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Nicholson M. The Power Makers' Challenge: And the Need for Fission Energy

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Nicholson M. The Power Makers' Challenge: And the Need for Fission Energy
Springer-Verlag, 2012. 199 p.
ISSN 1865-3529, e-ISSN 1865-3537,
ISBN 978-1-4471-2812-0, e-ISBN 978-1-4471-2813-7
The Power Makers - the producers of our electricity - must meet the demands of their customers while also addressing the threat of climate change. There are widely differing views about solutions to electricity generation in an emission constrained world. Some see the problem as relatively straight forward, requiring deep cuts in emissions now by improving energy efficiency, energy conservation and using only renewable resources. Many electricity industry engineers and scientists see the problem as being much more involved. The Power Makers ’ Challenge: and the need for Fission Energy looks at why using only conventional renewable energy sources is not quite as simple as it seems. Following a general introduction to electricity and its distribution, the author quantifies the reductions needed in greenhouse gas emissions from the power sector in the face of ever increasing world demands for electricity. It provides some much needed background on the many energy sources available for producing electricity and discusses their advantages and limitations to meet both the emission reduction challenge and electricity demand. By analyzing the three main groups of energy sources: renewable energy, fossil fuels and fission energy (nuclear power), readers can assess the ability of each group to meet the challenge of both reducing emissions and maintaining reliable supply at least cost. It is written for both non-technical and technical readers
About Electricity
What is Electricity?
Electricity: Simply Expressed
How Do We Measure Electricity?
The Big Differences Between Electricity and Water
The Power Makers’ Challenge
Faraday’s Miracle
Faraday’s Contribution
Generators Explained
What Drives the Generator?
What Powers the Engines?
Power Generator Types
Comparing Generators
Capacity Factor
Poles and Wires
Electricity Networks
Transmission Losses
Controlling the Network
Advantages of Transmission Networks
The Balancing Act
Demand and Supply
Network Reliability
Reserve Capacity
Dollars and Cents
Calculating Generating Costs
Typical Generating Costs
Baseload, Intermediate, and Peak Load
Getting the Mix Right
Transmission Costs
Energy Efficiency
Energy Conservation
Energy Reduction Targets
The Carbon Challenge
Climate Change Summary
Reducing Emissions
A Price on Carbon
Emission Intensity
The Power Makers’ Response
Renewable Energy
Many Options
Dilute Resources
Nature’s Curse
Natural Variability of RE Resources
Why RE Variability is a Problem
Negative Load
Measuring Variability
ariability Across Generators
Managing Variability
Nature’s Saviors
Reliable and Proven
More Hydropower
More Conventional Geothermal
More Biomass
CSP with Storage
Storing Electricity
Why Do We Need Energy Storage?
Pumped-Hydro Storage
Compressed Air Energy Storage
Hydrogen Energy Storage
Energy Storage Costs
Demand Management: An Alternative to Storage?
Energy Storage Summary
Smoke and Mirrors
Comparing Apples with Oranges
Comparing Energy Outputs
Capacity Credit
Comparing RE Penetration
Comparing Different Networks
Comparing the Costs of Electricity
RE Energy Use
Comparing Efficiencies
Comparison of Building Materials
Comparing Land Use
Baseload Myths
Clean Coal
Why Clean Coal?
Reducing the Coal Emission Intensity
Carbon Capture and Storage
Alternatives to Coal
Baseload Alternatives
What Makes a Baseload Power Station?
Which Energy Sources Can Replace Coal?
Can Gas Deliver Us From Coal?
But Isn’t Nuclear Dangerous?
Fission Energy
Fission, Not Combustion
How Do Coal and Fission Energy Produce Electricity?
Fission Reactors
Fuel and Waste
Carbon Dioxide Emissions
What’s the Drama?
Safety First
Reactor Safety
Nuclear Waste
Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons
Safety Summary
More Smoke and Mirrors
Myth 1: Renewables Make Nuclear Unnecessary
Myth 2: Nuclear Energy is Too Expensive
Myth 3: Nuclear Plants Could Not be Built in Time
Myth 4: Uranium Supplies are Not Sustainable
Myth 5: All Radiation is Dangerous
Myth 6: Nuclear GHG Emissions are Huge
Myth 7: Gas is Less Risky for Investors
s Fission Really Necessary?
Challenging Times
Renewable Energy
Clean Coal
Fission Energy
The Next Generation of Fission
Fuel Recycling
Generation III Reactors
Modular Construction
Fast Reactors
The Melting Pot
ariable Loads are Here to Stay
ntermediate and Peak Loads
ariability Won’t Go Away
Cost Matters
Comparing Generator Costs
The Generator Mix
The Impact of a Rising Carbon Price
Distributed Generation and Storage
Distributed Generation
Decentralized Energy
Community Energy Storage
Reducing Demand Variability
Distributed Generation Future
Smart Grids
The Vision
What Would be Needed for a Smart Grid?
What are the Benefits?
What are the Risks?
Electric Transport
The Demise of Oil
The Rise of the Electric Car
How Will We Refuel Our Electric Vehicles?
How Much Electricity Would Transport Need?
What Will be the Impact on the Electricity Network?
Summing It All Up
Carbon Challenge
Reducing Emissions
An All-Renewable Future
Clean Coal and Gas
Fission Energy
Melting Pot
Future Technologies
Author Biography
Appendix A: Definition of Terms
Appendix B: Power Generation and Network Control
Appendix C: Wind Power
Appendix D: Solar Power
Appendix E: Energy Storage
Appendix F: Carbon Capture and Storage
Appendix G: Nuclear Power
Appendix H: Electricity Costs and Markets
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