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Finland lobbied EU to declare nuclear power sustainable (yle.fi)
253 points by JaakkoP 56 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 191 comments



Finland is a hero on nuclear energy development. After the US bailed on Yucca Mountain, Finland is the only country I know building a stable geological waste repository. Great to see the realist Greens coming along on nuclear as well.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Onkalo_spent_nuclear_fuel_repo...

* to be anti-nuclear is to be anti-climate, and pro-coal.


> Finland is a hero on nuclear energy development

Finland is also a country that just spent almost 20 years building one new nuclear reactor, and its still not in commercial operation


It was the failure of the French who build the damn thing (Areva NP, now Framatome). The French tried to make a rush job and cut corners but Finnish radiation safety organization don't allow it like French does.

They tried to cut corners in concrete casting, then they had to do it again. Then they tried to get away with bad welds and had to redo them, and inspection. Endless use of as cheap labor as possible.


Then they complained they could not make a profit.

Should have thought of that when bidding.


The second EPR build in France started 2 years later is not faring much better, jury is still out whether it will take less time or budget: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/EPR_(nuclear_reactor)#Flaman...


Olkiluoto 3 in Finland, Flamanville 3 in France and Hinkley Point C in the UK are all using the same reactor design: European Pressurised Reactor (EBR). This was jointly developed by France (Framatome and EDF) and Germany (Siemens).

All three projects are over-budget and have been dogged by delays.

I'm not against nuclear, but the cost of new (large) nuclear plants always spiral out of control. For example, Hinkley Point C in the UK is due for completion in 2026. Estimated total cost: £23 billion - making it one of the most expensive nuclear power plants in the world.

This BBC report on Hinkley Point C has some interesting facts:

Hinkley nuclear power station on track for 2026 opening: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-somerset-58724732

From the article:

> When Hinkley was approved in 2016, EDF estimated the cost at £18bn. Today, the company puts the bill at nearer £23bn.

The deal to build Hinkley Point C includes a fixed-price or ceiling cost for electricity known as the Strike Price:

> ...in 2016, the British government fixed that price at £92.50 per megawatt hour (MWh). The price rises with inflation and has now reached £106/MWh.

> Back then, the equivalent price for electricity from offshore windfarms was well over £120/MWh. But wind costs have fallen fast. Today new wind projects are fixed at about £50/MWh, well under half the price of Hinkley power.

> So, the big question for Hinkley watchers is this. By 2026, will the electricity it produces look very expensive?


When the wind isn't blowing it will probably look rather cheap, especially if gas shortages remain prevalent.

Regardless, I'm all for maintaining at least our current level of nuclear contribution to the grid until the renewable storage story is complete at GW scale. It's much harder to commission new nuclear plants if we allow all of ours to fall into disuse.


> When the wind isn't blowing it will probably look rather cheap...

But of course with a guaranteed and indexed linked strike price, it will be running at full pelt for its entire lifespan, regardless of how much cheaper solar and wind is available at any given time.


There are more complex reasons around managing the electrical grid which make this not such a bad thing. Reactive power and grid inertia control for example. Solar and some types of wind turbine (my understanding is that Doubly fed induction generators can) don't contribute to these factors at all.


To put the cost overrun into perspective - someone driving truck in 2016 was making £30k and in 2021 its £70k.

S&P Global Platts assessed UK day-ahead baseload prices at GBP540.15/MWh ($747.56/MWh) for delivery Sept. 14, up from GBP171.15/MWh Sept. 10. Sept. 9 as several plants priced themselves at GBP4,000/MWh amid low wind, outages and reduced interconnector availability*.

The UK energy situation is basically a total mess - they need more of everything (or to just stop shutting down everything). About the only thing being done is building more interconnects to import electricity from other countries.


For what it's worth I'm being billed £218/MWh plus a 28p/day standing charge in the UK and that's the standard rate capped by the government which will go up. You hear about power being generated for £50 or £30/MWh but don't see much of that as a consumer in the UK.



How in the name of Allah is the nominal cost of mosque around the Kaaba $100 billion? That is bonkers


I suspect this number is inflated for the purpose of showing off the kingdom's or the religion's wealth and power.


To me and I assume most Westerners it looks like an egregious excess while poverty is rampant. At least space projects produce trickle-down technology, but this is just busy-work.


It's literally a building, nothing justifies that cost... where are the death ray lasers? Where is the re-atomizer? Makes no sense, the figure must be wrong


Busy work feeds people.


So does farming.


Farming jobs provide poverty like lifestyles, building jobs provide relatively middle class lifestyles. You need both to keep a modern society going.


You can't eat a building.


The the cousin of the brother in law of some minor prince has to get his piece of the pie.

If you’re ever in New York, check out the Tweed courthouse, which was built in the 1880s. The total cost was $10.5B 2020 dollars.


> The total cost was $10.5B 2020 dollars.

Where did you get that number? Wikipedia has the costs around 11-13 million, also consistent with this https://www1.nyc.gov/site/designcommission/public-programs/t..., or $304 million in 2019 dollars.


shit I guess inflation this year really WAS crazy haha!


Tammany Hall did corruption better than anybody. Robert Moses would blush.

It’s worth reading the line items from that construction. Carpenters getting paid hundreds of thousands of dollars - multiple millions now - for a couple days of work. Enough carpeting ordered to cover whole parks several times.


Petrodollars, that's how.


Worth 5 state of the art nuclear power plants apparently...


Countries, sadly, don't get to pick their geology.


Fortunately we don’t need many storage places. Nuclear waste is very compact.


Yes, we also need "only one", except in my country it's basically impossible to go a few kilometers from any spot without hitting a settlement (and if you can do that, your point of origin was probably inside a protected national park). That's probably why we still don't have a storage place despite even having reasonable (even if not perfect) geology for it.


Nuclear waste is a mostly artificial problem considering we've known how to recycle/reuse nuclear waste to the point where it is no longer dangerous. The actual hurdle to nuclear adoption is really more about concerns with nuclear proliferation since a lot of the recycle tech can also be adapted to create weapons grade nuclear fuel.

Additionally, even with no nuclear reactors whatsoever, we'll still have to deal with nuclear waste as it is used in various other areas like medicine. The Goiânia accident incident in Brazil killed many people _immediately_ (unlike Fukushima) and originated from a defunct hospital, not a nuclear power plant. We need to find ways to deal with this stuff regardless if you use nuclear power or not.


