Author Topic: Why not Nuclear Energy?  (Read 19061 times)

kvaruni

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Re: Why not Nuclear Energy?
« Reply #50 on: July 10, 2015, 02:59:37 PM »
People always seem to forget that nuclear power runs on uranium which is also a limited resource on this plant.

Also regarding Uranium.
It's mining is disastrous for the areas where that happens and the people that do it.
And the nuclear waste is impossible to store safely for thousands of years...

you are spot on, but your post does not seem to win any approval. The simple fact is that a nuclear reactor is ecological, but the mining and enriching of uranium hardly is. Uranium is not something you just "find", and getting it out of the ground is a tremendous hassle (read: costs huge amount of CO2). Combine that with the fact that half-life of nuclear waste is inconceivably problematic and you have a recipe for disaster. Processing nuclear waste amounts to storing it and making sure the building doesn't collapse due to radiation effects. And that will continue for many, many more generations. I'm not necessarily pro or con nuclear. However, I am very strongly against building new nuclear plants. Why would we? The only passive design (which would be safe-ish in case of a meltdown) is barely tested. The cost of a new plant can finance research and development of new, far better ways of generating energy. So why bother at all with this (hopefully!) dying technology?

And please, don't blame everything on fear of things we don't understand, or bad engineering/politics. I fully understand nuclear power, with all its benefits and all its downsides. Sadly, it are those benefits that simply do not outweight the downsides. Nuclear power just isn't much better than fossil fuels on an ecological level if things go well, and the design is just too sensitive to human error.

sirdoug007

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Re: Why not Nuclear Energy?
« Reply #51 on: July 10, 2015, 03:10:27 PM »

Given the 20 year lead time and multi-billion dollar up-front investment for even getting a single kWh out of a nuclear plant, we won't be sustaining ourselves on 100% nuclear anytime soon either.

There is not a 20 year lead time in building a nuclear power plant.  They can be built in 4 years or so, if the political environment would permit it.  More modern, modular designs can be built and running much faster, but none of them can get a permit.

Vogtle Units 3 and 4 are actually being built as we type.  Southern Nuclear began the official permitting process in 2006.  Construction of the nuclear portion of the plant started in 2013.  The units are scheduled to come online in 2019 and 2020.  That is 14 years total and 6-7 years of construction if all goes according to plan.  Vogtle 1 and 2 took 11 and 13 years respectively for construction alone.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vogtle_Electric_Generating_Plant#Units_3_and_4

Saying nuclear plants could be built in 4 years if the political environment would allow it is kind of like saying that a fix for social security could be implemented in 1 month if the political environment allowed it.  Both statements are true but will never happen.

MoonShadow

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Re: Why not Nuclear Energy?
« Reply #52 on: July 10, 2015, 03:32:52 PM »
People always seem to forget that nuclear power runs on uranium which is also a limited resource on this plant.

Also regarding Uranium.
It's mining is disastrous for the areas where that happens and the people that do it.
And the nuclear waste is impossible to store safely for thousands of years...

you are spot on, but your post does not seem to win any approval. The simple fact is that a nuclear reactor is ecological, but the mining and enriching of uranium hardly is. Uranium is not something you just "find", and getting it out of the ground is a tremendous hassle (read: costs huge amount of CO2). Combine that with the fact that half-life of nuclear waste is inconceivably problematic and you have a recipe for disaster. Processing nuclear waste amounts to storing it and making sure the building doesn't collapse due to radiation effects. And that will continue for many, many more generations. I'm not necessarily pro or con nuclear. However, I am very strongly against building new nuclear plants. Why would we? The only passive design (which would be safe-ish in case of a meltdown) is barely tested. The cost of a new plant can finance research and development of new, far better ways of generating energy. So why bother at all with this (hopefully!) dying technology?

And please, don't blame everything on fear of things we don't understand, or bad engineering/politics. I fully understand nuclear power, with all its benefits and all its downsides. Sadly, it are those benefits that simply do not outweight the downsides. Nuclear power just isn't much better than fossil fuels on an ecological level if things go well, and the design is just too sensitive to human error.

