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Old 10-13-2008, 12:49 PM   #81 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Duffman View Post
Despite what Neil thinks I actually look at his links. The last 3 minutes on the design of Chinese cities was pretty interesting, the rest not so much.
Missed the point. It's not the (presumed) content of the links I object to, it's their format. Real information is presented as text: video is almost always propaganda intended to brainwash the illiterate masses. Lot of reasons for this, which I won't really get into (unless you need a good off-topic flame), but a big one is that the streaming nature of video (or speech) short-circuits critical thinking. The viewer takes in a point, but has no time to think about it, because the video has streamed past.

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I am by no means anti-environment either, but my educational background in engineering makes me a pragmatist.
Nor am I. Indeed, in a lot of ways I am a radical tree-hugger - one of the reasons I don't e.g. want to see my Nevada desert ecosystems covered with solar panels. But I am by inclination & training both a scientist and a skeptic, so I'm not willing to blindly accept any dogma. Everything I see points to the anti-nuclear "environmentalist" arguments being driven far more by leftist politics than by actual evidence.

Unless you're willing to kill off a large fraction of the human race - which I'm not, no matter how much I sometimes wish they'd leave voluntarily :-) - you need power to run an industrial society, and the way to do that with the least environmental impact is to have a large part (by not all, by any means) generated from nuclear power.

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Old 10-13-2008, 12:55 PM   #82 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by NeilBlanchard View Post
You can't eat plutonium, and you never will. And you cannot through it away -- because there is no away.
Sure there is. You run it through a nuclear reactor, it fissions, and you have no more plutonium. But you do get a lot of useful energy.

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A solution is sustainable because something can eat the waste. In fact, there is no "waste" in a sustainable solution.
Exactly what would happen with a sensibly-designed nuclear power cycle, rather than one constrained by a political "bury instead of reprocessing" dictate. All the waste can be turned into daughter isotopes, with the end result being either useful materials, or stuff that is less radioactive than the original ore.
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Old 10-13-2008, 02:23 PM   #83 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by jamesqf View Post
Sure there is.
Have you really looked into it? The fact that some breeder reactors create additonal plutonium-239 is a serious concern. Half life of 24000 years, good weapons material.

And the pure sodium cooling systems, that have to be cooled themselves by water, is not a thing to waive your hand at either.
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Old 10-13-2008, 05:41 PM   #84 (permalink)
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Hello James,

Here it is, all written down:

Check it out of your local library, or buy a copy.
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Old 10-13-2008, 06:43 PM   #85 (permalink)
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You sweat the half-life of Pu-239 which can be reprocessed and used in a reactor.

You wouldn't care to tell us what the half-life of ubiquitous U-238, would you?

U-238 and Pu-239 are both alpha emitters.


Wind, solar, nuclear, natural gas, biofuels, coal, oil.

Each has its positives and negatives.

We need to desist in trying to pick one winner. We need to get government out of the way of ALL OF THEM.
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Old 10-13-2008, 06:51 PM   #86 (permalink)
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We need to desist in trying to pick one winner. We need to get government out of the way of ALL OF THEM.
zero government has its pluses and minuses too. I'm not ready to endorse Anarchy, anymore than I am to endorse unregulated fission reactions. That would be by definition a total meltdown.
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Old 10-13-2008, 08:07 PM   #87 (permalink)
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The pendulum has swung so far from anarchy that if we went fangs out for anarchy for twenty years we MIGHT get about to the middle.
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Old 10-13-2008, 08:55 PM   #88 (permalink)
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You wouldn't care to tell us what the half-life of ubiquitous U-238, would you?
Several billion years, IIRC. Pales in comparison to tungsten-180 (yes, your incandescent light bulbs are radioactive!), with an estimated half-life around 1.0e18 years. (That's a billion times a billion.)

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We need to get government out of the way of ALL OF THEM.
At the very least, though I wouldn't mind a nice tax deduction for installing solar heating :-)
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Old 10-13-2008, 10:03 PM   #89 (permalink)
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very good stuff I'm enjoying this

Duffman,
excellent points
my concern with nuclear is not truly technical, it is human
- you know the political crap that hamstrings progress
- the greed that might entice short cuts
- the incompetent and mistake prone humans that will run the system
- the short memory and lack of concern to properly care for long term waste
the stakes are higher with nuclear - but it is the same quality of humans

as for fuel reprocessing
I usually think of Hanford and think it might be best we don't
(Radioactivity is like a booger, it is hard to flick off, best to minimize contact )


Neil,
you are right - eventually all products have to be sustainable
this a very interesting topic for another thread
but all commodities will be scarce in the sustainable future
what is left, looks like biology - carbon cycle etc.

I do think Mr. McDonough left one important aspect of trees out of his speach
They Grow Back
and I could not understand his issue with a paper book - it seemed like a stunt
he printed his book in plastic? so it could end up in Pacific gyre?
instead of a product of the carbon cycle that can decay back into tree fodder
- is he serious?
I'm almost persuaded by James that this is propaganda (or a get rich scheme)

I personally use as much paper as I can
that way when it gets sent to a land fill - never to rot
I have successfully sequestered some dangerous carbon
just kidding


Quote:
Wind, solar, nuclear, natural gas, biofuels, coal, oil.

Each has its positives and negatives.

We need to desist in trying to pick one winner. We need to get government out of the way of ALL OF THEM.
Dave,
I'll vote for you

and may the best solutions win!
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Old 10-13-2008, 11:19 PM   #90 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by jamesqf View Post
Nor am I. Indeed, in a lot of ways I am a radical tree-hugger - one of the reasons I don't e.g. want to see my Nevada desert ecosystems covered with solar panels. But I am by inclination & training both a scientist and a skeptic, so I'm not willing to blindly accept any dogma. Everything I see points to the anti-nuclear "environmentalist" arguments being driven far more by leftist politics than by actual evidence.
My post was not meant in any way to poke you with a stick if you know what I mean. I think you and I see very eye to eye on this issue with the exception that I dont think this is a lefty issue even though it is often seen as one. I am in 100% agreement on your comment about ideology, when someone is strongly commited to that, it doesnt matter what you put in front of them it is dismissed out of hand no matter what the evidence. Balance and comprimise are never on the menu.

It is quite ironic that most of these "enviromentalists" accuse big oil of lying to the public and obstructing the global warming movement, yet these people use the same tactics of misinformation and obstruction against the nuclear industry which is one of best tools to reduce our carbon footprint.

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