Energy in Transition 1985–2010

Final report of the Committee on Nuclear and Alternative Energy Systems

National Research Council

NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS

Washington, D.C.

1982



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Energy in Transition, 1985-2010: Final Report of the Committee on Nuclear and Alternative Energy Systems Energy in Transition 1985–2010 Final report of the Committee on Nuclear and Alternative Energy Systems National Research Council NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS Washington, D.C. 1982

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Energy in Transition, 1985-2010: Final Report of the Committee on Nuclear and Alternative Energy Systems The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the Councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. This report has been reviewed by a group other than the authors according to procedures approved by a Report Review Committee consisting of members of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. This study and report were supported under Contract EX-76-C-10–3784 between the Energy Research and Development Administration and the National Academy of Sciences. The National Research Council was established by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and of advising the federal government. The Council operates in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy under the authority of its congressional charter of 1863, which establishes the Academy as a private, nonprofit, self-governing membership corporation. The Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in the conduct of their services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. It is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. The National Academy of Engineering and the Institute of Medicine were established in 1964 and 1970, respectively, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences. Library of Congress Catalog Card Number 82–62022 International Standard Book Number 0-309-03331-4 Copyright © 1980 by the National Academy of Sciences No part of this book may be reproduced by any mechanical, photographic, or electronic process, or in the form of a phonographic recording, nor may it be stored in a retrieval system, transmitted, or otherwise copied for public or private use, without written permission from the publisher, except for the purpose of official use by the United States Government. Available from NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS 2101 Constitution Ave., N.W. Washington, D.C. 20418 Printed in the United States of America

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Energy in Transition, 1985-2010: Final Report of the Committee on Nuclear and Alternative Energy Systems 25 December 1979 The Honorable Charles W.Duncan, Jr. Secretary of Energy Washington, D.C. Dear Mr. Secretary: I have the honor to transmit a report entitled Energy in Transition, 1985–2010 prepared by the Committee on Nuclear and Alternative Energy Systems (CONAES) of the National Research council (NRC) and supported by Contract EX-76-C-10–3784 with the Energy Research and Development Administration (ERDA). On April 1, 1975, Dr. Robert C.Seamans, then Administrator of ERDA, wrote to me to request that the NRC undertake “a detailed and objective analysis of the risks and benefits associated with alternative conventional and breeder reactors as sources of power.” After due deliberation, the Governing Board of the NRC indicated that it would prefer “a comprehensive and objective study of the role of nuclear power in the context of alternative energy systems.” These expanded terms of reference proved acceptable to ERDA, and the resultant contract between ERDA and the National Academy of Sciences so specified. Administrative management of the study within the NRC was assigned to the Assembly of Engineering. The charge to our committee was nothing less than a detailed analysis of all aspects of the nation’s energy situation. The dimensions of this charge were without precedent in the NRC. Our committees, consisting of highly qualified, public-spirited experts who serve without fee, have generally been called on to address much more narrowly circumscribed questions. The breadth of compass in this instance constituted a staggering challenge. Harvey Brooks, then Dean of Engineering and Applied Physics at Harvard University, and Edward L.Ginzton, Chairman of the Board of Varian Associates, accepted our invitations to serve as co-chairmen of the study. The balance of the committee was then appointed after wide consultation with appropriate individuals and organizations. It was evident that the ultimate credibility of their report would rest upon public perception of the committee as balanced in composition and, in that sense, impartial. In discussing the NRC committee appointment process, my introduction to the Annual Report of the NRC for 1978 described CONAES as follows: An illustration of this art is afforded by the Committee on Nuclear and Alternative Energy Systems, engaged in the most complex task ever

