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Index » Radio Paradise/General » General Discussion » Nuclear power - saviour or scourge? Page: Previous  1, 2, 3 ... 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25  Next
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islander

islander Avatar

Location: Seattle
Gender: Male


Posted: Jul 12, 2013 - 6:59am

 glmace wrote:
I have been in the power generating industry for a long time ( 40 years) And my opinion is a deverse system is the way to go. they all have pro's and con's . Anytime you put all your generation in one source for fuel you will leave yourself open for higher utility bills. Coal is taking a beating right now from the environmentalests but I think is is spurred on from the natural gas companies. Solar power certainally is the best non poluting power source, but it is expensive to build. Right now there is a multi billion dollar transmittion line going up to ship wind power to California from Wyoming. They have thousands of square miles of desert they could utilize solar power right in their own state.

 
Transmission and storage are the two areas we need to work on most. I agree about diversity and think that a large number of much smaller production points will help with safety and reliability, but we need to be able to move the power around and store it when peak production is out of synch with peak demand. 
haresfur

haresfur Avatar

Location: The Golden Triangle
Gender: Male


Posted: Jul 12, 2013 - 6:51am

An unintended consequence of the anti-nuclear movement is that the difficulty of getting new licences means that old design reactors are being operated for longer than intended.  So from that perspective the anti-nuke movement has made us less safe.  It's like everyone driving around in 1960s cars - we can do better.
glmace

glmace Avatar

Location: Wyoming
Gender: Male


Posted: Jul 11, 2013 - 11:16pm

I have been in the power generating industry for a long time ( 40 years) And my opinion is a deverse system is the way to go. they all have pro's and con's . Anytime you put all your generation in one source for fuel you will leave yourself open for higher utility bills. Coal is taking a beating right now from the environmentalests but I think is is spurred on from the natural gas companies. Solar power certainally is the best non poluting power source, but it is expensive to build. Right now there is a multi billion dollar transmittion line going up to ship wind power to California from Wyoming. They have thousands of square miles of desert they could utilize solar power right in their own state.
miamizsun

miamizsun Avatar

Location: (3261.3 Miles SE of RP)
Gender: Male


Posted: Jul 11, 2013 - 3:30pm

 ScottFromWyoming wrote:

I'm not engineery enough to know whether this whole Thorium thing is just hippie-fied nukes (they eat nuclear waste and poop MatchLight™ Brand charcoal briquets)  or if it's really the answer. And if it is the answer, how long and why not sooner? Any information sites out there you care to vouch for?

 
i believe it's very real

you guys can look up/read about the history of alvin weinberg and oak ridge (LFTR not solid fuel)

it shouldn't take long to glean some good data/evidence

or you can get some info from gordon mcdowell's youtube channel (good collection of thorium videos, some are technical, some are very easy to understand)

here's a vid of some old timers (last of the oak ridge boys)

enjoy

Published on Sep 28, 2012

Dick Engel and Syd Ball explain over dinner (and a post-dinner interview) their involvement with Oak Ridge National Laboratory's thorium molten salt research. Why are molten salt reactors important? Were there any significant challenges? Why was the program shut down?

Lazy8

Lazy8 Avatar

Location: The Gallatin Valley of Montana
Gender: Male


Posted: Jul 11, 2013 - 2:48pm

ScottFromWyoming wrote:
I'm not engineery enough to know whether this whole Thorium thing is just hippie-fied nukes (they eat nuclear waste and poop MatchLight™ Brand charcoal briquets)  or if it's really the answer. And if it is the answer, how long and why not sooner? Any information sites out there you care to vouch for?

Too early for me to separate the hype from reality on that one, and I haven't been paying enough attention for long enough. The fact that nobody anywhere on the planet is currently generating with thorium makes me think the devil in the details may be formidable.

Other technologies (like pebble bed or fast breeders) have proven track records, as does the current generation of commercial uranium reactors. I really like the elegance of the pebble bed approach but it's not without drawbacks.

If Fukushima had been a pebble bed reactor tho they might be generating power again by now, and nuclearphobia wouldn't have gotten its second wind.