Uranium isn't the only fuel that is fissile, and not even the most ideal for power. The only reason that U235 was chosen over Thorium, which is 99% useful isotope in it's refined state (as opposed to less than 2% for Uranium, one reason it's so dangerous to deal with) is that nuclear weapons cannot be made from thorium, because it has known delays in it's cascading fissile reaction, which makes a catastrophic cascade for an explosion impossible.  It's also notoriously difficult to make thorium into plutonium.  It's also so abundant, that it's considered a waste metal, often used in industrial ship ballasts; but due to it's low level of natural radioactivity, cannot be used in modern products.  It used to be used in paints and ceramics, though, so it's not actually terriblely dangerous.  It's so commonly found in rocks, that it's the primary reason that concrete is radioactive at all, and also the primary component of coal that is the cause of the radioactive nature of coal ash, since it is also non-reactive and won't burn.

As to the issue of processing spent uranium fuel; it's a dangerous process, but nearly all spent fuel is re-refined in Europe, and made into new fuel rods.  What cannot be included in the new rods, mostly the most radioactive substances known to man, are typically incased in leaded glass balls about the size of a softball, and stored in casks.  They don't need to be stored for nearly as long as most people believe, because the more "hot" the radioactive substance is, the shorter it's half-life, generally speaking.  The glass balls are likely to be safely handled by human hands in century or so.  The US doesn't do things this way for political reasons, namely that the never built long-term storage vault was intended to be an artifical mine, in the event our sources were cut off for political or military reasons.  You see, the US doesn't actually have any uranium mines of any account.  There are minor mines in Canada, but almost all of the U235 for US and Western European nuclear plants were mined in Australia prior to the collapse of the Soviet Union.  There is a uranium deposit there so large and dense, that it contains a slow, naturally occurring reactor estimated to have been fissile and reacting for millions of years.  That thing puts all human activity in the field to shame for it's magnitude.  Even the spent fuel rods that were to be put into the long term storage facilty in Navada were never expected to actually stay there for the design life of the place, since the economic value of the un-refined fuel rods would increase beyond that of natural uranium once the other, much more dangerous isotopes, half-lifed away in a century or so.

http://ecolo.org/documents/documents_in_english/oklo-reactor.html

Tell me, did you know any of that?

EDIT: Sorry, West Africa, apparently.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2015, 04:11:21 PM by MoonShadow »

MoonShadow

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Re: Why not Nuclear Energy?
« Reply #53 on: July 10, 2015, 04:28:16 PM »
The only passive design (which would be safe-ish in case of a meltdown) is barely tested.

The Slowpoke design is 40 years old, and very well tested. Similar reactors were used for decades for urban district heating in many northern cities of the former Soviet Union, and worked very well.  The US has used them for combined heat & power in Antarctica.  They can be very small, indeed; but for actual power production, they are not efficient, and they don't scale up to the huge net energy levels that we expect from commercial power plants.  There are some other limitations also, but there is some evidence that similar reactors exist on military bases where it can get really cold, particularly in Alaska and northern Europe.  Russia has been known to do the same thing for their northern bases.

sirdoug007

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Re: Why not Nuclear Energy?
« Reply #54 on: July 10, 2015, 04:37:01 PM »
Is this what you are talking about?  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SLOWPOKE_reactor

These things were 20kW!  Tiny little science experiments, not commercial power plants.

This part sums up the fate of many similar, very interesting, but ultimately commerically doomed nuclear designs:

"AECL also designed and built a scaled-up version (2-10 MWth) called the SLOWPOKE Demonstration Reactor (SDR, "SLOWPOKE-3") for district heating at its Whiteshell Nuclear Research Establishment in Manitoba. The economics of a district-heating system based on SDR technology were estimated to be competitive with that of conventional fossil fuels. However, the market for this technology did not materialize, and the proposed SES-10 ("SLOWPOKE-4" based on SDR experience) was never built, and the SDR shutdown for decommissioning."

Estimating a nuclear design is competitive with fossil power (and now renewables) is one thing, actually making it happen is quite rare.

MoonShadow

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Re: Why not Nuclear Energy?
« Reply #55 on: July 10, 2015, 04:46:51 PM »
Is this what you are talking about?  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SLOWPOKE_reactor


Yes.

Quote

These things were 20kW!  Tiny little science experiments, not commercial power plants.


I did mention that they don't scale well, as designed, nor are they particularly efficient at electricity production.  That wasn't my point.   The point is that a safe design can be done, because it already has.  They can be built up to about half a megawatt thermal, though; so the fact that most of those built are tiny isn't a strike against them.

