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EU nations agree to seek 35 percent CO2 cut on cars by 2030


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EU nations agree to seek 35 percent CO2 cut on cars by 2030

By Daphne Psaledakis

 

2018-10-09T170825Z_2_LYNXNPEE980A2_RTROPTP_4_GERMANY-EMISSIONS.JPG

Cars and trucks are stuck in a traffic jam near Irschenberg, Germany, March 29, 2018. REUTERS/Michael Dalder/Files

 

LUXEMBOURG (Reuters) - European Union nations, voicing concern over a U.N. report on global warming, agreed on Tuesday to seek a 35 percent cut in car emissions by 2030, as Germany warned that overly challenging targets risked harming industry and jobs.

 

Torn between reducing pollution and preserving industry competitiveness, EU environment ministers meeting in Luxembourg talked for more than 13 hours until nearly midnight to reach a compromise over what 2030 carbon dioxide limits to impose on Europe's powerful carmakers.

 

The final rules will now be hashed out in talks beginning on Wednesday with the EU's two other lawmaking bodies: the European Parliament, which is seeking a more ambitious climate target, and the European Commission, which proposed a lower one.

 

In a joint statement earlier, the EU ministers expressed deep concern over a U.N. report calling for rapid and unprecedented action to contain global warming but held back from increasing their pledge to reduce emissions under the 2015 Paris climate accord.

 

Several countries had sought a higher, 40 percent reduction in car emissions, in line with targets backed by EU lawmakers last week, with Ireland and the Netherlands among those voicing disappointment with the compromise deal.

 

Germany, with its big auto sector, had backed an EU executive proposal for a 30 percent cut for fleets of new cars and vans by 2030, compared with 2021 levels.

 

DOWN TO THE WIRE

Climate campaigners say Germany has still not learned to be tougher on the auto industry, despite the scandal that engulfed Volkswagen in 2015 when it admitted to using illegal software to mask emissions on up to 11 million diesel vehicles worldwide.

 

Germany, with the backing of eastern European nations, had held a blocking minority among the 28 nations against the more ambitious targets, EU sources said.

 

But a last-minute amendment helped ease concerns among poorer member states over the new rules, which also create a crediting system encouraging carmakers to raise sales of electric cars.

 

It would allow for a different accounting in countries where the current market penetration of zero- and low-emissions vehicles is less than 60 percent below the average in the bloc.

 

CLIMATE AMBITION

Curbs on the transport sector, the only industry in which emissions are still rising, aim to help the bloc meet its goal of reducing greenhouse gases by at least 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030.

 

Extreme temperatures across the northern hemisphere this summer have fuelled concerns climate change is gathering pace, leading some countries to call for emissions to be cut at a faster rate than planned.

 

But a call by the EU's climate commissioner and 15 EU nations for the bloc to increase its pledge to cut emissions by 45 percent under the Paris accord has met with resistance.

 

Ahead of U.N. climate talks in Poland in December, the bloc's 28 environment ministers renewed their commitment to leading the fight to limit global warming.

 

They said the EU was ready to "communicate or update" its Nationally Determined Contribution, the efforts by each country to reduce emissions, by 2020.

 

Raising it would require the approval of all 28 nations.

 

That may be too hard to achieve before the U.N. talks, European Commission Vice President Maros Sefcovic said, but the bloc is likely to exceed its Paris pledge following a reform of its Emission Trading System (ETS) and new targets on renewable energy and energy efficiency.

 

"We do not need new legislation on this one because everything is already done. We are just going to get better results than expected," Sefcovic told Reuters on Monday.

 

(Reporting by Daphne Psaledakis; Additional reporting by Peter Maushagen and Alissa de Carbonnel in Brussels; Editing by Edmund Blair, Mark Potter and James Dalgleish)

 
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-- © Copyright Reuters 2018-10-10
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11 minutes ago, zydeco said:

If it's as serious as the EU claims, then ban all cars.  Right now.  No half way measures. Everybody in Europe on a bus or on a bicycle.

Mate in Holland the young schoolkids even go to China/Uganda/Cambodia on a schooltrip....and they don't go on bicycles.....it's all so hypocrite.

