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SDI 2008 WHAM!

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p. 1 of 14 1AC Nuclear Waste Disposal 5.0 – SDI Tournament

1AC Nuclear Waste 5.0 – SDI Tournament Version
Inherency Despite a host of incentives the nuclear industry needs one more – a place for waste disposal. Frank N. von Hippel, a nuclear physicist, professor of public and international affairs in Princeton University's
Program on Science and Global Security, prior assistant director for national security in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, co-chair of the International Panel on Fissile Materials, April/May 20 08, “Nuclear Fuel Recycling: More Trouble Than It's Worth”, http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=rethinking-nuclear-fuelrecycling&page=5, VP Although a dozen years have elapsed since any new nuclear power reactor has come online in the U.S., there are now stirrings of a nuclear renaissance. The incentives are certainly in place: the costs of natural gas and oil have skyrocketed; the public increasingly objects to the greenhouse gas emissions from burning fossil fuels; and the federal government has offered up to $8 billion in subsidies and insurance against delays in licensing (with new laws to streamline the process) and $18.5 billion in loan guarantees. What more could the moribund nuclear power industry possibly want? Just one thing: a place to ship its used reactor fuel. Indeed, the lack of a disposal site remains a dark cloud hanging over the entire enterprise. The projected opening of a federal waste storage repository in Yucca Mountain in Nevada (now anticipated for 2017 at the earliest) has already slipped by two decades, and the cooling pools holding spent fuel at the nation’s nuclear power plants are running out of space. Plan: The United States Federal Government should pursue a dual track approach to nuclear waste storage allowing interim dry cask storage and developing permanent storage.

Solvency The plan would save the nuclear power industry. Charles D. Ferguson, Council on Foreign Relations28, APRIL 2007 “NUCLEAR ENERGY AT A
CROSSROADS”(DS) – Lexis, dru The waste storage problem in the United States is manageable. The United States should pursue a dual-track approach: commit to developing a consensus and then opening up a permanent repository and in parallel store as much spent fuel as possible in dry casks that are hardened against attack at existing reactor sites. The combination of interim storage and commitment to a permanent repository would provide the assurances needed by the public and the investment community for continued use of nuclear power .

Ph. The new design also increases safety because it requires an operating temperature of only 700 degrees Celsius. 2 of 14 1AC Nuclear Waste Disposal 5. Taylor 12/1/06 “MIT Scientists Find a Nuclear Fuel Design that Is Safer and More Efficient” Published in The Environment & Climate News by The Heartland Institute o.800 degrees Celsius under the current design.. fission releases a tremendous amount of energy in the form of heat that turns water into steam. James M. science director for The Heartland Institute. "but increasing energy output by 50 percent in existing reactors certainly bridges nuclear power's present to its future.org/Article. Lower Temperatures Possible The MIT scientists discovered that forming uranium into hollow tubes prior to fission allows more efficient energy exchange by allowing water to interact with a greater uranium surface area.D. The discovery is expected to form an important bridge to new technologies. which are roughly 20 years away from commercial use in the United States. Under the new design. MIT scientists discovered that forming uranium into the shape of hollow tubes rather" than solid cylinders allows for more efficient energy exchange and safer operations." Lehr added.0 – SDI Tournament New technology makes nuclear power more effective and safer. Currently. "Nuclear power already was one of the most promising energy sources of the future. Nuclear power makes more and more economic and environmental sense with each passing day.z. such as pebble bed reactors. the same amount of uranium fuel will power that city for an extra six months. In a nuclear reactor. Promising Nuclear Future According to Pavel Hejzlar and Mujid Kazimi." observed Jay Lehr. uranium is formed into solid.SDI 2008 WHAM! Version p. http://www." . the new fuel design should be available commercially within 10 years. The steam is then captured and funneled to power turbines that generate electricity. as compared to 1. cylinder-shaped pellets of less than an inch in diameter. "This breakthrough adds still more momentum to our most affordable cleanburning fuel source.800 to 2. a single pickup-truck load of uranium fuel is sufficient to run an entire city for a year.cfm?artId=20260&CFID=5911648&CFTOKEN=55847241 A new fuel design created by scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) promises to increase nuclear power output by 50 percent at existing plants. Currently. MIT announced on September 20. "Pebble bed reactors are the exciting future of nuclear power. After three years of research and testing of next-generation fuel technology.heartland. the MIT scientists who made the discovery.

