High quality jobs: banned in Ireland's "Smart Economy"!

Cut Once

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There are plenty of high-quality jobs for engineers and scientists currently available on a neighbouring island. HSE - Current Opportunities
There are no such jobs available to us in Ireland as we have banned nuclear power here. What kind of a "Smart Economy" bans jobs that will last for 60 years or more, cannot be relocated to lower-cost economies and provide many spin-off opportunities for local businesses?

One day, Ireland will have the confidence to join the ever-increasing number of countries that are adopting nuclear power. The sooner we start, the sooner we will have the jobs and the lower electricity prices.

We could certainly do with the boost that nuclear power would bring in the form of good jobs and lower electricity prices.

There are many County Councils that would love to have the associated benefits of guaranteed rates, 3rd level colleges, good policing and civil defense, local health services, high employment for current and future generations - and in a pollution-free environment. It's time to overturn the ban!
 


ManOfReason

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I won't hold my breath. My ten year old came was learning about energy in school last week and - you guessed it - the only mention of nuclear power was Chernobyl - followed by wonderful stories about how wind power and wave power would solve all our energy needs. As long as the propagandists have control of our schools there is little hope of a reasoned debate on nuclear power emerging in this country.

That said, I think the best solution would be for us to go halves on a nuclear plant in NI and share the energy 50/50 - simply because the UK already have all the regulatory authorities needed and our governments are incapable of doing anything right.
 

Libero

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What kind of a "Smart Economy" bans jobs that will last for 60 years or more, cannot be relocated to lower-cost economies and provide many spin-off opportunities for local businesses?
Probably the same sort of smart economy that doesn't want to run the risk of poisoning its entire workforce with the byproducts of the industry you have in mind.

But you already knew that, which probably explains the oh-so-coy thread title and appeal to the jobs benefit.

BTW, a lot of those jobs you link to are supported by reprocessing rather than power generation. Do you think Ireland should go in for that as well?
 

Cut Once

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You are quite right about the propagandists.

You're also correct about sharing the energy with NI. We are already in a shared Single Electricity Market, so it would not be too important about which side of the border it was on from an energy perspective. But from a security of supply perspective it may be different.

It would not be a Government responsibility to actually do the work. That would be delegated to companies that have shown ability to deliver the goods in times past and present.

ESB currently operate good power stations both in Ireland and abroad. So do Endesa (who have 4 stations in Ireland and operate nuclear plants abroad). Irish people are at least as capable of running complex plants as anybody.Check out Intel, Google, many pharmaceutical companies and many others for reference!
 

Cut Once

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Probably the same sort of smart economy that doesn't want to run the risk of poisoning its entire workforce with the byproducts of the industry you have in mind.

But you already knew that, which probably explains the oh-so-coy thread title and appeal to the jobs benefit.

BTW, a lot of those jobs you link to are supported by reprocessing rather than power generation. Do you think Ireland should go in for that as well?
What is the actual risk of poisoning the entire workforce, please? You can ask the RPII for advice if you don't know the answer.

And no - we should not go in for reprocessing.
 

Watcher2

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Until I see the real cost (mostly financial) of building and running those plants, and long term projections of uranium prices and the timescales for uranium supply depletion then I will firmly stay in the "no nuclear" camp.

What is the cost of designing and building a nuclear power station?
What is the financial cost of disposing of nuclear waste?
How long before uranium supplies run out, or turn uneconomic?
What is the ongoing cost of safety and clean up of uranium and nuclear plants?
Who controls the supply or uranium - are we going to be beholden to another mid eastern regime?

Then lets look, intelligantly, at the safe and cleaner alternatives.

I know that wind energy is not the panacea the greens and others say it is, but that is not the only option. There are many and an integrated approach is required. Wind can certainly be an element, as can wave energy - we are an island for God sake.

As for fueling the transport system, hydrogen fuel cells are a better alternative than anyother power source (although there is some way to go I believe before their full scale roll out). That said, the time it would take to get a nuclear power station up and running is probably longer than "perfecting" the fuel cell technology, even if the government allowed such power source in the morning.

Nah, there are just too many downsides to nuclear no matter how you cut it.
 

Libero

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Cut Once said:
What is the actual risk of poisoning the entire workforce, please? You can ask the RPII for advice if you don't know the answer.
I can?

That sounds like a claim that the RPII already possess the expertise and experience to assess the risk from nuclear power plants in Ireland.

But if that's the case, then there isn't the scope for employment that your OP suggested.

