Windmills and Birds

Subject: Windmills and Birds
From: Andrew Taylor <>
Date: Wed, 25 Jan 2006 19:26:11 +1100
On Wed, Jan 25, 2006 at 02:48:11PM +1000, Tim Murphy wrote:
> Believe it or not, we'll get to  Peak Coal and Peak Uranium
> fairly quickly as well.

Maybe for the uranium resources we are currently using but there are
others.  The world's oceans contain 4,000,000,000 tonnes of uranium.
Extracting it is likely to become feasible within some decades, at least
in the quantities required for breeder reactors.  I've seen a calculation
that a small fraction of the uranium carried annually by the earth's
rivers into the ocean could, in breeder reactors, supply the world's
current electricity demands.  I gather we'd look to thorium first though.

The scale of production should be remember when making comparisons.
Power reactors typically generate about a gigawatt and several are
often sited together.  One of the wind farms discussed here because
of its possible impact on Orange-bellied Parrots was 50 megawatts.
Allowing for capacity factor you need you need 50+ of these farms to
generate a comparable amount of electricity to one reactor.

I think it be better for birds, if stable countries with strong safety
culture built more replicated and well-designed nuclear power stations
(Chernobyl was an old and very poor design).  I doubt I'll see one built
in Australia though.

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