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Thread: The new range of Renault's electric cars...

  1. #1 The new range of Renault's electric cars... 
    Forum Freshman Samuel P's Avatar
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    For those that weren't aware, Renault are brining out a line of electric powered cars, here's a link to the Renault site if you want a little more information:

    http://www.renault-ze.com/uk/#/uk/home.html

    What do you all think of this?I personally think a combination of nuclear power and electric powered cars is the solution to climate change. (This is not a climate change debate, but it makes it a little easier if you are a believer of the effects of C02 emissions).

    Discuss please ^_^


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  3. #2  
    Forum Isotope Bunbury's Avatar
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    Very French.

    The ad was very classy, but provided little hard information. It's a concept car. Infrastructure needed for the three minute battery exchange. All electric cars still seem non-green as long as we have a coal-based power generation system, which we will have for decades to come. Perhaps the gasoline or diesel hybrid is still the beat bet for the near future.


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  4. #3  
    Forum Freshman Samuel P's Avatar
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    Will we really have it for decades to come? I guess a lot of people are pretty reluctant in regards to nuclear power.

    It has some information of the website, but you're right, it is a concept car, but I love the concept ^_^! Haha.

    The hybrids are the best short-term solution; you're right.
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  5. #4  
    Forum Isotope Bunbury's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Samuel P
    Will we really have it for decades to come? I guess a lot of people are pretty reluctant in regards to nuclear power.

    It has some information of the website, but you're right, it is a concept car, but I love the concept ^_^! Haha.

    The hybrids are the best short-term solution; you're right.
    Regardless of whether nuclear is the "right" solution, it will still take many years to design, get approval for and construct nuclear power generation capacity sufficient to make a big difference, and the cost is going to be almost prohibitive. We still haven't figured out what to do with the waste. It's different in France where they already produce 80% of their electricity from nuclear power plants.

    Meanwhile the coal industry is lobbying hard to keep coal going.
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  6. #5  
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    Electric cars are a great concept, but are not, by themselves, the answer to global warming, even with nuclear power.

    Believe it or not, but deforestation in just Brazil and Indonesia generates more greenhouse gas than all the cars, trucks, buses, trains, ships and aircraft in the whole world.

    To fix global warming, the first thing is to reverse deforestation, and plant lots of trees, so that global forest cover increases.
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  7. #6  
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    Electric cars are a great concept, but are not, by themselves, the answer to global warming, even with nuclear power.

    Believe it or not, but deforestation in just Brazil and Indonesia generates more greenhouse gas than all the cars, trucks, buses, trains, ships and aircraft in the whole world.

    To fix global warming, the first thing is to reverse deforestation, and plant lots of trees, so that global forest cover increases.
    I wasn't aware of that. I was thinking that electric cars are probably more useful (as the battery life of the cars doesn't support really long journeys as of yet) for making trips around a city for one or two people.

    So the two seater option would be great for people travelling short distances, or even perhaps a bus versions to reduce congestion.
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  8. #7 Interesting Idea 
    Forum Freshman Mede's Avatar
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    I like it! The Renault electric car concept, i mean. Classy, and definitely French!

    About your 'electro-nuclear' hybrid though, I admire the idea, as it promises adequate, alternative energy, though I wonder about the long term effects. Truly, how would we dispose of the nuclear waste, and by moving from producing greenhouse gases to nuclear waste, won't we just be changing the problem from one form to another?

    Eventually, won't we just produce an earth that is both filled with greenhouse gases (assuming their levels don't reduce significantly with time) and nuclear waste?

    A great idea, but unless you can propose a solution for the waste, a bad idea.
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  9. #8  
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    Mede

    In a sense, the world is already full of nuclear waste, and is not suffering for it. For example : there is about 50 million tonnes of Uranium 235 isotope dissolved in the world's oceans. This is radioactive. The total amount of the same isotope through the Earth's crust is many times greater.