>known how to recycle/reuse nuclear waste to the point where it is no longer dangerous

The experience of that has been a bit mixed in the real world at Windscale/Sellafield "Europe's largest nuclear site" in the UK.

The incidents section on Wikipedia goes on for pages https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sellafield#Incidents

and "The site is due to be fully decommissioned by 2120 at a cost of £121bn."

which doesn't sound ideal for future reprocessing.


> Nuclear waste is a mostly artificial problem considering we've known how to recycle/reuse nuclear waste to the point where it is no longer dangerous.

These repositories are meant specifically for the separated waste from the recycling/reusing process. So the process you're suggesting is the one that creates this "artificial problem".


We’d only need one place worldwide if people didn’t object to it crossing borders.

Everything nasty from all of them put together is something like one large modern soccer stadium.


But the logistics of transporting this is crazy even without objections


Really? Why?


I had this discussion on HN a while ago and looked into it - the costs of transportation are high because of various logistical regulations, there is a high cost upfront cost to set up a disposal site, there is a fairly significant cost for staffing such sites, and these sites will need to be managed for millennia.

Here's a good paper on the costs https://www.mdpi.com/2076-3417/9/12/2437/pdf


https://www.jnfl.co.jp/en/business/hlw/

It has being done for 20+ years now.


Yucca mountain is absolutely safe and geologically stable. That was why it was chosen. Don't spread FUD.


Only the US has access to Yucca Mountain; my country doesn't. Not sure how Yucca Mountain is relevant for the all other non-US, non-Finnish countries talked about by GGP.


Not every country has every resource; that's why we have global trade. Yet that isn't even relevant since nuclear storage doesn't require special geography – US plants mostly just keep it onsite.


So will your country allow my country to store our waste in Yucca Mountain, then?


There's a lot more nuclear waste storage facilities than you might think. Europe has many, for example, and the US has 80+[1][2] in total including Yucca Mountain. Any nation that has operated a nuclear power plant is going to have some sort of storage site.

Regardless, it's possible to negotiate this as some sort of trade agreement, sure. Your country could also build their own if they didn't have one already...

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radioactive_waste#/media/File:...

[2] https://www.forbes.com/sites/jeffmcmahon/2019/05/31/new-map-...


Thank you; I'm fully aware of our intermediate storage sites (we have exactly two of them). But that's not what the top-level comment about the stable storage site was talking about.

> Your country could also build their own if they didn't have one already

It's like you didn't read at all what I wrote! (https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=28842914)


Being near a populated area is not a factor for these sites, particularly if you are geologically stable.

Look at the map from the US, many sites of varying level are extremely close to major metropolitan areas. They are often deep underground.


It absolutely is a factor for the politics of site decision. I've checked Yucca Mountain; apparently the closest settlement is like 25 kilometers away or so, the next one like 40 kilometers or so. Finding a comparable site in a country 1% the size of US with quadruple the population density and with no sparsely inhabited areas is a Herculean task -- especially if you don't have huge areas appropriated by the military for such purposes.

> Look at the map from the US, many sites of varying level are extremely close to major metropolitan areas. They are often deep underground.

Wikipedia tells me that the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in Carlsbad, NM is currently the only deep underground waste storage site in the US.


Yes, but that is a political problem, not a nuclear problem.

> Wikipedia tells me that the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in Carlsbad, NM is currently the only deep underground waste storage site in the US.

The US storage sites are old (the Carlsbad facility design is from the 70's for example), and the US has vast amounts of land. European sites are often much deeper, and new sites are deeper and deeper, up to 800 meters below the surface.


They're "old", but the Carlsbad facility that went into operation in 1999 was only the third in the world after two German sites? That still doesn't seem to make sense for the claim that the US sites are "often deep underground" if only only of them is. One out of many is not "often" -- that's "rarely".


Carlsbad stores waste from production of nuclear weapons, among other things, and is the only facility in the US tasked with storage of so-called "transuranic waste". There are different classifications for nuclear waste, and each warrants different handling as you might imagine.

The Yucca Mountain site is 50 meters underground, which is about 164 feet. That's deep enough to not disturb things on the surface if in a geologically stable area.

You can see Yucca in on the shallow-side of things for many countries[1].

Perhaps I overspoke when I alleged many are deep in the US. The US is very spread out, and it seems going 200+ meters below the surface wasn't warranted except for the highest classifications of waste.

However, in a more densely populated nation, there is no hurdle to building deep repositories, except politics.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deep_geological_repository


I'm quite confident you could sell your waste to Russia, to store in the vast empty tundra, for a couple rubles.


Except that it's not necessary waste for Russia. At least some of this 'waste' can be used as fuel now or in future.

France does have at least some of necessary technologies to do so too. USA/Finland doesn't.

See https://habr.com/ru/post/473028/ (in Russian) and links from it


That would be politically problematic because of our relations with Russia. Also, the tundra is going to thaw soon.


Money talks.


to be anti-nuclear is like being anti-vaccine during the pandemic


It's not quite that simple. A lot of smart people are pro wind solar and storage over nuclear.


It's okay to be anti-bad-nuclear-management and pro-nuclear, just like how it's okay to be anti-mandate and pro-vaccine.


true. I am pro-vaccines but anti gov mandate. But modern nuclear is so safe and, arguably, over regulated so it is pretty safe to just support “nuclear


Not really. Most of youth in finland think nuclear energy produces lots of waste and are against it


Strange, I consider myself part of this ”youth in Finland” and haven’t met a person who would agree with this one


Do you have some data to back that claim?


https://www.hs.fi/talous/art-2000005833365.html

>Erityisesti nuoret ja naiset uskoivat ydinvoiman tuottavan hiilidioksidipäästöjä. 18–29-vuotiaista vastaajista 18 prosenttia piti ydinvoimaa pahimpana ilmaston lämmittäjänä. Naisista näin uskoi 13 prosenttia.


Translating for our non-Finnish friends: >Especially young people and women think that nuclear power produces carbon dioxide. 18 percent of the respondents between 18 and 29 years old think that nuclear power warms the climate the most. Also 13 percent of women thought the same.

The rest of the article doesn't talk about nuclear power at all. Based on that I'm not sure how did you end up with the conclusion that "Most of youth in finland think nuclear energy produces lots of waste and are against it", 18 percent doesn't seem majority to me?


How is 18 percent a majority of anything?