ScottFromWyoming

ScottFromWyoming Avatar

Location: Powell
Gender: Male


Posted: Jul 11, 2013 - 1:59pm

 Lazy8 wrote:
 
 
I'm not engineery enough to know whether this whole Thorium thing is just hippie-fied nukes (they eat nuclear waste and poop MatchLight™ Brand charcoal briquets)  or if it's really the answer. And if it is the answer, how long and why not sooner? Any information sites out there you care to vouch for?
Lazy8

Lazy8 Avatar

Location: The Gallatin Valley of Montana
Gender: Male


Posted: Jul 11, 2013 - 1:09pm

kurtster wrote:
Oh ?  And how many have died or will yet die as a result of Chernobyl ?  Chernobyl is unihabitable for the next 20,000 years.  The EU still has policies in place that deal with ongoing contamination across Europe, far away from the site.

I fail to see how the risks of petroleum based energy outweigh the risks of fissionable nuclear power.

There is a broad range of estimates of the eventual death toll from Chernobyl, from the direct count of accident fatalities (64) to Greenpeace's hysterical claims of 200,000, all the way up to the hyperbolically silly numbers from Greenpeace Russia's Alexey Yablokov (985,000 from cancer between 1986 and 2008, a number no one but activists puts any credibility in).

The breathless claim that Chernobyl will be uninhabitable for "20,000 years" might be true for, say, the reactor core—but not the current 30 km radius keep-out zone.

Clearly the old Soviet RMBK reactors are dangerous, but even for this design only one of 17 built has failed. It has to be done carefully but it can be (and, around the world, has been) done safely

In the case of nuclear energy it's record of deaths/kWh generated is far better than coal or petroleum. In the case of fossil fuels it isn't a question of risk but of certainty: burning them is raising the CO2 level in the atmosphere. The end result of that chemistry experiment won't be known for some time, but it can't be consequence-free.
DD gypsyman

DD gypsyman Avatar

Location: Joined Nov 27, 2006
Gender: Male


Posted: Jul 10, 2013 - 8:38am

 kurtster wrote:

I too agree, that nuclear can be safe.  But I have to keep the fact that human error is a major factor in arguing against it.  The other major factors against it are the disposal of the waste, the short (30 to 40) year life span of the reactors and the expense of decommisioning a plant which runs into the billions upon billions of dollars.  And that's if everything goes right.

Growing up, I was a proponent of nuclear power.  In the past 20 years I have come to not be in favor of it.  The turning point was when the first efforts of consolidating waste were undertaken.  The country was divided into 5 groups of 10 states.  Our group, the so called Great Lakes compact drew straws and Michigan was to be first to host storage of waste.  They refused and it was then put on Ohio.  The Ohio solution was to store it in the salt mines under Lake Erie.  Yep, someone had the bright idea to put the world's largest supply of fresh water at permanent risk of contamination.  The failure of getting these compacts to agree on how and where led to Yucca Mountain.  Yucca Mountain has turned into a multi billion dollar boondogle which has since been abandoned as the solution, leaving us again with no solution.

Then there are the enrichment sites.  We have one here in southern Ohio, at Portsmouth / Piketon.  There is also the Hanford Site in Washington state where the same type of reactors as in Chernobyl exist, the carbon graphite design.  Somewhere I recall hearing about LILCO's problems with decommissioning nuclear plants near NYC, where they had to reapply for operating permits because the costs of decommissioning were too expensive.

I've watched first hand the problems with keeping our local reactor going, Davis Besse.  The problems are endless, with contractor problems, shoddy work, and corrosion the biggest issue IIRC.  All these concerns plus the fact that reactors must be located next to water for cooling.  We have had two level seven events in 25 years, Chernobyl and Fukushima.both of which have had global implications.

Petroleum based energy has its problems, but they are localised and relatively short term, plus nature does deal with it rather easily.  Petroleum must be viewed as the bridge to something better.  Fission is not the permanent solution, nor is wind or solar.  Fusion is an eventual permanent solution and we already have Thorium.  The US has already cut its greenhouse gas emmisions back farther than the demands of the Kyoto protocols. 

Petroleum is not evil, nor is it the end all.  Building more fission reactors is the ultimate kicking the can down the road solution, a lose lose solution.
 
As always, its all about the Benjamins.
kurtster

kurtster Avatar

Location: where fear is not a virtue
Gender: Male


Posted: Jul 10, 2013 - 7:54am

 gypsyman wrote:
Sorry, had to comment. My father, a graduate of Carnegie-Mellon, both undergrad and masters programs, spent his entire life in the field of nuclear energy, and is the co-holder of several patents on design and construction of nuclear reactor containment and containment suspension systems (post Three-Mile Island). His designs are in use world-wide, including the Czech Republic, Germany, South Korea, and three in the US - Palo Verde, Seabrook, and Sequoyah. He has emphatically stated over the years that the next step towards petroleum independence must be nuclear energy. His comments regarding the safety of nuclear energy generally note that continued research in physics and careful application are paramount. Moreover, the step after that would need to be to nuclear fusion, not fission, but, as of yet, it is too expensive, and has only been accomplished on a very small and as yet unreliable scale. The investigations of Three Mile Island and Chernobyl incidents return a solid, irrefutable fact - that human error on the part of the administrators of these plants, not the technology, was the primary cause of failure - although in the case of the Russians, the execution of the technology may have also been a factor.

