Thursday, March 03, 2005

beware the ides of march

I have no idea who tips off Flying Talking Donkey or LATOC to the latest ASPO newsletter before they get posted on ASPO itself - however it may happen I sure do appreciate the (pdf) link!

And the March 2005 edition is an absolute must read, for the discussion on nuclear energy, (more on that shortly) but also the DOE sent in a study they did on how mitigation strategies would affect liquid fuel shortages in a peak oil scenario. I found their results sobering in light of the fact that some experts think we will peak this year. They put in the twenty year to peak scenario to keep the pointy haired ones happy, methinks.

Indeed, general peak oil news is cresting so fast lately, I may be forced to come up with a new name for this blog, like, "Oh Crap!" or "Tips for hoarding beans in declining oil world".

There is great ASPO essay on nuclear energy, also online:
"The lower the ore grade, the more energy is consumed in the fuel processing, so that the amount of the carbon dioxide released in the fuel cycle depends on the ore grade. Only Canada and Australia have ores of a sufficiently high grade to avoid excessive carbon releases and to provide an adequate energy gain. At ore grades below 0.01 per cent for “soft” ores and 0.02 per cent for “hard” ores more CO2 than an equivalent gas-fired station is released and more energy is absorbed in the cycle than is gained in it. Ores of a grade approaching the “crossover” point such as those in India of 0.03 per cent, if used, risk going into negative energy gain if there are a few “hiccups” in the cycle."

A few weeks ago I posted on the viability of nuclear power here and here. I felt I needed more and better information. Searching the Internet for valid data left me incredibly frustrated, due to the polarizing nature of the issue and the contradictory information. I still want to corral a real expert, and we don't run nukes for energy in Washington State. I think Busby's article goes a long way towards focusing my research.

The essence of his arguments confirms some suspicions of mine. Namely, that energy returned over the life of a reactor is much lower than advertised, often negative, except maybe in the case where you don't clean up after yourself. He also points out that we are running up against a uranium peak.

Is it a coincidence that I turn thirty and everything starts peaking? I think not.


At 1:48 PM, March 03, 2005, Blogger Big Gav said...

If you want to see the latest ASPO newsletters when they are released, then simply go to the ASPO site on the 1st of the month (or maybe 2nd if they are a bit slow) and use the same URL as you posted, but increment the number by 1 each time :

Next months newsletter =

(sorry if this is simply stating the obvious)

At 6:18 PM, March 03, 2005, Blogger FatherofFour said...

No mystery, I found it here...

Thanks for the mention. I didn't even know about the trick mentioned by Big Gav!



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