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Roland Berger study outlines integrated vehicle and fuels roadmap for further abating transport GHG emissions 2030+ at lowest societal cost

A new study by consultancy Roland Berger defines an integrated roadmap for European road transport decarbonization to 2030 and beyond; the current regulatory framework for vehicle emissions, carbon intensity of fuels and use of renewable fuels covers only up to 2020/2021.

The study was commissioned by a coalition of fuel suppliers and automotive companies with a view to identifying a roadmap to 2030+ to identify GHG abatement options at the lowest cost to society. The coalition comprises BMW, Daimler, Honda, NEOT/St1, Neste, OMV, Shell, Toyota and Volkswagen. Among the key findings of the study were:

  • Maintaining the existing vehicle efficiency and fuels regulations to 2030 will lower tank-to-wheel GHG emissions from road transport to 647 Mt representing a 29% reduction compared to 2005 levels, achieving almost aspired level for 2030.

    Transport will also deliver tank-to-wheel emissions savings of 191 Mt CO2e between 2015 and 2030 to reduce the total well-to-wheel GHG emission in 2030 to 862 Mt CO2e. The well-to wheel-emission savings represent a 23% reduction in tank-to-wheel emissions and a 22% reduction in well-to-tank emissions.

    Optimized internal combustion engines are the major contributor to the reduction of passenger car GHG emissions with significant improvements until 2020 and the subsequent penetration of more effective alternative technologies into the fleet.

    Despite the expected reduction in cost of alternative technologies, the share of new car sales will remain relatively small; the influence of these technologies on overall emissions currently remains marginal. Even until 2030 many alternative powertrain technologies such as PHEV, BEV and FCV lack relative cost competitiveness—but are important cornerstones in vehicle manufacturers’ CO2 emission compliance strategies.

  • GHG abatement in road transport sector will cost approx. €150-200 (US$172-229) per ton of CO2e avoided. Bringing optimized ICEs as well as alternative fuels and powertrain technologies to market will account for €380-390 billion (US$435-446) of cumulated incremental powertrain costs from 2010 until 2030.

  • To further abate GHG emissions in road transport by 2030, more biofuels and hybrid powertrains for passenger cars as well as more biofuels and new truck concepts for commercial vehicles are a cost effective way of delivering more GHG savings from transport and with supportive polices they can deliver an extra 34 Mt CO2e by 2030.

    From the GHG abatement cost perspective, the study found that the most efficient technologies are full deployment of the E10 grade, to reach the 7% energy cap of conventional biofuels; higher advanced ethanol blends for gasoline such as E20; drop-in advanced biofuels for diesel; and hybridized powertrains, such as mild hybrids and full hybrids.

    These technologies have not yet realized their full GHG reduction potential in terms of deployment under the current regulatory framework and come at costs of 0–100 €/ton-CO2 abated. The additional abatement potential of these technologies is approx. 34 Mton CO2e (WTW).

    —Roland Berger study

Berger1

  • For the longer-term (beyond 2030), the study indicates that the only fuel and vehicle combinations technically suited to achieving “ultra-low carbon emission mobility” are:

    • Highly-efficient conventional powertrains (Mild- and full-Hybrid) fueled with advanced and waste based biofuels/-gases (for passenger cars (PC) and commercial vehicles (CV))
    • PHEVs fueled with advanced biofuels and low carbon, renewable electricity (for PC)
    • BEVs fueled with low carbon, renewable electricity (for PC)
    • FCVs fueled with low carbon, renewable hydrogen (for PC)

    The latter powertrain technologies also offer the advantage of zero pollutant emissions.

Berger2
  • Policy makers should adopt an integrated approach in policy design and promote the deployment of cost-efficient GHG abatement technologies post-2020.

  • Market-based mechanisms (MBMs) are an option as complementary policy to vehicle CO2 standards, fuels and infrastructure policies generating funds for member states to support new ultra-low-carbon vehicle and fuel technologies.

    Placing fuels in a market-based system (MBM) will also lead to GHG abatement becoming an economy-wide rather than a sectorial issue based on the lowest cost to society.

    Initially, the MBM should be designed to recycle the revenues from the sale of allowances for fuels to provide the funding needed to bring new low carbon fuels and vehicles to market. Once low-carbon fuels and vehicles can be deployed affordably en masse, then the MBM can be the primary GHG reduction policy and other policies (vehicle efficiency, fuels etc.) can be removed.

