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JennyJ comments on New research on effective climate charities - Effective Altruism Forum

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Comment author: JennyJ 12 July 2018 08:25:03AM 1 point [-]

I turned first to Appendix 5 on concerns about nuclear power and found this: "It needs to be borne in mind that all forms of energy production involve waste." Is this correct? What sort of waste do solar & wind power produce? if you are recommending nuclear power because the waste it produces is not as bad as that from fossil fuels, but have made an erroneous assumption about waste from renewable sources like solar and wind, then it invalidates the conclusion that nuclear power is a good sector to promote.

Furthermore, reliance on future technology which does not yet exist to deal with the after-effects is yet another instance of visiting the sins of the fathers on their children - it's reproducing the same behaviour that got us into our present fix (on the brink if not quite yet over it of catastrophic climate change) in the first place!

I'll read the rest (not all of it backwards!) and may have other queries/comments.

Comment author: Halstead 12 July 2018 03:49:26PM 2 points [-]

Hello, yes wind and solar also both produce waste - old wind turbines and solar panels have to be disposed of. AFAIK, solar involves the handling of hazardous toxic waste to produce the panels - this is why solar has higher death rates per kwh than nuclear, on some studies. Solar and wind are very energy diffuse which means they involve large amounts of hardware; nuclear is energy dense so involves much less land use and waste.

See this paper on wind turbine blade waste - https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0956053X17300491

On your second point, we deal quite easily with nuclear waste with current technology, so I don't think this argument works. It will be even easier to deal with in the future presumably, and there isn't very much of it, in the grand scheme of hazardous waste