Quote

This part sums up the fate of many similar, very interesting, but ultimately commerically doomed nuclear designs:

...

Estimating a nuclear design is competitive with fossil power (and now renewables) is one thing, actually making it happen is quite rare.

I agree. I was not advocating for the design, per se. Just using it as a not-well-known example of engineering success and safety in the nuclear power field.  A lot of what was done in the 1960's was educated guesswork, compared to how well we can simulate a modern reactor core; and our scientific understanding of what is actually happening, and therefore our ability to address the hazards of unlikely events happening instead, is far greater today.  We can actually design and build safe reactors, of just about any size we please, that can compete with coal on price.

NoraLenderbee

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Re: Why not Nuclear Energy?
« Reply #56 on: July 10, 2015, 04:50:28 PM »
Ratepayers on Long Island got to pay $6 billion for the Shoreham nuclear power plant, and never got a single watt of power from it.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shoreham_Nuclear_Power_Plant

LI traffic is a mess on an ordinary day. Evacuation after a disaster would be impossible.

MoonShadow

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Re: Why not Nuclear Energy?
« Reply #57 on: July 10, 2015, 05:10:07 PM »
Ratepayers on Long Island got to pay $6 billion for the Shoreham nuclear power plant, and never got a single watt of power from it.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shoreham_Nuclear_Power_Plant

LI traffic is a mess on an ordinary day. Evacuation after a disaster would be impossible.

Yeah, that sucks.  But that was mostly political, not practical.  It's a bit silly to think that any place can be safely and quickly evacuated, in the event of a real nuclear accident; but particularly one built upon an inhabited island.  Those movie scenes that show plant workers running away are BS.  Most employees would know if they are going to die based upon the reaction of their monitoring badge.  And the nuke industry has a much better health safety record than coal plants anyway, even counting the several deaths in Japan.

Still, there are a lot of lightly populated areas left in the US to site a nuke plant, considering how good at power transmission we have become.  I can think of a half dozen places in Kentucky alone.

forummm

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Re: Why not Nuclear Energy?
« Reply #58 on: July 15, 2015, 11:39:37 AM »
I was just thinking about this thread in relation to the new Iran nuclear agreement. With how cheap solar is getting, it's going to be a great solution the next time this type of thing comes around. Instead of negotiating for how much nuclear energy program a country can have, we could just say they can't have anything because it's not necessary at all due to solar+battery being cheaper. It would be so much safer to not have nuclear proliferation, even for legitimate power uses. We're not there yet, but getting a lot closer.

Jeremy E.

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Re: Why not Nuclear Energy?
« Reply #59 on: July 15, 2015, 11:42:49 AM »
I was just thinking about this thread in relation to the new Iran nuclear agreement. With how cheap solar is getting, it's going to be a great solution the next time this type of thing comes around. Instead of negotiating for how much nuclear energy program a country can have, we could just say they can't have anything because it's not necessary at all due to solar+battery being cheaper. It would be so much safer to not have nuclear proliferation, even for legitimate power uses. We're not there yet, but getting a lot closer.
except that nuclear is safer than solar, and causes less pollution

sirdoug007

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Re: Why not Nuclear Energy?
« Reply #60 on: July 15, 2015, 11:54:37 AM »
I was just thinking about this thread in relation to the new Iran nuclear agreement. With how cheap solar is getting, it's going to be a great solution the next time this type of thing comes around. Instead of negotiating for how much nuclear energy program a country can have, we could just say they can't have anything because it's not necessary at all due to solar+battery being cheaper. It would be so much safer to not have nuclear proliferation, even for legitimate power uses. We're not there yet, but getting a lot closer.
except that nuclear is safer than solar, and causes less pollution

Based on what information? 

Don't forget that the process of creating electricity from nuclear reactions involves the concentration (enrichment) of radioactive heavy metals from low levels in naturally occurring ores.  We have to live with that concentrated radioactive material for thousands of years to come.  Yes, some can be reused through reprocessing, but many of the decay products are useless and extremely toxic.  Nuclear reprocessing reduces the volume of high-level waste, but by itself does not reduce radioactivity or heat generation and therefore does not eliminate the need for a geological waste repository. -https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_reprocessing

PV panels are and will be recycled into more PV panels so I'm not sure where the pollution comes from.  http://www.firstsolar.com/en/technologies-and-capabilities/recycling-services