Methodology. The study developed a realistic reference case for potential GHG emission reductions under the current regulatory framework with predicted market improvements. The abatement effect of enabling vehicle and fuel technologies was assessed with a comprehensive vehicle fleet and fuel model for EU-28, covering GHG emissions from passenger cars, light commercial vehicle and other commercial vehicles as well as indirect emissions from fuel and electricity production.

For the model, the team derived a likely powertrain mix for different vehicle groups until 2030. These powertrain mix forecasts are based on projected fuel and vehicle costs for conventional internal combustion engines (ICE); mild and full hybrids; and alternative powertrains such as plug-in hybrids (PHEV); battery electric vehicles (BEV); natural gas vehicles (CNG); and fuel cell electric vehicles (FCV).

The reference case predicts, within two different scenarios for oil price development and battery technology progress, an expected market development for each technology under the current regulatory framework.

For the reference case, the model assumed extension of the existing legislation to 2030. After comparing transport sector emissions under the current regulatory framework with the 2030 GHG emissions reduction targets, the study authors identified technologies to achieve additional GHG abatement at the lowest cost to society. In order for these technologies to contribute to the abatement of road transport sector GHG emissions, the recommended policies need to address the current obstacles these technologies face.

Resources

Comments

Mike999

Yep, this was the debunked study funded by oil.

Here's the thing though.
You'll save lots of money simply by Transitioning Now to Solar and Wind.
That way you won't have to fund blatant propaganda.

You've only go 12 years left and then you're done.
That's how geometric growth works.

Mike999

Just a reminder, the "Green's" have better projected the growth of solar than Exxon.
Does that say something about the competency of oil industry mgmt?

Engineer-Poet

The growth of solar has a hard limit at roughly its capacity factor.  That's 20% if you're lucky; Germany is achieving about 11%.  The oil companies (which are now substantially gas companies) know this and are promoting the hell out of "renewables" with gas as the primary ("backup") energy supply.

Nuclear power is the true carbon-killer.  This is why all the donor-driven "environmental" organizations are so unremittingly against it:  the major donors are FF interests.

JMartin

EP: If you start building a nuclear power plant today, solar, wind and storage will have obviated it by the time it is ready to produce electricity.

HarveyD

Too bad (clean) new NPPs take so long to build (13+ years), cost so much to produce electricity ($0.20+/kWh), cannot be properly insured for potential damages from radio-active residues and accidents and are not supported by the majority.

Wind turbine farms are not so well accepted in many places. Very slow turning, very large units (10+ mega-watts) on 500+ ft towers may reduce hazard to birds and bees but the visual aspect (objection) would be worst.

Solar, installed in sunny desert areas + roof tops may be easier to accept by the majority but would require more storage.

Hydro is only about 50% developed and (with enough high voltage transmission lines) could meet part of the world wide demands.

A better solution may be to use less energy with more efficient HVAC, lights, appliances, PCs, Phones, TVs, better insulation, windows, doors etc specially during peak demand periods.

HarveyD

By the way, Denmark's wind farms produce close to 50% of the electricity used in the country.

Engineer-Poet
If you start building a nuclear power plant today, solar, wind and storage will have obviated it by the time it is ready to produce electricity.

Emphasis added.  Note that solar and wind are grossly unreliable and require truly massive amounts of energy buffer (storage or fossil) to provision a reliable electric grid.  Despite the efforts of the likes of Sadoway to make batteries cheap as dirt, none are available at grid scale at ANY price (and prospects have been pushed back yet again).  Pumped hydro takes too much volume to do too little; a week's worth of buffer for the USA requires two reservoirs each roughly the size of Lake Erie.  Even chemical batteries would require on the order of a cubic mile of material.

Nuclear comes with its own storage.  When you button up the vessel on a commercial reactor it's got enough energy inside to run for a year and half, sometimes 2 years.  In the case of nuclear submarines, the core has enough energy for the life of the boat.

Now, that doesn't mean that wind and solar may not push nuclear out.  That is because the law currently requires utilities to take wind and solar power even if they don't need it, and forces other generation to compensate for their surges and dips.  If that law was changed, wind and solar would be MUCH less desirable.  It would also make a carbon-free energy system that much more attainable, because curtailing surplus wind and PV allows the entire baseload to be handled by emissions-free nuclear instead of requiring CO2-belching gas turbines to counter their ups and downs.