[*] Citation needed


https://www.hs.fi/talous/art-2000005833365.html

>Erityisesti nuoret ja naiset uskoivat ydinvoiman tuottavan hiilidioksidipäästöjä. 18–29-vuotiaista vastaajista 18 prosenttia piti ydinvoimaa pahimpana ilmaston lämmittäjänä. Naisista näin uskoi 13 prosenttia.


18% are still not "most", stop posting this untranslated passage and claiming it supports your statement. If anything, this proofs that 18% of finlands youth and 13% of its women have no idea how fission reactors work, since they essentially don't produce any carbon dioxide at all...


> to be anti-nuclear is to be anti-climate, and pro-coal.

While this was true even 10 years ago, not so much now. While nuclear is still cheaper than the batteries which would otherwise be the main[0] worldwide alternative to backing up PV/wind, it is close, and probable future development curves for renewables and batteries make it not completely insane to reject nuclear.

Personally I would still support new reactors, firstly because I don’t want to keep all my eggs in one basket if my expectations for future battery factories are falsified, and secondly because I think diverse solutions are likely to be cheaper and faster overall than monoculture solutions.

[0] Scandinavia in general might be amazing for hydro, which is much cheaper than batteries, but IIRC most places aren’t so fortunate.


> While this was true even 10 years ago, not so much now. While nuclear is still cheaper than the batteries which would otherwise be the main[0] worldwide alternative to backing up PV/wind, it is close

The cost of nuclear is artificially high because special interests have lobbied hard against nuclear, draining western countries of the experience to build nuclear facilities rapidly and also taking away any opportunities for efficiencies of scale.

Moreover, I don't think you can look at the cost of batteries as-is. If we seriously invest in batteries as a solution for grid-scale power storage, the demand will go through the roof and I doubt supply will be able to keep up (at least not on the 10-50 year timeframes that the climate challenge requires) while we're also trying to electrify transport and other industries.

> Personally I would still support new reactors, firstly because I don’t want to keep all my eggs in one basket if my expectations for future battery factories are falsified, and secondly because I think diverse solutions are likely to be cheaper and faster overall than monoculture solutions.

I strongly agree with this. If climate change is an existential threat, then it's supremely foolish to give up on our only proven clean base load supply in favor of unsubstantiated hope for a miracle breakthrough in renewable storage. We should absolutely pursue both, vigorously.


> The cost of nuclear is artificially high because special interests have lobbied hard against nuclear, draining western countries of the experience to build nuclear facilities rapidly and also taking away any opportunities for efficiencies of scale.

Hinkley Point C is build in cooperation by China and France, the at the moment most active countries in building and maintaining nuclear power plants. It doesn't get more "economy of scale"-ly than this.


Smaller, safer, modular reactors should have been our focus decades ago. We are several generations behind where we ought to be, because we haven't prioritized it. The zero-nuclear agenda, combined with cheap natural gas and a (to me) strange fixation on renewables* has held us back.

*I say strange, because renewables have only just now started to get to make sense at scale, despite the reliance on fossil fuels to provide a base load, when we could have had a clean grid by now without them had we tried.


Modular reactors don’t actually reduce costs in any meaningful way. Construction costs are significant, but surprisingly low percentage of overall costs. For example nuclear needs a large highly trained workforce for decades. Every individual pulling 100k * 50 years is 5 million dollars, and you need a large workforce. Arguably security guards and medical staff are unnecessary, but modular reactors don’t lower those costs.

Fuel is similarly expensive and no in practice reprocessing doesn’t really help. Shutting down for refueling is again expensive when you consider it happens 30 times over the lifetime of a nuclear power plant. Decommissioning is extremely expensive even if it can but off. Even highly subsidized insurance is yet again expensive. Overall construction costs aren’t limited to the reactor you still need radiation shielding, cooling towers or the equivalent, cooling ponds for waste, roads, offices etc.

Don’t get me wrong if someone had come up with a great modular reactor 20 years ago Nuclear might be much better off today, but we’re simply past the point where more R&D is going to help. The only possibly for change is if nighttime electricity costs ended up much higher than current daytime costs. However a lot of demand is being shifted to nighttime because costs are currently cheaper, change that equation and nighttime demand will fall dramatically.


It certainly could get a lot more “economy of scale”-y than a single bespoke reactor project. Indeed, look into small modular reactors—they’re designed to be built at scale in factories (rather than individual bespoke plants). The levels ed cost of energy for these is projected to be well below $100/MWh which compares favorably with fossil fuel sources.


One unsolved problem with those small reactors is security. How do you prevent some terrorists from building dirty bombs with material stolen from a company's basement reactor? How do you trace the vast amount of radioactive material at so many sites?


One solution to it from mid-1990s was sealed reactors that are refueled by sending them back to manufacturer, fitting on single railway car. Combined with being rather hard to extract the material due to coolant used (liquid metal solidifying when shut down or leaking) and various anti-proliferation poisons used, it makes a pretty good solution.


I am dubious. Something that fits on a single railway car can be stolen in its entirety, and then the question is “is it valuable enough someone might just do that?”

It’s the same reason that puts me off houseboats: “thieves stole my house”/“my nuclear reactor has gone missing” should be Onion headlines and Pratchett storylines respectively, not things that actually happen.


individual fuel assemblies are much smaller, and by this logic easier to steal.

There's a reason why logistics for certain materials include security services, and it's much harder to abscond with multiple-tens-of-tons container that can have tracking beacon than a single fuel assembly.


One-off megaprojects are the opposite of economy of scale. Standardized production in large numbers allows you to amortize the costs of development and validation as well as maintain a healthy ecosystem of suppliers and employees who can compete for contracts.


> The cost of nuclear is artificially high because special interests have lobbied hard against nuclear, draining western countries of the experience to build nuclear facilities rapidly and also taking away any opportunities for efficiencies of scale.

This is also why we are building HUGE reactors.

The bureaucracy for building a nuclear plant is pretty much the same whether you build a 1 watt plant or a 1 terawatt plant.

Thus, it's more cost-effective to build the biggest m-f:n plant you possibly can.


> I doubt [battery] supply will be able to keep up.

Any tech that exists today can be made in almost-limitless quantities given a few years and customers willing to pay.

Eg. Say you want to make 100x the worlds current production of nuts and bolts. You just count up how many nut and bolt factories there are, how many steel works, how many mines, etc, and you multiply that by 99 and build them. Provided you have financing (which you will have if enough people are happy to buy nut and bolt futures ahead of time), they're all parallel projects so can be done independently, almost eliminating schedule risk.

