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-   -   How do ya'll feel about nuclear power? (https://ecomodder.com/forum/showthread.php/how-do-yall-feel-about-nuclear-power-7575.html)

my first gmc 03-23-2009 08:02 PM

How do ya'll feel about nuclear power?
 
Just a curious question to stir the pot. To me it seems like the obvious answer to our "energy crisis". The basis technology is decades old and have been refined to amazing efficiency. My dad lives near the River Bend Power Station in St. Francisville, LA. The plant is in the middle of the woods, you'd never know anything was there if the access road wasn't there. To me it seems like the best "low carbon" choice for energy generation.

trikkonceptz 03-23-2009 08:04 PM

I say put it in our cars and all our problems will go away ... but that kind of technology is controled by the government pretty much and well, need I say more ?

my first gmc 03-23-2009 08:12 PM

Nuclear powered cars is a little extreme, but how about cars that are charged with energy from nuclear power. Nuclear powered mass-produced products and nuclear power plants that can be effectively watched over by the government are two different things.

Bicycle Bob 03-23-2009 08:36 PM

Nuclear is an industry that can't live without subsidies, can't buy insurance, and will cost our descendants more or less forever. Starting today, you need almost a decade to build a nuke, and another decade of running it to pay back the oil used in construction. Then, it might start to show some temporary benefit, if your luck is good. For a much smaller initial investment, you can have all the renewable power you want in two decades.

To keep power in the hands of big companies, without environmental damage, there is one great new opportunity. Undersea volcanoes, AKA black smokers or hydrothermal vents typically put out six times as much energy as the biggest nuke in an area that could feed just one pipe to bring it to the surface as superheated water for driving turbines, the same as a nuke. Many vents are within range for an undersea power cable at a reasonable price, and there are not the usual problems over intermittent supply from natural sources.

Christ 03-23-2009 09:03 PM

Near Lancaster, PA, there is a Nuclear power plant... it's called TMI - Three Mile Island. Some of you may have heard of a Three Mile Island partial meltdown...

Anyway, I completely agree with Mr. Bob on this one... use what's already naturally available, and not the stuff that's naturally available that can't be replaced as quickly as it's used.

It's standard economics, honestly... what happens when you run out of milk in the fridge? You go buy more, right? What if you couldn't just buy more? You'd have to have the cow... then you can only use as much milk as the cow would make...

Well, Earth is the cow... stop drinking so much damn milk. :)

MetroMPG 03-23-2009 09:27 PM

Yay, another nuclear thread!

dcb 03-23-2009 09:52 PM

Lol :)

NeilBlanchard 03-23-2009 09:54 PM

Hi,

New-clear power is one crazy way to boil water! (Among other things...)

my first gmc 03-23-2009 09:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MetroMPG (Post 93826)
Yay, another nuclear thread!

Sorry, I searched but I found was trikkoncept's thread about his nuclear car idea.:o

MetroMPG 03-23-2009 10:15 PM

If you want to find the previous, recent debate about nuclear power, you have to do a search for train aerodynamics. Go figure!

jamesqf 03-24-2009 12:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bicycle Bob (Post 93818)
Nuclear is an industry that can't live without subsidies, can't buy insurance, and will cost our descendants more or less forever.

False, false, and false. Nuclear gets far less in the way of subsidies than coal, and the government BUILT most of the hydroelectric power in this country. Maybe the nuclear industry can't buy insurance (I don't think anyone's ever actually tried), but fossil fuel & hydroelectric aren't required to have the same level of insurance that was forced on the nuclear industry. And there's darned little ongoing cost to burying stuff in the ground: how much did it cost to run Oklo for 1.5 billion years?

Quote:

Starting today, you need almost a decade to build a nuke...
And you need about the same amount of time and capital investment to build the same amount of solar, wind, coal, or whatever.

