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Cosmos, with Neil DeGrasse Tyson - In which we learn that FOX is not the same as Fox News

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Posts

  • davidsdurionsdavidsdurions Your Trusty Meatshield Panhandle NebraskaRegistered User regular
    How big of an issue is Nuclear waste, though? Have we ever come up with a sustainable plan to store or otherwise eliminate that stuff?

    We should get on the space elevators along with Lagrangian point utilization and/or solar injection.

    PwH4Ipj.jpg
  • DedwrekkaDedwrekka What Would Nyarlathotep Do? Registered User regular
    Dedwrekka wrote: »
    The Ender wrote: »
    Conversations like the one this episode of Cosmos brings-up frustrate me:

    Why the Hell don't we just build the damn solar & wind collectors? Seriously: it's a large scale project, but it's not even an especially technically challenging one. We already have the photovoltaic & turbine technology we need - we just need to hire a body of people to actually set them up & hire some manufacturing firms to build them. Why aren't our states interested in this? It would almost certainly be an economic boon, since you're hiring such a large workforce for the projects, it would leave you with an incredible physical legacy to look back on, it would work in concert with contemporary fossil fuels for so long that, realistically, their business wouldn't suffer (although their stock values probably would, because lol market speculation) in the short term. It would even end all of 'environmentalist whining' that Conservatives find so insufferable.

    We are we sitting on our hands? I just don't get it. I'd go and start building turbines myself if I had the resources / land / knowledge base to do it.

    If the effort was made, it wouldn't even take very long to build what we need to take the burden of power generation off of fossil fuels.

    It's not efficient enough to use everywhere in the US. Wind and Solar energy require pretty specific circumstances to be useable, and even then they use up tons of land and resources. Landlocked areas with little rain are good places for solar farms, but the biggest energy consuming cities of the US live on the coast.

    So, um, off-shore turbines and solar collectors? Plus tidal power collectors? I'm just thinking aloud here.

    A few thousand acres of off-shore platforms for solar collectors and turbines that are likely to be destroyed/damaged regularly by hurricanes, rogue waves, ect.

    Even less resource efficient than doing it on land.
    Let's not forget how much room these things take up. Ivanpah is 4,000 acres for three solar towers, and is only going to be partially providing energy for nearby cities.

  • davidsdurionsdavidsdurions Your Trusty Meatshield Panhandle NebraskaRegistered User regular
    Dedwrekka wrote: »
    Dedwrekka wrote: »
    The Ender wrote: »
    Conversations like the one this episode of Cosmos brings-up frustrate me:

    Why the Hell don't we just build the damn solar & wind collectors? Seriously: it's a large scale project, but it's not even an especially technically challenging one. We already have the photovoltaic & turbine technology we need - we just need to hire a body of people to actually set them up & hire some manufacturing firms to build them. Why aren't our states interested in this? It would almost certainly be an economic boon, since you're hiring such a large workforce for the projects, it would leave you with an incredible physical legacy to look back on, it would work in concert with contemporary fossil fuels for so long that, realistically, their business wouldn't suffer (although their stock values probably would, because lol market speculation) in the short term. It would even end all of 'environmentalist whining' that Conservatives find so insufferable.

    We are we sitting on our hands? I just don't get it. I'd go and start building turbines myself if I had the resources / land / knowledge base to do it.

    If the effort was made, it wouldn't even take very long to build what we need to take the burden of power generation off of fossil fuels.

    It's not efficient enough to use everywhere in the US. Wind and Solar energy require pretty specific circumstances to be useable, and even then they use up tons of land and resources. Landlocked areas with little rain are good places for solar farms, but the biggest energy consuming cities of the US live on the coast.

    So, um, off-shore turbines and solar collectors? Plus tidal power collectors? I'm just thinking aloud here.

    A few thousand acres of off-shore platforms for solar collectors and turbines that are likely to be destroyed/damaged regularly by hurricanes, rogue waves, ect.

    Even less resource efficient than doing it on land.
    Let's not forget how much room these things take up. Ivanpah is 4,000 acres for three solar towers, and is only going to be partially providing energy for nearby cities.

    this is a google image search for oil wells in the Gulf of Mexico. I would like to replace them all with wind, solar, tidal. If the oil companies can survive the elements then so can renewables.

    PwH4Ipj.jpg
  • maximumzeromaximumzero I...wait, what? New Orleans, LARegistered User regular
    I'm really surprised some entrepreneur hasn't tried to get some sort of hydroelectric generators in the Mississippi River by now.

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  • EvigilantEvigilant VARegistered User regular
    How big of an issue is Nuclear waste, though? Have we ever come up with a sustainable plan to store or otherwise eliminate that stuff?

    We should get on the space elevators along with Lagrangian point utilization and/or solar injection.
    What we call nuclear waste isn't "really" nuclear waste: we only utilize about 10% of the fuel before we call it waste. So 90% of that fuel is deemed lost.
    In fact, if we went with a proper and current nuclear reactor, we could take back some of that old fuel and use it again, thereby reducing overall nuclear waste. Then if we went with a completely different reactor system (thorium), we could use even more waste and reduce it's half-life even more.

    Really, when the general pop thinks of nuclear technology, they're thinking of reactors from the 70-80s; which honestly is true in the United States; but around the world, nuclear technology has made leaps and bounds in the tech and we are several generations behind.

    Hell, with nuclear power, you could use the excess heat generated, the waste heat that is going unused, to do all sorts of different things like: thermal depolymerization; district heating; and/or desalination. Doing those three gives you: light crude oil from waste, cheap heating, and potable water.

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  • DedwrekkaDedwrekka What Would Nyarlathotep Do? Registered User regular
    Dedwrekka wrote: »
    Dedwrekka wrote: »
    The Ender wrote: »
    Conversations like the one this episode of Cosmos brings-up frustrate me:

    Why the Hell don't we just build the damn solar & wind collectors? Seriously: it's a large scale project, but it's not even an especially technically challenging one. We already have the photovoltaic & turbine technology we need - we just need to hire a body of people to actually set them up & hire some manufacturing firms to build them. Why aren't our states interested in this? It would almost certainly be an economic boon, since you're hiring such a large workforce for the projects, it would leave you with an incredible physical legacy to look back on, it would work in concert with contemporary fossil fuels for so long that, realistically, their business wouldn't suffer (although their stock values probably would, because lol market speculation) in the short term. It would even end all of 'environmentalist whining' that Conservatives find so insufferable.

    We are we sitting on our hands? I just don't get it. I'd go and start building turbines myself if I had the resources / land / knowledge base to do it.

    If the effort was made, it wouldn't even take very long to build what we need to take the burden of power generation off of fossil fuels.

    It's not efficient enough to use everywhere in the US. Wind and Solar energy require pretty specific circumstances to be useable, and even then they use up tons of land and resources. Landlocked areas with little rain are good places for solar farms, but the biggest energy consuming cities of the US live on the coast.

