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In order: nuclear waste does not need longterm cooling. LWR waste needs short term cooling while the shortest-lived isotopes decay. Long term storage, of the kind the finns and swedes are actually building has an ongoing energy consumption of zero, being a gold(well, glass, copper and clay)-plated hole into bedrock. The energy cost of building them compared to the energy extracted from the fuel before deposition is also zero. Nuclear waste quantities are very small, and the energetic costs of blasting bedrock arent that high.
The energy cost of construction and decomissioning any given reactor are also neglible. Nuclear reactors are very expensive, but that is because they require enormous quantities of skilled manhours to build, not because they are resource hogs.
The error you are making is that it is very easy to construct a very long list of steps in the production of nuclear energy that consumes energy, and then claim that the EROI must be bad, but that is not how you do EROI. You need to run the numbers, and for nuclear fission, the numbers are very, very good, and can easily be dramatically improved by moving to more advanced fuel cycles.
As for pseudo-promises - Renewable advocates have promised a future powered by sun and wind since 1970, using the exact same retoric, the same images and the same arguments. This has given us 40 years of dominance by coal, and global warming. If the enviormental movement had backed nukes in 1970 global warming would basically not exist
The same advocacy groups are currently signing us up for thirty+ years of natural gas, fracking and earthquakes. -
You can loadbalance a wind grid with sufficient HVDC interconnections on a continental scale, or with gas turbines. Pay attention to which of those utilities are actually building....
.. BTW, can anyone explain to me why HVDC lines are not being laid more than they are? Because just looking at electricty prices in various markets, investors are passing up serious arbritage possibilities.
As for fukushima. That was a disaster beyond what I had reckoned plausible. A very expensive disaster. And the radiation killed noone. Mostly, that disaster is an argument that it is worth it to invest a heck of a lot in smaller designs with passive safeties, because heck, yes, LWR's are white elephants.
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