The only time it doesn't hold true is when the need for a product is short term, unpredictable, unexpected, or where someone desires to pay less than market price.


We’re talking about enough batteries for the entire world’s total energy needs for weeks at a time. That means the battery industry needs to increase in size by many times it’s current state, which implies many new factories built and so on, never mind contention over natural resources. Meeting such demand seems likely to take many decades and untold trillions in investment.


You should look at the amount of battery plants that are being built right now. This is just in Europe. Economies of scale at work. https://mobile.twitter.com/ZennRoland/status/135382169441102...


An annual production of 600 GWh worth of batteries, that will be mostly used in vehicles. For reference, annual EU power production is roughly 2778000 GWh, it's a drop in an ocean.

Li-Ions are frankly a terrible solution for grid storage, pumped hydro is the only thing that makes sense on these scales.


We don’t need a year of storage, and any unit can be used at least 1000 times (I forget the exact number).

PV being as cheap as it is, it isn’t totally crazy to suggest so much overproduction that 24h of storage is enough. I expect not optimal, but not wildly so.

That reduces the 2778000 GWh to 7610 GWh, which only needs replacing at most every 3 years.

I’m supporting nuclear (and brought up hydro in the first place) because something might get in the way of scaling up battery production or prevent batteries from getting much cheaper (last I checked there’re more expensive per lifetime unit stored than nuclear is per unit generated), but it definitely isn’t crazy to think it will scale up to the required level and come down in price.


The production will likely increase if the demand is there and we're not trying to replace the yearly power production. It has its downsides but it's easier to implement than huge hydro infrastructure projects. We'll see a mix of different technologies I guess, depending on the local possibilities.


I don’t think you appreciate how small that is compared to what would be required for global grid storage. Using numbers from Wikipedia, the world uses something like 2200 TWh of energy every week. The figure I’ve heard thrown around for necessary grid storage is “weeks”, so we’ll say 1 week of storage is required. That means it would take Europe 3700 years to produce enough batteries to build the batteries we need in the next 50ish years. Or if you prefer, we need to produce an annual 44TWh of batteries a year globally for the next 50 years, which means we need 75-Europes-worth of production capacity. Further still, energy demand is projected to increase as the global population grows and as standards of living increase.

Even worse, scaling anything isn’t linear. It’s likely a lot easier to scale from 1GWh/year to 10GWh/year than it is to scale from 10 to 100. For example, in the first 10x scale, you might be able to pull a certain kind of skilled labor or raw material from other industries, but for the next 10x you now need to increase the global supply of said skilled labor or raw material.


> That means it would take Europe 3700 years to produce enough batteries to build the batteries we need in the next 50ish years.

It would probably help to show the working here:

600 GWh/year times 3700 years is 2220 TWh, but if you really do need them to last a week, 1000 cycles at one per week means they last about 20 years. As 1000 is an underestimate, this seems broadly correct to me given current battery construction.

However:

First, we will occasionally want them to last a week; most of the time you’d only want a day. This gives us longer to build out whatever solutions, more battery factories or reactors or whatever.

Second, it is very plausible the non-linearity of scaling will reduce costs rather than increase them. After all, that is what has happened so far, and as for workforce there will be a lot of coal miners available to switch to copper etc.

I’m not saying this is certain to happen, just that it’s at least plausible.

Third, my personal favourite combo with batteries is intercontinental HVDC — shift time zones or hemispheres and you don’t need to care about night or winter, but even much shorter links will connect you with a desert with a completely different climate and weather. Every 1 GW of capacity is 1 GW * (your desired storage duration in hours) of storage you no longer need (same for every 1 GW of nuclear, obviously). If we need a week of storage as you suggest, a single 1 GW line would save on 168 GWh of batteries.

I’m only expecting us to do HVDC in the order of length of e.g. EU to Sahara and therefore only limiting our storage requirement to about a day of storage, perhaps even as good as just overnight storage, but the longer the storage period we need the better relative value a planetary scale grid looks like.

(Downside: an antipodal ring big enough for world power use about a decade of worldwide aluminium production, or alternatively five decades of copper[0]. Again, this is why I prefer mixed approaches).

[0] One of my older comments did the maths for just Europe and just to the Sahara, so multiply the “3 months” and “about a year” in the linked comment by 10 for antipodal and another 5 for global electrical demand: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=28474201


> It would probably help to show the working here:

Fair enough, I was on mobile. According to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_energy_supply_and_consum..., the world consumed 9,717 Mtoe or 112,717.2 TWh of energy in 2020. Dividing that number by 52 weeks/year gives us 2,167 TWh--the amount of energy we need for a week's worth of storage. 2,167 is about 3612 times the amount of capacity that Europe is slated to produce annually (previously I rounded various figures before doing the math, so my number rounded up to 3700 rather than down to 3600).

But as previously mentioned, this doesn't account for growing energy demands or wear on battery stock or many other pertinent factors.

> First, we will occasionally want them to last a week; most of the time you’d only want a day. This gives us longer to build out whatever solutions, more battery factories or reactors or whatever.

My "week" figure is based on the assumption that we need to be able to manage with near-zero wind/sun for a week. While most of the time you won't need a week, we're not concerned about "most of the time", we're concerned about the worst cases. By the way, I have no idea if a week is accurate. I've just heard "weeks" slung around, so I assume that "one week" is the low end. I would be surprised if we could get this down to a day on average. Mind you, this doesn't mean we need 1 week of storage, but it means we need 1 week of something besides solar/wind.

> Second, it is very plausible the non-linearity of scaling will reduce costs rather than increase them

I agree. The specific dynamics depend on the market and the supply chain, but I'm pessimistic, especially after seeing the havoc covid continues to wreak on supply chains the world over.

> Third, my personal favourite combo with batteries is intercontinental HVDC

This is really interesting. I always been a bit surprised that electricity isn't more fungible from region to region, and wondered why this was never really talked about as a serious mitigation against regional weather patterns. I've been thinking about clean energy as Europe's key to energy independence, but it would be cruelly ironic if Europe came to depend on simply a different region for its energy (and also for Africa, if its sunshine had the effect that oil tends to have on poorer countries).