commercial nuclear generating units that were fully licensed to [*3] operate. New York University Environmental Law Journal. including: (1) a company prepared to build it. lexis In 2005. 3 Although Wall Street remains doubtful about the economics of such plants. profitability. efficiency. and (3) nuclear power's ecological impacts are likely to be neutral or even positive. 4 The Energy Policy Act of 2005 provided "Standby Support for Certain Nuclear Plant Delays. The construction of coal-fired power plants will begin to meet the electricity needs of the United States if nuclear power plants are not built Fred Bosselman (Professor of Law Emeritus. 8 (2) financial backers willing to invest in it. 12 These entities will undoubtedly take into consideration a wide range of issues. 13 [*5] This article concentrates only on one issue related to that decision ." authorizing the Department of Energy to enter into up to six contracts with sponsors of new nuclear power plants under which the federal government will guarantee to pay certain costs incurred by the sponsors in case full power operation of the plant is delayed by litigation. the idea seems to be gaining momentum. . 3 of 14 1AC Nuclear Waste Disposal 5. the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has consolidated its permitting processes and established an Early Site Permit (ESP) program to resolve in advance all on-site environmental issues associated with the licensing of a new reactor.S. private investors have been hesitant.SDI 2008 WHAM! Version p. including safety. Although Congress and the Administration have made their support for new nuclear power plants clear. But no new nuclear plants have been built in the United States for over twenty years. both in the United States and globally? 14 The article makes three arguments: (1) if nuclear power plants are not built. 9 (3) federal policymakers and regulators. 5 For individual projects. health. 6 Although no company has [*4] definitely committed to building a new plant. and they provided about 20% of the Nation's electricity . 11 and (5) a local community prepared to site it. 7 The NRC must take into account various issues when deciding whether to allow these applications to go forward.an issue that often receives less attention than it deserves: How will the decision affect ecological processes and systems. Chicago-Kent College of Law) 2007 “The new power generation: environmental law and electricity innovation: colloquium article: the ecological advantages of nuclear power”. and security.0 – SDI Tournament Advantage One Coal Although policymakers believe that nuclear power is now a viable investment. the gap will be filled by more coal-fired power plants. there were 104 U. (2) the impact of coalfired power plants on ecological processes and systems is likely to be increasingly disastrous. companies have filed applications for more than two dozen plants that are in various stages of the permit process. any decision to build a nuclear power plant requires the agreement of many entities. 10 (4) state energy and environmental regulators. 2 Some policy makers and designers of such plants believe that they can now build plants that avoid the mistakes of the past and produce power that is both safe and economical.

I believe we would do much less damage to ecological systems than is resulting from the ecological damage caused in large part by the burning of coal. safe and reliable source of energy would pose a threat insignificant compared with the real threat of intolerable and lethal heatwaves and sea levels rising to threaten every coastal city of the world.SDI 2008 WHAM! Version p. Chicago-Kent College of Law) 2007 “The new power generation: environmental law and electricity innovation: colloquium article: the ecological advantages of nuclear power”. thus allowing the system to remain relatively stable at a larger scale. But incremental changes of a unidirectional nature. Even if they were right about its dangers..0 – SDI Tournament The burning of coal does more ecological damage than a nuclear plant explosion—the environment can adapt to the nuclear meltdown.. may be the most serious threat to ecological systems and processes. 279 If we were to assume that nuclear power would produce a Chernobyl every thirty years. 275 But disturbances that are continually pushing ecological systems in the same direction. as in the case of the disturbances that cause climate change." 277 Many biologists and ecologists today are more concerned about the impacts of climate change than about threats of nuclear accidents . 276 The "excess carbon dioxide we put in the atmosphere today is removed exceedingly slowly. lexis The study of the ecological impact of the Chernobyl experience should cause us to compare that terrible disturbance to the more gradual and less dramatic changes that humans are causing by burning coal. their wrongheaded objection to nuclear energy. 274 Ecological systems can be "metastable" if irregular disturbances at a particular scale are within the level of resilience of the system. 4 of 14 1AC Nuclear Waste Disposal 5. and they are not. but it can not bounce back from the burning and mining of coal Fred Bosselman (Professor of Law Emeritus. Explosions. but I am most of all a scientist. which go on and on at rates faster than the kinds of change to which ecological processes have adapted. are likely to exceed the boundaries of metastability . meaning that the carbon dioxide we emit in the next half-century will alter the climate for millennia to come. and climate change. such as acid rain. because of this I entreat my friends among greens to reconsider . New York University Environmental Law Journal. its use as a secure. are one-time events. a highly improbable assumption. even huge ones. Ecological processes have a long history of adapting to such events and recovering. 278 British scientist James Lovelock has written: [*52] I am a green and would be classed among them. as they have in the area around Chernobyl. . mercury emissions.