Denmark's wind farms produce close to 50% of the electricity used in the country.

Denmark's grid emits close to 400 grams of CO2 for every kWh it provides.  The nuclear and hydro grid of Sweden next door does it with about 20 grams.  To be anti-nuclear is to be anti-environment.

gorr

They didn't resolve any energy problems since the last 10 years and they still make futur projects and policies and they didn't commercialized any new cars and trucks worth buying over a plain gasoline car or conventional diesel tractor-trailer truck.

The vast majority of peoples living near these windmills hate them.

gorr

Also , it is the non subsidized private sector that increased efficiency in the last 10 years. 10 years ago, there were no ethanol in gas, now a 3 percent drop in mpg and ultra big inflation in all food prices. Honda and some other manufacturers have increased the efficiencies of their ice cars by a lot with their computer controlled efficient gas engines and transmissions and the civic is at low cost. Npbody in real life want an ev, let do the free market. Diesel cars pollute the air in european cities and this is not the co2 that pollute but all the other nasty fumes and the scientific community at high cost is just foing pr against co2.
Also big oil have keep up with the growing demand for gas and they increased their efficiencies with plentu of low cost supply, all contries have increased oil taxes except u.s.a.

MaartenV

@Engineer-Poet.
“The growth of solar has a hard limit at roughly its capacity factor. That's 20% if you're lucky.”
That is progress. The opponents of renewables used to say it was only 2%. Wind, PV and hydro will produce 100% in some countries in the near future. And I think that is the only realistic hard limit.

But back to the funny report the endangered industries have ordered. It tries to answer the question how to comply with the current GHG goals for 2030 with minimal impact on the old industries. Not how to maximize GHG reduction in a for the public most economical way.

Part of that equation is making all electricity production renewable. Another part is the electrification of all transport, starting with light-duty vehicles. And the way to do that is through its price mechanism.

The success of the Tesla Model S is often attributed to Musk ‘Just building a better car (for the same price)’ as the competition in the luxury sedan class. But to my amazement nobody explains why it was possible for an Californian startup to beat the German automakers with a century of experience in their own game.

And while Tesla did leak its “Secret Master Plan” it hid its secret weapon in plain sight. All previous challengers to the established luxury carmakers did so using the same technology as they. Tesla didn’t, it build a BEV.

If you divide a car conceptually in a coach and a powertrain, you can put a price on both parts. The complex powertrain of the old school sedans has a very sophisticated ICE made in very small numbers, what makes them really expensive. Tesla’s powertrain is much simpler with one very expensive part, the battery. But the price difference between the old school and the usurpers powertrain in not big enough to make a competitive difference. The driving experience of the two powertrains is decisive.

This gives Tesla model S its competitive edge: comparative price, comparative coach but superior ride. Combined with nice things like sexy, cool, good for the environment, over the air updates etc. makes the Model S an unbeatable offering.

And every time the powertrain of a class of ICE cars becomes on par with an equivalent powertrain based on batteries, those cars are toast. As is now (in 2018) the case with the Tesla Model ≡ and its competitors.

And with the price effect for GHG reduction on ICE and the price decline for batteries due to research and economies of scale the writers of this report should have been able to read the writing on the wall

electric-car-insider.com

Well said, Maarten.

HarveyD

Good observations Maarten.

For many posters, BEVs are the best solution for clean ground transports. They may be right, when 5-5-5 and 10-10-10, very quick charge (less than 10 minutes) batteries and charging facilities are available, sometime after 2030/2035.

For others, PHEVs with larger batteries for more e-range (60+ miles) is a better near term (interim) solution but they still burn (reduced) fuel and produce pollution and GHG.

Recently, more and more posters have started to believe that FCEVs may become a worthwhile alternative, but a new H2 infrastructure will be required. H2 will/may continue to cost more than electricity for BEVs and PHEVs, except where very low cost excess REs is available (off peak demand hours) and large FCs could supply some of the peak demand electricity required. This may be true where Hydro + Wind + Solar is used.

From the energy supply side, new NPPs could return to the energy mix if initial cost could be reduced by 50% to 75% and Insurance Cos accept to cover/insure the risks at an affordable price. It is a tall order and may not materialize till 2050 or so.