    So, um, off-shore turbines and solar collectors? Plus tidal power collectors? I'm just thinking aloud here.

    A few thousand acres of off-shore platforms for solar collectors and turbines that are likely to be destroyed/damaged regularly by hurricanes, rogue waves, ect.

    Even less resource efficient than doing it on land.
    Let's not forget how much room these things take up. Ivanpah is 4,000 acres for three solar towers, and is only going to be partially providing energy for nearby cities.

    this is a google image search for oil wells in the Gulf of Mexico. I would like to replace them all with wind, solar, tidal. If the oil companies can survive the elements then so can renewables.

    Solar power doesn't replace the necessity of crude oil, also you can't just have a 1 acre solar farm every 10 miles. It just doesn't work and certainly isn't efficient. Solar towers (many times more efficient than solar panels) require multiple acres of mirrors per tower. This means that if you want to use the existing platforms, you have to increase them in size multiple times over.

    In a storm offshore platforms are not incredibly safe or a great place to be, and mirrors required for solar towers are incredibly fragile.

    If we're just spitballing solar power options, the better option is space-born solar collection. Doesn't even need to be near the size or the distance of a dyson sphere to be a good source (provided you have the transmission to the ground planned out)

  • CycloneRangerCycloneRanger Registered User regular
    edited June 2014
    Space-based solar is not an option for a lot of complicated reasons--the biggest being that it's way, way too expensive to get a kilogram into orbit. After that, you've got to deal with transmitting power from (probably) GEO to the ground, which is also not simple and requires a huge area on the ground. We don't currently have a large enough human presence in space to maintain an installation on that kind of scale, either. Every now and then some aerospace guy runs the numbers on space-based solar (typically from the perspective of "can this serve as an economic force to get people into space") and the conclusion has, so far as I know, always been that it's just not competitive.

    The best use case for solar right now is just papering over a few big areas of Nevada with photovoltaics or some kind of solar dynamic setup and then setting up better transmission lines to other parts of the country. You're still going to need fission to provide baseload power unless some large advance is made in energy storage. Decentralized photovoltaics (i.e. put them on your roof, atop skyscrapers, wherever you have some free space) also help, but are much harder to scale up.

    CycloneRanger on
  • Mild ConfusionMild Confusion Smash All Things Registered User regular
    Another issue that's taken it's nasty head is as Solar and wind power goes up, coal and oil use to down, reducing the price. There's a reason the Koch's are lobbying for people who use Solar power to have to pay extra monies to the state.

    Goddamn are those two fucker evil.

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  • Just_Bri_ThanksJust_Bri_Thanks Seething with rage from a handbasket.Registered User, ClubPA regular
    My understanding of current nuke tech is that you can the radioactive period for waste products down to 70 years by recycling fuel?

    Some days I just want to smack people with a rolled up newspaper. Or a phone book.
    A folding chair is looking like an attractive option right now too...
  • EvigilantEvigilant VARegistered User regular
    My understanding of current nuke tech is that you can the radioactive period for waste products down to 70 years by recycling fuel?

    What many consider waste is fuel for other reactors. In nuke power, you can reprocess the plutonium back into nuclear fuel for thermal reactors; the reprocessed uranium can be used as fuel as well, but it's pretty expensive to solely do that (until uranium itself becomes costly). In Europe, Russia and Japan it happens routinely; in the US the last reprocessing sites we had were closed in 1972, 1998, and 2002; mostly military applications.

    But let's not get confused here: reprocessing spent fuel doesn't reduce it's radioactivity; it reduces the volume of radioactive material. The main reason why we, as in the USA, don't do commercial level reprocessing is costs, fear of attacks and nuclear proliferation, and costs. It's more expensive to recycle and reprocess fuel for our current reactors than it is to just send in the fuel and have it go through once.

    If we were to adopt breeder reactors, then the cost point is moot AND it'll reduce the radioactivity in spent fuel. One of the benefits of proposed breeder reactors using something like molten salt/liquid flouride is that it is completely fail safe: in the event of a disaster, the reaction stops instantaneously, a frozen plug at the bottom can't stay frozen anymore and the fuel drains to a secure tank below/or off-site that is passively cooled, all without human intervention. All you have to do is drain out that tank, put it back in and start it back up. There's no fuel rods, there's no complex pressurization or what not. The difference between LFTR and your Heavy Water/LWR reactors are differences in approach: LFTR is chemical, HWR/LWR is engineering. Since LFTR is chemical driven, it scales much easier than other approaches (there was once talks about putting a MSR into trains, airplanes, cars, neighborhoods).

    So why is nuclear power such a no-no in America? Irrational fear and NIMBY mindsets. Radiation is a buzzword and you can thank Green Peace for that.

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  • HappylilElfHappylilElf Registered User regular
    A surprising number of people I've explained radiation to are actually angry about how poorly it had always been explained to them once they have a better understanding of it.

    A depressing number refuse to believe that they have ever been exposed to it.

  • Mild ConfusionMild Confusion Smash All Things Registered User regular
    A surprising number of people I've explained radiation to are actually angry about how poorly it had always been explained to them once they have a better understanding of it.

    A depressing number refuse to believe that they have ever been exposed to it.

    Heh, ya. It's even better when you ask them which puts out more radiation to the environment, a nuclear power plant or a coal plant. I mostly get called a bullshitting, bullshitter. People hate facts that defy their expectations.

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  • TexiKenTexiKen Registered User regular
    It's all part of that terrible brainwashing attempt from the early 90's.

    I blame Captain Planet and the Simpsons (the show runners even said in a commentary they inadvertently did more to ruin nuclear's name in the US than anything else, because of course radiation leaks everywhere in the plant and even oozes from smokestacks).

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  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    Fukushima didn't help nuclear's reputation.

    Herbert Hoover got 40% of the vote in 1932. Friendly reminder.
    Warren 2020
  • DedwrekkaDedwrekka What Would Nyarlathotep Do? Registered User regular
    A surprising number of people I've explained radiation to are actually angry about how poorly it had always been explained to them once they have a better understanding of it.

    A depressing number refuse to believe that they have ever been exposed to it.

    Just explain Banana Equivalent Dosage.

    EvigilantGnome-Interruptus
  • HappylilElfHappylilElf Registered User regular
    Fukushima didn't help nuclear's reputation.

    I've found showing people the footage of the tsunami rolling in helps blunt that

    Because the average persons understand of a tsunami seems to be "yeah I get it it's a big wave"

    But when you show them actual footage of entire city blocks disintegrating and point out that it's an old plant and that half of the reactors actually stood up to that they tend to go "Oh"

    Zilla360
  • TraceTrace GNU Terry Pratchett; GNU Gus; GNU Carrie Fisher; GNU Adam We Registered User regular
    Fukushima didn't help nuclear's reputation.