and historical landmarks. which now produces the majority of our coal. 142 The rubble that was once the top of the mountain is simply dumped into a valley adjacent to the mountain. Jeff Goodell points out that in the United States. water. and (5) while so-called "clean-coal" technology is a long-range hope. coal consumption." 124 This is particularly true with regard to public understanding of ecological systems that are being destroyed in remote places or through chains of causation that only experts understand. highways. 123 In his recent book. In an earlier era. and much of it is buried in inconvenient places ." is blasted with explosives and then removed by massive machines built for the purpose. and Tennessee.S. Even more directly damaging to the natural landscape is surface mining. 125 but each year a [*26] larger share of the mining is "surface" mining. the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently proposed to classify such dust as a non-pollutant.SDI 2008 WHAM! Version p. and air. half of the nation's electric energy is provided by coal. Both can change drainage patterns on the surface in ways that may destroy existing ecosystems. it is not likely to be common in the next decade. 126 Both kinds of coal mining have an impact on the landscape both directly and indirectly. it continues to be supported by both federal and state regulating agencies. nitrogen oxide. this coal would have been accessed by underground shafts. and in a section of the Southern Appalachians that includes parts of Virginia. the mining and combustion of coal typically occur in such remote locations that most Americans have no idea "what our relationship with this black rock actually costs us. 143 Although this destruction has been widely criticized. often turning them bright orange. creating sulfuric and other acids . 145 "A good percentage of the coal that's left is too dirty to be burned in conventional power plants. particularly if the mine has been abandoned. Tons of particulate matter are emitted from coal burning facilities daily and cause property damage and health hazards . In older mines. parks. Underground mining also destroys landscapes through subsidence . (3) greenhouse gas emissions. Technological improvements only ensure that speedy extraction will come at the expense of the environment and clean coal technologies won’t be online fast enough to reduce pollution devastating groundwater. Coal is ecologically destructive through (1) mining. in the streams. and acid rain. scientists have learned that pollutants from coal-burning power plants travel long distances and create acid rain that significantly harms plants and animals. 2. 1. killing species and creating massive air pollution. 141 . which makes no attempt to support the roof over the area where coal is removed. 129 This kind of acid mine drainage pollutes streams throughout older mining regions. In the last thirty years. and the parts that have been mined are relatively close to the surface. New York University Environmental Law Journal. 134 The Powder River Valley is relatively flat and dry rangeland. Coal Combustion Pollutes a Wide Range of Environments In their recent "Nutshell" book on energy law. in addition to its impact on human health. surface mining is taking place in a forested landscape of rolling hills and mountains with relatively The current mining method is known as "mountaintop mining." 146 A future shortage of good quality coal may add to the ecological destruction involved in coal mining by requiring more disruption to get at equivalent amounts of coal. The residue is known as "gob" or "culm" and residue piles from both existing and abandoned underground mines are common sights in older mining areas. all of which spoil land. 133 In both areas. Big Coal. Underground mining typically brings to the surface large volumes of minerals. Sulfur oxide. 138 Despite the effects from the dust created in these operations. such subsidence regularly happened only after a mineshaft was abandoned. 128 The rain penetrates the piles and leaches out the soluble material. 5 of 14 1AC Nuclear Waste Disposal 5. and (4) water pollution. Kentucky." The result is the destruction [*29] not only of the ecological characteristics of the mountain itself but also of the adjacent valley . which are supposed to be stored in impoundments on the mine site but often flow directly into local watersheds or potable aquifers. and particulate matter. the quality and accessibility of the coal is likely to decline. 137 The scale of the operations is so large that seventeen Wyoming surface mines supply over a third of U. Fred Bosselman (Professor of Law Emeritus. (2) air pollution. Joseph Tomain and Richard Cudahy concisely summarize the primary types of air pollution caused by coal combustion: [*30] Coal combustion generates four main sources of pollution: sulfur oxide. 140 In the Southern Appalachians. 139 In December 2005. carbon dioxide causes what is known as the greenhouse effect. its roof will collapse. creating what is euphemistically called "valley fill. 136 The earth overlying the coal. rendering the water non-potable and uninhabitable by wildlife. carbon dioxide. which increases with the sulfur content of the coal. surface mining is used extensively. We have long known that air pollution from coal combustion damages crops and natural vegetation." and involves blasting and scraping off the tops of mountains to obtain access to the coal underneath. resulting in intentional subsidence. almost all coal mining took place through the construction of a network of shafts underground from which coal would be cut and brought to the surface. and changing the ecological processes on the riparian landscape far beyond the mine site . but today's massive machinery and cheap explosives makes it more economical to remove the mountaintop and use surface mining equipment to take out the coal . which typically causes the surface of the earth over the mine to subside. but many newer mines use a system called "longwall" mining. schools. 132 The two most prominent examples of surface mining in the United States and the resulting ecological consequences intentional and unintentional subsidence are in the Powder River Valley of Wyoming. moist conditions. Such "underground" mining still takes place in the United States. Chicago-Kent College of Law) 2007 “The new power generation: environmental law and electricity innovation: colloquium article: the ecological advantages of nuclear power”. West Virginia. If a mine shaft is not properly supported.under homes. the EPA issued proposed rules that would exempt mining operations in rural areas from dust emission regulations. supporting cattle and. only some of which constitutes usable coal. crop damage. 122 and although few users of that electricity realize it. lexis Virtually all of the coal mined in the United States is used as boiler fuel to generate electricity. Nitrogen oxide contributes to the same problems and causes smog. 144 Although reserves of coal in the United States remain plentiful. trout. which is an increase in the temperature of the earth's surface. 135 The coal seams in this valley tend to be massive. Coal Mining Is Destroying Vast Amounts of Natural Landscape Originally. Finally. causes human health problems. but the differences in the terrain result in quite different impacts. [*28] known in the trade as "overburden.0 – SDI Tournament Coal extraction devastates the environment.

6 of 14 1AC Nuclear Waste Disposal 5.SDI 2008 WHAM! Version p.0 – SDI Tournament .