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Energy in Transition, 1985-2010: Final Report of the Committee on Nuclear and Alternative Energy Systems attempted by the National Research Council. It is co-chaired by an applied physicist who is a university professor and an industrial engineer whose company manufactures scientific instruments, both of whom had previously chaired major NRC committees with great success. In all, 10 members are from academic institutions, 1 from a government laboratory, 1 from the research arm of an oil company, 1 from an instrument manufacturer, 1 from a utility company, 1 from a bank, and 1 from a law firm. From a disciplinary standpoint, there are 5 engineers, 3 physicists, 1 geophysicist, 2 economists, 1 sociologist, 1 banker, 1 physician-radiobiologist, 1 biological ecologist, and 1 “public interest” lawyer…. In a general way, by my appraisal when the study began, about one-third were negative, perhaps 3 were positive, and the others were genuinely open-minded concerning nuclear energy. At this writing, it is clear that the ideas that have come to be uppermost in the committee’s collective thinking were central to the views of few if any of the committee members when they first met.* The routine procedures of the NRC demand, as a condition of appointment, that each committee member file with us a disclosure of “Potential Sources of Bias” and that, at the first committee meeting, each member reveal to his colleagues the substance of that disclosure as well as the sense of his current views of the subject to be considered by the committee. That first meeting of CONAES was remarkable; the tension seemed almost physical; profound suspicion was evident; first names were rarely used; the polarization of views concerning nuclear energy was explicit. Four years later, that polarization persists, and many of the same positions are still regularly defended. But the committee has developed its own dynamic, the antagonists are personally friendly, and a very substantial measure of consensus has been achieved. Patently, no single committee such as CONAES could embrace full competence and knowledge of all the many technical matters that would demand consideration. To provide that competence, CONAES, as described in the preface, brought into being a set of 4 major panels supported by 22 resource groups and a number of consultants, thereby acquiring the knowledge and insights of about 300 additional individuals of highly diverse backgrounds. (See Appendix C.) During January and February 1976, CONAES conducted public hearings in five major cities across the nation to test its plans for conduct of the study and to listen to approximately 100 witnesses who asked to testify, No complete summary of those hearings is available, nor did they prove particularly fruitful, but this process began the education of the CONAES mcmbers in attendance at these hearings. On 1 August 1976, CONAES adopted a Work Plan and on 12 January 1977 transmitted an Interim Report to ERDA, a planning document that remains a landmark statement of the kinds of * In the time since, two of the original members have found it necessary to withdraw from the committee.

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Energy in Transition, 1985-2010: Final Report of the Committee on Nuclear and Alternative Energy Systems understandings that must be obtained if the nation is to formulate a successful energy policy. Conduct of the study over this four-year period has been complicated by numerous developments in the nation’s turbulent energy situation. There were gasoline shortages and price rises, electricity blackouts, natural gas shortages, public debate over power plant sitings, large negative balances of payments for petroleum and for technology. Growing environmental concern was paralleled by concern that regulation is inhibiting industrial innovation and productivity. Rising prices and the debate over decontrol were accompanied by growing public distrust of the energy industries and of statements concerning the magnitude of hydrocarbon reserves. Political instability in nations on which we depend for petroleum imports made all too obvious the precariousness of the flow of imported oil. Three Mile Island revealed both the resilience designed into nuclear plants and the significance of the human factor in the operation of such plants. Established energy companies began to develop capabilities in new energy technologies, and a host of new, smaller companies entered the market for such technologies as solar heating, windmills, biomass utilization, insulation, etc. President Carter, particularly concerned that nuclear weapons should not proliferate, took action to defer reprocessing of spent nuclear materials and to delay commercialization of a breeder reactor, while the pace of the much debated Clinch River breeder project was deliberately slowed. The President also presented to the nation energy messages emphasizing conservation, decontrol of petroleum and natural gas prices, vigorous exploration for new domestic sources, as well as a substantial synthetic fuels program to be financed from a windfall profits tax. During this period, CONAES resource groups and panels were variously reporting that domestic uranium will be less plentifully available than had earlier been suggested, and that the linkage between growth of the energy supply and real growth of the GNP is more flexible than many had previously considered. A panel of the NRC Geophysics Research Board flagged attention to the fact that continuing buildup of atmospheric CO2, thought to be largely due to fossil fuel combustion, would drastically alter climate, although the timing and manner of change are not yet reliably predictable. The CONAES Risk and Impact Panel reported its comparison of risks associated with various energy technologies. The work of the NRC Committee on Biological Effects of Ionizing Radiation (BEIR III) revealed the controversy concerning the biological effects of low level ionizing radiation, although, as a guide to policy makers, the differences between contending factions would appear to be rather small. The problem of planning for disposal of radioactive wastes assumed greater urgency and increasingly claimed public attention. An ad hoc committee under the aegis of our Committee on Science and Public Policy presented an independent analysis of the risks inherent in the nuclear fuel cycle, an analysis that highlighted, inter alia, the fact that uranium mining and the mine tailings