MoonShadow

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Re: Why not Nuclear Energy?
« Reply #61 on: July 15, 2015, 12:04:04 PM »
I was just thinking about this thread in relation to the new Iran nuclear agreement. With how cheap solar is getting, it's going to be a great solution the next time this type of thing comes around. Instead of negotiating for how much nuclear energy program a country can have, we could just say they can't have anything because it's not necessary at all due to solar+battery being cheaper. It would be so much safer to not have nuclear proliferation, even for legitimate power uses. We're not there yet, but getting a lot closer.
except that nuclear is safer than solar


Maybe, but not considering the thought that Iran wants to be able to run it's breeder reactor without interference; and honestly, there is no reason to have a breeder reactor other than to produce plutonium in quantity.

MoonShadow

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Re: Why not Nuclear Energy?
« Reply #62 on: July 15, 2015, 12:10:59 PM »
I was just thinking about this thread in relation to the new Iran nuclear agreement. With how cheap solar is getting, it's going to be a great solution the next time this type of thing comes around. Instead of negotiating for how much nuclear energy program a country can have, we could just say they can't have anything because it's not necessary at all due to solar+battery being cheaper. It would be so much safer to not have nuclear proliferation, even for legitimate power uses. We're not there yet, but getting a lot closer.
except that nuclear is safer than solar, and causes less pollution
  We have to live with that concentrated radioactive material for thousands of years to come.  Yes, some can be reused through reprocessing, but many of the decay products are useless and extremely toxic.  Nuclear reprocessing reduces the volume of high-level waste, but by itself does not reduce radioactivity or heat generation and therefore does not eliminate the need for a geological waste repository. -https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_reprocessing


Radioactivity itself isn't particularly dangerous, despite it's image in popular culture.  You are surrounded by it in many forms every moment of your life.  The fission byproducts of uranium 235 are much more dangerous as a regular poison.  And the heat generation due to radioactive decay is actually a useful energy source. 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atomic_battery

Quote

PV panels are and will be recycled into more PV panels so I'm not sure where the pollution comes from.  http://www.firstsolar.com/en/technologies-and-capabilities/recycling-services

The initial manufacturing of solar panels involves the use of a number of incrediblely toxic chemicals, most of which are in liquid form (which fission products generally are not).  And while busted solar panels can be recycled to great benefit, it will yet be generations before the solar industry is 'mature'.

grantmeaname

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Re: Why not Nuclear Energy?
« Reply #63 on: July 15, 2015, 12:43:01 PM »
This has been a really interesting thread! I actually drove past the Kewaunee power plant three days ago on vacation and it sparked a bit of a nuclear power argument!

Uranium isn't the only fuel that is fissile, and not even the most ideal for power.
Interesting. How far off is economically generating power from Thorium?

Quote
As to the issue of processing spent uranium fuel; it's a dangerous process, but nearly all spent fuel is re-refined in Europe, and made into new fuel rods.  What cannot be included in the new rods, mostly the most radioactive substances known to man, are typically incased in leaded glass balls about the size of a softball, and stored in casks.  They don't need to be stored for nearly as long as most people believe, because the more "hot" the radioactive substance is, the shorter it's half-life, generally speaking.  The glass balls are likely to be safely handled by human hands in century or so.  The US doesn't do things this way for political reasons, namely that the never built long-term storage vault was intended to be an artifical mine, in the event our sources were cut off for political or military reasons.  You see, the US doesn't actually have any uranium mines of any account.
Interesting - I'd never heard either of the major points you about the nuclear fuel cycle that you raise here. I've spent a solid amount of time reading on Wikipedia and the like about the issues, but do you have a book recommendation that covers it at a deeper level?

MoonShadow

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Re: Why not Nuclear Energy?
« Reply #64 on: July 15, 2015, 02:00:33 PM »
This has been a really interesting thread! I actually drove past the Kewaunee power plant three days ago on vacation and it sparked a bit of a nuclear power argument!

Uranium isn't the only fuel that is fissile, and not even the most ideal for power.
Interesting. How far off is economically generating power from Thorium?