These models are based on faulty economic projections produced by neo-classical economics -a warped discipline which is blind to resource depletion. then the decline in petroleum and natural gas production will actually be greeted with a pronounced increase in carbon emissions. If even half of these plants are completed. then it is likely that our actions will push the average global temperature well beyond the 6º C threshold mentioned above. because once plans for a coal-burning plant are made public.SDI 2008 WHAM! Version p. 7 of 14 1AC Nuclear Waste Disposal 5. Peak oil will not be a blessing in disguise with regard to global warming. Dale Allen Pfeiffer. rip up vast areas of land. In the process. as is India. Despite all the talk of a hydrogen economy. Then our carbon emissions really may begin to decrease.shtml As oil and natural gas production go into decline in North America. It will fail in the end. intent on clinging to unsustainable ways. author of the widely-acclaimed books Giants in Their Steps and The End Of The Oil Age.fromthewilderness. China is also eying its large reserves of coal. create immense slag dumps. industrial use.” Wilderness Publications 2004 http://www. heating. And it is only the beginning. You can expect strong efforts from industry and politicians to turn back environmental laws regulating coal production and coal burning. and they will insist that they cannot provide the energy we so desperately need with all these legal restrictions.24 That may not seem like much.com/free/ww3/072004_global_climate3. Perhaps the only salvation here lies in recent research (reported in FTW). and it is cheap. the production of coal-fired power plants has already been stepped up. we will open up our coal reserves for electricity production. geologist and peak oil theorist. The models of global climate change developed by the IPCC and others have not taken into account the impacts of Peak Oil and the North American Natural Gas Cliff. It will be a faltering effort from a civilization in denial. and pollute our waterways and groundwater. and to process coal into liquid transportation fuel. “Global Climate Change & Peak Oil. the alternative we will ultimately turn to is coal-whether we like it or not. If the world's two most populous countries step up their coal consumption along with the US. As of February 2004.26 If we turn to coal and biomass to make up for the decrease in oil and natural gas production. As the production of oil and natural gas continues to slide. The end of the oil age could very well push us into an age of runaway global warming. Coal is considered to be abundant in North America. Power outages will act to blunt the environmental sensibilities of the public. they will increase exhaust gas emissions by 120 million cubic feet per minute. trucks and trains. we may very well incur the demise of life on this planet. Coal will not be able to support the kind of energy-intensive economy which we have built on oil and natural gas. . but it is certainly a move in the wrong direction. but in this last mad burn-off of energy resources. They will point to an economy choking from a constricting energy base. the real investment will go into stepping up coal production. we will increase our exhaust emissions. that coal is likely to peak sometime around 2032. It will be argued that these regulations are damaging the economy.0 – SDI Tournament Scenario 1 Global warming Current levels of warming may have benefits but if we build all of the coal plants currently scheduled to go online runaway global warming will be triggered and the small benefits of warming will be gone and instead humanity will face extinction.25 This will leave us a little less than 20 years of stepped up production before coal joins the list of has-beens. And we will require a major upgrade in our coal transportation network-that is.23 This new growth market is currently flying below radar. they are liable to be halted by the legislative efforts of environmentalists and neighborhood coalitions. In fact. All the new coal plants being proposed would add one-tenth of one percent to the world's annual carbon dioxide emissions. But the US is not the only country likely to turn to coal. if not sooner. at least 100 new coal-fired electric power plants were planned to go up in more than 36 states.

in estuaries. when there is oscillation-type chaos in the climate system. Robert B. and education. waste processing. world trade.biology. Renewable fresh water provides many services essential to human health and well being. travel. vaporizing water from the surface of oceans. and eventually rains down anew. and rivers as well as from soils and plants (evapotranspiration). and in the freshwater ecosystems of the earth. plant dieback would lead to severe declines in agricultural production. lakes. and shellfish . such as irrigation and hydroelectric power. the middle of North America will slowly grow arid. lexis Extreme weather conditions may cause population shifts and decreased agricultural output.pdf Life on earth depends on the continuous flow of materials through the air. “Climate and chaos: societal impacts of sudden weather shifts”. Runaway warming kills billions. The movement of water through the hydrological cycle comprises the largest of these flows.duke. recreation. entertainment. Jackson and Steven W. Several years of climatic oscillation could kill billions of people. Fresh water also provides many benefits while it remains in its channels (nonextractive or instream benefits). restaurants. diverting. It continues…Another scenario suggests that there could be an extended period. http://www. waterfowl. Such nonessential activities as tourism. Solar energy drives the hydrological cycle. perhaps a decade or two. and food webs of the biosphere. Running Spring 2001 “Water in a Changing World”. Ecological Society of America. delivering an estimated 110. retail sales. and irrigation. water. hydroelectric power. factory output. and fashion would be severely affected. hotel occupancy. or creating other major changes to natural water flows. tax income for governments. This renewable freshwater supply sustains life on the land.edu/jackson/issues9. transportation. Water vapor rises into the atmosphere where it cools. and modern society's vaunted economic system would collapse like a house of cards. Lester Milbrath (director of the Research Program in Environment and Society at the State University of New York at Buffalo and a professor emeritus of political science and sociology) May 1994 The Futurist. since they are injured or die when climate is too hot or too cold.000 cubic kilometers (km3) of water to the land each year as snow and rainfall. The loss of the premise of continuity would also precipitate collapse of would financial markets. That collapse would lead to sharp declines in commodity markets. condenses. collapses the global economy and put humanity’s survival at risk. producing similarly gradual changes in climatic patterns. research and development.SDI 2008 WHAM! Version p. such as providing habitat for aquatic life or maintaining suitable water quality for human use . can be achieved only by damming. and habitat for aquatic plants and animals. Such changes often diminish or preclude other instream benefits of fresh water. too dry or too wet. Issues in Ecology. Billions of unemployed people would drastically reduce their consumption. soil. and the production of fish. Climate modelers have been cautiously predicting that the earth will gradually warm in the years ahead. Scenario Two is freshwater: Contamination of our freshwater destroys any possibility for life on Earth. And since plants make food for all other creatures. including water for drinking. Plants will be especially vulnerable to oscillating chaos. Some benefits. industrial production. Farm animals and wildlife would die in large numbers.0 – SDI Tournament And. Humanity might face the ultimate test of survival. 8 of 14 1AC Nuclear Waste Disposal 5. For instance. including flood control. Many humans also would starve.

