Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.~Aldous Huxley
Energy Policy Must be Based on Facts, not Myths
It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble.
It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so. ~ Mark Twain
- Energy is not renewable– but some sources of motion (wind & water), light (solar) and fuel (crops) seem “continuous” on human time scales.
- A wind farm can be built in 18 months, but building a transmission line can take five to 10 years.
Respect those who seek the truth, be wary of those who claim to have found it.
Sustainable Society: A society that balances the environment, other life forms, and human interactions over an indefinite time period.
Energy can be defined as the "capacity for doing work."(Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, Seventh Edition).Alternative energy sources are sometimes thought of as easily interchangeable. Energy is energy: there are no great problems in switching from one energy source to another. This is a myth.
The three major energy stakeholders - the public, policymakers, and businesses - either lack an understanding about energy's essentiality or are fragmented in their approach to solutions.
Six Fundamental Realities
We need two things: a fact-based awareness of our energy challenges and a national consensus on energy and related matters involving all stakeholders-business, environmental groups, energy producers and users, and others. The time has come for the people and the politicians of our country to understand and recognize some fundamental realities about energy.
1. Without a growing and diverse supply of affordable energy, our nation will not be able to grow, compete, or lead in a changing world.
2. The United States faces enormous competitive pressures across the globe for energy resources. While our domestic demand will grow by one-third between now and 2030, global demand will expand by as much as 70%!
3. We have tremendous untapped resources at home. In fact, neither our country nor the world is anywhere close to running out of coal, oil, or gas. Many would be surprised to learn that this nation does not import most of its energy. Two-thirds of it comes from domestic sources. That's because we use the biggest share of our energy to produce electricity. Most of that power comes from coal, nuclear, domestic natural gas, and hydroelectric power-not imported oil.
The two nations that account for the largest shares of our petroleum imports are Canada and Mexico. They make up 30% of our imports; the Middle East, 17%.
4. Diversifying our energy supply, investing in alternative sources and fuels, and achieving greater efficiency all make good sense and must be a part of any comprehensive strategy.
But even if we vigorously pursue all these avenues - and we should - it's not going to change the fact that our nation, and the world, must still rely on traditional sources such as oil, gas, and coal for decades to come. These fossil fuels meet 86% of our energy needs today-and objective experts agree it will be the same in the year 2030.
5. However one chooses to assess the risk of climate change - whether you think it is an imminent disaster about to happen or a longer-term risk that can be addressed over time - it is impossible to deny that climate change is a global challenge requiring a global approach.
Within a year, China will surpass the United States as the number one emitter of greenhouse gases. India and other large, developing nations are catching up too.
So as the scientific inquiry continues, and it must, we must work to ensure that responses to climate change are global and flexible. They should embrace both technology and greater efficiency. And they must allow this country to acquire and use the affordable energy we need to compete and create and sustain American jobs.
6. Energy infrastructure is as important as the energy resources themselves: the refineries, pipelines, power plants, transmission lines, and the roads and sea lanes that carry our fuel.
Of the 6.2 billion people on the planet today, nearly 2 billion people do not even have electricity.
Over the past 33 years, humankind has consumed more than three times the world’s known oil reserves in 1976, and proven oil reserves today are nearly double what they were before we started.
The lesson that we should have learned from the 1970s is that when it comes to deciding how much energy gets used, what types of energy get used, and where, how and by whom energy gets used, the job is too important not to be left to markets.
Planet earth does appear to be warming – but by a not-so-unusual and not-so-alarming one degree over the past 100 years. Indeed, global average temperatures have increased by about one degree per century since the end of the so-called Little Ice Age 250 years ago.Carbon dioxide concentration in the upper atmosphere has increased over the past 250 years, from about 280 parts per million in 1750 to about 380 parts per million today – that is .00038. What that number means is that carbon dioxide (CO2) – the gas that everyone exhales every three seconds or so, the gas that plants need to grow – is a trace gas, comprising just four out of every 10,000 molecules in the atmosphere. But, it is a very important trace gas, for without CO2 in the atmosphere, the earth would be a lifeless ball covered with ice. Most scientists believe that humans are responsible for much of that increase.
If the only input were CO2, the output would be simple: Doubling the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere would result in only about a one-degree increase in global average temperatures over the next 100 years. But the earth’s climate is what engineers refer to as a “nonlinear, dynamic system.” There are dozens of inputs, and many of the inputs into these models are little more than the opinion of the scientist – in some cases, just a guess.