It's more of a question of political will than technology.  Thorium isn't fissile in it's natural state, because it doesn't emit neutrons, but it can be transmutated inside of a breeder reactor into a fissile isotope of uranium.  There are also designs that have existed for decades that are often called 'breed and feed' wherein an initial fissile charge of U235 is used to get the process started, and then the core transmutates thorium as it runs.  India is working on a modern pebble bed type thorium reactor that works in a similar way as a breed and feed reactor, but the holy grail of thorium reactor design is likely the "energy amp", which doesn't require any 'seed' of fissile material at all, and it's actually impossible to melt-down, simply because it doesn't use a core of critical mass...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_amplifier

Quote

Quote
As to the issue of processing spent uranium fuel; it's a dangerous process, but nearly all spent fuel is re-refined in Europe, and made into new fuel rods.  What cannot be included in the new rods, mostly the most radioactive substances known to man, are typically incased in leaded glass balls about the size of a softball, and stored in casks.  They don't need to be stored for nearly as long as most people believe, because the more "hot" the radioactive substance is, the shorter it's half-life, generally speaking.  The glass balls are likely to be safely handled by human hands in century or so.  The US doesn't do things this way for political reasons, namely that the never built long-term storage vault was intended to be an artifical mine, in the event our sources were cut off for political or military reasons.  You see, the US doesn't actually have any uranium mines of any account.
Interesting - I'd never heard either of the major points you about the nuclear fuel cycle that you raise here. I've spent a solid amount of time reading on Wikipedia and the like about the issues, but do you have a book recommendation that covers it at a deeper level?

No single title comes to mind at the moment, at least not one that's not classified.  Keep in mind, the particulars of any nation's nuclear fuel cycle is a national secret, for many reasons.  The details of the thorium cycle are on the Internet.  Well, actually all of it is on the Internet, somewhere.

forummm

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Re: Why not Nuclear Energy?
« Reply #65 on: July 15, 2015, 02:06:32 PM »
I was just thinking about this thread in relation to the new Iran nuclear agreement. With how cheap solar is getting, it's going to be a great solution the next time this type of thing comes around. Instead of negotiating for how much nuclear energy program a country can have, we could just say they can't have anything because it's not necessary at all due to solar+battery being cheaper. It would be so much safer to not have nuclear proliferation, even for legitimate power uses. We're not there yet, but getting a lot closer.
except that nuclear is safer than solar, and causes less pollution

Um, yes. In that same way that bananas in the US are usually purple and no one buys Apple products.

FLBiker

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Re: Why not Nuclear Energy?
« Reply #66 on: July 15, 2015, 02:07:06 PM »
Nuclear energy seems like a reasonable alternative to fossil fuels (though I'd prefer lowering consumption).  To me, the big question is where to put the waste.  That stuff lingers.

MoonShadow

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Re: Why not Nuclear Energy?
« Reply #67 on: July 15, 2015, 02:16:28 PM »
Nuclear energy seems like a reasonable alternative to fossil fuels (though I'd prefer lowering consumption).  To me, the big question is where to put the waste.  That stuff lingers.

Not as much as is popularly believed.  Nor is the volume great.  An order of magnitude more land area is permanently consumed by waste landfills just needed for the coal ash produced by coal power plants.

That same coal ash, by the way, also happens to be radioactive enough that it can't legally be exposed to groundwater seepage; which certainly makes the long term ash storage facilities relatively expensive compared to a regular trash dump, which has a lower standard.  Notablely, however, coal ash does have some manufacturing uses, like as an ingredient in modern 'gypsum' drywall.  And yes, drywall is also somewhat radioactive.  Again, it's not the radioactivity, per se, that makes such materials dangerous to handle.

Jeremy E.

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Re: Why not Nuclear Energy?
« Reply #68 on: July 15, 2015, 02:37:15 PM »
I was just thinking about this thread in relation to the new Iran nuclear agreement. With how cheap solar is getting, it's going to be a great solution the next time this type of thing comes around. Instead of negotiating for how much nuclear energy program a country can have, we could just say they can't have anything because it's not necessary at all due to solar+battery being cheaper. It would be so much safer to not have nuclear proliferation, even for legitimate power uses. We're not there yet, but getting a lot closer.
except that nuclear is safer than solar, and causes less pollution

Based on what information? 