and the dustbowl conditions of the 1930s in the United States are relatively mild examples of what might be expected if this trend continues. one by one.0 – SDI Tournament Scenario Three is eco-system collapse: Ecosystem loss risk extinction David N. The spreading Sahara Desert in Africa. as the number of species decline. n71 3. Nonetheless.by allowing certain species to become extinct -would not be sound policy.SDI 2008 WHAM! Version p. and new species replaced the old. Like all animal life. mankind pursued this domination with a singleminded determination to master the world. tame the wilderness. the rivets from an aircraft's wings. Scientific and Utilitarian Value. could cause total ecosystem collapse and human extinction. humans live off of other species. and yet the world moved forward. and flood control are prime benefits certain species provide to man. . Theoretically. n72 Without plants and animals. and mankind may someday desperately need the species that it is exterminating today. Pest. they may be critical in an indirect role. with all its dimly perceived and intertwined affects.Ecological value is the value that species have in maintaining the environment. the loss of a species affects other species dependent on it. For most of history. Biological Diversity. n73 Only a fraction of the [*172] earth's species have been examined. and then humans also would become extinct .Scientific value is the use of species for research into the physical processes of the world. "The more complex the ecosystem. 9 of 14 1AC Nuclear Waste Disposal 5.which if cut anywhere breaks down as a whole. mankind may be edging closer to the abyss. No one knows how many [*171] species the world needs to support human life. the world's biological diversity generally has decreased. n75 Moreover. . because their extirpations could affect a directly useful species negatively. if not most. a large portion of basic scientific research would be impossible. and within species by reducing the number of individuals.pollution control. and to find out -. harelip sucker. the more successfully it can resist a stress. Lexis No species has ever dominated its fellow species as man has. [l]ike a net. . species are useless to man in a direct utilitarian sense. At some point.The main premise of species preservation is that diversity is better than simplicity. Each new extinction increases the risk of disaster. Ecological Value. n69 erosion. This trend occurs within ecosystems by reducing the number of species.over the plants and animals of the world. Plants and animals also provide additional ecological services -. Like a mechanic removing. In addition to food. Utilitarian value is the direct utility humans draw from plants and animals. so does the risk of ecosystem failure. -. people have assumed the God-like power of life and death -extinction or survival -. and exploit nature for the maximum benefit of the human race. such a fabric can resist collapse better than a simple. humans have artificially simplified many ecosystems. So why should the world be concerned now? The prime reason is the world's survival. n67 In past mass extinction episodes. -. n68 2. Both trends carry serious future implications. These ecosystems inherently are more stable than less diverse systems. species offer many direct and indirect benefits to mankind. To accept that the snail darter. n77 As the current mass extinction has progressed. n76 4. and biodegradation. the number of species could decline to the point at which the ecosystem fails. the effect of each new extinction on the remaining species increases dramatically. filling narrow ecological niches. n70 oxygen production. as many as ninety percent of the existing species perished. sewage treatment. each new animal or plant extinction." n79 By causing widespread extinctions. In most cases. As biologic simplicity increases. unbranched circle of threads -. In a closely interconnected ecosystem. in which each knot is connected to others by several strands. or Dismal Swamp southeastern shrew n74 could save mankind may be difficult for some. -. . Biologically diverse ecosystems are characterized by a large number of specialist species. Many. Diner (Judge Advocate General’s Corps of US Army) 1994 Military Law Review.