Short of being phased out (by mandate) improved ICEVs will/may be around for another 50+ years or so unless more (accelerated) progress is made with BEVs and FCEVs for light and heavy vehicles respectively.

Engineer-Poet
That is progress. The opponents of renewables used to say it was only 2%.

Grids require a certain amount of spinning reserve and "must-run" generators to provide essential services.  Maybe 2% can be broken, but I doubt 10% can absent lots of storage.  The problem is that good storage is scarce, and expanding it beyond the limited amount of pumped hydro will be very expensive.

Wind, PV and hydro will produce 100% in some countries in the near future.

Emphasis added.  I note your weasel-wording.  Norway and Quebec are essentially hydro.  Iceland is hydro/geothermal.  There you have "100%" without doing a thing.  Now show how to do that in the USA, where large-scale hydro is already maxed out but generates less than 7% of total electric power.

Large-scale hydro uses dams to stockpile energy (water).  Neither PV nor wind has any way to store energy at all.

Part of that equation is making all electricity production renewable.

Can't be done in the USA or most industrial countries, period.  Reliable grids require large energy stockpiles to ride through periods of low supply, and the only "renewable" which has this is large-scale hydro.  If you have the unique conditions of geography and rainfall that allow lots of hydro, you're set.  If not, there is nothing you can do about it.  Wind and solar aren't doing that job because they CANNOT do the job.

The complex powertrain of the old school sedans has a very sophisticated ICE made in very small numbers

Amost 17 million ICE LDVs are sold in the USA alone every year.  If you think this is "small numbers", you're smoking something.

every time the powertrain of a class of ICE cars becomes on par with an equivalent powertrain based on batteries, those cars are toast.

Only if you have the power to charge the EVs whenever they need it.  Your 100% renewable (meaning 93% wind and solar) grid will have many nights when there is no local generation and days and weeks when wind, solar or both are producing well below demand.  If you expect to use EVs to bank energy for the rest of the grid, think again:  if every one of the 250 million LDVs in the USA was a Tesla Model 3 with 60 kWh, that would only be 15 TWh of energy storage.  The USA typically consumes 15 TWh in a little over a day.

What I find most "renewable" advocates are is dishonest shills for natural gas.  Gas-fired turbines are the "emergency" backup for wind and PV.  The schemes of the likes of Mark Z. Jacobson will produce permanent states of emergency.  This is not an accident.

Account Deleted

@EP Sweden has decided to shot down all of their nuclear power plants and replace them with wind power. Sweden already shot down some of its nuclear power plants and they have installed 6 Gw of wind power by dec 2015. That is more than the 5Gw of wind power that Denmark has as of dec 2015 and that produces nearly 50% of all electricity needed. Denmark will get to 100% wind power in 15 years or so and we will solve the intermittency simply by making more transmission lines to Norway that has some 50Gw of potential hydropower and I believe about 20Gw of installed hydropower more than enough to power Denmark 3 times.

The unique geography of Scandinavia means we can make all of our electricity with wind and hydropower and therefore not worry about expensive intermittency infrastructure. This is so even if cars with combustion engines are banned for environmental reasons as I fully expect they will be when Model 3 is launched and in mass production and the other automakers make similar and equally attractive offerings. A total ban on selling gassers will take some time but I think it will happen in Scandinavia before 2030.

Eliminating polluting and dangerous cars will be done with autonomous BEVs that people do not buy but simple hire using a Smartphone or a smart watch. That is where all the growth will happen in the auto industry at the expense of polluting and unsafe gassers.

Self-driving anything is coming. See video in link below to convince yourself that the autonomous future is very close.

http://www.fastcompany.com/3059281/introducing-hover-an-ai-powered-indoor-safe-camera-drone

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wind_power_by_country

Davemart

1.For the record I am in agreement with EP that the smart way to provide low carbon power outside the tropics is to build out nuclear to cover base load.
Then what makes sense for transport is BEVs or through the road charging if it can be done, as the power is available year round, day and night.

The problem with this is it is in the West at least they are not being built, and even in places like China are not yet being built in enough quantity.

2.So what is being built is renewables, which have fallen encouragingly in cost.

The problem with this is that there is no way in God's earth of covering demand without substantial recourse to chemical storage, hydrogen and its derivatives.
And yes, I know all about CAES, pumped hydro, batteries and so on.