Anyhow, if you really do support nuclear power, you should probably avoid arguments about job creation, where the jobs in question are meant to address the major risks inherent in nuclear power generation.
"Support nuclear power! Your son or daughter might get a job protecting you from the danger of radiation poisoning!"
 

Cut Once

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Nah, there are just too many downsides to nuclear no matter how you cut it.
Would it be fair to say, then, that you think Finland is wrong to expand its nuclear portfolio? Also wrong are France, Sweden, UK, China, India, Estonia, Ukraine, Brazil, Mexico (to name but a few) who are building or planning to build new nuclear plants?

French nuclear plants produce power for 1.2 c/unit in their existing stations and will produce for 2.8 c/unit in their new ones. Ireland offers 14 c/unit to offshore wind - does this make sense? Irish domestic electricity is 50% dearer than Finnish prices, and our industrial electricity is twice the cost of that in Finland. How many jobs are we losing due to higher energy costs?

Even at current uranium prices, there is more than enough uranium resources to outlast the 60-year design life of any nuclear plant we would build. And the resources increase as the price increases. The electricity still stays cheap, however, as fuel cost is such a small proportion of the overall cost of nuclear power.

Uranium comes from stable, friendly countries such as Canada and Australia, and the spent fuel would return to them if and when the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership comes into being.

Renewables can play a part, although they are far more expensive. Even if they produce 40% of our power, from where do we get the other 60% if we do not get some of it from nuclear?
 

Watcher2

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Would it be fair to say, then, that you think Finland is wrong to expand its nuclear portfolio? Also wrong are France, Sweden, UK, China, India, Estonia, Ukraine, Brazil, Mexico (to name but a few) who are building or planning to build new nuclear plants?

French nuclear plants produce power for 1.2 c/unit in their existing stations and will produce for 2.8 c/unit in their new ones. Ireland offers 14 c/unit to offshore wind - does this make sense? Irish domestic electricity is 50% dearer than Finnish prices, and our industrial electricity is twice the cost of that in Finland. How many jobs are we losing due to higher energy costs?

Even at current uranium prices, there is more than enough uranium resources to outlast the 60-year design life of any nuclear plant we would build. And the resources increase as the price increases. The electricity still stays cheap, however, as fuel cost is such a small proportion of the overall cost of nuclear power.

Uranium comes from stable, friendly countries such as Canada and Australia, and the spent fuel would return to them if and when the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership comes into being.

Renewables can play a part, although they are far more expensive. Even if they produce 40% of our power, from where do we get the other 60% if we do not get some of it from nuclear?
Maybe I'm wrong but since these countries already are committed to nuclear and have that infrastructure in place, I assume it is easier and cheaper for them to expand. We on the otherhand have no nuclear industry and therefore I can only assume that it would be far more expensive for us to get such an industry up and running here.

Also, I will never again believe figures published as costs, or accounts of companies. Do your per unit cost include set up and waste disposal costs, or are they pure operating per unit costs? If you strip out one time costs like set up and waste disposal and many other costs so regularly stripped from accounts and figures, it is easy to say something costs very little.

We can never I dont think rule out the existing sources of electricity and I'm not sure that is a bad thing. People keep banging on about peak oil and gas (less so about gas) but if we can reduce our dependance on such fuels, the life span of them will lengthen. In the mean time we can develop cleaner sources of power and ensure we exploit them to their full.

And wind can be harnessed with hydro power to give it that additional supply time. So lets not run to something as dangerous as nuclear so quickly (or not so quick in Irelands case).
 

Watcher2

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Would it be fair to say, then, that you think Finland is wrong to expand its nuclear portfolio? Also wrong are France, Sweden, UK, China, India, Estonia, Ukraine, Brazil, Mexico (to name but a few) who are building or planning to build new nuclear plants?

French nuclear plants produce power for 1.2 c/unit in their existing stations and will produce for 2.8 c/unit in their new ones. Ireland offers 14 c/unit to offshore wind - does this make sense? Irish domestic electricity is 50% dearer than Finnish prices, and our industrial electricity is twice the cost of that in Finland. How many jobs are we losing due to higher energy costs?

Even at current uranium prices, there is more than enough uranium resources to outlast the 60-year design life of any nuclear plant we would build. And the resources increase as the price increases. The electricity still stays cheap, however, as fuel cost is such a small proportion of the overall cost of nuclear power.

Uranium comes from stable, friendly countries such as Canada and Australia, and the spent fuel would return to them if and when the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership comes into being.

Renewables can play a part, although they are far more expensive. Even if they produce 40% of our power, from where do we get the other 60% if we do not get some of it from nuclear?
And another thing, we all know the end cost of electricity in Ireland is not linked to production cost. We aqll know that it is a fiction imposed by the regulator to attract competition into this overpriced and rip off republic. If we did get nuclear in this country, do you honestly believe it would result in reduced energy costs to the consumer?