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Energy in Transition, 1985-2010: Final Report of the Committee on Nuclear and Alternative Energy Systems are, day by day, the most hazardous elements of the system, rather than accidents at power plants or the disposal of high level waste. Numerous analyses of various aspects of our energy situation were reported by diverse groups and individuals under several auspices. And, since CONAES finished its work, an ad hoc conference convened by the NRC in early October concluded that use of western oil shales must be a major contributor if the President’s goals for a synthetic fuels program are to be met. ERDA was phased out and the Department of Energy was created. The new Department, not quite responsible for initiation of this effort and concerned about the lengthy time that had already elapsed, placed a ceiling on its financial support of the CONAES endeavor. During September 1978 the funds provided by ERDA and the Department were exhausted. Since then, this effort has been supported by the private funds of NAS, in a total amount of about $300,000. Through all of these events, CONAES labored on through draft after draft. Preparation of chapter 1, in effect a short version of the report, took on the character of negotiation of a treaty; individual words and phrases were debated at wearying length. The penultimate draft of this report was sent to our Report Review Committee during the summer of 1979. A specially appointed review panel of 22 highly qualified individuals, largely members of NAS and NAE, read it with utmost care and returned to CONAES a lengthy, extremely detailed critique. CONAES responded equally carefully, accepting much of the criticism and amending the report accordingly in many cases, preferring its own position or language in others. Most reports of this length offer a brief, explicitly designated “summary.” Determined to complete its task and nearing exhaustion, CONAES eschewed preparation of such a statement. However, an equivalent of such a summary will be found in the attached letter of transmittal, to me, by the two co-chairmen, a statement which closely coincides with that which concludes chapter 1. Readers will find it helpful to study that statement before addressing the body of the report. Most importantly, the report is addressed to a great challenge, management of the medium-term future of our energy economy, viz., the turbulent period of transition from major dependence on fossil hydrocarbons, domestic and imported, to a more stable era of utilization of energy sources that are either renewable or available on a scale sufficient for centuries, While most current public and governmental concern is necessarily focussed on the energy difficulties of the day, it is the period of this transition that must be the principal subject of major energy policy, The present report offers no prescription for such policy but does provide an analytical base and a description of alternate future scenarios that should be of considerable assistance to those who must formulate such policy. One aspect of the CONAES exercise was the development by various panels and resource groups of a series of models of conceivable national energy and economic futures. Whereas much of the report would retain its validity in the

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Energy in Transition, 1985-2010: Final Report of the Committee on Nuclear and Alternative Energy Systems absence of these models, their implications significantly affected the committee’s thinking as it engaged in the numerous evaluations to be found in the report. Since the validity of these models rests on the validity, completeness, and consistency of their underlying assumptions, some of them quite dramatic, and since, patently, the energy futures so described flow from these premises, the reader will be well advised to examine those assumptions carefully. The variety of alternate energy futures here contemplated and their consequences for the national economy and life-style are impressive features of this report. The report stresses the necessity to reduce national dependence on imported petroleum, to be accomplished by both conservation and switching to alternate technologies. The opportunities for conservation, and their scale and timing, are presented in some detail. Public decision concerning the major opportunities for non-petroleum-based energy production is constrained by concern for their attendant risks and environmental impact. A major feature of this report is its analysis of the state-of-the-art of these alternate technologies and a comparative assessment of their associated risks and impacts. An unusual aspect of this report is its conclusion that future decisions concerning nuclear energy will be determined by public perceptions of risks and benefits at least as much as by rigorous conclusions drawn by scientists on the basis of scientific analysis. That circumstance places an unusually heavy burden of objectivity on those whose statements help to fashion public opinion. Excessive attention to either the risk or the benefit side of the equation, or failure to consider the alternatives, could seem to lead, on the one hand, to denial to the nation of all major energy sources or, on the other, to a false sense of security. By design, the composition of CONAES reflected a wide spectrum of opinion concerning most aspects of the nation’s energy problems, although, to be sure, none were advocates of the most extreme positions. Members frequently offered the special viewpoints expected from their places in society, as utility company executive, environmental advocate, investment banker, regulator, ecologist, physician, economist, etc., speaking on behalf of their own constituencies, as it were. Hence, the present report is unique in the growing literature concerning energy. It is particularly noteworthy precisely because it emerges from a reasonably representative microcosm of the conflicting relevant interests and viewpoints abroad in the land, rather than from a more homogeneous group with a unifying ideology. To the extent possible, CONAES sought genuine consensus. But where the committee was significantly divided, both points of view are presented in the text. In addition, all members were invited to offer personal comments when they wished to clarify or to take exception to statements in the text that otherwise reflect the preponderance of CONAES opinion. These statements, some quite eloquent, will be found in footnotes and in Appendix A. The divisions of opinion indicated in the text and the disagreements noted in