Water vapor is the most important greenhouse gas – far more potent than CO2. Scientists do not agree on how to model water vapor, clouds, precipitation and evaporation. There is no consensus on this fundamental issue.
The reality for American consumers is that whether or not you agree that the science is settled, the political science is settled.The new Congress has promised to “do something.” CO2 regulation is coming.
Under cap-and-trade, the government would try to create a market for CO2 by selling credits to companies that emit CO2. They would set a cap for the maximum amount of CO2 emissions. Over time, the cap would be lowered. In theory, this will induce companies to invest in lower-carbon technologies, thus reducing emissions to avoid the cost of buying credits from other companies that have already met their emissions goals. The costs of the credits would be passed on to consumers. Because virtually everything we do and consume in modern life has a carbon footprint, the cost of just about everything will go up. This in theory will cause each of us to choose products that have a lower-carbon footprint. Any way you slice it, cap-and-trade is a tax on the way we live our lives – one that by design will produce a windfall for government.
Here is the crucial point. The long-term goal is “80 by 50”– an 80 percent reduction in CO2 emissions by 2050.
“80 by 50” would require a reduction in America’s carbon footprint from about 20 tons per person per year today, to less than 2.0 tons per person per year in 2050 – again, a 90 percent reduction in the per capita carbon footprint.
Question: When was America’s carbon footprint as low as 2.0 tons per person per year?
Answer: Not since the Pilgrims arrived at Plymouth Rock in 1620.
“80 by 50” means that by the time today’s college grads are 50, they will not be allowed to use anything made with – or made possible by – fossil fuels.
The hallmark of this dilemma is our inability to reconcile our prosperity and our way of life with our environmental ideals. We Americans love our cars. We like the freedom to “move about the country” – to drive to work, fly to conferences, visit distant friends and family. We aspire to own the biggest house we can afford. We like to keep our homes and offices warm in the winter and cool in the summer. We like devices that use electricity – computers, flat-screen TVs, cell phones, the Internet, and many other conveniences of modern life that come with a power cord. We want food that is low cost, high quality, and free of bugs – which means farmers must use fertilizers and pesticides made from fossil fuels. We like things made of plastic and clothes made with synthetic fibers – and all of these things depend on abundant, affordable, growing supplies of energy.
And guess what? We share this planet with 5.9 billion other people who all want the same things.
America’s energy use has been growing at about 1.5 percent per year, driven by population growth and prosperity. But while our way of life depends on ever-increasing amounts of energy, we are downright schizophrenic when it comes to the things that energy companies must do to deliver the energy that makes modern life possible.
We want energy security; we do not like being dependent on foreign oil. But we also do not like drilling in the United States. Millions of acres of prospective onshore public lands in the Rockies plus the entire east and west coasts of the United States are off-limits to drilling for a variety of reasons, some legitimate, some not. We hate paying $2 per gallon for gasoline – but not as much as we hate the refineries that turn unusable crude oil into gasoline. We have not allowed anyone to build a new refinery in the United States in over 30 years. We expect the lights to come on when we flip the switch, but we dislike coal, the source of 40 percent of our electricity – it is dirty, and mining scars the earth. We also dislike nuclear power, the source of nearly 20 percent of our electricity – it is clean, but we are afraid of it. Hydropower, the source of about 6 percent of our electricity, is clean and renewable. But it has also been blacklisted – dams hurt fish.
We do not want pollution of any kind, in any amount, but we also do not want to be asked: “How much are we willing to pay for environmental perfection?”
Reality 1: America’s and the world’s demand for energy will grow by 30 to 50 percent over the next two decades, and it will more than double and could triple over the next three. Simply put, America and the rest of the world will need all the energy that markets can deliver. We are going to need it all: oil, natural gas, coal, nuclear, wind, solar, geothermal, biofuels.
Reality 2: There are no near-term alternatives to oil, natural gas and coal. Like it or not, the world runs on fossil fuels, and it will for decades to come. The U.S. government’s own forecast shows that fossil fuels will supply about 85 percent of total world energy demand in 2030 – roughly the same as today. Yes, someday we will find alternatives. But that day is still a long way off. It is not about will. It is not about who is in the White House. It is about thermodynamics and economics.
Back in the 1970s people were told the same thing we are being told today: that wind and solar power are “alternatives” to fossil fuels. A more honest description would be “supplements.” Taken together, wind and solar power today account for just one-sixth of 1 percent of America’s annual energy consumption. One-sixth of 1 percent – .0016.