>Scandinavia in general might be amazing for hydro

I don't know. Here in Scandinavia the price of electricity is forecasted to sky rocket, due to lower output of hydro power.[0] If macro weather pattern are to undergo rapid change hydro power might not be the most reliable.

[0]


If you’re using it as a battery, which is what I’m suggesting here, you don’t need to worry about rain.


You can't use it as a battery without large reservoirs of water you can pump into the input reservoir. Norway only has half the necessary infrastructure.


Not necessarily -- you can modulate output. The input reservoir gets refilled naturally if your average outflow matches the average inflow.


That is precisely what Norway does. Prices go up when average inflow is low. The biggest source of inflow is snow, which maps to outflow 0-18 months later.


They are still fresh water rivers. So you still need some supply and flow.


Forgotten reference? But it would be a good thing since it incentivises using hydro mainly as variable power to support solar/wind and not as base power.


> [0] Scandinavia in general might be amazing for hydro

All the possible rivers are already used, and the plants have killed the fish from the rivers. The effect on wildlife is not that nice.


Re "While this was true even 10 years ago..."

A very remarkable thing is the decline in the cost of renewables just in the last 10 years.

The cost number have completely flipped in that time, not even counting the cost risk from delays, underestimated decommissioning costs for nuclear, the uninsurability of decommissioning costs, and the uninsurability of of nuclear accident risk. Solar and wind are cheapest now, by a multiple.


> Solar and wind are cheapest now, by a multiple.

Absolutely! I’m only suggesting nuclear as a backup for low wind nighttime demand. It’s completely pointless to use nuclear as the main power source precisely because of the cost: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cost_of_electricity_by_source#...

But to deal with the low-wind nighttime demand, you have the option of storage (hydro and batteries aren’t the only options); you can do demand management (it helps people use less when they sleep); you can do intercontinental HVDC (in principle, but think in terms of a square metre of cross section for 100% of EU demand, so it will take a while to build); and you can do other power types — nuclear (expensive), geothermal (geographically specific in ways I don’t understand), tidal (surprisingly expensive), natural gas (sill better than coal).

I’m in favour of all of the above except natural gas. I’m expecting near 100% wind & PV supported by existing nuclear plants and existing and new storage (and a few 10s of GW intercontinental HVDC) by early 2030s… but my expectations are based on hoping grid storage battery prices get a lot cheaper with less evidence than I’d like to be comfortable, which means I want to support all the solutions rather than just my favourite.


I was not disagreeing


The parent is correctly factoring in storage costs. If you can't store solar or wind energy, then it can't be used for base load generation.


Even that is not true, since you can always combine electricity from multiple sources to form your base load, and there's no law of nature saying that the base load must come from a single source.

But even more importantly, the need for storage arises at much higher renewable penetration levels than you observe in the current world. It will take multiple decades to get to the point where you need large amounts of storage in the first place.


> Even that is not true, since you can always combine electricity from multiple sources to form your base load, and there's no law of nature saying that the base load must come from a single source.

No one is saying it must come from a single source? Combining electricity from multiple reliable sources is fine, but there will be times when the sun isn't shining and the wind isn't blowing so you need to be able to meet energy demands in those cases. The only clean solution is nuclear (and hydro where available).


> but there will be times when the sun isn't shining and the wind isn't blowing so you need to be able to meet energy demands in those cases. The only clean solution is nuclear (and hydro where available).

That claim is highly debatable. Lots of people claim that the storage necessary to overcome these generation troughs make it infeasible but they seem to completely ignore holistic cost minimization approaches using overgeneration and then conclude that the amount of storage required makes it impossible. Meanwhile it's been calculated that modest overgeneration squashes storage amounts (and costs) in massive ways. People have actually studied these things, you know...

See for example the 2018 article On the economics of electrical storage for variable renewable energy sources by Zerrahn et al.


It's not like overgeneration is free either, and I'm very skeptical that overgeneration can squeeze blood from a stone on regionally cloudy, still weeks; however, I'll read your source when I have a free moment, thanks for sharing, etc.


Nobody says that overgeneration is free. But for example if your wind power costs are $20/MWh and your nuclear power costs are $80/MWh, even 100% overgeneration capacity for wind is still cheaper compared to the nuclear alternative. And if it achieves the desired effect cheaper than storage, then it will be preferred over storage as well. The optimal ratio of storage and overgeneration needs to be modeled for every grid independently; I believe the article I mentioned models it for the German grid.

In practice, though, I expect that you won't even get energy waste from overgeneration if flexible energy consumers like BEVs or flexible hydrogen electrolyzers are connected to the grid. These will account for a major portion of electricity consumption and it will be possible to move their consumption around very considerably.


I agree with your first paragraph, but I’m still far from optimistic that the cost analysis will work out in favor of renewables in the near term unless perhaps we continue to keep nuclear costs artificially high. In particular, I’m not sure that 100% over provisioning (absent storage) gets us anywhere near the same reliability of nuclear.


It doesn't matter how many solar panels you build, when the sun is down none of them are generating power. Likewise when the wind stops, it doesn't matter how many turbines are in the windfarm. Overgeneration certainly does not squash storage amounts.


It reduces but does not eliminate storage.

You’ll still have some windless nights, but enough overproduction means that you don’t have to worry about mere cloudy days or low-wind periods — One suggestion in another comment was needing weeks of storage, and overproduction can reduce that to a day of storage, perhaps even less.


The solution will inevitably be distributed overstorage rather than overgeneration.

10% of everyones car and home battery will be annexed by the grid when needed.


We can't assume overgeneration will be sustainable since there is profit to be made by idling or scrapping generators to reduce costs.


We can safely assume that. First, if the deployed mixture of generators is the cheapest mixed solution devised, there's money to be wasted "by idling or scrapping generators", since by definition that would increase costs, not reduce them, so it would be an irrational step to make. Second, opportunistic consumers not included in the base load can take advantage of these peaks, to the benefit of both sides (generators AND consumers -- consumers get power for peanuts and generators get some extra money they otherwise wouldn't get), for example for charging BEVs on demand -- and you'll need lots of power for that.


Are you assuming grid-scale storage exists and is deployed widely in your scenario?


Combining sources from multiple _unreliable_ sources is actually fine - as long as the failure/intermittency isn't correlated. Defining "fine" as reasonably low variance - i.e. guaranteeing X amount of capacity will be available for Y% of the time.