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Energy in Transition, 1985-2010: Final Report of the Committee on Nuclear and Alternative Energy Systems footnotes and in Appendix A, while by no means trivial, should not be permitted to lessen appreciation of the force of the analysis here presented or of the general agreement achieved on some of the most critical questions considered. Despite the long time required to complete this effort (in large measure a consequence of the initial polarized composition of CONAES) the report could not have been more timely than it is today. Some readers may find themselves disappointed by the absence of a set of crisp recommendations for federal policy and programs. But such was not our purpose. It is the thorough analysis of almost all aspects of our energy circumstances and the detailed consideration of the possible alternatives available to the nation that constitute the principal contribution of this report. The major decisions yet to be taken must occur in the political arena and in the marketplace. It is our hope that, by illuminating our circumstances and future prospects, this report will increase the likelihood that those future decisions will be rational and based on the longer-term national interest rather than on the painful exigencies of any given moment. Much of the material earlier available to CONAES, i.e., the reports of several of its panels and resource groups, has already been published. Several more remain to be published. Appendix D is a compilation of these titles. Each has been carefully considered and used by CONAES, but they have not been put through the normal review procedures of the NRC. In all, about 350 individuals have contributed to various aspects of this exercise. There may well be no participant who agrees with the entirety of the CONAES report, but most participants will find themselves in substantial agreement with most of this report. An unanticipated value of this endeavor may well prove to be the educations that all participants received; the insights and understandings so gained have already found their way into the national debate as these now even more knowledgeable scientists have also participated in a multiplicity of other committees. Congressional hearings, reports, classroom teaching, and boardroom discussions. Thus, by this avenue, also, the CONAES exercise will have contributed constructively to future national energy policy. One intrinsically political aspect of our national energy circumstance is not fully discussed by CONAES, the fact that the great uncertainty concerning our energy future has, in turn, generated innumerable other public uncertainties. These uncertainties constrain decisions by energy-producing and energy-utilizing industry; they affect personal decisions concerning housing and transportation; they inhibit foreign policy formulation and, in general, cast a pall on life in these United States. The challenge to the nation is to avoid taking, prematurely, those decisions that CONAES suggests be deferred until they can be taken with greater understanding and wisdom while, as soon as possible, enunciating and beginning to follow a stated course that will hold

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Energy in Transition, 1985-2010: Final Report of the Committee on Nuclear and Alternative Energy Systems open as many options as possible. It is our hope that Energy in Transition, 1985–2010 will be of assistance in that regard. Allow me to take this opportunity to make public acknowledgment of our great debt to Harvey Brooks, who, more than any other, fashioned this report through endless hours of devoted effort and attention to all of its facets, His co-chairman, Edward L.Ginzton, earned our gratitude both by his considerable substantive contributions and by his determined drive to push the task to completion. And I am pleased to acknowledge the huge contribution of all the members of CONAES, who attended several dozen meetings and read reams of reports and drafts, who individually wrote innumerable drafts of paragraphs, pages, and chapters, and who maintained their goodwill and good humor during this prolonged exercise. Finally, let me express our profound appreciation to the panels, resource groups, consultants, and dedicated staff, without whom this report would not have been possible. Mr. Secretary, the National Research Council is pleased, proud, and considerably relieved, to make this report available to the Department of Energy and to all Americans seriously concerned for the health of our nation’s future energy economy. Sincerely yours, PHILIP HANDLER Chairman, National Research Council President, National Academy of Sciences Enclosure