Don't forget that the process of creating electricity from nuclear reactions involves the concentration (enrichment) of radioactive heavy metals from low levels in naturally occurring ores.  We have to live with that concentrated radioactive material for thousands of years to come.  Yes, some can be reused through reprocessing, but many of the decay products are useless and extremely toxic.  Nuclear reprocessing reduces the volume of high-level waste, but by itself does not reduce radioactivity or heat generation and therefore does not eliminate the need for a geological waste repository. -https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_reprocessing

PV panels are and will be recycled into more PV panels so I'm not sure where the pollution comes from.  http://www.firstsolar.com/en/technologies-and-capabilities/recycling-services
I was just thinking about this thread in relation to the new Iran nuclear agreement. With how cheap solar is getting, it's going to be a great solution the next time this type of thing comes around. Instead of negotiating for how much nuclear energy program a country can have, we could just say they can't have anything because it's not necessary at all due to solar+battery being cheaper. It would be so much safer to not have nuclear proliferation, even for legitimate power uses. We're not there yet, but getting a lot closer.
except that nuclear is safer than solar, and causes less pollution

Um, yes. In that same way that bananas in the US are usually purple and no one buys Apple products.

The amount of pollution caused by making solar panels is already greater than the amount of pollution caused by nuclear energy, even though nuclear energy is creating far more electricity. It is COMMON knowledge that creating solar panels causes a lot of pollution and you comparing this to purple bananas shows a lot of ignorance

grantmeaname

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Re: Why not Nuclear Energy?
« Reply #69 on: July 15, 2015, 02:39:22 PM »
Maybe instead of calling forummm names you could cite your sources?

Jeremy E.

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Jeremy E.

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Re: Why not Nuclear Energy?
« Reply #71 on: July 15, 2015, 02:42:12 PM »

Jeremy E.

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grantmeaname

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Re: Why not Nuclear Energy?
« Reply #73 on: July 15, 2015, 02:51:21 PM »
None of those links support your assertion that nuclear power is safer or greener than solar power.

MoonShadow

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Re: Why not Nuclear Energy?
« Reply #74 on: July 15, 2015, 02:55:04 PM »
You are both being silly.

Every form of energy has it's environmental cost, and every form has it's place.  Trying to compare the relative damage of one form against another is akin to arguing how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. 

MoonShadow

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Re: Why not Nuclear Energy?
« Reply #75 on: July 15, 2015, 02:57:55 PM »
Hey, Grantmename; how close do you live to Ohio State University?

Did you know that there is a reactor on campus?

https://reactor.osu.edu/

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Re: Why not Nuclear Energy?
« Reply #76 on: July 15, 2015, 03:02:51 PM »
None of those links support your assertion that nuclear power is safer or greener than solar power.
http://www.zdnet.com/article/nuclear-less-co2-than-solar-hydro-biomass/

forummm

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Re: Why not Nuclear Energy?
« Reply #77 on: July 15, 2015, 03:12:41 PM »
I was referring to the "safer" claim. I should have been more clear. They had to evacuate Chernobyl. And still no one can go back for long. They evacuated Fukushima. Nuclear is not without risks. Other than a solar panel falling on someone's head, or someone falling off a roof while installing one, I can't think of how solar power would kill anybody or require evacuation of a huge area.

Regarding pollution, I think any lifecycle analysis comparing total pollution between solar and nuclear makes too many assumptions to be useful. What kind of solar? What kind of nuclear? What kind of mining for the materials? For the ore? How do you evaluate the use of nasty chemicals vs the presence of huge quantities of highly radioactive material packed around reactors around the country? How do you account for the occasional meltdown and the land that it renders uninhabitable? The damages are nearly impossible to adequately account for and compare without a lot of opinion involved. They are both much cleaner than coal or even gas. Beyond that any amount of pollution is incredibly minor and a dramatic improvement over the status quo. Let's leave it at that.

Jeremy E.

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Re: Why not Nuclear Energy?
« Reply #78 on: July 15, 2015, 03:23:53 PM »
I was referring to the "safer" claim. I should have been more clear. They had to evacuate Chernobyl. And still no one can go back for long. They evacuated Fukushima. Nuclear is not without risks. Other than a solar panel falling on someone's head, or someone falling off a roof while installing one, I can't think of how solar power would kill anybody or require evacuation of a huge area.