Now who is being niaive?
 

Cut Once

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Libero,

You are the one who raised the risk of "poisoning its entire workforce", and I asked you to tell us what the risk is. You haven't done so, so I assume that you don't know what the risk is.

The RPII (Radiological Protection Institute of Ireland) is grossly understaffed as it is, and there would need to be an extra cohort of staff employed in the event of us going nuclear. The costs would be borne by the nuclear power plant and the electricity would still be cheaper than other sources.

There would be other jobs in operation, maintenance, insurance, finance, health, policing, education, foreign and domestic consultancy, inspection, regulation, ancillary services and so on and on.

And then there are the jobs we don't lose through having electricity costs that are comparable with our neighbours.
 

Cut Once

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And another thing, we all know the end cost of electricity in Ireland is not linked to production cost. We aqll know that it is a fiction imposed by the regulator to attract competition into this overpriced and rip off republic. If we did get nuclear in this country, do you honestly believe it would result in reduced energy costs to the consumer?

Now who is being niaive?
Competition is already here in the electricity market and price regulation is about to end. There are already 7 major players in the electricity generation market that I can think of straight away. There are also a number of major companies in the electricity supply market.

We operate a Single Electricity Market here and prices determine which generator gets to run.

If you don't believe me that nuclear power would reduce electricity prices, would you believe the SEAI (Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland)? Their report showed that nuclear is one of the cheapest ways to avoid carbon emissions.

Or would you believe EirGrid who reported that no other technology could produce lower domestic electricity prices than nuclear?
 

daveL

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Ireland

Embrace Science!

Joking right?

This is the nation that produces electricity with solid fuel powered generators with about 10-15% efficiency.

And pays the wonderful engineers to maintain such a pile of antiquated clapped out old crap well in excess of 100k per year
 
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Watcher2

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Competition is already here in the electricity market and price regulation is about to end. There are already 7 major players in the electricity generation market that I can think of straight away. There are also a number of major companies in the electricity supply market.

We operate a Single Electricity Market here and prices determine which generator gets to run.

If you don't believe me that nuclear power would reduce electricity prices, would you believe the SEAI (Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland)? Their report showed that nuclear is one of the cheapest ways to avoid carbon emissions.

Or would you believe EirGrid who reported that no other technology could produce lower domestic electricity prices than nuclear?
Yes, I know competition is here. The regulator increased prices so much that any supplier would have been made NOT to come here. That was my point. It is not the cost of producing the damn thing that dictates end user cost, it is the dogma of the regulator.

Everything else you say is undermined by that simple fact.

You hinmt that the regulator will be done away with, if that indeed is the case then perhaps costs to produce will once again be the driving force of end use prices. However, I dont believe the regulators office will indeed be scrapped so unfortunately I cant believe your argument.
 

Cut Once

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Maybe I'm wrong but since these countries already are committed to nuclear and have that infrastructure in place, I assume it is easier and cheaper for them to expand. We on the otherhand have no nuclear industry and therefore I can only assume that it would be far more expensive for us to get such an industry up and running here.
True. However the final electricity prices are still cheaper than renewables.

Also, I will never again believe figures published as costs, or accounts of companies. Do your per unit cost include set up and waste disposal costs, or are they pure operating per unit costs? If you strip out one time costs like set up and waste disposal and many other costs so regularly stripped from accounts and figures, it is easy to say something costs very little.
Most quoted costs of nuclear include an amount for spent fuel disposal and decommissioning. The quoted French 1.2 c/unit included the cost of set-up as well, but the newer French plants at 2.8 c/unit are higher due to the cost of money and depreciation. Compare this to 22 c/unit for wave energy and ask whether this is a price you are wiling to pay.

We can never I dont think rule out the existing sources of electricity and I'm not sure that is a bad thing. People keep banging on about peak oil and gas (less so about gas) but if we can reduce our dependance on such fuels, the life span of them will lengthen.
Most scientists believe that existing sources (coal, oil, gas) are bad for the planet, and most people accept that their prices are due to increase as they get more scarce.

Also, why burn such a valuable feedstock for the petrochemical industry? This is a complete waste of an extraordinarily versatile resource.

In the mean time we can develop cleaner sources of power and ensure we exploit them to their full.
Cleaner sources of power have been developed. They are called nuclear power and are the safest means of generating large quantities of power known to man.