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Energy in Transition, 1985-2010: Final Report of the Committee on Nuclear and Alternative Energy Systems                   Thermochemical Conversion   380       Electrolytic Conversion   380      Conclusions   380      Notes   382 7   Controlled Nuclear Fusion   385      The Fusion Reaction   386      Fusion Fuel Cycles and the Environment   386      Creating the Conditions for Fusion: Heat and Confinement   389      Magnetic Confinement   389      Inertial Confinement   390      Timetable for Development and Criteria for Deployment   393      The Program   395      Conclusions   396      Notes   396 8   Geothermal Energy   397     Geothermal Resource Types   398      Hot Water Reservoirs   398      Natural Steam Reservoirs   399      Geopressured Reservoirs   399      Normal Geothermal Gradient and Hot-Dry-Rock Resources   399      Molten Magma   400      Estimated Heat Contents and Producibility   400      Technical and Environmental Considerations   402      Hot Water Reservoirs   402       Energy Content   403       Environmental Considerations   403      Natural Steam Reservoirs   403       Energy Content   404

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Energy in Transition, 1985-2010: Final Report of the Committee on Nuclear and Alternative Energy Systems                   Environmental Considerations   404      Geopressured Reservoirs   405       Energy Content   405       Environmental Considerations   406      Hot Dry Rock   406       Energy Content   407       Environmental Considerations   407      Normal-Gradient Geothermal Heat   408       Energy Content   408       Environmental Considerations   409      Molten Magma   409       Energy Content   409       Environmental Considerations   409      Production Costs   410      Natural Steam   410      Hot Water Reservoirs   412      Geopressured Reservoirs   413      Hot Dry Rock   414      Normal-Gradient Systems   415      Molten Magma   415      Future Development of the Geothermal Resource   416      Institutional Problems   416      Future Trends in Geothermal Energy Production   417      Conclusions on Geothermal Energy   417      Notes   419 9   Risks of Energy Systems   422      Risk   423      Assessment of Total Risk   424      Regulation   424       Administrative and Legal Aspects   425       Practical Aspects   425      Health   427      Routine Industrial Risks   428       Fatal Accidents   428       Nonfatal Accidents and Occupational Disease   430

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Energy in Transition, 1985-2010: Final Report of the Committee on Nuclear and Alternative Energy Systems                  Public Health Risks   432       Epidemiological Methods   432       Estimating Health Risks   436       Fission   438       Combustion   448      Catastrophes   459      Agriculture and Plant Life   463      Water and Climate   467      Acid Precipitation   467      Global Climate   470      Water Supply   473      Ecosystems   475      Hydroelectric Power   476      Geothermal Energy   476      Solar Power   477      Coal   479      Oil   480      Natural Gas   480      Shale Oil and Coal-Derived Synthetic Fuels   480      Nuclear Power   481      Discussion   481      Limitations in Risk Assessment   481      Perception of Risk   482      Regulation   483      Social and Political Risks   484      Conclusions   485      1.  Limits of Risk Control   485      2.  Conservation   486      3.  Fossil Fuels   486      4.  Carbon Dioxide   487      5.  Nuclear Power   487      6.  Water Supply   488      7.  Solar Energy   488      8.  Air Quality Standards and Research   489      9.  Public Appraisal of Energy Systems   490      Notes   490