    I've found showing people the footage of the tsunami rolling in helps blunt that

    Because the average persons understand of a tsunami seems to be "yeah I get it it's a big wave"

    But when you show them actual footage of entire city blocks disintegrating and point out that it's an old plant and that half of the reactors actually stood up to that they tend to go "Oh"

    I was awake for some god awful reason the night that happened.

    Made myself a coffee turned on the TV and dropped the coffee cup.

    There's natural disaster and then there's Natural Disaster.

    HappylilElf
  • EvigilantEvigilant VARegistered User regular
    Trace wrote: »
    Fukushima didn't help nuclear's reputation.

    I've found showing people the footage of the tsunami rolling in helps blunt that

    Because the average persons understand of a tsunami seems to be "yeah I get it it's a big wave"

    But when you show them actual footage of entire city blocks disintegrating and point out that it's an old plant and that half of the reactors actually stood up to that they tend to go "Oh"

    I was awake for some god awful reason the night that happened.

    Made myself a coffee turned on the TV and dropped the coffee cup.

    There's natural disaster and then there's Natural Disaster.
    Quite literally, as it was an earthquake AND a tsunami. The fact the plant was standing at all is a testament to engineering. You know why Fukushima happened? Human error and mismanagement. Those reactors were due to be upgraded to more current generation reactors, but they failed to do so because of costs and poor planning and management. Newer generations have more stringent fail safes put in place.

    Tying this all back to Cosmos (because I could go on and on about nuclear power and it's misrepresentation in the world): I really dislike it when the only alternatives mentioned to fossil fuels are solar and wind. Yea, solar and wind is great and we should definitely do those things, but those aren't the only things we should be doing. Why only limit yourself to solar or wind or both? Why not do everything, including nuclear power? Smart, appropriate, well planned out power, that takes advantage of all options, is the future of our species.

    So never.

    I digress: I'm really enjoying the show so far and I'm really disappointed that the last episode is this Sunday. I need my science fix.

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  • TraceTrace GNU Terry Pratchett; GNU Gus; GNU Carrie Fisher; GNU Adam We Registered User regular
    Evigilant wrote: »
    Trace wrote: »
    Fukushima didn't help nuclear's reputation.

    I've found showing people the footage of the tsunami rolling in helps blunt that

    Because the average persons understand of a tsunami seems to be "yeah I get it it's a big wave"

    But when you show them actual footage of entire city blocks disintegrating and point out that it's an old plant and that half of the reactors actually stood up to that they tend to go "Oh"

    I was awake for some god awful reason the night that happened.

    Made myself a coffee turned on the TV and dropped the coffee cup.

    There's natural disaster and then there's Natural Disaster.
    Quite literally, as it was an earthquake AND a tsunami. The fact the plant was standing at all is a testament to engineering. You know why Fukushima happened? Human error and mismanagement. Those reactors were due to be upgraded to more current generation reactors, but they failed to do so because of costs and poor planning and management. Newer generations have more stringent fail safes put in place.

    Tying this all back to Cosmos (because I could go on and on about nuclear power and it's misrepresentation in the world): I really dislike it when the only alternatives mentioned to fossil fuels are solar and wind. Yea, solar and wind is great and we should definitely do those things, but those aren't the only things we should be doing. Why only limit yourself to solar or wind or both? Why not do everything, including nuclear power? Smart, appropriate, well planned out power, that takes advantage of all options, is the future of our species.

    So never.

    I digress: I'm really enjoying the show so far and I'm really disappointed that the last episode is this Sunday. I need my science fix.

    Not to derail the thread here

    I live 32 miles away from Nine Mile Point, well within the "whoops" zone. It has the same containment system that Fukushima did.

    Now I'm not exactly worried about a tidal wave or an earth quake causing problems there but the oldest reactor on site is 37 years old. I am worried about an American cheaping out on something though.

    I guess what I'm saying is yeah I'm all for modern up to date nuclear reactors but Nine Mile Point could certainly use a new paint job.

    HappylilElfZilla360
  • override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    Evigilant wrote: »
    My understanding of current nuke tech is that you can the radioactive period for waste products down to 70 years by recycling fuel?

    What many consider waste is fuel for other reactors. In nuke power, you can reprocess the plutonium back into nuclear fuel for thermal reactors; the reprocessed uranium can be used as fuel as well, but it's pretty expensive to solely do that (until uranium itself becomes costly). In Europe, Russia and Japan it happens routinely; in the US the last reprocessing sites we had were closed in 1972, 1998, and 2002; mostly military applications.

    But let's not get confused here: reprocessing spent fuel doesn't reduce it's radioactivity; it reduces the volume of radioactive material. The main reason why we, as in the USA, don't do commercial level reprocessing is costs, fear of attacks and nuclear proliferation, and costs. It's more expensive to recycle and reprocess fuel for our current reactors than it is to just send in the fuel and have it go through once.

    If we were to adopt breeder reactors, then the cost point is moot AND it'll reduce the radioactivity in spent fuel. One of the benefits of proposed breeder reactors using something like molten salt/liquid flouride is that it is completely fail safe: in the event of a disaster, the reaction stops instantaneously, a frozen plug at the bottom can't stay frozen anymore and the fuel drains to a secure tank below/or off-site that is passively cooled, all without human intervention. All you have to do is drain out that tank, put it back in and start it back up. There's no fuel rods, there's no complex pressurization or what not. The difference between LFTR and your Heavy Water/LWR reactors are differences in approach: LFTR is chemical, HWR/LWR is engineering. Since LFTR is chemical driven, it scales much easier than other approaches (there was once talks about putting a MSR into trains, airplanes, cars, neighborhoods).

    So why is nuclear power such a no-no in America? Irrational fear and NIMBY mindsets. Radiation is a buzzword and you can thank Green Peace for that.

    well yeah

    but the real reason is the coal lobby

  • KingofMadCowsKingofMadCows Registered User regular
    There have been quite a few scares about poor maintenance and human error. There was the leak in the San Onofre plant two years ago.

    The problem is that people in the US tend to forget how old our infrastructure is. They forget that most nuclear reactors in the US are over 30 years old and they think that nuclear power plants haven't changed for the last half century.

    EvigilantN1tSt4lker
  • frenetic_ferretfrenetic_ferret wildest weasel East Coast is Best CoastRegistered User regular
    Evigilant wrote: »
    Trace wrote: »
    Fukushima didn't help nuclear's reputation.

    I've found showing people the footage of the tsunami rolling in helps blunt that

    Because the average persons understand of a tsunami seems to be "yeah I get it it's a big wave"

    But when you show them actual footage of entire city blocks disintegrating and point out that it's an old plant and that half of the reactors actually stood up to that they tend to go "Oh"

    I was awake for some god awful reason the night that happened.

    Made myself a coffee turned on the TV and dropped the coffee cup.