Along the way. "Will coal be a fuel of the future?" Their disturbing conclusion. Future supply is discussed in terms of the familiar but often misleading reserves-toproduction (R/P) ratio. This may change. The three primary take-away conclusions from the newer study are as follows: "world proven reserves (i. an even more recent study. D.0 – SDI Tournament Scenario Four is the Economy US coal production has already peaked – the most recent studies conclude that remaining reserves are of LOW QUALITY and impossible to mine. Coal: Resources and Future Production (PDF 630KB). some of whom place great hopes in new (mostly untested) technologies to capture and sequester carbon from coal gasification. However.. widely available and reliable as an energy source in the future". The Future of Coal. Some nations (such as Vietnam) have not updated their proved reserves for decades.” Energy Bulletin. A startling report: less than we thought! However. "the relative gap between coal prices and oil and gas prices will most likely narrow". Taking reserves into account. future scenarios for global coal consumption are cast into doubt by two recent European studies on world coal supplies . Altogether. published on April 5 by the Energy Watch Group. especially for China. at current production levels proven coal reserves will last 155 years (this according to the World Coal Institute). there will almost certainly be more coal in our near future. Poland's reserves are now 50 per cent smaller than was the case 20 years ago. then future downward revisions are likely from countries that still rely on decades-old reserves estimates. “Peak coal: sooner than you think. "the bulk of coal production and exports is getting concentrated within a few countries and market players. though this is not revealed in official figures. say the EWG report's authors. The regional and country overview in the preceding chapter has revealed that coal recovery in most countries will incur higher production costs in future.a reverse of the situation in earlier decades." As prices for coal rise.including Botswana. Kavalov and Peteves do not attempt to forecast a peak in production.8 per cent per year compared to 1. Early in the paper the authors ask.e. due to the need to develop new fields. taking these factors into account. and will peak within 15 years Richard Heinberg. they state "the world could run out of economically recoverable (at current economic and operating conditions) reserves of coal much earlier than widely anticipated". in terms of energy content US coal production peaked in 1998 at 598 million tons of oil equivalents (Mtoe). The US has already passed its peak of production for high-quality coal (from the Appalachian Mountains and the Illinois basin) and has seen production of bituminous coal decline since 1990. Global consumption of coal is growing faster than that of oil or natural gas . state: "it is likely that China will experience peak production within the next 5-15 years. reaches similar conclusions. found that global coal production could peak in as few as 15 years. 20 per cent of its reserves have been consumed.a 60 per cent downward revision in 25 years.5 per cent a year through 2030. Unlike the EWG team. surpassing the two next important producer states (India and Australia) by nearly a factor of three. followed by a steep decline.. China reports 55 years of coal reserves at current consumption rates. with the result that "the future world oil." Only if China's reported coal reserves are in reality much larger than reported will Chinese coal production rates not peak "very soon" and fall rapidly. However. This astonishing conclusion was based on a careful analysis of recent reserves revisions for several nations. which creates the risk of market imperfections". However.. by 2005 this had fallen to 576 Mtoe. May 21 2007 http://www.. Some countries . Subtracting quantities consumed since 1992. Since international coal prices are still linked to production costs . Two thirds of global steel production depends on coal.have downgraded their reserves by more than 90 per cent. and the Former Soviet Union countries. . With or without such technologies. Coal can be converted to a gaseous or liquid fuel. Global coal reserves face a similar fate. is that nations now have better data from more thorough surveys. by which time world consumption will be nearly double that of today. If that is the case. the reserves that are economically recoverable at current economic and operating conditions) of coal are decreasing fast". The US Department of Energy (USDoE) projects annual global coal consumption to grow 2.energybulletin. Germany. Moreover. 10 of 14 1AC Nuclear Waste Disposal 5.net/node/29919 Coal provides over a quarter of the world's primary energy needs and generates 40 per cent of the world's electricity. since 1986 all nations with significant coal resources (except India and Australia) that have made the effort to update their reserves estimates have reported substantial downward revisions. which reports to the German Parliament. coal extraction expanded at an average of 4. gas and coal markets will most likely become increasingly inter-related and the energy market will tend to develop into a global market of hydrocarbons". by B. However. the last year reserves figures were updated. The conclusion is repeated throughout the IFE report: "[I]t is true that historically coal has been cheaper than oil and gas on an energy content basis.. China (the world's primary consumer) and the US (the nation with the largest reserves) are keys to the future of coal. and coal gasification and coal-to-liquids plants are being constructed at record rates. The report's authors (Werner Zittel and Jörg Schindler) note that. in some instances not since the 1960s. South Asia. China's last update was in 1992. which is unrealistic since consumption is increasing rapidly. the world's reserves of coal have dwindled from 10 trillion tons of hard coal equivalent to 4. The EWG report's authors. with regard to global coal reserves. is that "coal might not be so abundant. Peteves of the Institute for Energy (IFE). The authors also highlight problems noted in the EWG study having to do with differing grades of coal and the likelihood of supply problems arising first with the highest-grade ores. in 2005 it actually fell slightly. According to the widely accepted view. "the data quality is very unreliable". Its reserves are so large that America has been called "the Saudi Arabia of coal". and the UK . Kavalov and S. growing extraction of sub-bituminous coal in Wyoming has more than compensated for this. the calculation assumes constant rates of usage. These downgrades cannot be explained by volumes produced during this period. the IFG's conclusions broadly confirm the EWG report. Core Faculty member of New College of California and a Fellow of the Post Carbon Institute. However. many analysts who are concerned about emerging supply constraints for oil and gas foresee a compensating shift to lower-quality fuels.6 per cent per year for oil: although world natural gas consumption had been racing ahead in past years. however ..2 trillion tons in 2005 . Nevertheless. The United States is the world's second-largest producer. prepared for European Commission Joint Research Centre and not yet published. this declines to 40 to 45 years. and " coal production costs are steadily rising all over the world. Confirmation: a second study The EWG study so contradicts widespread assumptions about future coal supplies that most energy analysts would probably prefer to ignore it. All of this translates to higher coal prices in coming years. since then. the EWG concludes that growth in total volumes can continue for 10 to 15 years. Already China has shifted from being a minor coal exporter to being a net coal importer. we must factor in the peaking phenomenon common to the extraction of all non-renewable resources (the peak of production typically occurs long before the resource is exhausted). many pages later. Looking to the future.SDI 2008 WHAM! Version p. The first. an increase in the global price levels of coal can be expected . This expanded use of coal is worrisome to advocates of policies to protect the global climate. widely regarded as one of the world's foremost Peak Oil educators. The best explanation. increasingly difficult geological conditions and additional infrastructure costs associated with the exploitation of new fields". From 2000 to 2005.