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Energy in Transition, 1985-2010: Final Report of the Committee on Nuclear and Alternative Energy Systems            10   U.S. Energy Policy in the Global Economic Context   500      The Rise in Oil and Gas, 1960–1973   500      The Oil Price Rise of 1973–1974   505      Reactions to Higher Oil Prices   508      Energy Resources and Their Discovery   511      The Development of World Oil Reserves   515      World Uranium Resources   518      Long-Range Perspectives on World Energy Flows   520      Consequences of Action on National Energy Policies   523      The Developing Countries and the World Financial System   525      Notes   527 11   Methods and Analysis of Study Projections   529      Analysis and Scenarios   534      Work of the Demand and Conservation Panel   534       Population Growth   534       Work-Force Participation and Other Trends   535       Growth of GNP   535       Energy Prices   539       Other Assumptions   540       Methodology   544       Demand for Electricity   557       Minimum Energy-Use Scenario (CLOP)   557       Total Primary Energy Use   559      Work of the Supply and Delivery Panel   559       Maximum-Solar Scenario   562       CONAES Projections of Supply Versus Other Projections   562      Implications of Study Results: Comparisons of Supply and Demand   566      The Study Scenarios   568       Nuclear Power   570

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Energy in Transition, 1985-2010: Final Report of the Committee on Nuclear and Alternative Energy Systems                   Electricity   571       Liquid and Gaseous Fuels   583      Discussion of Study Scenarios   585       Characteristics of the Scenarios   585       Comparison with Projections of Other Energy Studies   588      Work of the Modeling Resource Group   593       Growth Rate of Real Gross National Product   599       Feedback from Energy Use to GNP   601       Estimates of the Feedback from Energy Consumption to Real Income   602      Discussion   608      Notes   609 Appendix A   Individual Statements by CONAES Members   613 Appendix B   Glossary of Technical Terms   643 Appendix C   Resource Groups, Consultants, and Contributors   649 Appendix D   Publications of the CONAES Study   655     Index   657

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Energy in Transition, 1985-2010: Final Report of the Committee on Nuclear and Alternative Energy Systems Preface In June 1975 the National Research Council, at the request of the Energy Research and Development Administration, undertook a comprehensive study of the nation’s energy future, with special consideration of the role of nuclear power among alternative energy systems. The Committee on Nuclear and Alternative Energy Systems (CONAES) was formed to carry out the study. The study, in assessing the roles of nuclear and alternative energy systems in the nation’s energy future, focuses on the period between 1985 and 2010. Its intent is to illuminate the kinds of options the nation may wish to keep open in the future and to describe the actions, policies, and research and development programs that may be required to do so. The timing and the context of these decisions depend not only on the technical, social, and economic features of energy supply technologies, but also on assumptions about future demand for energy and the possibilities for energy conservation through changes in consumption patterns and improved efficiency of the supply and end-use systems. The committee developed a three-tiered functional structure for the project. The first tier was CONAES itself, whose report embodies the ultimate findings, conclusions, and judgments of the study. To provide scientific and engineering data and economic analyses for the committee, a second tier of four panels was appointed by the committee to examine (1) energy demand and conservation, (2) energy supply and

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Energy in Transition, 1985-2010: Final Report of the Committee on Nuclear and Alternative Energy Systems delivery systems, (3) risks and impacts of energy supply and use, and (4) various models of possible future energy systems and decision making. Each panel in turn established a number of resource groups—some two dozen in all—to address in detail an array of more particular matters. (The members of each resource group are listed in Appendix C, along with contractors and consultants to the study.) It should be emphasized that this report, although it embodies the contributions of several hundred individuals, is solely the responsibility of the committee. However, the committee was chosen to represent a wide range of viewpoints and backgrounds, and in such a group, covering so broad a topic, it is impossible to reach consensus on every issue. Committee members were encouraged, at the conclusion of the study, to submit individual statements on subjects with whose treatment in the report they were especially dissatisfied. These statements are indicated in the report by footnotes, the longer statements appearing as Appendix A. The National Research Council customarily publishes only the final reports of its committees. However, many of the panel and resource group reports, prepared to provide information for the committee, are valuable energy documents in their own rights. They are therefore also being published. The panel reports were reviewed by designated members of CONAES under procedures approved by the Report Review Committee of the National Research Council. The resource group reports, published as supporting papers, were reviewed by less formal procedures. The findings expressed in the panel and resource group reports are those of the authors and are not endorsed by CONAES or the National Research Council; some of the conclusions are inevitably at variance with those of the CONAES report. Appendix D lists the currently available and forthcoming publications of the CONAES study. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS While the fourteen members of the Committee on Nuclear and Alternative Energy Systems are solely responsible for this report, many other individuals and groups contributed information and analyses. Volunteer members of the panels and resource groups were the main contributors to the body of information compiled during the study. In most cases these groups were assisted by consultants and staff assistants. The panels and resource groups in addition commissioned a number of papers and studies. Several individuals made especially important contributions to producing the committee report. Staff officers Leroy Colquitt, Jr., Brian