Nuclear doesn't give you 100% for Y above - there are times when your nuclear reactor will also be unavailable - the average is about 32 days per year in the US. So nuclear has a similar problem - as has all generation types - albeit with different statistical properties.


> Combining sources from multiple _unreliable_ sources is actually fine - as long as the failure/intermittency isn't correlated.

This is true for a sufficiently large number of uncorrelated sources, but all solar plants in a region are correlated and all wind plants in a region are correlated so effectively you have only two renewable sources in a region that are decoupled, which is wholly inadequate considering the relatively low reliability of either source. Maybe over-provisioning would help, but I don't know how much you would have to over-provision to get power on a still night, and anyway the whole point is accounting for costs so if it's not storage then you have to account for the over-provisioning costs.

> Nuclear doesn't give you 100% for Y above - there are times when your nuclear reactor will also be unavailable - the average is about 32 days per year in the US. So nuclear has a similar problem - as has all generation types - albeit with different statistical properties.

These aren't similar problems. With wind and solar power, bad weather shuts down all "plants" in a region. With nuclear, you have maintenance windows on individual plants which can be coordinated with other plants in the region such that base load is maintained.

> different statistical properties

Technically true, but doing a lot of rhetorical labor.


You but your claim was that it was only possible to provide reliable supply by combining _reliable_ sources. This is not the case.

Wind and solar are largely anti-correlated in most regions. Depending on the geography, differences in wind output can vary significantly over distances in as little 100km and offshore and on-shore capacity factors also tend to show divergence. At distances above 1,500km wind is uncorrelated in Europe.

The stochastic failures of nuclear reactors are largely independent but not always - a natural catastrophe like Fukushima can take out a bunch of reactors. Or extreme weather (heat), like last summer's drought took out a bunch of reactors in a few northern European countries.

It's not rhetorical labor to point out that it's simplistic to present nuclear as completely reliable (it's not) and that unreliable sources can contribute to a reliable grid. It's pointing out that the problem is more subtle.

Unlike 10 years ago, we have now concrete examples of grids which operate with very high shares of wind and solar without any decrease in reliability and have developed practical techniques for incorporating such sources into grids.


> While nuclear is still cheaper than the batteries which would otherwise be...

And here lies the problem, if we see everything through the lens of economics and affordability we'll never get out of it


Get out of what... economics?

And then what would be the driving force of progress which results in all that wondereful green technology?

Technology as a human concept is about solving problems, and throughout history, it's sometimes been about solving problems caused by previous technology. Unless we suddenly get struck by a movement to get back to an agrarian civilisation and stick there in perpetuity like an ultra strict Amish-like society, there's simply no way to escape the race with ourselves where we need more and more technology to fix the problems caused by the previous technologies.

Yes, eventually we'll fail. Or escape to the stars and sacrifice other planets to our selfish genes. But that's ok, eventually the universe itself will fail, you can only slow down entropy for a tiny bit.


They most likely meant economics as in the numbers game rather than in the original sense.


If there are better ways to invest effort in instead of the bottomless pit which nuclear power plants are, why bother? I’m not anti-nuclear in principle, but building new plants just doesn’t make sense. Takes too long and ties up too much resources. Money is just a proxy for those two things.


The whole nuclear power situation is a total clownshow. Here in California we've regulated nuclear out of existence and we're replacing it with natural gas in an effort to save the environment/children. Truly as fucking stupid as it sounds.


that is wrong. We are replacing it with coal in Utah. LA county buys up to 20% of its electricity from Utah, triggering a coal and gas expansion there.


Look, in order to prevent scary radiation from entering the environment through nuclear we have to use clean and even more radioactive natural gas.


Can you explain how natural gas is radioactive?


Wikipedia says radon gets into it:

"""Radon is found in some petroleum. Because radon has a similar pressure and temperature curve to propane, and oil refineries separate petrochemicals based on their boiling points, the piping carrying freshly separated propane in oil refineries can become radioactive because of decaying radon and its products.[84]

Residues from the petroleum and natural gas industry often contain radium and its daughters. The sulfate scale from an oil well can be radium rich, while the water, oil, and gas from a well often contains radon. Radon decays to form solid radioisotopes that form coatings on the inside of pipework.[84]""" - https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radon

Unfortunately citation 84 is a dead link: "Potential for Elevated Radiation Levels In Propane" (PDF). National Energy Board. April 1994. Retrieved 2009-07-07" - http://www.neb-one.gc.ca/clf-nsi/rsftyndthnvrnmnt/sfty/sftyd...


Except natural gas does not get distilled propane added into it (or at least I'm not aware of anyone doing that; the varying composition of natural gas is due to its varying geological origins).


https://www.epa.gov/radiation/tenorm-oil-and-gas-production-... Basically there are radioactive rocks in the deposits that natural gas is stored in. Additionally there is some radioactive gas in the Gas deposits as a result of radioactive decay.


> Here in California we've regulated nuclear out of existence

That sounds weird to me in light of the regulatory capture of US nuclear industry. I remember the incident with the thinning piping being "fixed" by adjusting (downwards) the thickness required by the regulations, until the pipe burst. If anything the regulators seem to be bending over backwards for the utility operators.


The Green League party in Finland is kind of interesting when compared to other Greens worldwide. They used to be vehemently anti-nuclear, having for example previously left a government due to decisions related to investments in new nuclear power plants (as referred in TFA). However, since then they've:

- Removed the opposition to nuclear power from their official party program

- Just recently elected a known pro-nuclear vice-chairman

- Now this, lobbying for inclusion of nuclear energy in the EU as sustainable

Also, a sub-organization Finnish Greens for Science and Technology (Viite) (also pro-nuclear, pro-GMO, etc.) has taken a nice foothold in the party.

Commendable to see people coming around and updating their beliefs.


The Old Guard of the Finnish Greens were hard core anti-atom power the ones with positions of actual power.

Younger generations have been either pro or neutral for a long time, it just took them a while to get to places in power inside the party to actually change the policy.


"Finland lobbied EU to declare nuclear power sustainable"

Well, isn't it? Am I missing something or is nuclear about as sustainable as it gets? The perfect baseload to cover us when solar or wind is out. Almost no CO2 produced, much lower deaths/GWh produced, plentiful fuel supplies?


you are focusing on pollution in terms of sustainability, but perhaps fission is unsustainable because it relies on "fuels" which can run out? there is only a finite supply of uranium.