Just trying to put things in perspective.  

 
I too agree, that nuclear can be safe.  But I have to keep the fact that human error is a major factor in arguing against it.  The other major factors against it are the disposal of the waste, the short (30 to 40) year life span of the reactors and the expense of decommisioning a plant which runs into the billions upon billions of dollars.  And that's if everything goes right.

Growing up, I was a proponent of nuclear power.  In the past 20 years I have come to not be in favor of it.  The turning point was when the first efforts of consolidating waste were undertaken.  The country was divided into 5 groups of 10 states.  Our group, the so called Great Lakes compact drew straws and Michigan was to be first to host storage of waste.  They refused and it was then put on Ohio.  The Ohio solution was to store it in the salt mines under Lake Erie.  Yep, someone had the bright idea to put the world's largest supply of fresh water at permanent risk of contamination.  The failure of getting these compacts to agree on how and where led to Yucca Mountain.  Yucca Mountain has turned into a multi billion dollar boondogle which has since been abandoned as the solution, leaving us again with no solution.

Then there are the enrichment sites.  We have one here in southern Ohio, at Portsmouth / Piketon.  There is also the Hanford Site in Washington state where the same type of reactors as in Chernobyl exist, the carbon graphite design.  Somewhere I recall hearing about LILCO's problems with decommissioning nuclear plants near NYC, where they had to reapply for operating permits because the costs of decommissioning were too expensive.

I've watched first hand the problems with keeping our local reactor going, Davis Besse.  The problems are endless, with contractor problems, shoddy work, and corrosion the biggest issue IIRC.  All these concerns plus the fact that reactors must be located next to water for cooling.  We have had two level seven events in 25 years, Chernobyl and Fukushima.both of which have had global implications.

Petroleum based energy has its problems, but they are localised and relatively short term, plus nature does deal with it rather easily.  Petroleum must be viewed as the bridge to something better.  Fission is not the permanent solution, nor is wind or solar.  Fusion is an eventual permanent solution and we already have Thorium.  The US has already cut its greenhouse gas emmisions back farther than the demands of the Kyoto protocols. 

Petroleum is not evil, nor is it the end all.  Building more fission reactors is the ultimate kicking the can down the road solution, a lose lose solution.

sirdroseph

sirdroseph Avatar

Location: Not here, I tell you wat
Gender: Male


Posted: Jul 10, 2013 - 4:24am

It is interesting to use the poor safety record of using fossil fuels as a reason to further pursue nuclear energy as an alternative.  There is another way to look at the same data.  If we cannot trust energy companies and their employees to safely maintain oil and gas and obviously we can't, then what makes us so sure we can trust energy companies and their employees to safely implement and maintain nuclear power plants where the repercussions of accidents are so much greater?{#Eek}

Natural gas leaking from well off Louisiana coast




2cats

2cats Avatar

Location: Oklahoma
Gender: Female


Posted: Jul 10, 2013 - 2:51am

 gypsyman wrote:
Sorry, had to comment. My father, a graduate of Carnegie-Mellon, both undergrad and masters programs, spent his entire life in the field of nuclear energy, and is the co-holder of several patents on design and construction of nuclear reactor containment and containment suspension systems (post Three-Mile Island). His designs are in use world-wide, including the Czech Republic, Germany, South Korea, and three in the US - Palo Verde, Seabrook, and Sequoyah. He has emphatically stated over the years that the next step towards petroleum independence must be nuclear energy. His comments regarding the safety of nuclear energy generally note that continued research in physics and careful application are paramount. Moreover, the step after that would need to be to nuclear fusion, not fission, but, as of yet, it is too expensive, and has only been accomplished on a very small and as yet unreliable scale. The investigations of Three Mile Island and Chernobyl incidents return a solid, irrefutable fact - that human error on the part of the administrators of these plants, not the technology, was the primary cause of failure - although in the case of the Russians, the execution of the technology may have also been a factor.

Just trying to put things in perspective.  