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It's good to make Europe cleaner of pollutants. 

 

- Use more trains to move people and cargo

- Cities to become electric vehicle only zones

- Create electricity mainly by nuclear power and later on with renewable methods. Triple the amount of nuclear plants and close down gas / coal plants

 

 

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Only problem with nuclear power plants is the planning process (with local opposition) takes years and to actually build them takes another 10. So no unplanned new plants before 2030. And no-one has really solved the waste disposal problem of nuclear waste yet. 

 

I was pleasantly surprised to find that London buses are now mainly using hybrid technology. They are gradually replacing the older buses, and fully electric buses are also now planned (not certain if still on trial).

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2 hours ago, rickudon said:

Only problem with nuclear power plants is the planning process (with local opposition) takes years and to actually build them takes another 10. So no unplanned new plants before 2030. And no-one has really solved the waste disposal problem of nuclear waste yet. 

 

I was pleasantly surprised to find that London buses are now mainly using hybrid technology. They are gradually replacing the older buses, and fully electric buses are also now planned (not certain if still on trial).

The latest ones run on hydrogen. No smoking I suspect 😉

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9 hours ago, rickudon said:

Only problem with nuclear power plants is the planning process (with local opposition) takes years and to actually build them takes another 10. So no unplanned new plants before 2030. And no-one has really solved the waste disposal problem of nuclear waste yet. 

Nuclear power plants are technically quite simple. Slightly enriched uranium is not that expensive as well. It's all the security measurements and the quality of work, which takes a lot of money.

 

My country is building one nuclear power plant at the moment and the project has been delayed for many years, meanwhile the cost has been doubled. There is something fundamentally wrong with the process. After all it's basically just one very strong building and likewise strong reactor vessel.

 

Now when the climate change fears are getting real, even the green parties are slowly changing their, rather idiotic, view about nuclear power. Greens no longer are against nuclear power, and perhaps in couple of years, start to support building new nuclear power plants. That should start a new golden age for nuclear power. It's also the only way to get rid of, or at least reduce, coal and oil usage. 

 

One way to get there are mini nuclear reactors, which have been in development for few decades. These produce 50-200MW power, not the typical 1000MW, which current nuclear power plants do. These mini reactors are quite inexpensive and easy to maintain. 

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On 10/12/2018 at 8:18 AM, oilinki said:

These mini reactors are quite inexpensive and easy to maintain.

And when at the end of their life, cost more to decommission than they did to build ........ 

 

In the UK, they often 'extend' the life of a nuclear power plant because decommissioning is very much an issue - it can take decades (one method takes 60 years) The cost to decommission all the UK nuclear power plants is estimated at 100 billion GBP - or about 2000 GBP per person ......

 

And when things do go wrong, do they go wrong - Chernobyl and Fukushima ..... Chernobyl has a 2.600 square kilometre exclusion zone.

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A classic EU-style response  -- actions which on the one hand will do nothing to limit global CO2 emissions, and on the other, force onerous regulations on businesses operating in the free market, and on consumers.

 

As so often, the EU hits the sweet spot of being both intrusive and ineffective.

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On 10/12/2018 at 8:18 AM, oilinki said:

Nuclear power plants are technically quite simple. Slightly enriched uranium is not that expensive as well. It's all the security measurements and the quality of work, which takes a lot of money.

 

My country is building one nuclear power plant at the moment and the project has been delayed for many years, meanwhile the cost has been doubled. There is something fundamentally wrong with the process. After all it's basically just one very strong building and likewise strong reactor vessel.

 

Now when the climate change fears are getting real, even the green parties are slowly changing their, rather idiotic, view about nuclear power. Greens no longer are against nuclear power, and perhaps in couple of years, start to support building new nuclear power plants. That should start a new golden age for nuclear power. It's also the only way to get rid of, or at least reduce, coal and oil usage. 

 

One way to get there are mini nuclear reactors, which have been in development for few decades. These produce 50-200MW power, not the typical 1000MW, which current nuclear power plants do. These mini reactors are quite inexpensive and easy to maintain. 