The problems with wind and solar power become apparent when you look at their footprint. To generate electricity comparable to a 1,000-megawatt (MW) gas-fired power plant, you would have to build a wind farm with at least 500 very tall windmills occupying 40,000 acres of land. What about solar power? America’s most productive utility-scale solar electricity plant, located on 82 acres of land in southwestern Colorado, has a capacity of 8.2 MW. When you take into account the fact that the sun does not always shine, you would need roughly 250 of these plants, occupying roughly 20,000 acres, to replace a single 1,000-MW gas-fired power plant.
By comparison, a 1,000-MW gas-fired power plant can be built on about 10 to 15 acres.
Another example is Sempra Energy’s El Dorado Solar near Las Vegas. At 10 MW, El Dorado Solar is the largest of its kind in North America. It is built next to a 500-MW gas-fired power plant. Sempra plans to run the gas plant and supplement gas power with solar when it is available. This is the current state of the art.
Because U.S. demand for electricity has been growing at about 2 percent per year, we need to build 10,000 to 20,000 MW of new capacity every year to keep pace with growth. There is a worldwide building boom in new coal-fired power plants, with more than 200,000 MW under construction, including 30,000 MW in China. In fact, there are 30 coal plants under construction in the United States today that, when complete, will burn about 70 million tons of coal per year.
Our energy choices are ruthlessly ruled not by political judgments, but by the immutable laws of thermodynamics. In engineer-speak, turning diffused sources of energy such as photons in sunlight or the kinetic energy in wind requires massive investment to concentrate that energy into a form that is usable on any meaningful scale.
What is more, the wind does not always blow and the sun does not always shine. Unless or until there is significant breakthrough in high-density electricity storage – a problem that has confounded scientists for more than a century – wind and solar can never be relied upon to provide base-load power.
Reality 3: Carbon cap-and-trade regulation will drive the cost of energy painfully higher.
man-made carbon dioxide emissions – now.
Reality 4: Even if America does cut CO2 emissions, the same computer models that predict man-made warming over the next century also predict that Kyoto-type CO2 cuts will have no discernible effect on global average temperatures for decades, if at all. The models show that Kyoto reductions would prevent only a small fraction of one degree of warming over the next 50 years. When was the last time you read that in the paper? We have been told that Kyoto was “just a first step.” The next generation may want to ask: “What is the second step?”
That begs another question: “How much are Americans willing to pay for a ‘first step’ that has no discernible effect on global climate?”
Many Europeans today pay at least 20 percent more for electricity as a consequence of their (failed) efforts to sever the link between modern life and CO2 emissions.
Seven Points to Ponder
If Americans are not willing to pay a lot more for their energy, how do we reduce CO2 emissions?
1. We need to improve energy efficiency.
2. We need to stop wasting energy.
3. We need to conserve energy.
4. We need to rethink our irrational fear of nuclear power.
5. We need to substitute low-carbon natural gas for higher-carbon coal and oil.
America’sknown natural gas resource base now exceeds 100 years of supply at current U.S. consumption – and that number is sure to get bigger. Abundant supplies mean that natural gas prices over the next decade and beyond will likely be much lower than over the past five years.
Greater use of natural gas produced in America – by American companies who pay American taxes – will help reduce oil imports. Unlike oil, 98 percent of America’s natural gas supply comes from North America.
It turns out that we have a quick and easy way to cut carbon emissions without driving the price of electricity through the roof: Use clean-burning, low-carbon, American-made natural gas in our existing, underutilized gas-fired power plants.
6. There is no such thing as “clean” coal. But given America and the world’s dependence on coal for electric generation, we need to fund research and development aimed at capturing and storing CO2 from fossil-fuel plants.
7. While many scientists believe that human use of fossil fuels is at least partly responsible for global warming, many also believe that the amount of warming will be modest and the planet will easily adapt. Just about everyone agrees that a modest amount of warming will not harm the planet. In fact, highly respected scientists such as Harvard astrophysicist Willie Soon believe that added CO2 in the atmosphere may actually benefit humankind because more CO2 helps plants grow and increases biodiversity. When was the last time we read that in a newspaper?
There are three major problems with the precautionary principle:
1. None of us live our lives according to the precautionary principle. We accept trade-offs.
2. The media dwells on the potential harm from global warming but ignores the fact that the costs borne to address it will also harm us
3. Economists will tell you that the consequence of what is in effect a huge tax on the way we live our lives will be slower economic growth. Slower economic growth, compounded over several decades, means that we leave future generations with less wealth to deal with the consequences of global warming, whatever they may be.