    When we make nuclear waste, we do it by mining Uranium and purifying it so that it is high in U235 which, as said, is radioactive. This is converted in nuclear reactors to a much smaller tonnage of radioactive wastes, which must be dumped. So the radioactive stuff comes out of the ground, and needs to be put back there. Not an entirely impossible task!
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    though there is no co2 emission the problem is that even the battery used is harmful to the environment. So in a way even electric cars are bad for the environment.
    Thanx anyhow!!
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  11. #10  
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    Bad is not a binary state. It is on a spectrum. We're not dealing in absolutes, so "less bad" is often rather good.
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  12. #11  
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    Well met, skeptic. Anyway, back to the issue...

    True, fuel generation, can be geared to produce low-level waste, but what happens when the entire world is producing low-level waste? That 1% starts becoming very significant.

    Yes, the burying might pose a bit of a problem. Especially with nature's unpredictability, and the future possibility of nuclear spews accompanying already-dangerous fissures and volcanic eruptions. Monitoring would also grow into a tedious task, but, indeed not an impossible one.

    All in all, I like your logic. Yours seems a most realistic solution. Thanks for the insight, and I'll keep reading into it.

    PS- Do you support deep ocean disposal of nuclear waste?
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  13. #12  
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    Hi Mede

    Deep ocean disposal? Kind of yes and no. Actually, back in the 1940's and 1950's the USA and the USSR both disposed of nuclear waste by putting it in steel 40 gallon drums and dropping them in the deep ocean. A simple calculation shows that those drums have long since rusted away, releasing all the waste into the oceans. To date, no researcher has reported any ecological damage at all from this discharge.

    My own feeling is that, if ocean disposal is to be mooted, the best way would be to dissolve the waste first. This can be done with conc. nitric acid. Then it can be massively diluted and discharged into the ocean. Since the oceans consist of E18 tonnes of seawater, the final concentration would be infinitesimal. It is localised concentrations of waste that are harmful. If massive dispersal happens, I doubt the waste would cause any harm at all.

    Some people have suggested dropping the waste at plate junctions, on the premise that it would be carried under the crust into the mantle -over millions of years - and become totally harmless. The problem with this idea is that there is no way we can make sure that the waste actually does this. It is just as likely to 'float' above the plate junction.

    One thing that is often forgotten in discussions like this, is that all life on Earth is already adapted to tolerating the background levels of radioactivity. And these levels vary a thousand-fold, even across a short distance. eg. from the prairies of the USA to the Rocky Mountains. Life can tolerate reasonable increases in radioactivity, which occurs with nuclear waste discharge that is massively diluted first.

    My own best preference is to find a place which is well away from people, geologically stable, and utterly arid, and dig a hole about 1000 metres deep, and bury the stuff. I suggest the Simpson Desert in Australia as being the most suitable place. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simpson_Desert
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  14. #13  
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    I personally think a combination of nuclear power and electric powered cars is the solution to climate change.
    Under current level of uranium consumption and production about 17% of world electricity on nuclear power plants,by optimistic prognosis, uranium reserves
    will last for 100 years.It means if all world electricity will be produced on uranium power plants,its reserves will last for 20 years...
    And don't forget that nuclear drives will be needed for such critical applications
    as space travel where size and compactness is very important.
    Another posibility is to use fast neutron brider reactors but still no country is using
    them on commercial scale.It means there is huge problems and expences.
    What do you think about geothermal energy?As I know currently this is cheapest
    kind from all type of energy sources renewable and non-renewable.Why to build
    artificial nuclear reactors while we have giant natural reactor just under our feets!?
    Antislavery
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  15. #14  
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    Uranium reserves are always calculated according to current extraction technology. Future technologies may extract far more. Currently, it is economic to extract uranium from ores at a level of 80 parts per million uranium content. However, there are massive deposits at lower concentrations. It is not beyond credible imagination to assume that in the future we will be able to economically extract uranium at levels way below 80 ppm. Granite, which is present in trillions of tonnes, contains a minimum of 2 ppm uranium, and often up to 6 ppm.
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  16. #15  
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    It is not beyond credible imagination to assume that in the future we will be able to economically extract uranium at levels way below 80 ppm
    Do you have some feasible explanation how will it be done without excess amount
    of energy? I guess it's main point which defines price of uranium.
    And how then Uranium will compete with geothermal,wind and wave power which
    is not too expensive now?Many things could be done, but what is economic reason
    there?
    Antislavery
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  17. #16  
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    The cost of uranium is not actually a limiting factor. In fission nucelar power stations, the cost of the uranium 235 isotope is about 5 to 10% of the total cost of the electricity produced. If the cost of uranium doubled, it would make nuclear generated electricity only a little bit more expensive.
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    If believe to this site,operational costs for solar,wind,wave and geothermal energy
    2-5 times lower then for nuclear and thus energy produced is cheaper.
    http://www.unenergy.org/Popup%20pages/Comparecosts.html