    There's natural disaster and then there's Natural Disaster.
    Quite literally, as it was an earthquake AND a tsunami. The fact the plant was standing at all is a testament to engineering. You know why Fukushima happened? Human error and mismanagement. Those reactors were due to be upgraded to more current generation reactors, but they failed to do so because of costs and poor planning and management. Newer generations have more stringent fail safes put in place.

    Tying this all back to Cosmos (because I could go on and on about nuclear power and it's misrepresentation in the world): I really dislike it when the only alternatives mentioned to fossil fuels are solar and wind. Yea, solar and wind is great and we should definitely do those things, but those aren't the only things we should be doing. Why only limit yourself to solar or wind or both? Why not do everything, including nuclear power? Smart, appropriate, well planned out power, that takes advantage of all options, is the future of our species.

    So never.

    I digress: I'm really enjoying the show so far and I'm really disappointed that the last episode is this Sunday. I need my science fix.

    Because the fucking hippies are just as stupid and anti science as the Teabangellicals but from another direction.

    l7qudl3uxpxz.jpg

    Evigilant
  • N1tSt4lkerN1tSt4lker Registered User regular
    edited June 2014
    I think it needs to be pointed out, though, that modern solar cells work fine in cloudy places, just not at optimal efficiency. I think the best application is less the solar farm route (though, that is good where workable), and more putting solar cells on roofs. Make it part of the building code. The technology is getting to the place where they aren't nearly as expensive to make as they were even 5 years ago. That can't be the only thing we do, obviously (I'm a big proponent of nuclear, myself, and I'm sad that too many Americans don't understand modern nuclear power production), but I do think we could get a fair step along the way with roof-top panels in addition to other sources (geothermal, offshore wind farms, etc.).

    I really enjoyed the very simple and clear explanation of why climate change is a known fact. The illustration of his dog on the beach walk was so excellent. Unfortunately, I know that too many people will still write it off as some kind of interest-group conspiracy (yet, these people never believe that the oil and coal industries have vested interests in maintaining the status quo....), but I really appreciated the knowledge because I haven't always known how to counteract the weather/climate argument or clearly explain how climate scientist are sure we are doing this. Though seriously, how people can look at the temperature graphs and not get that climate change is human driven still baffles me. That was exactly what convinced me that hey, dumping tons of co2 into the atmosphere probably does make a difference!

    Anyway, great episode. And I love that he ended with that Kennedy quotation.

    N1tSt4lker on
    The EnderZilla360MillMild ConfusionNightslyrEvigilant
  • The EnderThe Ender Registered User regular
    Nuclear is not a magical solution; as has been repeatedly pointed-out, the time required to build nuclear facilities & get them online is a big reason that it hasn't blossomed as an industry. You need a highly specialized workforce to plan, build and operate operate nuclear power (if you want to do it safely, anyway).

    Solar & wind, by contrast, requires specialized labor only in the construction of the basic components: get that stuff manufactured, and you can basically hand anyone a proverbial hammer and set them to work building a farm. It took 4 years to build Ivanpah & get it fully operational, for example - nuclear plants, by contrast, take decades to build.
    Let's not forget how much room these things take up. Ivanpah is 4,000 acres for three solar towers, and is only going to be partially providing energy for nearby cities.

    It's in the middle of a desert. 4,000 acres is not an especially huge volume of land; the Mojave desert is, what, about 50,000~ square miles? Quite a few collectors could be put there, if we were interested in actually doing it.


    With Love and Courage
  • SiskaSiska Shorty Registered User regular
    edited June 2014
    Article about nuclear waste management -->http://science.nationalgeographic.com/science/earth/inside-the-earth/nuclear-waste/

    What we plan to do with the nuclear waste for the next 10 millennia is a pretty big question. What happens after then apparently isn't, even though it gets worse.
    The Environmental Protection Agency has ruled that DOE must demonstrate that Yucca Mountain can meet EPA standards for public and environmental health for 10,000 years. Does that mean radioactivity won't be a threat after 10,000 years? Nope. The peak radiation dose to the environment will occur after 400,000 years, according to DOE.

    Nevertheless, and despite objections from many scientists, EPA decided on 10,000 years because of "tremendous uncertainties" beyond that period.

    "Do you think we will still have a Department of Energy 300,000 years from now?" I was asked by Steve Page, director of EPA's Office of Radiation and Indoor Air.

    I don't know. But there's no uncertainty about how long it takes radioactivity to subside, about ten half-lives. For plutonium 239, this is 240,000 years.

    Coal power might be the worst but I don't think nuclear is the solution.

    Siska on
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    Brainleech
  • HappylilElfHappylilElf Registered User regular
    Siska wrote: »
    Article about nuclear waste management -->http://science.nationalgeographic.com/science/earth/inside-the-earth/nuclear-waste/

    What we plan to do with the nuclear waste for the next 10 millennia is a pretty big question. What happens after then apparently isn't, even though it gets worse.
    The Environmental Protection Agency has ruled that DOE must demonstrate that Yucca Mountain can meet EPA standards for public and environmental health for 10,000 years. Does that mean radioactivity won't be a threat after 10,000 years? Nope. The peak radiation dose to the environment will occur after 400,000 years, according to DOE.

    Nevertheless, and despite objections from many scientists, EPA decided on 10,000 years because of "tremendous uncertainties" beyond that period.

    "Do you think we will still have a Department of Energy 300,000 years from now?" I was asked by Steve Page, director of EPA's Office of Radiation and Indoor Air.

    I don't know. But there's no uncertainty about how long it takes radioactivity to subside, about ten half-lives. For plutonium 239, this is 240,000 years.

    Coal power might be the worst but I don't think nuclear is the solution.
    Evigilant wrote: »
    What many consider waste is fuel for other reactors. In nuke power, you can reprocess the plutonium back into nuclear fuel for thermal reactors; the reprocessed uranium can be used as fuel as well, but it's pretty expensive to solely do that (until uranium itself becomes costly). In Europe, Russia and Japan it happens routinely; in the US the last reprocessing sites we had were closed in 1972, 1998, and 2002; mostly military applications.

    But let's not get confused here: reprocessing spent fuel doesn't reduce it's radioactivity; it reduces the volume of radioactive material. The main reason why we, as in the USA, don't do commercial level reprocessing is costs, fear of attacks and nuclear proliferation, and costs. It's more expensive to recycle and reprocess fuel for our current reactors than it is to just send in the fuel and have it go through once.