uncertainties about coal undercut one of the primary strategies .SDI 2008 WHAM! Version p.China and the US especially . A wake-up call on coal Taken together. Mitigation and Risk Management) regarding society's vulnerability to peak oil apply also to peak coal: time will be needed in order for society to adapt proactively to a resource-constrained environment. widely regarded as one of the world's foremost Peak Oil educators.energybulletin.17MB) (Peak of World Oil Production: Impacts. A failure to begin now to reduce reliance on coal will mean much greater economic hardship when the peak arrives. there is really no alternative: declines in production will happen anyway.net/node/29919 Evidence that coal resource limits may constrain CO2 emissions would seem to be good news for climate protection advocates. rather than to deny or marginalise it. Nevertheless it makes more sense for climate activists to embrace the news and use it to advantage. And the ability of the US to maintain its coal-powered electricity grids in coming decades is also cast into doubt. The reports' findings are not uniformly encouraging for climate matters.that is being touted for maintaining global transport networks. given the resource constraints.these countries with their billions of people and their nuclear weapons will pose a much greater danger to world order than Germany and Japan did in the '30s. “Peak coal: sooner than you think. For China and the United States. In summary. Nations that are currently dependent on coal . Surely these studies deserve follow-up reviews of the data by the International Energy Agency.” Energy Bulletin. If the EWG and IFE conclusions hold. even if society finds steep voluntary cuts in the use of coal to be economically onerous. the message could not be clearer: whether or not global climate concerns are taken seriously. For a world already concerned about future oil supplies. fellow. May 21 2007 http://www. summer pp. rich against poor. Economic decline causes global nuclear war Mead 92 [Walter Russel. so it is better to cut consumption proactively than wait and be faced with shortages and price volatility later. New perspectives quarterly. but also to reduce societal vulnerability arising from dependence on a resource that will soon become more scarce and expensive. The findings of the 2005 USDoE-funded Hirsch report (PDF 1. is thrown into question. 28] What if the global economy stagnates . Core Faculty member of New College of California and a Fellow of the Post Carbon Institute. the EWG and IFE reports deliver a shocking message. the world will need to respond quickly with an enormous shift in the directions of energy conservation and development of renewable sources of electricity. even nations leading the efforts may not be proceeding fast enough. we have no choice but to proceed.or even shrinks? In that case. we now have two authoritative studies reaching largely consistent conclusions with devastating implications for the global economy.would be wise to begin reducing consumption now. China. it is time to fundamentally revise the current energy paradigm. The sustainability of China's economic growth.0 – SDI Tournament Peak coal means our window is closing – failure to begin transitioning away from coal NOW guarantees global economic collapse Richard Heinberg. There is no "business-as-usual" option. Climate concerns are already drawing some nations in these directions. not only in the interests of climate protection. the latter may be wary that industry-led opponents of emissions-reduction policies will seize on this new data to argue that governments needn't do anything about emissions. However. India . which has largely been based on a rapid surge in coal consumption. though. Russia. even ignoring environmental impacts. 11 of 14 1AC Nuclear Waste Disposal 5. But what if it can't? . the world's two most coal-dependent countries. since rates of coal extraction will decline in any case. The IFE authors suggest that price increases for coal may discourage deployment of technologies to capture and bury carbon to reduce greenhouse gas emissions: in poorer countries.turning supposedly abundant coal into a liquid fuel . Council on Foreign Relations. "producing cheap and affordable electricity is more important than producing environmentally friendly electricity". we will face a new period of international conflict: South against North. The new information about coal tells us that even if the economic price for carbon reduction is high. however. They can argue that.

Jack Spencer. C. The Heritage Foundation. given their high coal consumption. http://www. the commercial nuclear energy industry in the U. AP. in the 1970s and 1980s. state. Research Fellow in Nuclear Energy in the Thomas A.S. nna http://www. To assist these consumers. Nuclear power is expanding worldwide and the U. Instead. nuclear power must be promoted as a viable option in the developing world. through government support (it is our judgment that the market alone won't do it). Investors hesitate to embrace nuclear power fully. state. The United States once led the world in commercial nuclear technology. and local governments will allow nuclear energy to flourish in the long term .S. investors are reacting to the historic role that federal. Let me ask. commercial nuclear industry out of existence. Investors doubt that federal.0 – SDI Tournament Advantage Two Proliferation Investors need a clear signal that the federal government will allow nuclear power to flourish. The French have used it to minimize their dependence on foreign energy.S. and environmentally friendly alternative to fossil fuels. the world's leading nuclear companies continue to rely on American technologies. However. despite significant regulatory relief and economic incentives. consolidating or selling their commercial nuclear capabilities to foreign companies in pro-nuclear countries.csis. This reluctance is not due to any inherent flaw in the economics of nuclear power or some unavoidable risk. Does Russian? Yes. despite a recent shift in public opinion? Yes. U. Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies at The Heritage Foundation. 2007. federal. D. and at one time the United States was on the path to do the same.pdf Clearly. safe. 6/8/2000. Does Japan’s. does the United States have a forward-looking plan for nuclear power? No. all will benefit if developing countries have access to adequate. Ebel the Director. and local governments nearly regu lated the U. it is essential that clean coal technology is a viable option. 12 of 14 1AC Nuclear Waste Disposal 5. while keeping nuclear power as a viable option in the developed world. is losing it’s leadership because we don’t have a vigorous nuclear industry. Does China? China today has 10 nuclear reactors under construction and will build 20 nuclear power stations by the year 2020. state. clean. and secure sources of energy. affordable. Energy and National Security Center for Strategic and International Studies Washington.SDI 2008 WHAM! Version p. Indeed. companies responded by reallocating their assets. Robert E.org/Research/EnergyandEnvironment/bg2086. they will not place environmental policy ahead of economic growth. it does not. Equally important. to supply electricity in rural areas and to promote general industrialization.org/media/csis/congress/ts000608ebel. the Minister of Atomic Energy recently stated that there are plans to quadruple the generation of nuclear electric power by the year 2030. At the same time. Competitive Nuclear Energy Investment: Avoiding Past Policy Mistakes. It can generate massive quantities of electricity with almost no atmospheric emissions and can offset America's growing dependence on foreign energy sources. and local governments have played both in encouraging growth in the industry and in bringing on its demise . The nuclear option faces a difficult choice: Exercise the nuclear option.cfm Nuclear power is a proven. However. This dynamic must be understood and mitigated before the true economics of nuclear power can be harnessed for the benefit of the American people. November 15. is no longer thriving. I can visualize our leadership slipping away. the government currently plans to add 20 new reactors by the year 2010. .heritage.S. They have already lost billions of dollars because of bad public policy. This paper reviews how overregulation largely destroyed the nuclear industry and why it remains an obstacle to investment in the industry.

