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Old 09-24-2008, 02:10 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I don't include hydroelectric as alternative as that is reliable...
Or maybe not. One of the inconvenient facts about hydrolectric power is that in practice it has proved to be far more dangerous than fossil fuels, which in turn are much more dangerous than nuclear. (That's just considering actual accidents, and leaving out environmental effects such as CO2.) A dam failure can kill tens of thousands of people, as here: Banqiao Dam - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Old 09-24-2008, 02:12 PM   #12 (permalink)
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a hs gym sized chunk of waste would fit quite nicely 5km under ground in a shutdown diamond mine in the arctic circle 500km from the nearest human... just sayin.

I watched a doc on Chernobyl. There was home video of the control panel operators pouring vodka shots ON THE CONTROL PANEL and getting wasted when they should be watching... its pretty easy to run things better than that.

North Americans WILL NOT reduce their consumption. It will ONLY increase. Don't kid yourself. The only way for it to be reduced is for there to simply not be any more power to make waste affordable.
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Old 09-24-2008, 02:33 PM   #13 (permalink)
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North Americans WILL NOT reduce their consumption. It will ONLY increase.
Attitudes like that seek to fufill themselves. Try this mantra, "Americans are proud and responsible and know they can do so much better".
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Old 09-24-2008, 02:37 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I personally have shifted to a more conservitive outlook since becoming fiscally self-sustaining. Many people agree. But the population is rising and the people like their electronic gadgets and muslce cars. I'm sure everyone HERE can shift to conservitism, but I think the people here represent 0.0001% of north americans... if that.

BTW, i didn't mean as individuals, i meant as a whole.
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Old 09-24-2008, 04:13 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I love the idea of nuclear power. Omaha has a nuke power plant on their grid and there have never been any issues.

As for chernobyl there were alot of design flaws in the reactor itself, Like using carbon instead of water to keep it cool for one. The commies had really no oversight over any part of the government because they were to busy trying to keep their people opressed.

There was a new power plant in Council bluffs IA that uses a power system made by hitachi that is suposed to yeild more power out put and release much lower emissions than the old style systems. Its such a promising system that suposedly warren buffet has taken interest.
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Old 09-24-2008, 04:35 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by dcb View Post
Attitudes like that seek to fufill themselves. Try this mantra, "Americans are proud and responsible and know they can do so much better".
I'll start by saying that I think we need better conservation efforts as well, but adding insulation and switching to CFL lights only do so much. Itís unfortunate that the greens out on the fringe spew out unreasonable propaganda on what can be done with conservation and renewable energy and at the same time get in the way of real solutions like nuclear energy. Renewables and conservation cannot solve our problems on their own as population growth and increases in the worlds standard of living more than consume any gains in efficiency we incur.

According to Wiki:
The World produced 17350 TWh of electricity in 2005 of which 16.71% was hydro and 2.13% was renewable.

Image:Electricity production in the World.PNG - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Have you looked into how many windmills it takes to replace one conventional power plant and how much space is required to site them? Just exactly how much conservation are you proposing?
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Old 09-24-2008, 05:31 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by jamesqf View Post
Or maybe not. One of the inconvenient facts about hydrolectric power is that in practice it has proved to be far more dangerous than fossil fuels, which in turn are much more dangerous than nuclear. (That's just considering actual accidents, and leaving out environmental effects such as CO2.) A dam failure can kill tens of thousands of people, as here: Banqiao Dam - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
I should have said reliable in energy production as water can be used to store energy by pumping it back to the top of the dam at off-peak hours, i forgot to cover the large environmental problem they can cause, like the building of the 3 gorges dam in china has displaced millions and killed much wildlife and destroyed ancient landscapes.
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Old 09-24-2008, 10:03 PM   #18 (permalink)
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how much conservation are you proposing?
How much you got? Seriously I wouldn't be surprised to learn that we could live comfortably on 1/10 of our current energy consumption if need be. It would certainly make us reconsider what we would label a "need" now. Not a popular thought I'm sure though, but a few folks have pulled it off.

I'm curious, lots of comparisons are made to existing technologies without a lot of creative energy being put into the alternatives. What is it that folks want to accomplish by adding 50 years of nuclear power to the mix? Is it really to save millions of folks living near rivers and historic lands and prevent more coal pollution? Or is it to feed the ungoverned black hole that is consumption? If it is the former then I dare say that you are treating the symptom.
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Old 09-24-2008, 11:00 PM   #19 (permalink)
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I'm not sure how much more I could really save. I've changed all my lights to flourescent (and probably should crank them up higher to prevent hibernation mode). I've restrained myself pretty well with AC (pretty much only a week or two in July) [don't ask about using a heat pump during the winter]. I've been moving more from the microwave to the stove (doesn't help efficiency, but usually involves cooking better). I think the biggest area left for improvement is my computer: I use a freebie 21" CRT from work, and am starting to think that plunking down the money for an LCD would have been cheaper already.

I had given this a bit of thought already due to a discussion on another site between Texans. One guy had just gotten power back after Ike (as in yesterday) and couldn't stand that his house was designed assuming that electricity and AC would always be there (he wasn't a native Texan...). One thing that came up was solar power. The Austinite claimed that solar panels would pay for themselves in 8 years (I wouldn't expect that here in semi-sunny Maryland). I got to thinking, how much could I build a house to use less power (I'm in an apartment, thus the heat-pump only winter).

Assuming Texas style heat (kind of goes with efficient solar), I'd want a ground-based heat pump. I'd like to know why they aren't popular in Florida (you should hit water in a few feet, pump it up and through the heat exchanger, then back into the muck). Maybe the ground isn't as useful a temperature as it is just south of the Mason-Dixon line. As long as I have a "cooling pipe", I'd also try to run it to the refrigerator (and probably an extra freezer, efficient freezers mean buying big sales). This should drop another huge bump in power usage. Skylights, efficient lighting, checking the ventilation/air flow before construction (CFD is typically computationally expensive because you are modeling turbulence: computing laminar flow should be cake - as long as I don't have to write too much of the code myself).

One elephant that recently deposited himself in the room is the Chevy Volt. Try checking residential power usage and then compare it to the kWs listed next to horsepower. Scary stuff, try to draw as much into your house as a Geo Metro can pump out and you'll blow all your breakers. Since the thing will be charging over many hours, this isn't quite as bad (and presumably when the AC is off/low), but this type of thing will take a lot of power, especially if you think you can somehow run the hydroelectric plant backwards an night.

Finally, as far as a stop-gap thing, I'd say that a well designed (presumably not by a committee hand-picked by Enron) nuclear power plant would be closer to a long term solution. There are some breeder systems that put out pretty small amounts of waste (anything really reactive gets consumed by the reactor) and what's left has a remarkably short half-life (I have visions of 22nd century miners swearing as they try to break into Yucca mountain to get that 5% used uranium).

That's just from an outside observer. Try asking someone who's been without power for a week or two.
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Old 09-24-2008, 11:10 PM   #20 (permalink)
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We need to use renewable energy!

Nuclear power plants put out about 1/3 the carbon that a natural gas plant does:

mining the uranium
processing the uranium
building the power plant (concrete is very costly in terms of carbon!)
storing the spent fuel and other radioactive items
decommissioning the power plant

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