Quote:

...and another decade of running it to pay back the oil used in construction.
That's just flat-out wrong. No, I'll go further than that: it's so far off base that it's not even wrong, it's an example of the "big lie", where you make up something so totally off the wall that people figure it must be so, because they just can't believe anyone would have the chutzpah to say it if it wasn't true. Sort of like investing with Bernie Madoff :-)

Quote:

For a much smaller initial investment, you can have all the renewable power you want in two decades.
Nope, do the math. Say you want 1 GWatt of generation, 24/7. Get solar panels under $1/watt, that's $1 billion... Well, no, $2 billion, 'cause you have to generate twice as much during the day to make up for the night. And maybe you ought to allow another $billion for cloudy days, and low sun angles in the morning & evening. Then you have to build structure to mount the panels, and pay someone to install them, so there's another $billion or two. Then because you want power 24/7, you have to build some sort of storage facility, so add another $billion for that. Oh, and your storage is maybe 75% efficient, if you're lucky, so add another $billion or so worth of panels to make up for that. So where are we, $6-7 billion for that GWatt of solar? How much was that nuclear plant again...

jamesqf 03-24-2009 12:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Christ (Post 93822)
Near Lancaster, PA, there is a Nuclear power plant... it's called TMI - Three Mile Island. Some of you may have heard of a Three Mile Island partial meltdown...

Sure. Know how many people were killed? How many injured? How much property damage (other than the plant itself)? Zero, zero, and $0.

Now would you like to look up a few numbers on how many people die from the emissions from coal-fired power plants? How many die in mining & other accidents? The cost of property damage?

Or how about hydroelectric? That's pretty safe, isn't it? (Unless of course you're a salmon :-)) Look up Banqiao, though, and you might find out different. Or read here: List of dam failures - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

blueflame 03-24-2009 02:45 AM

We hate it NZ.

And since we are 90% hydro, we don't need it.

Because we in NZ are coastal, wind and tidal generation are better alternatives.

dcb 03-24-2009 05:39 AM

Bob, James, go have a beer or a cup of tea or something and find a common interest.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Christ (Post 93822)
Near Lancaster, PA, there is a Nuclear power plant... it's called TMI - Three Mile Island.

Ever heard of Chalk River Labs? Jimmy Carter, A fan of nuclear submarines, was on the cleanup crew at their first major incident and there was major core damage involved.

PaleMelanesian 03-24-2009 10:10 AM

I'd support a nuclear plant to replace our local coal ones. They consistently rate among the top polluters in the nation. In 2005, the one 15 miles from here was THE top mercury emitter. Nuclear sure sounds healthier than that.

NeilBlanchard 03-24-2009 01:16 PM

Hi,

We have not yet solved the nuclear waste problem -- Yucca Mountain is a debacle, and it probably will never happen. The half-life of plutonium is ~24,000 years, and it will remain dangerously radioactive for several half-lives.

That is much longer than all our recorded history, and if we continue to use nuclear power we will continue to pile up the plutonium.

Not only is it highly radioactive -- it is extremely poisonous, too.

Compare these huge downsides to something like wind power, and I think the arguments for nuclear become moot. A combination of three or four (or more!) renewable energy (solar, wind, wave, tidal, biogas, geothermal, small hydro -- the list is a long one!) can easily meet all out energy needs, with almost none of the downsides of petroleum or nuclear.

Ryland 03-24-2009 01:43 PM

A few weeks back on NPR (National Public Radio) I think it was the Science Friday program had a guest talking about nuclear power, explaining how they are already starting to have the same problems with the fuel as we currently have with oil, we already found the stuff that is really easy to find and refine and that the newest of the nuclear power plants are going to run out of fuel before they wear out, there are of course ways to recycle the radioactive fuel and use it as a lower grade fuel that it sounds like they are working on making more wide spread, but it makes me feel a little better, that this is not going to be our long term solution.

