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Old 07-12-2011, 03:07 PM   #201 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by NeilBlanchard View Post
Renewable energy have no fuel and so they do not have air or water or radiation pollution.
No fuel? You are picking some very specific forms of "renewable" in that case. Because there are also renewable fuels (part of renewable energy) that do contribute to air and/or water pollution.

And all of your "fuel-less" energy generation and (most especially!!) storage does have down-sides. Do you want a 200-foot tower in your back yard? One with 6000 tons of water in it? What happens in an earthquake? And what about your neighbors? And all of their neighbors?

If you pump air under the ground so that it is under pressure, the pressure can escape in ways you do not anticipate. If the pressure builds high enough and suddenly releases, you have the equivalent of a bomb going off. Not something I would like under my living room.

The Arizona deserts may have some important function to the environment (temperature regulation? wind production? other?) that would be disrupted by covering 3/4 of it with solar panels.

And so on.

There are always good and bad aspects to all forms of endeavor.

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Old 07-12-2011, 03:08 PM   #202 (permalink)
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Except that there aren't any significant problems with nuclear that aren't rooted in ignorance and mass hysteria.
That's a whole lotta rhetoric there friend.



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But they do, or they can have if not built properly. Consider the environmental destruction caused by large fields of solar panels sited on undeveloped lands, for instance.
Yeah, all that shade, no VOCs, fracturing fluids, or toxic residues.
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Old 07-12-2011, 09:46 PM   #203 (permalink)
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Most renewable energy is direct or indirect solar energy (aka The Big Fusion Reactor In The Sky), so no fuel there. Even biofuels (done right) are using carbon recently pulled from the atmosphere, and so they won't change the level of carbon dioxide in the long term. So no fuel consumed generating the energy, and if you build each generation of gathering system using renewable energy, the carbon consumption approaches zero.

The possible downsides of some aspects of renewable energy is miniscule compared to all finite energy. There is no contest - renewables are the only ones that last as long as the Earth does, and that do not mess up the environment we depend on to live.

Will there be any oil or coal or gas or uranium left in 10,000 years? Who are we to use it up as fast as we want to?
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Old 07-12-2011, 09:47 PM   #204 (permalink)
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Nuclear power has lots of problems: who pays for decommissioning?
Who'll pay for the decomissioning of all those worn-out solar plants & wind turbines?

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Nuclear power plants have leaking radioactive water, the risk of catastrophic failure, mining uranium is hardly safe...
Leaking radioactive water harms no one. Catastrophic failure? Well, we had an example of that not too long ago: how many people died from it? And mining & refining the aluminium, silicon, copper, concrete, rare earth metals, and all the other stuff that goes into solar & wind is just as dangerous per ton as mining uranium, and you need to mine a lot more tons.

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..and we have yet to come up with an answer for the long term storage of spent fuel -- plutonium remains dangerously radioactive for about 100,000 YEARS and it is also extremely poisonous...
You reprocess it instead of storing it. If it's "dangerously radioactive", that means that there's still energy to be extracted. As for being poisonous, so are many other things in common use.

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...and of course terrorists would love to get hold of some...
(Sigh) Read the news, why don't you? Pakistan's got nuclear weapons, so does North Korea (which is ready to sell to anyone with the money), Iran would probably have them by now if it wasn't for Stuxnet.
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Old 07-12-2011, 10:02 PM   #205 (permalink)
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Are wind turbines or solar PV panels radioactive? I'm sure they can be recycled.

Do you live near Vermont Yankee? Leaking radioactive water gets into the ground water -- who drinks that?

The damage from Japan's nuclear accident is ongoing and will be for a long, long time.

They use fuel rods for between 3 and 6 years. Then they have to cool them in ponds for at least 10 years. Then they have to build enormous and very heavy dry casks, that have to last a very long time. Will they need to then be transferred into new dry casks in a few thousand years? I dunno, but we're going to find out...

Sure, no energy source is perfect. But which ones have the worst results, and which ones are solvable? The piper is still to be paid for our carbon appetite.

Plutonium is the most poisonous material other than maybe botulism. A single tablespoon in the water supply could kill everybody in a very large city. Mmmm, sounds like something we should voluntarily make more and more of, don't you think? Have fun keeping it safe for the next 100K years.

Talk to us after someone blows up a so-called dirty bomb.

Nuclear power is a dumb way to boil water. Can you think of a better way to boil water?
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Old 07-12-2011, 11:59 PM   #206 (permalink)
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Could this be the answer...???





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Old 07-13-2011, 07:31 AM   #207 (permalink)
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If it is true, I will be surprised.

Can we boil water with fusion power (aka the sun), please? Heat can be stored underground with molten salt for days.
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Old 07-13-2011, 12:12 PM   #208 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by NeilBlanchard View Post
Are wind turbines or solar PV panels radioactive? I'm sure they can be recycled.
As a matter of fact, yes. They are radioactive, because EVERYTHING is radioactive.

Quote:
Do you live near Vermont Yankee? Leaking radioactive water gets into the ground water -- who drinks that?
No, I live on the other side of the continent, on the east side of a large granitic/igneous mountain range (the Sierra Nevada). Get my water from a well: as the groundwater seeps down through the rocks, it picks up some of the natural radioactive minerals in those rocks, leading to probably more net radiation than you'd get from a nuclear plant. Frankly, I'm a heck of a lot more worried about the stuff the $@#! golf course upstream uses - the same sort of stuff those large-scale solar plants would use to "discourage" vegetation.

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The damage from Japan's nuclear accident is ongoing and will be for a long, long time.
So what's the death toll so far?

Quote:
They use fuel rods for between 3 and 6 years.
Using up a few percent of the fissionable material (at most: a properly-designed breeder reactor produces more fuel than it consumes). Reprocess the fuel, as any sensible enterprise would do (ever hear of recycling?) and the storage problems go away.

Quote:
Plutonium is the most poisonous material other than maybe botulism.
That is simply not true.

Quote:
A single tablespoon in the water supply could kill everybody in a very large city.
Neither is that. Why don't you try reading some actual research - even the Wikipedia page, fer gawdsakes - rather than repeating this crud?

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Talk to us after someone blows up a so-called dirty bomb.
So what do "dirty bombs", or Pakistani/Iranian/North Korean conventional nuclear weapons, have to do with commercial nuclear power in the US?
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Old 07-13-2011, 12:14 PM   #209 (permalink)
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Let's make a deal: I'll live surrounded by solar, wind, and hydro power (already am) and you live by nukes and nuke waste storage. Agreed?
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Old 07-13-2011, 11:40 PM   #210 (permalink)
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Let's make a deal: I'll live surrounded by solar, wind, and hydro power (already am) and you live by nukes and nuke waste storage. Agreed?
Fine, as long as they're for meeting reasonably local needs. A couple of 1-GWatt plants, sited where the current coal & natural gas ones are. Maybe a third, to electrify the railroad.

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