@dajbelshaw @Downes @epilepticrabbit Ultimately some kind of municipal battery-storage, like sodium-ion batteries, might supplant the need for a base-load generation system. But even when countries are "100% renewable" I'll bet that they still generate baseload and just export the excess, because nobody likes blackouts when the wind slows tomorrow and backup stations take time to come online and reach peak efficiency.
Baseload can be fossil ( ) , biomass (nope nope nope), hydro (aaaaaah), or nuclear. Nuclear creates the fewest deaths and least pollution by a massive margin. Responsible placement and design matters, as you say, but safely decommissioning a plant as the sea rises is probably easier than with fossil fly ash silos.
I'll grant that Hydro decommissions itself quite nicely, albeit in an unplanned and uncontrolled way that kills lots of people. With these new patterns of blocking rain systems we're seeing in Europe I expect to see a few such events in years to come, or the quiet decommissioning of lots of hydro plants..
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