Also the extremely large scale solar most often is not PV with silicon, but instead is solar thermal that boils water to run a steam turbine, almost all large scale electrical production involves steam turning a turbine, they can also use natural gas as a back up, but because electrical use tends to fallow day light hours it tends to be cost affective.

almightybmw 03-24-2009 01:43 PM

renewable is nice, but one has to think about energy density. My dad recently installed a solar panel at their home, rather large, and it tracks the sun throughout the day.
www.solarmoose.com
The website has all the specs about what they're using physically and electrically. The whole panel is 15' x 14' on a 20-something foot pole. It's a biggun'.
They system dumps power into the grid, and that counts as a credit towards their monthly bill. It does not directly power anything. There is a bunch of producers for the valley, thus taking some load off the coal firing plants. 1% so far, they hope for 3% soon enough.
It unfortunately doesn't produce enough throughout the year to support their home, but if they could store the energy from the 24hrs of daylight in the summer (alaska) it could supply their needs 24/7. For the month they're up to 282KWh. I'd like to see the dollar values they're saving and their current usage. See how much the panel is offsetting. I'll send an email and see if dad is willing to share that. I remember a few months when I was growing up it was over 600KWh in the winter. I think now dad said they keep between 150-400KWh summer-winter.

Tangent aside about the panel, while this one should produce most the electricity he needs, there are millions who use much more. There are places that don't get as much sunlight, where its not viable to install personal panels, or even a large array plant. We need something to supplement.

although now that I remember, someone said a solar array the size of NV would easily power North America. The size of AK would power the world for a few generations of electricity increase. Sooo....

PaleMelanesian 03-24-2009 01:52 PM

Looks like Nevada would be a good location, too. Alaska, not so much.

http://www.theoildrum.com/uploads/23...lation_map.gif

NeilBlanchard 03-24-2009 10:58 PM

Hi,

They are working on using things like molten salts to store heat for a longer term buffer. Wind can blow all the time (in some places) and waves and geothermal are pretty darn constant. Biogas is easy to store, and easy to use for peak loads -- like they are doing in Germany.

Having the energy distributed over a wide area is actually a good thing, and all we really need is a better "smarter" grid.

jamesqf 03-24-2009 11:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by almightybmw (Post 93953)
...although now that I remember, someone said a solar array the size of NV would easily power North America.

First off, it's Nevada, not NV, dammit. It's a real place, not some stupid two-letter code dreamed up by government bureaucrats in order to dehumanize places - people live here, along with the critters and plants that make up an ecosystem. Large parts of the state are really quite nice places. Cover it with a solar array, and you kill that ecosystem, just like you kill ecosystems by scraping off the tops of mountains to get at the coal underneath. Except that plants will grow to cover the scraped-off mountain, someday, in a few centuries or so. Cover land with solar arrays, and it's dead for as long as those arrays exist.

That's what really pisses me off about these supposed greens and their anti-nuclear BS. They make up all sorts of stories about how dangerous nuclear power is, and how even a trace of radioactivity is going to kill everything for miles around - going in the face of real-world experience that disproves their claims - yet they'll turn around and calmly suggest wiping out the entire ecosystem of a state, just because they're too stuck on the "solar is green & harmless" meme to look at reality.

almightybmw 03-25-2009 03:59 AM

my aren't we testy today.

PaleMelanesian 03-25-2009 07:46 AM

I do believe he said "the size of" Nevada, and not "cover the state".

MetroMPG 03-25-2009 09:50 AM

Yay, another nuclear thread devolving!

Ryland 03-25-2009 09:54 AM

That does it, we're covering the state! centralize our power production!

dcb 03-25-2009 09:55 AM

Maybe there should be a sub board under fossil fuel free for all nuclear tirades^H^H^H^H^H^Hdiscussions

jamesqf 03-25-2009 12:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by PaleMelanesian (Post 94050)
I do believe he said "the size of" Nevada, and not "cover the state".

OK, so you distribute your ecological destruction over all the dark red areas on that insolation map. Is that an improvement?