Regarding pollution, I think any lifecycle analysis comparing total pollution between solar and nuclear makes too many assumptions to be useful. What kind of solar? What kind of nuclear? What kind of mining for the materials? For the ore? How do you evaluate the use of nasty chemicals vs the presence of huge quantities of highly radioactive material packed around reactors around the country? How do you account for the occasional meltdown and the land that it renders uninhabitable? The damages are nearly impossible to adequately account for and compare without a lot of opinion involved. They are both much cleaner than coal or even gas. Beyond that any amount of pollution is incredibly minor and a dramatic improvement over the status quo. Let's leave it at that.
They use Quartz in solar panels, people have to mine the quartz, people die while mining the quartz. Yes people have to mine for nuclear material as well, which is even more dangerous mining, but you need a LOT more quartz than nuclear material

grantmeaname

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Re: Why not Nuclear Energy?
« Reply #79 on: July 15, 2015, 03:30:34 PM »
Hey, Grantmename; how close do you live to Ohio State University?

Did you know that there is a reactor on campus?

https://reactor.osu.edu/
The reactor is next to a bike path I use on almost all of my recreational rides. I was a student at OSU through May and live about a mile from the nearest part of campus (four miles from the reactor). They don't do tours anymore which is a total bummer.

MoonShadow

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Re: Why not Nuclear Energy?
« Reply #80 on: July 15, 2015, 03:38:02 PM »
Hey, Grantmename; how close do you live to Ohio State University?

Did you know that there is a reactor on campus?

https://reactor.osu.edu/
The reactor is next to a bike path I use on almost all of my recreational rides. I was a student at OSU through May and live about a mile from the nearest part of campus (four miles from the reactor). They don't do tours anymore which is a total bummer.

Does your bike, or yourself, glow blue in the dark?

grantmeaname

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Re: Why not Nuclear Energy?
« Reply #81 on: July 15, 2015, 03:40:43 PM »
The light on the back flashes red.

 I'm pretty sure the corn in the field next to the reactor will glow blue if you ask it nicely enough.

sirdoug007

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Re: Why not Nuclear Energy?
« Reply #82 on: July 15, 2015, 03:42:08 PM »
As forummm mentioned, arguing about hypothetical pollution or mining deaths is kind of pointless because the information is not verifiable.

In general, both solar and nuclear are much, much cleaner than coal or natural gas power which always emit some pollution regardless of how careful people are.  Solar and nukes generally don't pollute the environment unless there is a screw up in the operations (leaked hazardous waste etc.). 

It comes back around to cost.  If a state decides it needs another couple hundred MW of peak power, nuclear will not be considered at this point due to cost.

Oh, and by the way, NV Energy just set a new record for lowest solar Power Purchase Agreement.  It may be on the of the lowest PPAs in the US at $0.0387/kWh! 

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-07-07/buffett-scores-cheapest-electricity-rate-with-nevada-solar-farms

MDM

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Re: Why not Nuclear Energy?
« Reply #83 on: July 15, 2015, 03:43:05 PM »
I'm pretty sure the corn in the field next to the reactor will glow blue if you ask it nicely enough.

And thus one gets the maize that is blue.

Sorry, not a graduate of either school but the setup was too much to resist.... ;)

MoonShadow

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Re: Why not Nuclear Energy?
« Reply #84 on: July 15, 2015, 03:43:43 PM »
The light on the back flashes red.

 I'm pretty sure the corn in the field next to the reactor will glow blue if you ask it nicely enough.

Yum!

grantmeaname

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Re: Why not Nuclear Energy?
« Reply #85 on: July 15, 2015, 04:03:12 PM »
I'm pretty sure the corn in the field next to the reactor will glow blue if you ask it nicely enough.

And thus one gets the maize that is blue.

Sorry, not a graduate of either school but the setup was too much to resist.... ;)


That's seriously clever. I guess I could spin it and say that OSU has owned the maize n' blue for decades.

forummm

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Re: Why not Nuclear Energy?
« Reply #86 on: July 15, 2015, 04:05:09 PM »
I'm pretty sure the corn in the field next to the reactor will glow blue if you ask it nicely enough.

And thus one gets the maize that is blue.

Sorry, not a graduate of either school but the setup was too much to resist.... ;)

I think you meant:

glow blue!

Also not an alumnus.

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Re: Why not Nuclear Energy?
« Reply #87 on: August 02, 2015, 10:58:18 PM »

They use Quartz in solar panels, people have to mine the quartz, people die while mining the quartz. Yes people have to mine for nuclear material as well, which is even more dangerous mining, but you need a LOT more quartz than nuclear material
[/quote]

LOL. Quartz. Moron.

Quartz is silicon dioxide. Also known as SAND. The second most abundant material on this fucking planet after oxygen, with 28.2% by weight of the earth's crust.