They all fall a couple of orders of magnitude short of being able to do the job.

3. So the only politically practical means of reducing carbon seems to be via renewables and chemical storage.

The bad news about this is that it will be expensive.

The good news is that costs are dropping fast and it seems as though one way or another direct solar to hydrogen etc can be made to work.

So although it is not my preferred pathway, it has the advantage of likely being workable, which a high renewables society without chemical storage outside of the tropics isn't.

Account Deleted

Davemart you forget about thermal storage in sand or stone. It can also be used to store “endless” amounts of energy for seasonal renewable energy. Siemens is working on it. I bet it will be a more affordable way of storing energy for electricity production than renewable hydrogen. I think both methods will be used depending on geography, climate etc. Hydrogen needs a suited geologic underground storage like an old gas field or it will cost too much relative to thermal storage that can be done everywhere.

I think we will get to the point in a few years where storage of renewable energy will cost more per kwh than making the renewable energy. 3 cents per kwh is clearly possible for renewable energy. However, in a system with 100% renewable energy we may need to add 4 cents per kwh to cope with seasonal intermittency in an area where there is no hydro and no geothermal and that is near the poles of the earth.

Engineer-Poet
@EP Sweden has decided to shot down all of their nuclear power plants and replace them with wind power

You mean, they're talking about doing that.  Nobody's actually got a serious plan to do it yet, and given the complete failures of the past it's likely that it wouldn't work.

Norway that has some 50Gw of potential hydropower and I believe about 20Gw of installed hydropower

Try 30 GW installed, much of which is already used for domestic consumption.  Remaining hydro potential is small compared to current consumption so large expansions are not in the cards.

That assumes that Norway wants to be Europe's storage battery.  They may not want the headache.

Account Deleted

Barsebæk has been shot down permanently. And Wallenberg has said another plant is being shot down because they loose money operating it not because they where forced to do so. I bet I know Swedish politics better than you do and also the price dynamics of renewable energy in Sweden that makes nuclear unprofitable at an accelerating rate. The capacity factors keep dropping and the costs goes up. They will all be closed within 15 years.

Norway knows oil is wrong but they need other industries to replace it. Expanding hydro and promoting energy efficiency in Norway that consumes a record 25,000 kwh per capita (Denmark is only 6000 kwh) could make Norway a large supplier of electricity in Northern Europe.

HarveyD

We're almost in the same e-energy 'actual/potential' situation as Norway with close to 46,000 mega-watt of private + public Hydro developed and close to 4000 mega-watt of wind energy installed. Solar as not been harnessed.

Most of the Hydro plants use large water reservoirs, ideal to store huge amount of e-energy. The current e-energy surpluses will exist till 2027/2032. Another 50,000+ mega-watt of Hydro + Wind can be developed to supply enough energy for 3+ BEV/FCEV per family.

OTOH, our Oil and Gaz 'potential' is not yet developed because our politicians and 50% to 60% of the people are against it. The same people are also against oil pipelines from Alberta but driving over 3,000,000 ICEVs?

We use about 360,000 barrels/day of Alberta oil since December 2015 transported with an old pipeline and trains but import twice as much.

Engineer-Poet

Wikipedia lists Quebec total hydro generation of 32.6 TWh for 2012 (roughly 4 GW average).  This is less than 1/4 of US hydro generation for the same year, and roughly 0.8% of total US electric generation.

Impoundment-fed hydro generation in the USA is pretty much maxed out (there are some flood-control dams which may have generation added).  For some reason Harvey thinks the entire world can be Quebec if it wants to be.  I'd go for letting the population of Somalia be Quebecois if they want to be, and give Harvey the reality check he needs so badly.

HarveyD

You could pick many other African countries.

Water sitting at about 4,500 feet in great lakes in the middle of the African continent could be harnessed in many places on its way down the oceans, but it is not, because of the usual high cost and current lack of demands. The total potential is enough to supply Africa for many decades if not centuries.

Huge amount of water is flowing (unharnessed) from the Atlas Mountains to the Atlantic Ocean.

The same can be said about the Andes and other mountains.

The initial cost to harness hydro may be higher than NGPPs, but well built dams can last 100+ years and (contrary to NNPs), the energy production can be varied to match demands while storing it in water reservoirs.

Greener than green people blamed China for their major Hydro project, but it will supply part of the country's clean energy for centuries at an affordable price.