The basic problem with solar, and to some extent with wind is that it's just not very energy-dense, so you have to cover a lot of area to get industrial-sized amounts of power. It's fine on rooftops and so on, providing power to run your home & maybe charge your electric car. And solar thermal, for water heating and some space heating, is practical almost everywhere, but that's not sexy high-tech, so nobody outside of Mother Earth News talks about it.

almightybmw 03-25-2009 05:04 PM

well James, the very first line of my post I commented on energy density. I completely understand the issue with it. Solar is great, but 15-20% ef isn't good enough. We need 40% to really make solar competitive against power dense sources like nuclear.

Sorry if it seemed like a pissing match, that was not intended. But damn man, cool out. No one is attacking you or your state. (except space invaders)

jamesqf 03-25-2009 06:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by almightybmw (Post 94173)
Solar is great, but 15-20% ef isn't good enough. We need 40% to really make solar competitive against power dense sources like nuclear.

But there's one of the major problems: why should solar be competing against nuclear? They're complementary, and both are needed to displace fossil fuels: solar providing energy for homes & distributed applications, nuclear for power-dense sources to run industry.

Quote:

No one is attacking you or your state.
But in fact they are. Not necessarily the state, but there are a lot of people out there who apparently think it's ok to destroy a desert ecosystem (hey, it's a desert, nothing important there), or fill up a nice view with wind turbines, in pursuit of supposedly green energy.

As for the other part, what's so hard about calling a state by its right name, or a recognized abbreviation if you're too lazy to type, instead of those nasty two-letter codes?

Christ 03-25-2009 06:51 PM

Wow...
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by jamesqf (Post 93878)
Sure. Know how many people were killed? How many injured? How much property damage (other than the plant itself)? Zero, zero, and $0.

Now would you like to look up a few numbers on how many people die from the emissions from coal-fired power plants? How many die in mining & other accidents? The cost of property damage?

Or how about hydroelectric? That's pretty safe, isn't it? (Unless of course you're a salmon :-)) Look up Banqiao, though, and you might find out different. Or read here: List of dam failures - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Easy, bud! I wasn't suggesting that anyone was hurt (though there are still lawsuits going on against them (the company that controls TMI, so we're not able to accurately disclose costs associated with it at this time).

I worked there for 17 days as a brick mason... They're VERY secretive about things, so much so that they put covers on the hallway windows so you couldn't see into the reactor areas if you happened to have to walk through there. (Were they really reactor rooms? I dunno. We couldn't see.)

I was just saying that it was there, I knew it was there, and many people tend to forget that there is a nuclear reactor in their back yard... (By back yard, I mean potential footprint of a nuclear meltdown, which covers from Ohio to New Jersey, New York to North Carolina, etc... that's a pretty big backyard.)

I'm not suggesting it's good or bad, indifferent or otherwise... I'm just making sure that people remember exactly how close they are to a Nuclear Facility, be it dangerous or safe.

I would wager that Nuclear technology is safer than many other things that have been worked on throughout history... At least with Nuclear, people understand the potential harm associated with it, and think about it all the time. I'm not necessarily an opponent, nor a proponent of it. I'm kind of somewhere in the middle.

On this particular topic, I choose to remain ignorant, actually. I don't wish to get involved in the hub-bub about it, as I (normally) don't like to get involved in conversations and discussions which so easily melt down (pun intended) into a pointless argument with no basis nor an end. I'd rather spend my days staring directly into the sun.

cfg83 03-25-2009 08:37 PM

jamesqf -

Quote:

Originally Posted by jamesqf (Post 94181)
But there's one of the major problems: why should solar be competing against nuclear? They're complementary, and both are needed to displace fossil fuels: solar providing energy for homes & distributed applications, nuclear for power-dense sources to run industry.



But in fact they are. Not necessarily the state, but there are a lot of people out there who apparently think it's ok to destroy a desert ecosystem (hey, it's a desert, nothing important there), or fill up a nice view with wind turbines, in pursuit of supposedly green energy.

As for the other part, what's so hard about calling a state by its right name, or a recognized abbreviation if you're too lazy to type, instead of those nasty two-letter codes?

I'm from LA, CA, and I don't mind. This is a very weak critique on your part that diminishes your overall argument. Instead of "taking offense" and attacking your opponent over details that aren't germane to the thread, how about sticking to a principled defense of your POV?

