Wednesday, 14 November 2007

Diesendorf - gets it wrong again.

In this Sydney Morning Herald article, Mark Diesendorf is recommending Aussies swap from electric to gas to battle emissions linked to climate change. In theory this may sound wise - but in practice, due to the leakage of gas systems country-wide, this policy would result in no improvements and would probably be even worse for the climate. [See this post and video for more.]

In time, any mechanical system will probably develop leaks if allowed to operate unchecked.

Modern, nuclear power plants incorporate diverse systems, [liquid, gas, and activity detection] incorporating redundant instrumentation, to monitor for leakage so that repairs or system shutdowns can be undertaken to address any identified issues. Add to this a battery of non-destructive examinations (NDE) and in-service inspections (ISI), and the vast majority of would-be leaks in nuclear plant systems are repaired long before the first drip emerges from the pipe.

This is just one example of what a few billion dollars will buy us. Where did you think all that money went?

Do you have any leakage detection systems in your home gas system? Are there any on the pipes running down your street or to the local gas power stations? There may be some monitoring in larger plants, but the leakage - in the real would in which we live - is considerable and causing more climactic problems than the expanded use of gas will solve.

This is not just poor advice - it is technically shallow.

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