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Batteries being made today will last 30 years, the first 15 will most likely be in a car and after that in a house battery. In 30 years we'll have drastically different ways of coping with waste so this concern about recycling is such a red herring.





If "recycling details" can be figured out later, then the same argument can be used to justify a massive investment in nuclear power, ie. 4th generation reactor, LFTR, you name it. It would generate more energy over its lifetime than PV ever would.

One key difference between solar and nuclear is that when solar goes wrong it goes wrong in a pretty small way.

Nuclear’s failure states are pretty awful, see Chernobyl, Fukushima for disasters, but just (something I learned as a kid) the Irish Sea being quite significantly radioactively polluted through normal operation of plants in the area.


The cost to dismantle millions, if not billions of tons of PV cell in 30 years is gonna be pretty higher, both in term of cost AND ecological impact than a localized power plant.

Also, Chernobyl is not a Gen4 reactor, the core design of RBMK reactor was highly unstable, and that the problem with anti-nuclear lobbying: we're stuck with old design we have since learned a lot from.


>The cost to dismantle millions, if not billions of tons of PV cell in 30 years is gonna be pretty higher, both in term of cost AND ecological impact than a localized power plant.

Got any figures for that? Higher than the ecological cost of dumping radioactive stuff into the pacific, or polluting the Irish sea?

As someone who might last another 40 years, but is hoping his kids last another 60 to 80, I'm OK if the cost is monetary in 30 years, as opposed to ecologically over that time.

> Also, Chernobyl is not a Gen4 reactor

Was Fukushima though?


> Got any figures for that?

Assuming a 15W per sqft, and an average weight of 3lb per sqft, and assuming the output of a nuclear power plant is around 1GW, you'll need about 9e+4T of solar panel that you're gonna need to recycle over a lifespan of 40 years. Just the volume of this waste is 4.5e+3 truck load, and I'm not even getting started about recycling the silicon cells themselves (ie. very nasty chemicals), and all this is just about 1 equivalent plants. US wide, you'd probably need 200x this (to be significant), plus a 5x extra capacity to deal with fluctuation and non-peak production, that's another 3 order of magnitude. You also need to factor into account a redesign of the grid to accomodate with the mesh production, and the extra battery on each site.

Compare this to burying a few hundreds tons per year of low volume wastes for ~eternity in a cave in the middle of nowhere.

> Was Fukushima though?

No, Fukushima used BWR design from the 1060's, so geneneration 2.


> No, Fukushima used BWR design from the 1060's, so geneneration 2.

Wow, animal-powered nuclear fission? These Heian period horse-drawn neutron beams were pretty ahead of their time though.


I'm totally happy if Nuclear becomes the major source that gets us off fossil fuels. But I'm also realistic. The cost, timeline, and red tape holding it back isn't moving fast enough.

Nuclear has been around for 70 years and it is still extremely expensive to dissemble nuclear plants and dispose of their wastes. In fact, in the US we still don't have a permanent solution to nuclear waste storage. And a lot of the radioactive materials in them are vastly more dangerous than what you find in solar cells.



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