the companies behind the Fukushima plant damaged in the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

Turkey is also prone to earthquakes, and the government cited Japan’s expertise in earthquake protection as one of the factors in signing the deal.

BBC News


  1. Posted May 7, 2013 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    Exactly Dem. We should follow Turkeys lead and reconsider our stupid anti-nuclear energy policies.

    We have abundant supplies of Uranium which we are now willing to sell to the world, but we are not willing to use the same resources for our own energy consumption.

    We have political parties which want reduced CO2 production and Nuclear energy is the only way you can provide cheap base load power without producing extra CO2.

    We have a country that is geograghically benign and therefore less likely to need the same level of earthquake protection that Japan and Turkey need.

    We should begin installation of Nuclear energy facilities ASAP.

  2. kvd
    Posted May 7, 2013 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

    Henry2, you forgot the 🙂 Here’s one of mine I’ll lend you: 🙂

  3. Posted May 10, 2013 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

    We want to reduce CO2, but not in any way that will cost anyone any money.

    Nuclear Power is still more expensive than coal. Until that is no longer true, I doubt you’ll see any Australian nuclear plants.

  4. Posted May 12, 2013 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    You are right Yobbo but its far far cheaper than wind or solar and we are happy to worship the gods with those little morsels of faith.

  5. Mel
    Posted May 12, 2013 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    There is a hole in your argument, dear Henry.

  6. kvd
    Posted May 12, 2013 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

    From Mel’s link:

    It’s important to note that while AEMO found ….. There would be far greater variability in supply than occurs presently and the need for substantially larger amounts of spare capacity.

    Also it would represent a major step-up in cost compared to our current high polluting system. However it’s hard to say whether it would be noticeably more expensive than an alternative low carbon or moderately carbon-intensive system that made greater use of fossil fuels or nuclear, because such an alternative wasn’t modelled.….It’s also worth noting that there’s some excess energy spilled in the middle of the day on Tuesday and Saturday due to an inability to completely align demand and supply

    So that all sounds quite/very promising Henry – provided you are into rainbow coloured unicorns, except on a Tuesday. (Or any Saturday)

  7. Posted May 12, 2013 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

    On reading your link I see no holes. In my original comment @ #1 I emphasised

    Cheap base load power

    and from your link it is glaringly obvious that cheap wasn’t in their remit.
    In fact, Ill see your link and raise you another couple. They are both from BraveNewClimate which is hosted by Barry Brook.

    The first is his review of renewable energy limits which includes this

    …even if renewable energy can manage to maintain various niche energy supply roles in the future, it won’t meet most of the current or future power demand. So niche applications or not, renewables are peripheral to the big picture…

    The second is his post in response to the study you linked to which includes this

    It seems that the emissions reduction targets by 2050 can be achieved using nuclear power to replace coal at less than half the capital cost of a 100 per cent renewable system without increasing electricity prices.

    And kvd 🙂

  8. Mel
    Posted May 12, 2013 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

    Barry Brook is a well known nuclear advocate whereas AEMO has no skin in this game. You’ll need to better than that, Henry.

    We know from plenty of historical examples that nuclear schemes always cost way more than industry estimates, presumable in large part because they are complex.

    Nuclear is also inherently statist as nuke isn’t possible without special regulations to deal with the insurance problem. That is to say, the State and the taxpayer must always take on much of the risk of something going wrong.

    You also fail to note this from my link:

    If you dig further the study finds that the wholesale electricity price required to support the 100 per cent renewable energy system would be $111 to $133 per megawatt-hour. This is actually about the same price as what Treasury’s carbon price modelling projected under government policy for 2030, and lower than what it projected for 2050. Yet Treasury’s electricity system had much higher use of fossil fuels and much higher emissions.

    Lower price by 2050 with much reduced GHG emissions. Got that.

    You lose.

  9. Mel
    Posted May 12, 2013 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

    Also from that lefty publication the Wall Street Journal:

    One study estimated that between 1966 and 1977, when most of America’s light-water reactors were built, in every case the U.S. plants cost at least twice as much as expected. The quoted cost for these 75 plants was $89.1 billion, but the real cost was a monumental $283.3 billion—and that excludes fuel storage and decommissioning.

    Got that. And this:

    So how has anyone been able to afford to build any plants at all? In short, government support. The business model for nuclear power generation relies primarily on extracting huge amounts of taxpayer subsidies.

    This has been true since the industry’s early days. Nuclear power in the U.S. received subsidies of $15.30 per kilowatt hour between 1947 and 1961—the first 15 years during which nuclear technology was used for civilian power generation—compared to subsidies of $7.19 per kilowatt hour for solar power and 46 cents for wind power between 1975 and 1989, the first 15 years when those technologies came into more widespread use. Nuclear operators are often protected by laws limiting liability that shift most of the expense of serious accidents to the public, thus shielding operators from the costs of insuring a potentially more dangerous technology.

    Nuclear is socialism at its worst. No wonder Dear Henry and North Korea love it so much 🙂

  10. Posted May 12, 2013 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

    I don’t know quite how to deal with being on the same side as Mel twice in one week…

    Piece says they haven’t taken battery storage into consideration so there’s no reason the excess capacity on Tuesdays and Saturdays can’t be warehoused somehow. Have to say that 100% renewable sounds pretty unlikely unless you’re Iceland (and even then they still use some fossils for heating, even if the electricity is 100% renewable). You’ll probably find the easiest/most likely way to increase the marketshare of renewables is not in the big ticket capital infrastructure of major projects, but the little micro-schemes encouraged by FITs (feed-in tariffs).