    If we were to adopt breeder reactors, then the cost point is moot AND it'll reduce the radioactivity in spent fuel. One of the benefits of proposed breeder reactors using something like molten salt/liquid flouride is that it is completely fail safe: in the event of a disaster, the reaction stops instantaneously, a frozen plug at the bottom can't stay frozen anymore and the fuel drains to a secure tank below/or off-site that is passively cooled, all without human intervention. All you have to do is drain out that tank, put it back in and start it back up. There's no fuel rods, there's no complex pressurization or what not. The difference between LFTR and your Heavy Water/LWR reactors are differences in approach: LFTR is chemical, HWR/LWR is engineering. Since LFTR is chemical driven, it scales much easier than other approaches (there was once talks about putting a MSR into trains, airplanes, cars, neighborhoods).

    That said no nuclear is absolutely not a panacea and I don't think you'll find anyone in the thread who thinks it is.

    However I can't think of any other option that isn't a fossil fuel that's viable as a backbone for our power grid with current technology.

    SorceJoolanderEvigilantN1tSt4lkerdestroyah87
  • The EnderThe Ender Registered User regular
    Siska wrote: »
    Article about nuclear waste management -->http://science.nationalgeographic.com/science/earth/inside-the-earth/nuclear-waste/

    What we plan to do with the nuclear waste for the next 10 millennia is a pretty big question. What happens after then apparently isn't, even though it gets worse.
    The Environmental Protection Agency has ruled that DOE must demonstrate that Yucca Mountain can meet EPA standards for public and environmental health for 10,000 years. Does that mean radioactivity won't be a threat after 10,000 years? Nope. The peak radiation dose to the environment will occur after 400,000 years, according to DOE.

    Nevertheless, and despite objections from many scientists, EPA decided on 10,000 years because of "tremendous uncertainties" beyond that period.

    "Do you think we will still have a Department of Energy 300,000 years from now?" I was asked by Steve Page, director of EPA's Office of Radiation and Indoor Air.

    I don't know. But there's no uncertainty about how long it takes radioactivity to subside, about ten half-lives. For plutonium 239, this is 240,000 years.

    Coal power might be the worst but I don't think nuclear is the solution.
    Evigilant wrote: »
    What many consider waste is fuel for other reactors. In nuke power, you can reprocess the plutonium back into nuclear fuel for thermal reactors; the reprocessed uranium can be used as fuel as well, but it's pretty expensive to solely do that (until uranium itself becomes costly). In Europe, Russia and Japan it happens routinely; in the US the last reprocessing sites we had were closed in 1972, 1998, and 2002; mostly military applications.

    But let's not get confused here: reprocessing spent fuel doesn't reduce it's radioactivity; it reduces the volume of radioactive material. The main reason why we, as in the USA, don't do commercial level reprocessing is costs, fear of attacks and nuclear proliferation, and costs. It's more expensive to recycle and reprocess fuel for our current reactors than it is to just send in the fuel and have it go through once.

    If we were to adopt breeder reactors, then the cost point is moot AND it'll reduce the radioactivity in spent fuel. One of the benefits of proposed breeder reactors using something like molten salt/liquid flouride is that it is completely fail safe: in the event of a disaster, the reaction stops instantaneously, a frozen plug at the bottom can't stay frozen anymore and the fuel drains to a secure tank below/or off-site that is passively cooled, all without human intervention. All you have to do is drain out that tank, put it back in and start it back up. There's no fuel rods, there's no complex pressurization or what not. The difference between LFTR and your Heavy Water/LWR reactors are differences in approach: LFTR is chemical, HWR/LWR is engineering. Since LFTR is chemical driven, it scales much easier than other approaches (there was once talks about putting a MSR into trains, airplanes, cars, neighborhoods).

    That said no nuclear is absolutely not a panacea and I don't think you'll find anyone in the thread who thinks it is.

    However I can't think of any other option that isn't a fossil fuel that's viable as a backbone for our power grid with current technology.

    Solar is perfectly viable as a backbone.

    Also, it's not like we have to utterly and completely replace fossil fuels - we just have to offset enough of the burden that our emissions come back down to safe levels.

    With Love and Courage
    davidsdurions
  • Gabriel_PittGabriel_Pitt (effective against the Irish) Registered User regular
    Evigilant wrote: »
    Trace wrote: »
    Fukushima didn't help nuclear's reputation.

    I've found showing people the footage of the tsunami rolling in helps blunt that

    Because the average persons understand of a tsunami seems to be "yeah I get it it's a big wave"

    But when you show them actual footage of entire city blocks disintegrating and point out that it's an old plant and that half of the reactors actually stood up to that they tend to go "Oh"

    I was awake for some god awful reason the night that happened.

    Made myself a coffee turned on the TV and dropped the coffee cup.

    There's natural disaster and then there's Natural Disaster.
    Quite literally, as it was an earthquake AND a tsunami. The fact the plant was standing at all is a testament to engineering. You know why Fukushima happened? Human error and mismanagement. Those reactors were due to be upgraded to more current generation reactors, but they failed to do so because of costs and poor planning and management. Newer generations have more stringent fail safes put in place.

    Tying this all back to Cosmos (because I could go on and on about nuclear power and it's misrepresentation in the world): I really dislike it when the only alternatives mentioned to fossil fuels are solar and wind. Yea, solar and wind is great and we should definitely do those things, but those aren't the only things we should be doing. Why only limit yourself to solar or wind or both? Why not do everything, including nuclear power? Smart, appropriate, well planned out power, that takes advantage of all options, is the future of our species.

    So never.

    I digress: I'm really enjoying the show so far and I'm really disappointed that the last episode is this Sunday. I need my science fix.

    The fact that the backup generators were all located in a single below sea level location didn't help at all either.

    EvigilantN1tSt4lker
  • chamberlainchamberlain Registered User regular
  • EvigilantEvigilant VARegistered User regular
    edited June 2014
    Siska wrote: »
    Article about nuclear waste management -->http://science.nationalgeographic.com/science/earth/inside-the-earth/nuclear-waste/

    What we plan to do with the nuclear waste for the next 10 millennia is a pretty big question. What happens after then apparently isn't, even though it gets worse.
    The Environmental Protection Agency has ruled that DOE must demonstrate that Yucca Mountain can meet EPA standards for public and environmental health for 10,000 years. Does that mean radioactivity won't be a threat after 10,000 years? Nope. The peak radiation dose to the environment will occur after 400,000 years, according to DOE.

    Nevertheless, and despite objections from many scientists, EPA decided on 10,000 years because of "tremendous uncertainties" beyond that period.

    "Do you think we will still have a Department of Energy 300,000 years from now?" I was asked by Steve Page, director of EPA's Office of Radiation and Indoor Air.

    I don't know. But there's no uncertainty about how long it takes radioactivity to subside, about ten half-lives. For plutonium 239, this is 240,000 years.

    Coal power might be the worst but I don't think nuclear is the solution.

    You look at it as waste; I look at it as fuel, doubly so since at lot of this "waste" isn't "really" waste: we didn't even utilize a lot of the fuel. It's like buying a battery, using it for an hour, then tossing it and saying the battery is waste.