    Personaly, I believe that nuclear reactors still not enough protected,I would prefer
    to see something deep underground.So what is reason to use nuclear energy when
    it is by fact more dangerous and more expensive than alternatives?
    Antislavery
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  19. #18  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stanley514
    If believe to this site,operational costs for solar,wind,wave and geothermal energy
    2-5 times lower then for nuclear and thus energy produced is cheaper.
    http://www.unenergy.org/Popup%20pages/Comparecosts.html
    Well, it appears to me that the life span in that site of power facilities are fudged. For example, the coal plant in Boardman, OR has been in service since 1975. The only reason it may close is that is isn't equipped with the latest technology, and it may be cheaper to rebuild rather than modify to the latest standards. I will assume these lives used are based on the same things, and maybe newer ones based on mandating sequestration, or the likes. Since strict environmental regulations starting in the 70's, plants closed for economic reason favoring new designs rather than actual serviceable life. I think it's safe to say that any new coal power plant built will last an excess of 100 years with normal maintenance. Same with natural gas designs. How can a solar plant last any longer? It's in the design and maintenance.

    That data looks real suspect to me. Looks like data for a salesman to use.
    Quote Originally Posted by Stanley514
    Personally, I believe that nuclear reactors still not enough protected,I would prefer
    to see something deep underground.So what is reason to use nuclear energy when
    it is by fact more dangerous and more expensive than alternatives?
    There are designs today that have numerous safeties, and have no threat of a meltdown, even with complete loss of coolant.
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  20. #19  
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    That site is a greenie site, which carefully adds in lots of environmental costs to make them get the result they want.

    I obtained basic costs as below, for the year 2005. Note that this is cost at source, not selling price. These are American national averages, over many plants. It may have changed a bit since then. Costs are in American cents per kilowatt hour.

    Hydroelectricity 5.8
    Coal burning 6
    Nuclear 7.5
    Wind 10
    Solar cells 25

    Now you can massage the data to get a different result, as the greenies did. For example, if you add to the cost of coal burning electricity, the estimated added cost of pumping the emitted CO2 into underground repositories, the cost doubles, to 12 cents.
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  21. #20  
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    Stanley

    That site is a greenie site, which carefully adds in lots of environmental costs to make them get the result they want.

    I obtained basic costs as below, for the year 2005. Note that this is cost at source, not selling price. These are American national averages, over many plants. It may have changed a bit since then. Costs are in American cents per kilowatt hour.

    Hydroelectricity 5.8
    Coal burning 6
    Nuclear 7.5
    Wind 10
    Solar cells 25

    Now you can massage the data to get a different result, as the greenies did. For example, if you add to the cost of coal burning electricity, the estimated added cost of pumping the emitted CO2 into underground repositories, the cost doubles, to 12 cents.
    I completely agree.