Humankind has proven to be remarkably adaptive.
You can take every one of the potential problems caused by global warming and identify ways to deal with that problem that cost less than rationing energy use.
Energy choices favored by politicians but not confirmed by markets are destined to fail. If history has taught us anything, it is that we should let markets determine how much energy gets used, what types of energy get used, and where, how and by whom energy gets used. What is more, no form of energy is perfect, so only markets can weigh the advantages and disadvantages of different energy forms. Instead, government’s role is to set reasonable standards for environmental performance and make sure markets work.
Myths & Reality
1. The United States can be energy independent in the next 25 years.
- The world is “flattening;” commodity interdependence is becoming the norm.
- Energy infrastructure transitions take time and are very expensive ($ trillions).
- The United States imports over 30 percent of its energy, mostly as oil, and the trend is increasing.
- Independence requires realistic, scalable alternatives, which do not currently exist but can be developed over several decades.
2. "Renewable energy" can reduce dependence on fossil fuels significantly in the next 25 years.
- Energy is not renewable – some sources of motion (wind & water), light (solar) and fuel (crops) seem “continuous” on human time scales.
- Intermittent sources (solar, wind) are cleaner, less reliable, more expensive, and represent less than 1 percent of the energy mix.
- Base load fuels (coal, natural gas, nuclear) are dirtier, more reliable, and cheaper.
- Decarbonization of the energy mix has been happening for over 150 years, but increased demand for coal in China and elsewhere is beginning to change that.
- The consumer bases his/her energy choice largely on price; alternatives need to be affordable.
3. The economy will adapt easily to a rapid, federally imposed energy transition.
- Concerns about climate have placed the public sights squarely on combustion of fossil energy.
- Economies are inextricably linked to energy; affordability and availability of energy are key to a healthy economy.
- A healthy environment requires a healthy economy.
4. Energy efficiency and savings alone will solve the problem.
- Efficiency and energy savings are vital parts of the solution, but we cannot “save” our way out of a crisis.
- Improved efficiency often increases demand for number of “units” (cars, refrigerators, microwaves, and computers).
- Global industrialization, population growth, and modernization are increasing energy demand.
5. There is abundant low-cost, conventional oil remaining to be discovered.
- Much of the easy to produce (hard to find) conventional oil has been discovered and will plateau and then decline in production; i.e. conventional oil “peak” in the coming decades.
- Much of the easy to find (hard to produce) unconventional oil will be developed in the next hundred years.
- Biofuels require a tremendous amount of energy, water and soil.
- Coal to liquids, gas to liquids, heavy oil and shale oil also require energy and water to produce.
6. "Big Oil" controls the price of oil and gasoline and makes obscene profits.
- Big Oil companies control less than 10 percent of global reserves. i.e., limited access to their primary product, and thus don’t control price.
- Supply and demand are the major drivers of oil price, but price is also related to the value of the dollar, speculation, weather, government policy, and supply disruptions, among other things.
- Lack of access is pushing Big Oil towards “unconventional” oil and natural gas.
- Unconventional oil and natural gas are more expensive to develop (today).
- Oil industry profits are volatile; it is an expensive and risky business.
7. Cutting oil imports will stabilize and lower gasoline prices.
- Oil is a fungible commodity; global demand is increasing and the price of oil is likely to remain high, but volatile.
- Cutting U.S. oil imports will reduce U.S. supplies and drive gasoline price up.
- Increased (carefully considered) access to U.S. resources would help reduce oil import demand as we transition to other fuels; it takes up to a decade to bring new production online.
- Nationalization is popular in certain countries, but a poor idea overall. Global trade and access are vital for a healthy global economy.
8. Global production of oil and natural gas are peaking and we are running out of fossil energy.
- Fossil fuel resources (oil, natural gas and coal) can provide over 200 years at current consumption rates. Issues: emissions and long-term resource life.
- Uranium and nuclear energy potential are vast. Issues: waste disposal and accident impact.
- Dams, hydrothermal, wind, biomass, tides, and other emerging forms provide long-term regional supplements. Issues: cost, technology, and environment.
- Solar energy is vast and electricity storage and transmission technologies should be pursued aggressively. Issues: technology and infrastructure.
9. All coal is dirty.
- Coal reserves are substantial.