    You know what you do if you're absolutely concerned about half-life and long term persistent radioactivity? Reprocess it. In 40 years, the reprocessed spent uranium radioactivity reduces by about 99.9%. 40 years. Also, because you reprocessed it, there's less of it now.

    Sure, that last .1% of the fuel takes about ~4-10,000 years to reduce to natural radioactive levels of uranium but that is an order of magnitudes better than what we do now.
    The Ender wrote: »
    Nuclear is not a magical solution; as has been repeatedly pointed-out, the time required to build nuclear facilities & get them online is a big reason that it hasn't blossomed as an industry. You need a highly specialized workforce to plan, build and operate operate nuclear power (if you want to do it safely, anyway).
    Yeah, it takes Nuclear power a long time to build, but that's because there are so many hoops an owner has to go through just to get green-lit to build the plant, then so many hoops they have to go through while building the plant, then so many hoops they have to go through while operating the plant. A lot of these are artificial constraints. It's because of fear (and green peace) that nuke plants take forever to be built in the US. Failsafes after failsafes are built to try and mitigate the chances of a meltdown happening: solely because people today don't understand nuclear power.

    Because of these restrictions, the delays and overhead it causes, many nuke owners turn to different industries to sell off byproducts to help make the plant stay operational.

    You know why Thorium will have a hell of a time making it in the US? It's not because it hasn't had a plant in 50 years, it's because the type of reactor it is: Once started, thorium requires no outside fuel (it makes it's own), it doesn't produce fissionable byproducts for use in nuclear weapons (in a MSR it does the opposite, its byproduct, uranium-232, "poisons" nuclear bombs). So it eliminates the need for the current fuel cycle all nuclear plants in the US go through: a very lucrative industry.

    And we sit on the second-to-third largest thorium reserve in the world.

    edit:
    Before I forget, honestly, people don't understand what radioactive means. If people were legitimately afraid of radioactivity and were educated about it, every coal mine and plant in the US would close down immediately: Coal Ash (the waste), is more radioactive than nuclear waste because the plutonium/thorium is more concentrated when burned.

    The chances of experiencing adverse health effects from radiation are slim for both nuclear and coal-fired power plants, they're just higher for the coal ones: 1 in a billion for nuke; 1 in 10 million for coal.

    Evigilant on
    Google+ Profile XBL\PSN\Steam\Origin: Evigilant
    Taranis
  • maximumzeromaximumzero I...wait, what? New Orleans, LARegistered User regular
    Trace wrote: »
    Evigilant wrote: »
    Trace wrote: »
    Fukushima didn't help nuclear's reputation.

    I've found showing people the footage of the tsunami rolling in helps blunt that

    Because the average persons understand of a tsunami seems to be "yeah I get it it's a big wave"

    But when you show them actual footage of entire city blocks disintegrating and point out that it's an old plant and that half of the reactors actually stood up to that they tend to go "Oh"

    I was awake for some god awful reason the night that happened.

    Made myself a coffee turned on the TV and dropped the coffee cup.

    There's natural disaster and then there's Natural Disaster.
    Quite literally, as it was an earthquake AND a tsunami. The fact the plant was standing at all is a testament to engineering. You know why Fukushima happened? Human error and mismanagement. Those reactors were due to be upgraded to more current generation reactors, but they failed to do so because of costs and poor planning and management. Newer generations have more stringent fail safes put in place.

    Tying this all back to Cosmos (because I could go on and on about nuclear power and it's misrepresentation in the world): I really dislike it when the only alternatives mentioned to fossil fuels are solar and wind. Yea, solar and wind is great and we should definitely do those things, but those aren't the only things we should be doing. Why only limit yourself to solar or wind or both? Why not do everything, including nuclear power? Smart, appropriate, well planned out power, that takes advantage of all options, is the future of our species.

    So never.

    I digress: I'm really enjoying the show so far and I'm really disappointed that the last episode is this Sunday. I need my science fix.

    Not to derail the thread here

    I live 32 miles away from Nine Mile Point, well within the "whoops" zone. It has the same containment system that Fukushima did.

    Now I'm not exactly worried about a tidal wave or an earth quake causing problems there but the oldest reactor on site is 37 years old. I am worried about an American cheaping out on something though.

    I guess what I'm saying is yeah I'm all for modern up to date nuclear reactors but Nine Mile Point could certainly use a new paint job.

    32 miles away? I live about 4 miles away from Waterford 3 here in Louisiana.

    FU7kFbw.png
    Switch: 6200-8149-0919 / Wii U: maximumzero / 3DS: 0860-3352-3335 / eBay Shop
  • The EnderThe Ender Registered User regular
    Yeah, it takes Nuclear power a long time to build, but that's because there are so many hoops an owner has to go through just to get green-lit to build the plant, then so many hoops they have to go through while building the plant, then so many hoops they have to go through while operating the plant. A lot of these are artificial constraints. It's because of fear (and green peace) that nuke plants take forever to be built in the US. Failsafes after failsafes are built to try and mitigate the chances of a meltdown happening: solely because people today don't understand nuclear powe

    Green Peace has nothing to do with the difficulties had by the nuclear industry in the U.S. Green Peace has a horrific stance on nuclear power, but they are not a lobbying group that's listened to... well, much of anywhere.

    It's a problem of market confidence: investors do not like that it is tightly regulated & do not think that there is an interested consumer base to recoup their investment from.


    With Love and Courage
  • V1mV1m Registered User regular
    The Ender wrote: »
    Siska wrote: »
    Article about nuclear waste management -->http://science.nationalgeographic.com/science/earth/inside-the-earth/nuclear-waste/

    What we plan to do with the nuclear waste for the next 10 millennia is a pretty big question. What happens after then apparently isn't, even though it gets worse.
    The Environmental Protection Agency has ruled that DOE must demonstrate that Yucca Mountain can meet EPA standards for public and environmental health for 10,000 years. Does that mean radioactivity won't be a threat after 10,000 years? Nope. The peak radiation dose to the environment will occur after 400,000 years, according to DOE.

    Nevertheless, and despite objections from many scientists, EPA decided on 10,000 years because of "tremendous uncertainties" beyond that period.

    "Do you think we will still have a Department of Energy 300,000 years from now?" I was asked by Steve Page, director of EPA's Office of Radiation and Indoor Air.

    I don't know. But there's no uncertainty about how long it takes radioactivity to subside, about ten half-lives. For plutonium 239, this is 240,000 years.

    Coal power might be the worst but I don't think nuclear is the solution.
    Evigilant wrote: »
    What many consider waste is fuel for other reactors. In nuke power, you can reprocess the plutonium back into nuclear fuel for thermal reactors; the reprocessed uranium can be used as fuel as well, but it's pretty expensive to solely do that (until uranium itself becomes costly). In Europe, Russia and Japan it happens routinely; in the US the last reprocessing sites we had were closed in 1972, 1998, and 2002; mostly military applications.