I'm not against NPPs per se when we can lower the initial cost by 50++% and solve the residues storage problem and force the operators to have decent insurances (like $100+B to $500B per site) to cover the huge cost of potential accidents.

Engineer-Poet
You could pick many other African countries.

Are you proposing to run power lines around the world to Africa, so it can be the world's storage battery?  Are you insane?!

A Lake Erie of water, pumped through a Δh of 500 feet, is insufficient to buffer North America's electric demand for even a week.  Even if you were willing to sacrifice the ecosystems of those African lakes, even 4500 feet isn't enough to make up for the sheer mass of water that simply isn't available.

I'm not against NPPs per se when we can lower the initial cost by 50++% and solve the residues storage problem

All quite doable with mass production, but then you take it all away:

and force the operators to have decent insurances (like $100+B to $500B per site) to cover the huge cost of potential accidents.

Fossil fuels are on course to cause $trillions of damages but nobody asks them to pay insurance for that.  The most costly nuclear accident in N. America had insurance payouts in the $millions.  What you propose, Harvey, is a backdoor prohibition on nuclear power.  I don't know whether you're disingenuous, paranoid or merely ignorant, but you're wrong.

HarveyD

You are right about the Oil industry getting away free.

We, the tax payers have to pick up most of the $1+B in damages (+ 47 casualties) for the Lac Mégantic QC oil train accident because the insurance cover was limited to $25 M. It will soon be increased to $1B minimum but it should be at least 5X that much. The same goes for Oil pipelines.

To clean up Alberta after Tar Sands operations are over will cost xxx$B. Who will pay for it?

Cleaning up after the 19 CANDUs are closed in Ontario will take decades and will cost anywhere between $190B and $390+B. Who will pay for it?

The total cost to repair ALL direct and indirect damages created by the Ukraine accident will probably never be known.

Fossil fuels and Nuke energy should be better insured even if increases the price of their products by 25+% or so. It could be done progressively over 5 to 10 years or so.

By the way, the Supreme Court of Canada refused to hear the Tobacco Cos against a recent ruling by the QC Superior Court. They will have to pay $60B for health care cost. If carried over to other provinces, the total may be close to $300B.

ICEVs makers should also be suited for all related damages, casualties and increased health care cost, even if ICEV's price have to be raised 25+% to do it.

HarveyD

If nuke incidents and accidents are as cheap to fix as claimed, the insurance premiums would be very low? Our cars are insured for $3M each against property/people damages for a few dollars.

There are over 100 oil incidents/spills a year in USA and Canada. Trains and pipelines have to be much better insured to cover casualties, other people (health cost) and property damages and clean up cost.

It is unfair to rely on tax payers to pay most of the repair cost.

Tobacco Cos have learnt the very high cost of making users ill. They (lost in the Supreme Court) and will have to pay $60B to our province for health care. ICEVs manufacturers may be in the same boat soon.

Engineer-Poet
Cleaning up after the 19 CANDUs are closed in Ontario will take decades and will cost anywhere between $190B and $390+B.

This is so wrong I don't know where to begin.

  1. No cite for cost figures (typical for you).
  2. Who cares how long it takes?  Radioactivity decays away over time.  Longer is cheaper and easier.
  3. Refurbishing the CANDUs seems to cost about $2 B apiece, so the obvious solution is to never close them and replace the calendria tubes every 40 years or so instead.
Assets producing emissions-free power 24/7/365 are obviously superior to "renewables", which can't.
The total cost to repair ALL direct and indirect damages created by the Ukraine accident will probably never be known.

The total number of fatalities is less than 60.  The cost is much less than the mortality and morbidity of the coal power required to replace the damaged reactor.

Fossil fuels and Nuke energy should be better insured even if increases the price of their products by 25+% or so.

Nuclear energy is already over-insured.  The < 60 fatalities of Chernobyl times the $300k used as a per-life value by US environmental protection statutes is just a fraction of the per-reactor insurance required by Price-Anderson.  The numbers for delayed fatalities from diffuse radiation are bogus, based on models known to be false due to natural variations in background radiation.

If nuke incidents and accidents are as cheap to fix as claimed, the insurance premiums would be very low?

They should be, and would be if liability was based on actual risk rather than paranoia based on scientific fraud (Hermann Muller was a fraudster).

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