- Coal can be made reasonably clean with carbon sequestration
- The power will cost more; a lot more initially.
- There is a choice: store CO2 in the atmosphere (today) or sequester it in subsurface brine reservoirs.
10. The cost of energy is increasing.
- The cost of electricity in the U.S. has been decreasing in real dollars; Clean power will cost more.
- The cost of liquid fuels has decreased overall, until recently. Security of liquid supplies will cost more.
- U.S. Energy use per GDP (energy intensity) continues to decline. Per capita use is relatively flat.
Top 10 Energy Myths in America:
Myth #1: Most of our energy comes from oil.
Reality: Oil represents less than 40 percent of our energy use.
Myth #2: Most of our oil comes from the middle east.
Reality: Two-thirds of our oil comes from North America – the USA, Canada, and Mexico.
Myth #3: We have no choice but to import vast quantities of oil and natural gas.
Reality: The United States could significantly reduce imports by expanding domestic production.
Myth #4: Offshore oil production poses environmental risks, including oil spills and pollution.
Reality: New technology has greatly reduced the risk of oil spills. Reducing oil reservoir pressure through extraction of petroleum will decrease the amount of oil pollution from natural seepage.
Myth #5: Reducing our petroleum use through alternative energies lke solar and wind will increase U.S. energy security.
Reality: Reducing petroleum use will first reduce domestic production, not production in unstable regions. Renewable technologies are subject to import and price security concerns as well.
Myth #6: Energy companies will not invest in clean reliable energy so we need government programs to do so.
Reality: Energy companies are investing huge sums of money to develop cleaner and more reliable sources of energy.
Myth #7: Renewable energies will soon replace most conventional energy sources.
Reality: While growing fast in percentage terms, renewables are a very small fraction of our energy mix and will remain so for the foreseeable future.
Myth #8: The U.S. consumes large amounts of energy and thus emits a disproportionate amount of the world’s greenhouse gasses.
Reality: The United States uses energy and emits a large portion of the world’s emissions because it produces a large portion of the world’s goods and services.
Myth #9: Federal mandates for higher-mileage cars means less energy consumption.
Reality: Increased energy efficiency leads to increased energy use.
Myth #10: Forcing drivers to use alternative fuels will help solve global warming.
Reality: Alternative fuels do not necessarily result in lower greenhouse gas emissions.
Below is a list of myths about energy savings.
Myth: Energy efficiency and energy conservation are the same thing.
Reality: Energy efficiency means getting a job done with less energy. Energy conservation, on the other hand, means reducing the level of services such as reducing lighting or turning up the thermostat of your air conditioner.
Myth: Buying an efficient air conditioner or furnace will automatically reduce my energy bill.
Reality: Typical air conditioners and duct systems are improperly installed, wasting one-third or more of the energy used by the air conditioner. New and replacement equipment (and ducts) need to be properly designed and installed to realize all the possible savings. The same caveats about proper installation hold true for insulation, windows and many other energy-efficiency upgrades.
Myth: Turning up (or down) the thermostat will make your home get warm (or cool) faster.
Reality: It's tempting to think of a thermostat like a water tap — the wider you open it, the more water (heat/cold) will come out. In reality it works more like a light switch in thatif it's "on," the same amount of light (heat/cold) will come out.
Myth: Duct tape is good for sealing ducts.
Reality: Duct tape has very low durability when used to seal ducts. On new installations, tape may fall off because of poor surface preparation, as ducts are installed in dirty and dusty locations and conditions. On older systems, the tape falls off as it ages, and the adhesive dries out and tends to wrinkle.
Myth: When my appliance is turned off, it's off.
Reality: We've found that most devices continue to consume power when they're switched off — sometimes as much power as when they're on! They are called energy vampires.
Myth: Leaving lights, computers and other appliances on uses less energy and makes them last longer than turning them off.
Reality: The small surge of power created when some devices are turned on is vastly smaller than the energy used by running the device when it's not needed. While it used to be the case that cycling appliances and lighting on and off drastically reduced their useful lifetimes, these problems have been largely overcome through better design.
Myth: Halogen lighting is super-efficient.
Reality: It's true that halogen lights use slightly less energy than standard incandescent bulbs, but halogens require transformers that can use extra energy, even when the light is off. They are also a fire hazard. By comparison, compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) are nearly three times as efficient and don't pose a fire hazard. Many new models are dimmable, like halogens.
Myth: Leaving a fluorescent light turned on is cheaper than turning it off and on.