Why not use thorium? It's been around as long as uranium and doesn't have the radiation or waste problems as uranium.

Thorium was not used because it can't be made into bombs,

thats why the U$ went with uranium. There's shit loads of the

ore in the western U$ and is cheap. A good cleaner source of

electric power.

rice555

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26 minutes ago, rice555 said:

Why not use thorium? It's been around as long as uranium and doesn't have the radiation or waste problems as uranium.

Thorium was not used because it can't be made into bombs,

thats why the U$ went with uranium. There's shit loads of the

ore in the western U$ and is cheap. A good cleaner source of

electric power.

rice555

That's a good question. Most countries which use nuclear power, doesn't want to create nuclear weapons, so that's not the reason behind Thorium not been used in reactors. That might have been the initial reason why Uranium based reactors got most of the research funding 60 years ago, but Thorium is not used and researched now?

 

Perhaps Thorium is simply forgotten or perhaps there are some fundamental problems, which have not been able to solve, like molten salt corrosion on the reactor core?

 

I'd love to know what is the reason Thorium has not gained popularity.

 

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Actually Thorium is only the precursor as a fuel, It has to be irradiated by neutron capture to become ........ Uranium 233. This is fissile and is actually the main energy source. So, as far as waste products go similar to a Uranium reactor.

 

Here is a good link to Thorium as a fuel source - 

http://www.world-nuclear.org/information-library/current-and-future-generation/thorium.aspx

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What to do with the used uranium afterwards?

 

Finland have a solution for this. First the used fuel is stored for 40 years, which reduces the radioactivity to a promille what it was coming out of the reactor.

 

Afterwards the used fuel is sealed in copper among other security measurements and stored 450 meters deep tunnel which reside in ground which has been stable for the last billion years. Earthquakes and future ice ages etc. has been included in the calculations. 

 

The used uranium reaches similar radiation level as nature's uranium in 200.000 years.

 

Here is a story in Finnish. https://www.iltalehti.fi/kotimaa/36f896ee-c99e-4965-bcdc-44a8a641fdb1_u0.shtml

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8 minutes ago, oilinki said:

Finland have a solution for this. First the used fuel is stored for 40 years, which reduces the radioactivity to a promille what it was coming out of the reactor.

those who claim that should brush up their knowledge in nuclear physics.

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53 minutes ago, Naam said:

those who claim that should brush up their knowledge in nuclear physics.

Well, it's not promille, but it's still quite a lot less than coming out of the oven.

 

Edit, actually it could easily be promille as the in the graph below 100% level is at 1 month time. Therefore materials with fastest half times, has already diminished. 

 

I couldn't find better sources for this, but here is something.

From: https://inis.iaea.org/collection/NCLCollectionStore/_Public/29/015/29015601.pdf (page 14).

 

"Figure 3-4. Radioactivity of a tonne of spent nuclear fuel of type SVEA 64 with a burnup of 38 MWd/kg U. To illustrate how the radioactivity declines over a long time perspective, the figure has been divided into three parts with different activity scales. (The 100% level on the top part corresponds to an activity of 3.35 • 1017 becquerel.)"

 

1631099178_Screenshot2018-10-1412_59_16.png.f7dba050c22dec923bb4f444aa481caa.png

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Here is another graph from the same source. This shows the heat output of the fuel immediately compared to 1 month level. 

 

Immediately after removed from reactor: 2.000.000 W/tonne

1 month later 70.000 W/tonne

40 years later 1.300 W/tonne

 

Therefore the head generation has dropped to 3.5% within first month and it's 0.065% after 40 years. That's 0.65 promille. As heat is generated by radioactive decay, the radioactivity has also dropped that amount.

 

 

165522415_Screenshot2018-10-1413_15_26.png.55cd0e9ed6772297ca9e5bcae1225ee0.png

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9 hours ago, oilinki said:

Therefore the head generation has dropped to 3.5% within first month and it's 0.065% after 40 years. That's 0.65 promille.

irrelevant as far as radiation danger to environment is concerned.

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