 
What do you think the hold up is with developing nuclear fusion?  I remember this same topic coming up in the late 1970s even before Three-Mile Island.
bokey

bokey Avatar

Gender: Male


Posted: Jul 10, 2013 - 2:39am

 gypsyman wrote:
Sorry, had to comment. My father, a graduate of Carnegie-Mellon, both undergrad and masters programs, spent his entire life in the field of nuclear energy, and is the co-holder of several patents on design and construction of nuclear reactor containment and containment suspension systems (post Three-Mile Island). His designs are in use world-wide, including the Czech Republic, Germany, South Korea, and three in the US - Palo Verde, Seabrook, and Sequoyah. He has emphatically stated over the years that the next step towards petroleum independence must be nuclear energy. His comments regarding the safety of nuclear energy generally note that continued research in physics and careful application are paramount. Moreover, the step after that would need to be to nuclear fusion, not fission, but, as of yet, it is too expensive, and has only been accomplished on a very small and as yet unreliable scale. The investigations of Three Mile Island and Chernobyl incidents return a solid, irrefutable fact - that human error on the part of the administrators of these plants, not the technology, was the primary cause of failure - although in the case of the Russians, the execution of the technology may have also been a factor.

Just trying to put things in perspective.  

 
I agree 100%. It is dangerous, but if we would put the money into research and training  that we put into the military to invade/protect petroleum providing countries, we could do it and there wouldn't be so many kids killed in the military.

On a side note, we should use some of that $$$ for desalination research so we don't have to go to war with China when they are forced to invade Russia to get uncontaminated water(which is why so many American jobs became outsourced to countries with no environmental regulations in the first place). 2/3 of the world is water, why don't we(and China, etc) develop the technology to remove salt from water? How hard can that be? {#Headache}

OK, I scare myself when I start making sense. Pops has had his breakfast, so I'm going to try to {#Sleep} for awhile.

Well, actually I need to go to the grocery store when they open at 6 AM. {#Frustrated}


sirdroseph

sirdroseph Avatar

Location: Not here, I tell you wat
Gender: Male


Posted: Jul 10, 2013 - 2:21am

 gypsyman wrote:
Sorry, had to comment. My father, a graduate of Carnegie-Mellon, both undergrad and masters programs, spent his entire life in the field of nuclear energy, and is the co-holder of several patents on design and construction of nuclear reactor containment and containment suspension systems (post Three-Mile Island). His designs are in use world-wide, including the Czech Republic, Germany, South Korea, and three in the US - Palo Verde, Seabrook, and Sequoyah. He has emphatically stated over the years that the next step towards petroleum independence must be nuclear energy. His comments regarding the safety of nuclear energy generally note that continued research in physics and careful application are paramount. Moreover, the step after that would need to be to nuclear fusion, not fission, but, as of yet, it is too expensive, and has only been accomplished on a very small and as yet unreliable scale. The investigations of Three Mile Island and Chernobyl incidents return a solid, irrefutable fact - that human error on the part of the administrators of these plants, not the technology, was the primary cause of failure - although in the case of the Russians, the execution of the technology may have also been a factor.

Just trying to put things in perspective.  

 
Never doubted that, how much faith do you have in NO human error ever taking place again or that companies will adhere strictly to safety in construction and maintenance of these plants and not cut corners? The question is not whether the technology is safe on the drawing board, it is whether humans can be trusted to implement and maintain a technology that can cause so much mass destruction when not properly built and maintained not to mention waste storage.  How much faith do you have in humans to achieve this needed perfect record?  I will give my 2, not much.


DD gypsyman

DD gypsyman Avatar

Location: Joined Nov 27, 2006
Gender: Male


Posted: Jul 9, 2013 - 11:07pm

Sorry, had to comment. My father, a graduate of Carnegie-Mellon, both undergrad and masters programs, spent his entire life in the field of nuclear energy, and is the co-holder of several patents on design and construction of nuclear reactor containment and containment suspension systems (post Three-Mile Island). His designs are in use world-wide, including the Czech Republic, Germany, South Korea, and three in the US - Palo Verde, Seabrook, and Sequoyah. He has emphatically stated over the years that the next step towards petroleum independence must be nuclear energy. His comments regarding the safety of nuclear energy generally note that continued research in physics and careful application are paramount. Moreover, the step after that would need to be to nuclear fusion, not fission, but, as of yet, it is too expensive, and has only been accomplished on a very small and as yet unreliable scale. The investigations of Three Mile Island and Chernobyl incidents return a solid, irrefutable fact - that human error on the part of the administrators of these plants, not the technology, was the primary cause of failure - although in the case of the Russians, the execution of the technology may have also been a factor.

