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2012-04-11 The Real Lessons of Fukushima

The Real Lessons of Fukushima - click for full size image
This study is based on evidence on the Fukushima disaster and it's consequences, almost all from the internet. Many quantitative studies have been found, but no proper studies from the IAEA or the UK ONR. The fast-moving and highly dangerous events of such a disaster require decision support. Thermal models of the reactors and spent fuel pools are essential to predict their behaviour under Station Blackout and to evaluate possible counter-measures. Also plume (dispersion) models of possible radioactive releases are essential to inform decisions on the magnitude and direction of evacuations. The Japanese have such a plume model, but it was ignored until later. Also they had no instrument for airborne radioactivity measurements at hand and had to rely initially on aerial surveys carried out by the Japan-based US Emergency Response Centers. These deficiencies were omitted or downplayed in the reports of the IAEA Fact Finding Mission, but most were included in the report of the Hatamura Panel.

2008-10-10 Renewable Synthetic Fuels for Transport

Gordon Taylor & Richard Pearson

I met Dr Richard Pearson when I attended a talk he gave on biofuels and synthetic liquid fuels for road transport. In this he mentioned with approval the paper 'The Future of the Hydrogen Economy: Bright or Bleak?'. I therefore proposed that we collaborate - to which he agreed.


2011-08-15 Measuring the Heat Losses and Solar Gains of Buildings

Before the Solar World Congress 2011 in Kassel, Germany, I submitted the Abstract of a paper: 'Measuring the Heat Losses and Solar Gains of Buildings via a Novel Analysis of the Data'.
This was accepted for oral presentation.
To complete the paper, I had to process three years' data and subject it to my novel analysis. However, this went well and I was very pleased with the results.


2010-09-21 CCS vs Wind Turbines

This presentation was prepared for - but not given at - a conference on Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) in London.

The UK Government was then offering the power companies £ 1 billion to build coal- or gas-fired power plants with CCS.


2018-10-12 The New Danish Climate Plan — Together For A Greener Future

Together for a greener future - click for full size image
Together for a greener future
As I noted in earlier posts about the Danish government’s plan to phase out diesel and gas cars by 2030, a full plan for emission reductions over the next 12 years would be revealed this week. And indeed it was. The plan is called “Together for a greener future.” This plan is the second of two parts. The first part was the “Energy — for a green Denmark” which was boosted considerably in the rare consensus by all parties in parliament in July where for instance the plans for adding 8 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind power was tripled to 24 GW.

While Denmark is a pretty insignificant country in the scale of things, it was actually quite an achievement to reach bipartisan agreements on upping the game as opposed to the more common dismantling. I remember that Thomas L. Friedman played with an idea in his 2008 book “Hot, Flat and Crowded” where he imagined the US being China for just one day and how that could make so many rules come into effect, fast. Well, the current president is trying to do just that, but unfortunately he has yet to push rules on avoiding catastrophic climate change. My point is that it was very refreshing to witness this consensus in July, and it should serve as an example to countries with much bigger impact.

2017-06 Avoiding Climate Change Disaster

A short paper on the actions we must take soon in order to meet a carbon budget target which will limit global warming to 2 degrees and to arrive at a viable sustainable energy scenario thereafter.

2011-06-08 The Case Against Nuclear Power

The critical issue for nuclear power is the consequences of a major radioactive release. These were predicted in the Sandia CRAC-2 study as 42,000 to 100,000 early deaths. They were confirmed empirically by Chernobyl, which contaminated huge areas of the Ukraine, Belarus and Russia as well as 40% of Europe, with an eventual death toll put variously at 10,000 up to 1.8 million. Due to the high population density, Fukushima has been predicted to cause up to 210,000 excess cancer deaths. The probability of any size of radioactive release is not just unknown but unknowable, so must be taken as 1 - i.e. inevitable. This was understood by the worldwide insurance industry from the start and by some involved in the Reactor Safety Studies as well as by independent analysts. If insurance was fully paid, the cost of nuclear power would increase by e.g. 45 to 348 p/kWh. Other countries are adopting safer, sustainable and infinitely cheaper solutions for supplying electrical and other energy services so there is no need to add to our already huge nuclear risks and debts. Moreover the consequences of a major radioactive release are completely unacceptable, so all existing nuclear plants should be phased out forthwith.

2003-10-20 New Automotive Powertrains and Fuels

I was a co-author of a paper 'The Future of the Hydrogen Economy: Bright or Bleak?', of which the final version was published on the web on 15 April 2003. This prompted me to make an extensive study of new automotive powertrains and fuels - to meet the increasing concerns of climate change and resource depletion - particularly Peak Oil. I found a surprising amount of data published on the web, and subjected it to careful analysis. One significant finding is that - of the various Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicle prototypes - the Toyota FCHV5 has the best overall 'Well-to-Wheel' efficiency. The second is that even this is inferior to the 2004 model Toyota Prius engine-electric hybrid car that is already in high-volume production.

2008-02-18 Carbon Savings in the Buildings Sector

The on-site generation of electricity and heat from renewables – often called microgeneration - has been proposed in the U.K. for saving carbon – reducing carbon emissions – in the buildings sector.


2011-06-09 Evidence for the Energy Bill - the Green Deal

I submitted the pdf file in response to the The Green Deal and Energy Company Obligation, Consultation Document.
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