    But let's not get confused here: reprocessing spent fuel doesn't reduce it's radioactivity; it reduces the volume of radioactive material. The main reason why we, as in the USA, don't do commercial level reprocessing is costs, fear of attacks and nuclear proliferation, and costs. It's more expensive to recycle and reprocess fuel for our current reactors than it is to just send in the fuel and have it go through once.

    If we were to adopt breeder reactors, then the cost point is moot AND it'll reduce the radioactivity in spent fuel. One of the benefits of proposed breeder reactors using something like molten salt/liquid flouride is that it is completely fail safe: in the event of a disaster, the reaction stops instantaneously, a frozen plug at the bottom can't stay frozen anymore and the fuel drains to a secure tank below/or off-site that is passively cooled, all without human intervention. All you have to do is drain out that tank, put it back in and start it back up. There's no fuel rods, there's no complex pressurization or what not. The difference between LFTR and your Heavy Water/LWR reactors are differences in approach: LFTR is chemical, HWR/LWR is engineering. Since LFTR is chemical driven, it scales much easier than other approaches (there was once talks about putting a MSR into trains, airplanes, cars, neighborhoods).

    That said no nuclear is absolutely not a panacea and I don't think you'll find anyone in the thread who thinks it is.

    However I can't think of any other option that isn't a fossil fuel that's viable as a backbone for our power grid with current technology.

    Solar is perfectly viable as a backbone.

    Also, it's not like we have to utterly and completely replace fossil fuels - we just have to offset enough of the burden that our emissions come back down to safe levels.

    I need some electricity and the sun has gone down

    Where is your backbone now?

    Radiation
  • agoajagoaj Top Tier No FearRegistered User regular
    V1m wrote: »
    The Ender wrote: »
    Siska wrote: »
    Article about nuclear waste management -->http://science.nationalgeographic.com/science/earth/inside-the-earth/nuclear-waste/

    What we plan to do with the nuclear waste for the next 10 millennia is a pretty big question. What happens after then apparently isn't, even though it gets worse.
    The Environmental Protection Agency has ruled that DOE must demonstrate that Yucca Mountain can meet EPA standards for public and environmental health for 10,000 years. Does that mean radioactivity won't be a threat after 10,000 years? Nope. The peak radiation dose to the environment will occur after 400,000 years, according to DOE.

    Nevertheless, and despite objections from many scientists, EPA decided on 10,000 years because of "tremendous uncertainties" beyond that period.

    "Do you think we will still have a Department of Energy 300,000 years from now?" I was asked by Steve Page, director of EPA's Office of Radiation and Indoor Air.

    I don't know. But there's no uncertainty about how long it takes radioactivity to subside, about ten half-lives. For plutonium 239, this is 240,000 years.

    Coal power might be the worst but I don't think nuclear is the solution.
    Evigilant wrote: »
    What many consider waste is fuel for other reactors. In nuke power, you can reprocess the plutonium back into nuclear fuel for thermal reactors; the reprocessed uranium can be used as fuel as well, but it's pretty expensive to solely do that (until uranium itself becomes costly). In Europe, Russia and Japan it happens routinely; in the US the last reprocessing sites we had were closed in 1972, 1998, and 2002; mostly military applications.

    But let's not get confused here: reprocessing spent fuel doesn't reduce it's radioactivity; it reduces the volume of radioactive material. The main reason why we, as in the USA, don't do commercial level reprocessing is costs, fear of attacks and nuclear proliferation, and costs. It's more expensive to recycle and reprocess fuel for our current reactors than it is to just send in the fuel and have it go through once.

    If we were to adopt breeder reactors, then the cost point is moot AND it'll reduce the radioactivity in spent fuel. One of the benefits of proposed breeder reactors using something like molten salt/liquid flouride is that it is completely fail safe: in the event of a disaster, the reaction stops instantaneously, a frozen plug at the bottom can't stay frozen anymore and the fuel drains to a secure tank below/or off-site that is passively cooled, all without human intervention. All you have to do is drain out that tank, put it back in and start it back up. There's no fuel rods, there's no complex pressurization or what not. The difference between LFTR and your Heavy Water/LWR reactors are differences in approach: LFTR is chemical, HWR/LWR is engineering. Since LFTR is chemical driven, it scales much easier than other approaches (there was once talks about putting a MSR into trains, airplanes, cars, neighborhoods).

    That said no nuclear is absolutely not a panacea and I don't think you'll find anyone in the thread who thinks it is.

    However I can't think of any other option that isn't a fossil fuel that's viable as a backbone for our power grid with current technology.

    Solar is perfectly viable as a backbone.

    Also, it's not like we have to utterly and completely replace fossil fuels - we just have to offset enough of the burden that our emissions come back down to safe levels.

    I need some electricity and the sun has gone down

    Where is your backbone now?

    Glow in the dark stickers

    qnu0EMk.png
    Rhesus PositiveThe EnderRadiation
  • frenetic_ferretfrenetic_ferret wildest weasel East Coast is Best CoastRegistered User regular
    The Ender wrote: »
    Yeah, it takes Nuclear power a long time to build, but that's because there are so many hoops an owner has to go through just to get green-lit to build the plant, then so many hoops they have to go through while building the plant, then so many hoops they have to go through while operating the plant. A lot of these are artificial constraints. It's because of fear (and green peace) that nuke plants take forever to be built in the US. Failsafes after failsafes are built to try and mitigate the chances of a meltdown happening: solely because people today don't understand nuclear powe

    Green Peace has nothing to do with the difficulties had by the nuclear industry in the U.S. Green Peace has a horrific stance on nuclear power, but they are not a lobbying group that's listened to... well, much of anywhere.

    It's a problem of market confidence: investors do not like that it is tightly regulated & do not think that there is an interested consumer base to recoup their investment from.


    Fear mongering is a problem because it leads to not in my backyard, and not in anyone's backyard either. The left, the side that should be on the side of science, are the ones screaming about this the loudest. This shit is the damn hippies fault.

    l7qudl3uxpxz.jpg

  • Gabriel_PittGabriel_Pitt (effective against the Irish) Registered User regular
    V1m wrote: »
    The Ender wrote: »
    Siska wrote: »
    Article about nuclear waste management -->http://science.nationalgeographic.com/science/earth/inside-the-earth/nuclear-waste/

    What we plan to do with the nuclear waste for the next 10 millennia is a pretty big question. What happens after then apparently isn't, even though it gets worse.
    The Environmental Protection Agency has ruled that DOE must demonstrate that Yucca Mountain can meet EPA standards for public and environmental health for 10,000 years. Does that mean radioactivity won't be a threat after 10,000 years? Nope. The peak radiation dose to the environment will occur after 400,000 years, according to DOE.

    Nevertheless, and despite objections from many scientists, EPA decided on 10,000 years because of "tremendous uncertainties" beyond that period.