Just trying to put things in perspective.  


kurtster

kurtster Avatar

Location: where fear is not a virtue
Gender: Male


Posted: Jul 9, 2013 - 10:43pm

 Lazy8 wrote:
kurtster wrote:
So if our only two immediate choices are petroleum or dirty nuclear fission, which way to go ?

The half life of petroleum damage is a little shorter than nuclear.  Seems like a no brainer.

What is the "half-life" of "nuclear damage"?

This metaphor is meaningless. Isotopes have half-lives, sometimes big, scary numbers—hundreds of thousands of years, like calcium-41, a naturally-occuring isotope you have in your teeth. But the longer the half-life the less likely an isotope is to decay. Unless you know the decay products it tells you nothing; Carbon-14 gives off beta radiation when it decays; this is stopped by a few millimeters of air.

Which is more likely to kill you? That's easy—petroleum. By many orders of magnitude. More people died in the train derailment in Quebec than have died in the entire history of the nuclear power industry in North America.

 

Oh ?  And how many have died or will yet die as a result of Chernobyl ?  Chernobyl is unihabitable for the next 20,000 years.  The EU still has policies in place that deal with ongoing contamination across Europe, far away from the site.

I fail to see how the risks of petroleum based energy outweigh the risks of fissionable nuclear power.
Lazy8

Lazy8 Avatar

Location: The Gallatin Valley of Montana
Gender: Male


Posted: Jul 9, 2013 - 7:53am

kurtster wrote:
So if our only two immediate choices are petroleum or dirty nuclear fission, which way to go ?

The half life of petroleum damage is a little shorter than nuclear.  Seems like a no brainer.

What is the "half-life" of "nuclear damage"?

This metaphor is meaningless. Isotopes have half-lives, sometimes big, scary numbers—hundreds of thousands of years, like calcium-41, a naturally-occuring isotope you have in your teeth. But the longer the half-life the less likely an isotope is to decay. Unless you know the decay products it tells you nothing; Carbon-14 gives off beta radiation when it decays; this is stopped by a few millimeters of air.

Which is more likely to kill you? That's easy—petroleum. By many orders of magnitude. More people died in the train derailment in Quebec than have died in the entire history of the nuclear power industry in North America.
kurtster

kurtster Avatar

Location: where fear is not a virtue
Gender: Male


Posted: Jul 9, 2013 - 7:02am

So if our only two immediate choices are petroleum or dirty nuclear fission, which way to go ?

The half life of petroleum damage is a little shorter than nuclear.  Seems like a no brainer.

and pipelines vs rail ?  another no brainer.
sirdroseph

sirdroseph Avatar

Location: Not here, I tell you wat
Gender: Male


Posted: Jul 9, 2013 - 6:49am

 miamizsun wrote:

do we know what type of nuclear?

it matters

regards

 

Looks like they are going to be PWR.  Is that what you meant?
miamizsun

miamizsun Avatar

Location: (3261.3 Miles SE of RP)
Gender: Male


Posted: Jul 9, 2013 - 6:04am

 sirdroseph wrote:
I forgot to mention this when Obama made his climate change speech but my wife just now reminded me when she was talking about alternative energy possibilities for us. On a personal level, I was reminded of what I perceive is a possible environmental danger encroaching upon our safe zone.  Excerpt from the speech:

"Here at Georgetown, I unveiled my strategy for a secure energy future. And thanks to the ingenuity of our businesses, we're starting to produce much more of our own energy. We're building the first nuclear power plants in more than three decades — in Georgia and South Carolina."

Yay, one more potential mass disaster zone created that we are the epicenter of.....yay.{#Frustrated}
 
do we know what type of nuclear?

it matters

regards
sirdroseph

sirdroseph Avatar

Location: Not here, I tell you wat
Gender: Male


Posted: Jul 7, 2013 - 9:02am

I forgot to mention this when Obama made his climate change speech but my wife just now reminded me when she was talking about alternative energy possibilities for us. On a personal level, I was reminded of what I perceive is a possible environmental danger encroaching upon our safe zone.  Excerpt from the speech:

"Here at Georgetown, I unveiled my strategy for a secure energy future. And thanks to the ingenuity of our businesses, we're starting to produce much more of our own energy. We're building the first nuclear power plants in more than three decades — in Georgia and South Carolina."

Yay, one more potential mass disaster zone created that we are the epicenter of.....yay.{#Frustrated}

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