This is only if you define sustainable == infinite which is ridiculous. Sure solar power/wind power might be present long after humanity is gone, but that doesn't mean we can continue maintaining solar/wind power plants indefinitely, these things take resources to produce. On the other hand, if we define sustainable as being can we do this thing for a 1000 years without modification, modern nuclear power starts to look a lot more sustainable.


I see your point, but eventually the solar panels produce the energy to produce more solar panels. Including the mining

IIRC there is a formal guidance for what is classified as renewable. Things like oil, while originating from biological matter, obviously being considered 'not', while tree mass, plant mass, being considered so. Believe the guidance was whether the carbon emitted in its production has been or could be absorbed within a lifetime, via the means with which it was produced.

I have reservations with nuclear but I imagine it would fit within those guidelines easily.


This seems a bit reaching; especially considering breeding reactors; and the amount of fuel contained in a small volume;

Lithium is not in great supply comparatively; Photovoltaics depend on p/n junctions and silicon. Wind turbines depend on rare earth magnets.


We’ll need to move the planet due to the warming of the sun before we’ll run out of fissible fuel.


Between waste reprocessing, breeder reactors, and seawater extraction, uranium could power our civilization for billions of years. Uranium would leach into the ocean from the crust faster than we'd need to extract it.


Right, but that time-horizon is orders of magnitudes compared to fossils, no?


And accepting something comparable to coal leaves a lot of time to sort things out. We are talking about hundreds of years. Not only tens.


At least thousands of years with breeders.


The sun is not infinite, when it runs out of fuel it will be gone too.


How finite though? I mean, everything uses materials.


Sometimes I feel crazy when people start arguing about nuclear. Up here in Ontario, 60% of our power comes from nuclear. If Canada can manage to have an indigenous nuclear industry with our culture of regulations and red-tape, what on earth is stopping an economic powerhouse like the EU.


Politics, especially the green movement. They want the "war" on CO2 to be about personal sacrifice and de-industrialization.

Sometimes I wish the European governments would open "climate sanctuaries", where Green Party members and other individuals can go and live for a while taking only cold showers, not using any plastic, living with dim lightbulbs and low flush toilets, and perhaps even whipping themselves occasionally.

As they leave, they will get a certificate that says they helped to "save the planet". The dedicated ones can live there while less dedicated visit just for a few hours on Sundays.

Meanwhile the actual governments can build out nuclear power and do something that is effective. This would give both sides what they want.


> They want the "war" on CO2 to be about personal sacrifice and de-industrialization.

What's their motivation for this? (I see something similar and I don't understand. I have explained it for myself by Hanlon's razor.)


It has a lot in common with religion where you do penance for your original sin and lead a simple life of contemplating God in some monastery.

Hence the faithfull can demonstrate their goodness but flying to some enviro conference even if the private jet burns a bit of gas getting there.


A lot of the "personal carbon footprint" was driven by oil industry marketing campaigns in order to shift blame.

Then add in existing degrowth movements.


Greens brainwashed by big oil marketing, sounds about right.


Let's do it! Macron just announced the French are doing small nuclear reactors with a massive investment.


There are many arguments against nuclear and they aren't going anywhere. I find myself in the middle, I hope that renewables can displace all other power modes, but also find nuclear enticing for base load.

What stops an economic powerhouse like the EU:

- engineering and design costs are insane for new nuclear plants

- waste is also probably expensive given a largely urbanized continent

- solar and wind plummeting in costs, as well as batteries (yes, I will admit this is counter to the previous point as solar/wind occupy more space than waste storage)

- potentially, a stigma associating nuclear energy with former incompetent governance

- not all of EU (or world) is in a geographically stable region, i.e. resilient against earthquakes, which would balloon the cost of a safe nuclear power plant


Finland with its cold winters doesn't exactly have a lot of sunlight and it knows better than to depend on Russia for energy, so at this point geographical reality is that nuclear power really seems the best option.


It's not that there isn't sunlight, it's that the sunlight is massively skewed towards the summer when it's between +20°C and +30°C with low energy demand, and not during the winter when it's -10°C to -30°C with high energy demand. You could get 24/7 solar power in Lapland for like a month when the sun comes up in June and finally sets in July.


What if we agreed that Nuclear energy could be considered green only if it isn't a design that provides dual use enriching fuel for nuclear weapons? Creating nuclear weapons seems incompatible with preserving the environment.

It seems that the nuclear reactor choices have historically been geared towards the dual purposes of 1) Producing power AND 2) Enriching fuel for the most environmentally destructive weapons ever invented. If we were to decouple those two things we'd probably unlock some interesting designs that have fewer problems with long-lived waste and provide a part of our green energy future.


I think we should also include long term disposal and reprocessing requirements in there too.


This sounds clever.

Can anyone knowledgeable chime in, please? I'd love to see more nuclear power.


The problem is that reactors that can do enriching are also the ones you want to ensure fuel safety - as they can run on natural (not enriched) uranium.

If you need enriched uranium to start, then you need enrichment plants, which have 0 difference between making fuel or bomb core (about only real difference being that U-235 as bomb core is somewhat low efficiency option compared to plutonium or thorium fuel cycles).

Meanwhile plutonium produced from reactors can be milled together with uranium to produce MOX fuels to be burnt again, often in reactor not capable of breeding fuel.

P.S. Thorium doesn't fix any of that, it just was IIRC a bit more complex to use for power generation and for bomb making plutonium won by slight difference.


The next good nuclear news from Finland will hopefully be about the new reactor entering production, currently expected in the next June. The EPR construction has been impossibly overtime and over budget, but one would hope constructing more of the same type of unit should be faster. Right?


The operating costs of Nuclear are minimal, the problem is planning, building, regulating, decommissioning them.

On that basis, modular nuclear reactors seem to make the most sense. Rolls Royce in the UK looks to be onto a winner with their 470mw SMR:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_small_modular_reactor_...

2 years site prep, 2 years building the unit. £1.8 billion per unit. They could be mass produced with the right investment.

Operate them for 60 years each, take out the remaining fuel, and just leave the rest of the power plant in the ground forever.

We should be mass producing these units right now and installing them across the EU, UK, USA, Australia. We could be building 100 a year with the right investment.



Flamanville and Olkiluoto are the lead ships in that class. They pay for the loss of institutional knowledge since building the previous generation in France. Now with that experience the new EPR design (EPR 2) improves for the coming series.