    "Do you think we will still have a Department of Energy 300,000 years from now?" I was asked by Steve Page, director of EPA's Office of Radiation and Indoor Air.

    I don't know. But there's no uncertainty about how long it takes radioactivity to subside, about ten half-lives. For plutonium 239, this is 240,000 years.

    Coal power might be the worst but I don't think nuclear is the solution.
    Evigilant wrote: »
    What many consider waste is fuel for other reactors. In nuke power, you can reprocess the plutonium back into nuclear fuel for thermal reactors; the reprocessed uranium can be used as fuel as well, but it's pretty expensive to solely do that (until uranium itself becomes costly). In Europe, Russia and Japan it happens routinely; in the US the last reprocessing sites we had were closed in 1972, 1998, and 2002; mostly military applications.

    But let's not get confused here: reprocessing spent fuel doesn't reduce it's radioactivity; it reduces the volume of radioactive material. The main reason why we, as in the USA, don't do commercial level reprocessing is costs, fear of attacks and nuclear proliferation, and costs. It's more expensive to recycle and reprocess fuel for our current reactors than it is to just send in the fuel and have it go through once.

    If we were to adopt breeder reactors, then the cost point is moot AND it'll reduce the radioactivity in spent fuel. One of the benefits of proposed breeder reactors using something like molten salt/liquid flouride is that it is completely fail safe: in the event of a disaster, the reaction stops instantaneously, a frozen plug at the bottom can't stay frozen anymore and the fuel drains to a secure tank below/or off-site that is passively cooled, all without human intervention. All you have to do is drain out that tank, put it back in and start it back up. There's no fuel rods, there's no complex pressurization or what not. The difference between LFTR and your Heavy Water/LWR reactors are differences in approach: LFTR is chemical, HWR/LWR is engineering. Since LFTR is chemical driven, it scales much easier than other approaches (there was once talks about putting a MSR into trains, airplanes, cars, neighborhoods).

    That said no nuclear is absolutely not a panacea and I don't think you'll find anyone in the thread who thinks it is.

    However I can't think of any other option that isn't a fossil fuel that's viable as a backbone for our power grid with current technology.

    Solar is perfectly viable as a backbone.

    Also, it's not like we have to utterly and completely replace fossil fuels - we just have to offset enough of the burden that our emissions come back down to safe levels.

    I need some electricity and the sun has gone down

    Where is your backbone now?

    Argh, Poe's Law.

    Because there are some people who think this is a valid counter-argument. :expressionless:

  • Wraith260Wraith260 Happiest Goomba! Registered User regular
    with the focus on solar energy in this weeks episode this might be of interest to some,



    EvigilantMild ConfusionCorehealerThe EnderDedwrekka
  • Just_Bri_ThanksJust_Bri_Thanks Seething with rage from a handbasket.Registered User, ClubPA regular
    V1m wrote: »
    The Ender wrote: »
    Siska wrote: »
    Article about nuclear waste management -->http://science.nationalgeographic.com/science/earth/inside-the-earth/nuclear-waste/

    What we plan to do with the nuclear waste for the next 10 millennia is a pretty big question. What happens after then apparently isn't, even though it gets worse.
    The Environmental Protection Agency has ruled that DOE must demonstrate that Yucca Mountain can meet EPA standards for public and environmental health for 10,000 years. Does that mean radioactivity won't be a threat after 10,000 years? Nope. The peak radiation dose to the environment will occur after 400,000 years, according to DOE.

    Nevertheless, and despite objections from many scientists, EPA decided on 10,000 years because of "tremendous uncertainties" beyond that period.

    "Do you think we will still have a Department of Energy 300,000 years from now?" I was asked by Steve Page, director of EPA's Office of Radiation and Indoor Air.

    I don't know. But there's no uncertainty about how long it takes radioactivity to subside, about ten half-lives. For plutonium 239, this is 240,000 years.

    Coal power might be the worst but I don't think nuclear is the solution.
    Evigilant wrote: »
    What many consider waste is fuel for other reactors. In nuke power, you can reprocess the plutonium back into nuclear fuel for thermal reactors; the reprocessed uranium can be used as fuel as well, but it's pretty expensive to solely do that (until uranium itself becomes costly). In Europe, Russia and Japan it happens routinely; in the US the last reprocessing sites we had were closed in 1972, 1998, and 2002; mostly military applications.

    But let's not get confused here: reprocessing spent fuel doesn't reduce it's radioactivity; it reduces the volume of radioactive material. The main reason why we, as in the USA, don't do commercial level reprocessing is costs, fear of attacks and nuclear proliferation, and costs. It's more expensive to recycle and reprocess fuel for our current reactors than it is to just send in the fuel and have it go through once.

    If we were to adopt breeder reactors, then the cost point is moot AND it'll reduce the radioactivity in spent fuel. One of the benefits of proposed breeder reactors using something like molten salt/liquid flouride is that it is completely fail safe: in the event of a disaster, the reaction stops instantaneously, a frozen plug at the bottom can't stay frozen anymore and the fuel drains to a secure tank below/or off-site that is passively cooled, all without human intervention. All you have to do is drain out that tank, put it back in and start it back up. There's no fuel rods, there's no complex pressurization or what not. The difference between LFTR and your Heavy Water/LWR reactors are differences in approach: LFTR is chemical, HWR/LWR is engineering. Since LFTR is chemical driven, it scales much easier than other approaches (there was once talks about putting a MSR into trains, airplanes, cars, neighborhoods).

    That said no nuclear is absolutely not a panacea and I don't think you'll find anyone in the thread who thinks it is.

    However I can't think of any other option that isn't a fossil fuel that's viable as a backbone for our power grid with current technology.

    Solar is perfectly viable as a backbone.

    Also, it's not like we have to utterly and completely replace fossil fuels - we just have to offset enough of the burden that our emissions come back down to safe levels.

    I need some electricity and the sun has gone down

    Where is your backbone now?

    Your argument is invalid.

    http://www.aresnorthamerica.com

    Some days I just want to smack people with a rolled up newspaper. Or a phone book.
    A folding chair is looking like an attractive option right now too...
  • CorehealerCorehealer The Apothecary The softer edge of the universe.Registered User regular
    Wraith260 wrote: »
    with the focus on solar energy in this weeks episode this might be of interest to some,



    Holy shit this is amazing why don't we have these right now? I'm guessing it's simply a question of logistics (in terms of replacing all that concrete and asphalt) and not enough people being aware of this?

    488W936.png
  • Mild ConfusionMild Confusion Smash All Things Registered User regular
    I don't know about the whole US highway system! But I'd be willing to pay for a Solar powered driveway if the price wasn't too bad.

    Awesome concept.

    steam_sig.png

    Battlenet ID: MildC#11186 - If I'm in the game, send me an invite at anytime and I'll play.
    Zilla360
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