I think the "covering NV in PV" argument is also specious. I think it is mostly mentioned because the square footage of the state roughly matches the energy requirements of 100% PV use in the USA (at 15% efficient?). You can argue that it is because of the amount of desert that NV has, but CA, AZ, and NM also have a lot of desert, so maybe they can give up some land too.

I'm against nuclear energy because I don't trust it's track record in the USA and I don't hear nuclear energy proponents explaining solutions to the classic problems of nuclear waste and proliferation at the *beginning* of their advocacy. If you can find a way of processing nuclear waste so that all the leftovers can be released back into the environment, then we can talk. If you propose to store the waste for any length beyond 100 years, then I will reject your solution. I don't see any government as capable of being stable for long enough to steward the "1000 years or more" waste dump sites like Yucca Mountain.

CarloSW2

Christ 03-25-2009 08:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cfg83 (Post 94197)
jamesqf -



I'm from LA, CA, and I don't mind. This is a very weak critique on your part that diminishes your overall argument. Instead of "taking offense" and attacking your opponent over details that aren't germane to the thread, how about sticking to a principled defense of your POV?

I think the "covering NV in PV" argument is also specious. I think it is mostly mentioned because the square footage of the state roughly matches the energy requirements of 100% PV use in the USA (at 15% efficient?). You can argue that it is because of the amount of desert that NV has, but CA, AZ, and NM also have a lot of desert, so maybe they can give up some land too.

I'm against nuclear energy because I don't trust it's track record in the USA and I don't hear nuclear energy proponents explaining solutions to the classic problems of nuclear waste and proliferation at the *beginning* of their advocacy. If you can find a way of processing nuclear waste so that all the leftovers can be released back into the environment, then we can talk. If you propose to store the waste for any length beyond 100 years, then I will also reject your solution. I don't see any government as capable of being stable for long enough to steward the "1000 years or more" waste dump sites like Yucca Mountain.

CarloSW2

Ideally, noone would have to give up land for solar use. At least noone who wasn't willing. When you stop and think about it, and I mean REALLY think about it, the sq. mile area of Nevada is probably less than comparable to the size of the rooftops and unused window spaces of the Federal and Corporate controlled buildings in the US.

*Obvious Questions*
What is your point?
If we could use that space on buildings, we save land that is already ecologically suited to grow plants, rather than trying to displace plants to the tops of buildings. (Another "green" strategy)

What the heck are "unused window spaces"?
These are the spaces in buildings that look like windows, from the outside, but they really aren't. Often, these will include glass spaces which span the floor/ceiling area of a story of the building, the areas where HVAC piping is run, as well as electrical conduit, etc. They're basically any space that a person wouldn't be able to look out of on a regular basis. These "windows" are often covered from the backsides with some form of insulation, to block light transfer, as well as to help insulate the building's unmentionable areas.

Christ 03-25-2009 09:03 PM

Plus, some guy, somewhere has designed the "helix wind generator" or something like that... I briefly saw it on the Green channel...

Basically, it's like the old lucky strike cigarette advertisement... it's a sign that can get wind current from any direction, and spin. This is great in like... Detroit, where wind can come from anywhere.

It can also take very light winds, and still be useful, meaning that it's more efficient than a standard wind turbine. It's designed to be used on rooftops and such in areas where it's not prudent to use standard wind technologies.

cfg83 03-25-2009 11:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Christ (Post 94198)
Ideally, noone would have to give up land for solar use. At least noone who wasn't willing. When you stop and think about it, and I mean REALLY think about it, the sq. mile area of Nevada is probably less than comparable to the size of the rooftops and unused window spaces of the Federal and Corporate controlled buildings in the US.

...

I agree, but I was too lazy to research the square footage (subset) of all the rooftops that are in prime alignment for solar access.

I always imagine installing solar panels as shade for parked cars in the massive concrete wastelands of mall parking lots and on top of the (usually flat) mall roofs. This would give the double advantage of modifying the microclimate by shading the asphalt.