  11. kvd
    Posted May 13, 2013 at 6:46 am | Permalink

    whereas AEMO has no skin in this game.

    If the Australian Energy Market Operator has ‘no skin in this game’ then we really are flying blind. It would be great to think that we might become energy self-sufficient entirely through renewables in the sort of timeframe their report addresses, but like DEM I have my (layman’s opinion) doubts.

    And either way you look at it the numbers are quite scarey. Mel’s first link (to AEMO) mentions a range (for Australia) of $219 to $332 billion, while the WSJ says “real cost was a monumental $283.3 billion” (for 75 US plants?) – and lord knows what that figure might be today. Either scenario will involve government (statist?) support I would think.

    There’s no miracle solution – yet – so I guess the debate will continue to have a dash of ideology at its core for a while.

  12. Mel
    Posted May 13, 2013 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    Kvd, AEMO has no skin in the game in the sense that it has no reason to favour any particular type of electricity generation.

  13. Posted May 13, 2013 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    Mel here

    So I’ll continue to support democracy with its attendant waxing and waning of the influence of scientific experts, while personally continuing to argue that it is prudent and conservative to put in place an insurance policy when it is indicated by an expert consensus in the harder sciences and that it is radical and reckless to not do so.

    Barry Brook here

    So to end this piece, what is my qualification to comment on this amorphous endeavour known as climate science? (I raise this because this issue has been used by some to argue that I shouldn’t be speaking on these matters, or that I shouldn’t hold the Sir Hubert Wilkins Chair of Climate Change).

    Well, my undergraduate degree focused on biology, geology and computer science. I also did multiple units in chemistry, physics and statistics. My honours research degree was in palaeoenvironmental reconstruction (using palynology and micropalaeontology to infer changes in environmental conditions over the 10,000 year period of the Holocene). My Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) was on the validation of stochastic numerical models using real-world environmental data.

    Since my PhD I have published regularly in top peer-reviewed journals and publishing houses, with first author papers in Nature, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Quaternary Science Reviews, PLoS, Global Change Biology, Trends in Ecology and Evolution, and books by Cambridge University Press and Wiley-Blackwell Science.

    My scientific papers have covered a diverse array of fields, including stochastic numerical modelling, Earth systems science, palaeoclimatic reconstruction, information theory, Bayesian statistics and meta-analysis, time series analysis, ensemble model averaging, extinction models, ecological genetics, population dynamics and the synergies among drivers of global change. See here for a selection of my papers, and here for a complete listing of my 130+ peer-reviewed publications. I hold a Professorship in the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Adelaide and am Director of the multidisciplinary Research Institute for Climate Change and Sustainability. I have also won a number of prestigious scientific awards from leading scientific and academic authorities.

    Mel again

    Barry Brook is a well known nuclear advocate

    So maybe its nearer to the truth that Mel will…continue to support democracy with its attendant waxing and waning of the influence of scientific experts, while personally continuing to argue that it is prudent and conservative to put in place an insurance policy when it is indicated by an expert consensus in the harder sciences and that it is radical and reckless to not do so… while they agree with him.

  14. kvd
    Posted May 13, 2013 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    [email protected], I don’t think Mel comes over as one who would arbitrarily discount evidence at odds with pet theories; or at least I can’t remember that happening over the past few years.

    The thing I find frustrating in these sorts of discussions is the endless ‘parade of experts’ to support one or other ‘side’ of a discussion. I take Mel at face value when saying AEMO has no skin in the game (in the sense used) but if that be the case, why doesn’t that organisation follow up immediately with a comparative study of the nuclear option? At least then we’d have the one ‘expert body’ putting all options – instead of this endless ‘expert A vs expert B’ nonsense.

    And it is a nonsense: we all want a clean, green future as our legacy. It’s how that might be achieved, and at what comparative cost, and at what environmental tradeoffs, that is the question. There’s just too much arguing from a fixed (I’d say almost religious) starting point for any of this debate to be either healthy or conclusive.

  15. Posted May 13, 2013 at 2:33 pm | Permalink


    we all want a clean, green future as our legacy

    Don’t be so sure. Clean energy I would agree with but in saying that I would question whether CO2 should be included in the pollutant category.
    Green energy has far less appeal to me than it does to many others. Most of the ‘green’ alternatives seem to be hellishly expensive with those that demand their use, usually wishing to limit the amount they contribute to the cost.
    Im all for the cheapest available power from the cleanest source possible. Currently that can be found in new generation coal with monitors in place which have the ability to decrease the burn by up to 25%.

    As to my choice of expert, I chose Barry Brook because he is part of the consensus, but at least he is rational when it comes to costs and realistic when it comes to prospective energy sources.

    To your question about AEMO you must ask our dear government and their Department of Climate Change and they definately have some skin in this game.

    As part of this plan, the government has asked the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) to expand its planning scenarios to prepare for greater use of renewable energy in the longer term. This will include further consideration of energy market and transmission planning implications of moving towards 100 per cent renewable energy.

  16. Posted May 13, 2013 at 2:42 pm | Permalink


    The study will explicitly exclude consideration of nuclear, gas, coal, and CCS generation and the range of detailed generation options to be considered will be confirmed with DCCEE and RET prior to the commencement of modelling.

    Oh dear, How sad, never mind.

  17. Mel
    Posted May 13, 2013 at 2:57 pm | Permalink


    My mind is not closed on the nuclear issue.

    I’m not aware of a scientific consensus that nuclear is the best, safest, cleanest and cheapest option. If such a consensus was to arise I would take it very seriously and probably support it.

    The fact that the AEMO has been asked to do some planning re renewables is hardly evidence that it has a bias. Your logic is faulty.

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