I know OL3 is not the only EPR under construction. Flamanville construction was started too early though, to augment much of the lessons learned from the other plant's construction. In fact I think both plants have had quite similar problems. It is these things that I would expect to be better understood in the possible future EPR projects.


Here is official press release from Finnish Government, which also links to the statement from the ministers: https://valtioneuvosto.fi/en/-/1410877/lintila-and-other-eu-...

Also the relevant EC page has a section on nuclear energy that has some more information: https://ec.europa.eu/info/business-economy-euro/banking-and-...


For the purpose of the climate crisis, we should talk about "carbon neutral" instead of "sustainable". It's both more clearly defined and more relevant to the current challenge.


They did that because they’re both deep into it and because that’s the right thing to do. Just for comparison let’s have a look at the “green” Germany emissions.


I’ve been pro-nuclear for the past 20+ years and have echoed the same arguments and sentiments expressed here. However, I’ve started to waver.

Is it naive idealism to expect a future where nuclear technology won’t be weaponized? We have to maintain global peace for thousands of years without a large-scale war. It’s incredibly unlikely given that scale of time that global peace will be continuously maintained.


> We have to maintain global peace for thousands of years without a large-scale war.

Except for the reasonably regular large scale wars.

> It’s incredibly unlikely given that scale of time that global peace will be continuously maintained.

If anything has become clearer over the last 20 years to me it is that the gun and bomb are becoming less powerful. Until there is a life sustaining resource, for which there is no technical solution, any conflict will be fought by proxy and by internet.


Arguably the _only_ real, reliable, sustainable energy option we have right now. That is if you believe that we're actually are in a "crisis" rather than virtue signal on the issue as you jet around the world in a private plane, which "climate advocates" have the habit of doing.


By the time all needed nuclear reactors are built, there won’t be anything left to sustain. Time to first watt for nuclear is so atrocious it isn’t even funny. You could install and end of life an equivalent amount of wind, solar and batteries for the same money and time (…hyperbole, but maybe not).


My limited understanding is that (this is France and Spain FWIW) nuclear centrals way back were built to provide energy as a first source, non-stop.

Wind and solar energies are not stable and can grant all the supply. So, at least in France, there has been at least one nuclear central that was adapted as "backup energy". It could start/stop in one minute and increase every minute the amount of energy by a lot, but I do not remember the numbers right now, sorry.

All in all, and, as I said, with my limited understanding, nuclear energy could be ok as a backup of energy if the centrals are adapted or built on purpose for it, favoring clean energy when possible.

In Spain, a windy day a few years ago could give you around 40% of the supply for that day. There is also solar energy. But do not forget, these energies are not a panacea: some days are windy or sunny but others are not and the supply is much lower.

It looks to me like there is a lot of politization around this and people keep repeating "wind, solar" as if that granted the supply. That is factually wrong, I am pretty sure since I consider my sources of information reliable (people close to me having worked around 16 years in the energy market exclusively).


I completely agree, that’s why I said “wind, solar and batteries” :)


I am not sure about batteries. Energy leakage and all of that? Also, noone built really giant batteries is what I heard last. They could be feasible, or maybe not. So I have no idea if what you propose is possible or science fiction right now.


Isn't traditional nuclear power, while sustainable, also immensely dangerous?


Nuclear is the safest form of energy generation we have today when measured in deaths per unit of energy produced.

Nuclear kills 90 people per terawatt generated, rooftop solar kills 440 per terawatt. Hydro kills 1,400 and wind kills 150.


> Nuclear is the safest form of energy generation we have today when measured in deaths per unit of energy produced.

How does that compare to what we have deployed in the wild?


This isn't really predictive of the future though. So far we 've had very good luck that all the catastrophic failures of nuclear have resulted in minimal loss of life. A bad nuclear meltdown could kill thousands or worse. There is no path to solar or wind suddenly becoming exponentially more dangerous than it currently is.


You're right, it's not predictive of the future because modern reactors are much safer than 1970s designs and are even less likely to kill anyone.


Watt is not a unit of energy, but of power. Did you mean TWh? What are your sources?


> What are your sources?

Electricity generation and health

The Lancet, Volume 370, Issue 9591, 15–21 September 2007, Pages 979-990


The options are either kill a few people every day or MAYBE there is a black swan event and a bunch of people die.

Based on the history of nuclear power, I'd still choose nuclear.


Where does the immense danger come from?


Tail risks. Black swans if you wish. Unknown unknowns which leave the immediate area uninhabitable forever and a wide radius for generations.


If your alternative is fossil, you need to compare this to land lost due to rising sea levels, desertification etc.


absolutely... no good options. fusion maybe, if it finally works.


The lack of support for nuclear power is truly astounding, especially as we watch the slow motion car crash of climate change happening around us.

It's obviously unsurprising from anti-science Republicans, but the Democratic party as a whole should be deeply embarrassed that they're going toe to toe on irrationality with the other side on such an important issue.


Whatever Republican’s views are on climate change, they’ve been consistently pro nuclear power.


Until Democrats' start supporting it, at least :/


Well we won't know until Democrats start supporting it...


I recall nuclear being part of Hillary Clinton's presidential platform, and Biden has mentioned it as well, though I'm not sure it's a priority for him. Lobbyists are more an issue than political parties when it comes to energy. Nuclear energy doesn't have a powerful lobbying arm like Big Oil, unless you count the military.


Won't really matter which party supports it because <50% of the population supports is


Do they support it in their backyards? I do, but do they?


I have yet to hear an argument from a pro-nuclear power supporter that excluded building plants nearby.

Conversely, we tend to see massive wind and solar farms built far away from the people most adamantly insisting they are the only green future...


New Hampshire (the most conservative state in New England, one of the most conservative states in the Northeast) has a nuclear reactor, placed near its extremely short coastline.


You need to stop thinking these parties make sense, both are pro science, both are anti-science. They're a random set of beliefs/agendas/policies that are not coherent. For instance, before covid democrats were the party of the anti-vaxxers.

They don't represent the majority - their membership and approval has been declining. They're about power and directing money to their constituents.


I think it goes beyond political party. It sounds like a basic human level misunderstanding and lack of foresight. Also the understandable choice during the heyday to pick the one kind of nuclear power that created weapons as a by product. Unless I'm missing something. Is there a world-wide acceptance of nuclear power and only the USA is outstanding in their phobia? I honestly don't know, my understanding of world politics is a bit thin.




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