Reality: You should turn off your fluorescent lamps if the space is not going to be occupied for more than a few minutes (three to five minutes is a good rule of thumb). The modern electronic ballast and T8/T5 lamp combination do draw a higher level of current during startup, but it only lasts for a fraction of a second, which is negligible compared with normal current requirements of the lamps.
A bigger concern here may be the impact of frequent on/off cycles on a lamp's life. This does shorten a lamp's life somewhat; however, leaving the lights on all the time also reduces a lamp's life. It has been shown that even though occupancy sensors reduce a lamp's life as measured in total hours, they actually extend the calendar life of a lamp because the lamp operates only during those hours that are needed.
Myth: It uses less energy to boil water if you start with hot water from the tap.
Reality: The same amount of energy (and essentially the same amount of money) is used whether you use hot or cold water. If you use hot water, you've already paid to heat the water in the water heater.
Myth: A power factor correction device can reduce my residential bill.
Reality:The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency states that it has not seen data that prove these types of products for residential use accomplish what they claim.
Myth: New energy sources and technical innovations will eliminate the need for fossil fuels within a few decades.
Reality: Comprehensive energy transitions take several generations.
Myth: Carbon sequestration is the solution to global climate change.
Reality: Because of its costs, technical challenges, and problems with social acceptance, carbon sequestration will not be able to prevent further substantial rise in carbon emissions.
Myth:Electric cars will replace conventional automobiles in the near future.
Reality:Electric cars are expensive, their adoption rate will be slow, and internal combustion engines will dominate the market for decades to come
Myth: Being ‘Paperless’ Means Being Green
Reality— The use of computers is actually increasing the demands on the ecosystem.Myth: Turning-Off The Computer Means Consuming More PowerMyth: Screen Savers and Idling Computers Use Lesser Energy
Reality — The term ‘saver’ doesn't mean use of lesser energy in any way. The use of power even with screen savers is at par or may be even a bit more than a system that is being actively used. Similarly, idling computers use as much energy. Just because someone isn't actually using it doesn't translate into the PC sapping lesser electrical energy.
Myth: There is no oil supply problem in the United States
Myth: Just drill deeper for more oil
Myth: Oil companies have cappedproducing wells to keep up the price of oil
Myth: Don't drill this prospective field. Only 90 days of U.S. oil supply there
Myth: Gasoline is high-priced
Myth: "They" own the oil companies
Myth: Some remote special group of people run oil companies
Myth: "Big oil" is bad
Myth: Oil companies own oil
Myth: Oil companies make big profits compared with other enterprises
Myth: Alternative energy sources can readily replace oil
Myth: Alternative energy sourcescan simply be plugged into our present economic system and lifestyle, and things will go on as usual
Myth: Alternative energy sources are environmentally benign
Myth: Biomass —plants— can be a major source of liquid fuels
Myth: Energy from any source is readily used
Myth: We can conserve our way out of the energy supply problem
Myth: The political campaign promise —"we will achieve energy independence"
Myth: "At current rate of consumption …"
Myth: Mining the moon
Myth: Export the population problem to outer space
Myth: The omnipotence of science and technology —it can do anything
Myth: Because past predictions of resourceand population problems have proved incorrect, all future such predictions will not come true, therefore there is no need to be concerned.
Nuclear Energy Myths:
- 1. The nuclear industry still has no solution to the 'waste problem', so cannot expect support for construction of new plants until this is remedied.
- 2. The transportation of this waste poses an unacceptable risk to people and the environment.
- 3. Plutonium is the most dangerous material in the world.
- 4. There is a potential terrorist threat to the large volumes of radioactive wastes currently being stored and the risk that this waste could leak or be dispersed as a result of terrorist action.
- 5. Nuclear wastes are hazardous for tens of thousands of years. This clearly is unprecedented and poses a huge threat to our future generations.
- 6. Even if put into a geological repository, the waste might emerge and threaten future generations.
- 7. Man-made radiation differs from natural radiation.
- 8. Nobody knows the true costs of waste management. The costs are so high that nuclear power can never be economic.
- 9. The waste should be disposed of into space.
- 10. Nuclear waste should be transmuted into harmless materials.
More Myths (about paper):
- The paper industry destroys forests
- Paper consumption should be reduced
- Paper production is bad for the environment
- All paper should be recycled
- Paper production uses too much energy
- The paper industry is the largest industrial user of water
- Paper production is bad for the climate
- Information technologies are preferable to paper
- The paper industry is old