CarloSW2

Christ 03-25-2009 11:46 PM

Eh, I didn't really research it, that's why I said "probably". Imagination takes a large part in that consideration, when you stop and think about exactly how many Federal and Corporate controlled buildings there are in the US, regardless of their positions relative to prime Solar PV real estate.

Imagine McDonalds having solar shingles... (yes, they exist)
Imagine if 25% of the glass panels on buildings were actually solar panels (the approx. percent of glass panels that were covered on the back side by something non-clear on the last building I worked in professionally, a State Court house, the "Pennsylvania Judicial Center" in HBG on Commonwealth St.)

The windows are especially my favorite, since they do nothing as it is... they just look pretty. They add to the visual flair of an "all glass" building, but they don't aid light transfer, they don't allow for heating or cooling of the building (see: potential for greenhouse heating in buildings' crawlspaces) they're purely aesthetic.

And frankly, they don't look all that great to begin with. I think a touch of blue every other set of windows would be excellent aesthetically, would it not?

etc and so on... it's not just roof tops... it's just about everything that has already displaced wildlife and ecology in general... how can we justify taking away more space without utilizing what is already there? (2 years ago, I would have slapped myself silly for saying something like that... and I just looked at myself funny in my reflection on the brand new LCD TV that isn't running right now.)

jamesqf 03-26-2009 11:40 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cfg83 (Post 94197)
I think the "covering NV in PV" argument is also specious. I think it is mostly mentioned because the square footage of the state roughly matches the energy requirements of 100% PV use in the USA (at 15% efficient?). You can argue that it is because of the amount of desert that NV has, but CA, AZ, and NM also have a lot of desert, so maybe they can give up some land too.

You're missing the point. The argument is not specious, it is exactly what the concentrated solar developers want to do. Sure, it wouldn't be the whole state of Nevada covered end-to-end, but it would be the same area spread out over southern California, Arizona, New Mexico, and other states. (And see how easy that was? Didn't hurt a bit to use the real names, now did it?) We don't have enough open space left in this world that anyone should think it acceptable to pave & cover large chunks of it.

blueflame 04-01-2009 02:04 AM

Generate at point of entry to property ie: on your own roof or property and pay no bills! Apart from going up in price all the time, electricity is a big chunk of ones costs.

Solar arrays, thermal and electric and passive solar heating of homes and offices, and we wont need no fuel this, or fuel that. If we put up enough arrays we may reduce global warming!?

Buy stocks in black plastic moldings from drink bottles and trash. We spill water from our lakes most years because of surplus lake levels but still pay a good electricity bill every month.

Power lines are a real pain in the ass!

I still think bicycle generators in the home or gym...all that pedalling doing nothing...

You could hope on a train, sit on a cyclegenerator for the journey after swiping a credit/debit card, and not only pay for your journey but make enough to buy a drink for later.

Bicycle Bob 04-01-2009 06:01 AM

On average, people pedal at 1/10 HP. That does not do a lot to move a traditional train. I don't think even Lance Armstrong could pay for his Gatorade that way.

jamesqf 04-01-2009 04:00 PM

It has been done, though: Handcar - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

And though I haven't done it myself (or seen it done), I've been told that it's possible to push freight cars by hand on a level track.

Christ 04-01-2009 08:29 PM

I'm sure it is possible... a really old phrase comes to mind:



Give me a lever long enough, and a fulcrum on which to place it, and I shall move the world.
~Archimedes

And the same thing applies to moving freight cars by hand. Just because it could be done, doesn't make it more efficient or generally acceptable, especially when a 1000-5000 HP engine could do it for you with far less hassle and synchronicity.

Sure, I'd love to be able to tell a story to my Son that I helped pedal a train across the country... unfortunately, by the time the train got there, given the number of occupants, my Son would be aged, and I'd be dead. (Sarcasm.)

Some of that pedal power would better be used to run things such as accessories and lights, and leave the actual running of the train to the more capable battery/generator setup.


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