therefore.S.S. and spent fuel storage and disposal industries that can not only meet the needs of U. essential that the United States have vibrant nuclear reactor.S. non-proliferation posture as criteria in project design and source selection where possible. the erosion of the U.S. is perceived as a major technological leader. industrial base and to U. influence will be best achieved to the extent that the U. .org The influence of the United States internationally could be enhanced significantly if the U.S. to influence nonproliferation policy will diminish.S. However. Government expends taxpayer funds on the Nuclear Power 2010 program. As the U. utilities but will also enable the United States to promote effective safeguards and other nonproliferation controls through close peaceful nuclear cooperation with other countries.S. on-going influence on the international nonproliferation regime.S. reprocessing and alteration in form or content of the nuclear materials that it has provided to other countries. The U. May 2007 LC www. requires.S. is able to achieve success in its Nuclear Power 2010 program and place several new orders in the next decade and beyond. the ability of the U. if the U. it should consider the benefit to the U.S. the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership. the ability of the U.S. to participate actively in the international nuclear market. Further.S. Concurrent with the prospective growth in the use of nuclear power. It is. has so-called consent rights over the enrichment.S. If the U. nuclear exports can be used to influence other states’ nuclear programs through the nonproliferation commitments that the U. There is a clear upsurge of interest in nuclear power in various parts of the world. the global nonproliferation regime is facing some direct assaults that are unprecedented in nature.S. it will need to promote the health and viability of the American nuclear infrastructure. the U. regardless of how active and successful it is in the nuclear export market. becomes more dependent on foreign nuclear suppliers or if it leaves the international nuclear market to other suppliers. Constructive U.0 – SDI Tournament U. as well as to the nuclear materials that are produced from the nuclear materials and equipment that the U. Perhaps more importantly.nuclearcompetitiveness.S. As the sole superpower. needs to add nuclear power plants to internationally extend its influence and stop proliferation. American Council on Global Nuclear Competitiveness. nuclear infrastructure has begun to weaken the ability of the U. it can do so more effectively by being an active supplier to and partner in the evolution of those programs. U.SDI 2008 WHAM! Version p. maintain in effective policies to achieve these objectives. International confidence in the effectiveness of developments underscore the importance of maintaining the greatest integrity and effectiveness of the nuclear export conditions applied by the major suppliers. aspires to participate in these programs and to shape them in ways that are most conducive to nonproliferation.S. They also underscore the importance of the U. [Thus]. if it wishes to exert a positive influence in shaping the nonproliferation policies of other countries. supplier and partner in the field of nuclear technology. 13 of 14 1AC Nuclear Waste Disposal 5.S.S. the Generation IV initiative and other programs.S. will have considerable. has supplied.S. enrichment services. to develop improved and advanced nuclear technologies will depend on its ability to provide consistent and vigorous support for nuclear R&D programs that will enjoy solid bipartisan political support in order that they can be sustained from one administration to another.

pg 87-90) Many readers are probably willing to accept that nuclear proliferation is such a grave threat to world peace that every effort should be made to avoid it. no 2. [VICTOR. and we are talking about much more substantial efforts now. 14 of 14 1AC Nuclear Waste Disposal 5. The chances of such weapons falling into the hands of renegade military units or terrorists is far greater. For new and substantially more burdensome efforts to be made to slow or stop nuclear proliferation.Survival summer. Director of Strategy Force and Resources Div of Institute for Defense Analysis. as is the number of nations carrying out hazardous manufacturing and storage activities. First. Fifty or more nations capable of launching nuclear weapons means that the risk of nuclear accidents that could causes serious damage not only to their own populations and environments.SDI 2008 WHAM! Version p. These scenarios put all of humanity at risk. Utgoff 02. However. Second. Dep. but those of others. And.0 – SDI Tournament Proliferation is extremely dangerous it creates multiple scenarios for nuclear war. . for many reasons it is not. it needs to be established that the highly proliferated nuclear world that would sooner or later evolve without such efforts is not going to be acceptable. is hugely increased. Those who succeed in outracing an opponent may consider preemptive nuclear war before the opponent becomes capable of nuclear retaliation . Vol 44. as the world approached complete proliferation. Those who lag behind might try to preempt their opponent's nuclear programme or defeat the opponent using conventional forces. the hazards posed by nuclear weapons today will be magnified many times over. And those who feel threatened but are incapable of building nuclear weapons may still be able to join in this arms race by building other types of weapons of mass destruction. the dynamics of getting to a highly proliferated world could be very dangerous. Proliferating states will feel great pressures to obtain nuclear weapons and delivery systems before any potential opponent does. such as biological weapons. every effort has not been made in the past.