    Does anyone think that if power companies could turn a bigger profit from solar, that they wouldn't?
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    I'm not a member of green party and do not wan't to bull people who is in nuclear
    business.If you are in, I don't want to make any anti-reclama to nuclear power, it
    may have lot of advantages.I know that small Europian countries sach as Germany,Belgium and Austria already banned nuclear power or going to do it.
    Instead they develop wind farms and other renewables.
    I guess it's because they do not produce nuclear weapon.Larger countries such as U.S., Russia, etc. need to have weapon Plutonium and this is how nuclear power
    started to develop.If you are nuclear engineer or in this business there is no reason for panics about green energy because nuclear weapon stays there.
    And even contra, if all Uranium reserves will be quickly depleted it may become too expensive and loose competition to renewables.
    I already read in few sources that for now installation costs for nuclear power
    and wind power is basicaly the same: 1000-1500$ per kW.But maitnance and fuel
    costs apparently greater for nuclear.So I can't completely understand how nuclear power could be even a bit cheaper than wind.In California wind power is already
    the cheapest one.Geothermal,wave and tidal is almost apparently no more expensive.Wind power getting cheaper every year and I believe this is because
    wind farms are made from too expensive materials (everyone likes profit).
    If build them on giant scale and as cheaper as possible,I could imagine something
    similar to Giza pyramide build from unexpensive concrete.This pyramide (or cube) will have wide entrance for wind and one smaller exit in which wind will concentrate and create giant pressure.At the exit heavy and powerfull turbine will be installed.I read that if some proper batteries will be developed for energy storage it will make wind energy two times cheaper anyway due to wind instablity.
    But this field is developing and there is good chances that such batteries will be developed.Maybe aluminum-based or alkaline-ion or something yet.
    Also I'm realy facinated about geothermal energy.This is realy huge potential.
    Somebody calculated that deuterium will last for billions of years as fuel for fusion fower plants.So if you are nuclear engineer why not to switch to fusion development?
    Antislavery
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  23. #22  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope skeptic's Avatar
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    All forms of power generation have their place. Wind power has its place, and has potential to be much more than it presently is. So does solar.

    The problem with wind power is that a single wind power generator actually does not generate much power, compared with hydroelectric, coal, gas, or nuclear. So tens of thousands of wind turbines are needed, and this costs a lot of money. Not just in set up costs, but also in ongoing maintenance. Another problem is that the wind is a very inconstant energy provider, and there are lots of times when it is either too slight or too powerful to run turbines. If you have to store energy, then that results in massive waste of energy.

    With nuclear, the main costs are the costs of actually building the plant, and the later costs of decommissioning it. Nuclear fuel is a relatively minor cost. To lower the cost of electricity per kilowatt hour from nuclear can be done, and dramatically, by designing for longer life.

    Nuclear fusion has great potential, but may still be decades away. Geothermal ditto. If the geothermal resources are appropriate, it can be tapped today. Most geothermal resources require more advanced technology than we have right now. Ditto wave energy. More development required. Tidal energy can be tapped if the tidal resource is just right. For more tricky tidal energy tapping, more development is required.

    It is not by accident that the vast majority of electricity generated is by hydro, coal burning, gas burning, or nuclear. As time goes by, and the technology improves, we will get more from wind, geothermal etc. Do not expect this to happen overnight.
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  24. #23  
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    Maybe you are right,but it seems that many alternative power generators are still build only for demonstration purpose, rather then for effectivness.For example,
    they build NIF (laser fusion) which,as they promise,will have gain of 40.
    But it takes place of 4 football field and 192 giant lasers.I guess that with such lasers you could scorch the Earth,not only produce few Megajoules of energy at peak power as they said.They are going to use infrared lasers and after that convert signal to ultraviolet.But why not to use just ultraviolet lasers such as argone-fluoride or crypton-fluoride?But even if they need some amplifying,I guess
    anything could be built with much smaller and compact size.
    Europians propose to build their own facility based on fast-ignition approach and
    smaller in size.But will they realy need to use targets made out of gold?Maybe silver is less expensive?
    Originaly, ITER construction was scheduled for 2000.But they still didn't start construction although all money where collected and parts of reactor developed.
    If wind turbines produce small power,solution maybe is to build them of biger size
    and more of them.I think that current state of engeneering allows building pyramides or cubes 1000 meters tall which could surve as wind concentrators.
    Antislavery
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  25. #24  
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    Is there some nuclear scientists on forum who could explaine if there is such thing
    possible as induced beta decay energetics?
    For example we could take some element such as Potassium-40 or Zinc-70 which
    have very long beta decay time and speed up their decay with help of very strong electrical fields?And they will decay into other stable elements.So no nuclear waste will be created.There is some mentions in internet that such induced decay
    is possible.There is plenty of Potassium in Earth crust and 1% of it is mildly radioactive Potassium-40.Will we need to use energy to create electric fields or there is some way to create extremely strong static electrc fields?
    Antislavery
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