And wind can be harnessed with hydro power to give it that additional supply time. So lets not run to something as dangerous as nuclear so quickly (or not so quick in Irelands case).
Wind energy is expensive as it is without lumbering it with the additional overhead of hydro storage.

So, let's seriously consider all the power generating options (including renewables and nuclear) before we get lumbered with a power system that is more expensive than it needs to be and, worse, that is not always there when we need it!
 

Cut Once

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Yes, I know competition is here. The regulator increased prices so much that any supplier would have been made NOT to come here. That was my point. It is not the cost of producing the damn thing that dictates end user cost, it is the dogma of the regulator.

Everything else you say is undermined by that simple fact.

You hinmt that the regulator will be done away with, if that indeed is the case then perhaps costs to produce will once again be the driving force of end use prices. However, I dont believe the regulators office will indeed be scrapped so unfortunately I cant believe your argument.
No - I don't believe the regulator's office will or should be done away with.

However, the days of regulated prices are about to end. The regulator has done the job of introducing competition in both generation and supply markets.

Both markets work through a Gross Mandatory Pool and are working reasonably well. I suggest you address any deficiencies through the appropriate channels.
 

Cut Once

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Ireland

Embrace Science!

Joking right?

This is the nation that produces electricity with solid fuel powered generators with about 10-15% efficiency.

And pays the wonderful engineers to maintain such a pile of antiquated clapped out old crap well in excess of 100k per year
Our biggest solid-fuel station is Moneypoint, and it was built instead of the proposed nuclear station in Carnsore. At its peak, Moneypoint emitted over 6 million tons of Carbon Dioxide per year.

I understand some Greens still look back on this as one of their greatest achievements!
 

Libero

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Cut Once said:
Libero,

You are the one who raised the risk of "poisoning its entire workforce", and I asked you to tell us what the risk is. You haven't done so, so I assume that you don't know what the risk is.
Of course I don't know what the risk is. I'm not a nuclear scientist. Then again, neither are you, I suspect. And since you're the one who first made reference to nuclear safety in general, linking to a website for the UK Health and Safety Executive and Nuclear Installations Inspectorate, you might admit the burden of proof is on you rather than me.

In that case, if you want to refer us to the expert opinion of nuclear scientists, that's fair enough. Just remember that if you're holding out nuclear power as a great source of rewarding employment for nuclear experts of all kinds, be sure to find a properly independent source of opinion.

And Ireland has a poor record of regulatory capture. Referring us to the safety record of foreign regulators, in support of nuclear power in Ireland, is like arguing that banking in Ireland is a low-risk activity, by reference to the good record of the Dutch regulatory authorities.
 

Watcher2

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True. However the final electricity prices are still cheaper than renewables.

Most quoted costs of nuclear include an amount for spent fuel disposal and decommissioning. The quoted French 1.2 c/unit included the cost of set-up as well, but the newer French plants at 2.8 c/unit are higher due to the cost of money and depreciation. Compare this to 22 c/unit for wave energy and ask whether this is a price you are wiling to pay.

Most scientists believe that existing sources (coal, oil, gas) are bad for the planet, and most people accept that their prices are due to increase as they get more scarce.

Also, why burn such a valuable feedstock for the petrochemical industry? This is a complete waste of an extraordinarily versatile resource.

Cleaner sources of power have been developed. They are called nuclear power and are the safest means of generating large quantities of power known to man.

Wind energy is expensive as it is without lumbering it with the additional overhead of hydro storage.

So, let's seriously consider all the power generating options (including renewables and nuclear) before we get lumbered with a power system that is more expensive than it needs to be and, worse, that is not always there when we need it!
I agree that discussion should occur unlike the "sweeping under the carpet" mentality so prevelant in Ireland. I still remain to be convinced that nuclear is the best noption, cheaper perhaps, after what you say, but there are other considerations around health that have me firmly in the no camp.

Put it like this, would you be willing to live beside a nuclear generator and have your kids or other loved ones and yourself exposed to the, at least perceived, dangers? Are you THAT convinced of its safety? And please answer that honestly and not just to win the argument.
 

Cennetig

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Renewables can play a part, although they are far more expensive. Even if they produce 40% of our power, from where do we get the other 60% if we do not get some of it from nuclear?
Renewable technologies are expensive initially yes, but after the initial investment the maintenance costs are low. Nuclear is also expensive initially.

We should also look at energy conservation. Retro fitting buildings to make them more energy efficient could create jobs. And with smart sensor technology ever developing, it should be an area that sees some growth.

While nuclear has its benefits I can't see it being sold to the Irish people to be honest. Look at any anti incinerator campaign and think of that being 100 times bigger re nuclear.
 


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