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Energy in Transition, 1985-2010: Final Report of the Committee on Nuclear and Alternative Energy Systems Crissey, and Richard Silberglitt worked closely with the committee and individual panels (with whom their names are listed) between 1975 and 1977. The editorial staff began its work in 1977 and carried through to the completion of the study; particular acknowledgment is due Duncan Brown and Aurora Gallagher, who were the principal editors for the committee from June 1977 to report completion, Leonard S.Cottrell III helped with background research and analysis. All of these efforts were guided by the study director, Jack M.Hollander, who served while on leave of absence from the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory between 1975 and December 1977, and by John O.Berga, who coordinated staff efforts in 1978 and 1979. The staff was ably supported in processing the many manuscript drafts during most of this period by Vivian Scott, Karen Laughlin, and Sandra Jones and is particularly grateful for their efforts. Important and timely assistance was provided by the administrative units of the National Academy of Sciences, especially the Copying Service, the Manuscript Processing Unit, and the Office of Publications. A list of individuals who made significant contributions to the work of the committee and panels is printed as Appendix C of this volume. This list is by no means complete, and the committee expresses appreciation to all the others whose efforts furthered the work of this study.

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Energy in Transition, 1985-2010: Final Report of the Committee on Nuclear and Alternative Energy Systems Measuring Energy Energy is used in a wide variety of forms, with different physical and thermal qualities and different capacities for mutual substitution. It is often convenient, however, to specify the quantity of energy in terms of a common unit. For this study, and most others undertaken in the English-speaking world, that unit is the British thermal unit, or Btu (the amount of energy required to raise the temperature of 1 pound of water 1°F from 39.2°F to 40.2°F). A barrel of crude oil, for example, contains about 5.8 million Btu; petroleum as consumed averages about 5.5 million Btu per barrel. When very large amounts of energy are discussed, it is convenient to use the unit quad, defined as one quadrillion (1,000,000,000,000,000) Btu. The following table puts these quantities into perspective. U.S. Energy Consumption in 1978 Energy Source Consumption Conversion Factor (values are equivalent to 1 quad) Standard Units Quads Coala 623.5 million short tons 14.09 44.3 million short tons Natural gas 19.41 trillion cubic feet 19.82 0.979 trillion cubic feet Petroleumb 6838 million barrels 37.79 181 million barrels Hydropowerc 301.6 billion kilowatt-hours 3.15 95.7 billion kilowatt-hours Nuclear powerc 276.4 billion kilowatt-hours 2.98 92.9 billion kilowatt-hours Geothermal and otherc,d 3.3 billion kilowatt-hours 0.07 46.3 billion kilowatt-hours Net imports of coke 5.0 million short tons 0.13 38.5 million short tons TOTALe   78.01   aIncludes bituminous coal, lignite, and anthracite. bIncludes natural gas plant liquids and crude oil burned as fuel, as well as refined products. cThe conversions from kilowatt-hours to Btu’s are necessarily arbitrary for these conversion technologies. The hydropower thermal conversion rates are the prevailing heat-rate factors at fossil-steam electric power plants. Those for nuclear power and geothermal energy represent the thermal conversion equivalent of the uranium and geothermal steam consumed at power plants. The heat content of 1 kilowatt-hour of electricity, regardless of the generation process, is 3413 Btu. dIncludes wood, refuse, and other organic matter burned 10 generate electricity. eDetails do not add to total due to rounding.

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Energy in Transition, 1985-2010: Final Report of the Committee on Nuclear and Alternative Energy Systems Energy in Transition 1985–2010

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