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Thread: Nuclear Waste Management

  1. #1 Nuclear Waste Management 
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    Found this:

    New material to remove radioactive gas from spent nuclear fuel


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  3. #2  
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    A good further step in the right direction.


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    Proof, if any were needed, that the larger problem remains unsolved - no one knows how to handle even the fuel waste they are piling up, let alone the decommissioned plants and processing waste and so forth. They are working on the problem, and apparently making some small steps in the right direction.

    All advances are welcome, of course - especially anything that can reduce the looming risk and bankrupting cost of dealing with this stuff.
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    The larger problem is being addressed every day, by new technology, such as the example cited, and proven technology, such as reprocessing. People DO know how to handle the stuff- YOU are just not one of them.

    It is revolting how you generalize your personal ignorance on the subject to the entire population of the planet. What is driving up the cost more than anything else is unsupported panic regarding the issue such as you habitually exhibit.

    Once upon a time people were making kerosene for lamps, and there was a waste product left over, useless for lamps and dangerously explosive and flammable- they threw it away. Nobody knew what else to do with it. Today we call it gasoline, and despite the fact that it can and does kill people, wide use is made of it. Tanker trucks full of it ply the highways every day. And somehow, SOMEHOW, we survive.
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    Actually, nuclear waste is not the big problem people often make it out to be. The total tonnage of waste is relatively small, and the total radioactivity in the waste is less than in the waste produced by burning coal, in the form of coal ash.

    It is kind of ironic that we get so much publicity about nuclear waste, and almost no-one ever mentions coal ash which carries a lot more toxins, including radioactive toxins, and is present in vastly greater tonnage.

    So far, the main management method for nuclear waste is to store it next to the power plant, in 'temporary' storage. Since the world is so full of idiots, almost every proposal for much safer long term storage is prevented by the political actions of moronic activists, forcing the stuff to remain in much, much more dangerous 'temporary' storage. Yet, even though the storage method is so unsatisfactory, there has still been no real problems arising from that. Think how much safer it would be with a rational and practical long term disposal method, of which many have been mooted.
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    Quote Originally Posted by arthur
    The larger problem is being addressed every day, by new technology, such as the example cited, and proven technology, such as reprocessing. People DO know how to handle the stuff-
    They should get busy and handle it then - right now even the most refined and most expensively handled of it is piling up in steel barrels under the floor of some French warehouse, awaiting some kind of bright idea to come along.
    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    Actually, nuclear waste is not the big problem people often make it out to be. The total tonnage of waste is relatively small, and the total radioactivity in the waste is less than in the waste produced by burning coal, in the form of coal ash.
    That's bs, of course. Nobody is worried about "total tonnage" of plutonium and the like, and the comparison with coal ash is nonsense.*

    But whatever you guys picked up on Fox and rightyrant radio lately is what we're going to be arguing, I guess.

    *Actually, it's worse than nonsense. I distinctly remember linking you, specifically, to the somewhat embarrassed "clarification" of that silly claim by the editors of Scientific American, accompanying the original article. Since you have been directly presented with that information, your insistence on repeating the assertion is no longer mere naivety or ignorance.
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    Iceaura is referring to this Scientific American article
    Coal Ash Is More Radioactive than Nuclear Waste: Scientific American

    Where it says :

    "the waste produced by coal plants is actually more radioactive than that generated by their nuclear counterparts. In fact, the fly ash emitted by a power plant—a by-product from burning coal for electricity—carries into the surrounding environment 100 times more radiation than a nuclear power plant producing the same amount of energy. "

    Not exactly ambiguous!

    Iceaura is only correct inasmuch as that radioactive waste from coal is not simply dumped into the human environment. It is removed by scrubbers and precipitators from air, and the radioactive material in coal ash ends up in the land fill where coal ash is disposed of. But nevertheless, there is still more radioactive material coming from coal burning power stations than the equivalent nuclear power stations. Both sets of waste have to be disposed of. The coal burning power industry has managed to get around the problem with traditional disposal methods. Nuclear is still struggling with irrational politics, and lack of permission to use sensible disposal techniques.
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    .... coal ash ends up in the land fill where coal ash is disposed of.
    Where it's put away safely forever...

    Ow wait...
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    Iceaura is referring to this Scientific American article
    Coal Ash Is More Radioactive than Nuclear Waste: Scientific American

    Where it says :

    "the waste produced by coal plants is actually more radioactive than that generated by their nuclear counterparts. In fact, the fly ash emitted by a power plant—a by-product from burning coal for electricity—carries into the surrounding environment 100 times more radiation than a nuclear power plant producing the same amount of energy. "

    Not exactly ambiguous!

    Iceaura is only correct inasmuch as that radioactive waste from coal is not simply dumped into the human environment. It is removed by scrubbers and precipitators from air, and the radioactive material in coal ash ends up in the land fill where coal ash is disposed of. But nevertheless, there is still more radioactive material coming from coal burning power stations than the equivalent nuclear power stations. Both sets of waste have to be disposed of. The coal burning power industry has managed to get around the problem with traditional disposal methods. Nuclear is still struggling with irrational politics, and lack of permission to use sensible disposal techniques.
    Actually, quite a lot of coal ash has been used to make "cinder blocks" for construction, it has good mechanical (pozzolanic) properties for such an application.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fly_ash
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    "the waste produced by coal plants is actually more radioactive than that generated by their nuclear counterparts.


    You were linked to the embarrassed correction, in which the editors of Scientific American (responding to a chorus of pointed complaints) agreed that comparing "released" radioactivity is meaningless and they were misleading in doing so.

    You read that - I linked you to it. You have no excuse for this repetition of what your own source has recognized as misleading.

    A properly operating nuke releases very little radioactivity, because it does not "release" its waste - on purpose, anyway. It generates far more radioactive waste, at much hotter levels, than any coal plant - including the infrastructure of the reactor and associated facililties, which has to be decommissioned and dealt with eventually. So far, no one knows what to do with it. The estimated expense of dealing with it is much higher now than it was when the plants were built, and is still rising - the task remains unaccomplished, at any price.
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    Iceaura

    That is a difference that makes no difference. Coal burning power stations contain, in their waste, 100 times as much radioactive material for their power output compared to nuclear power plants. It does not matter where the nuclear material comes from. If we are discussing hazard, that makes the coal plant waste more hazardous than nuclear.

    The big thing about nuclear waste, is that there is so little of it. Coal waste is massive and all toxic (the USA alone produces 120 million tonnes of it each year). Nuclear very minimal. Total high level (too hot to landfill) waste from nuclear power plants comes to 10,000 tonnes per year globally. And most of that 10,000 tonnes is actually inert diluent material. The actual tonnage of radioactive isotopes in the waste is only a few hundred tonnes per annum for the whole world!

    Think about this. (Not a serious proposal - just for demonstration purposes.) The world makes 20 billion tonnes of concrete each year. If all the waste from nuclear power stations was mixed with the sand that goes to making that concrete, the high level waste would end up at 0.5 parts per million. The actual radioactive isotopes would be at around 10 parts per billion in that concrete. The increase in radioactivity of that concrete would be measurable only with the most sensitive detectors, and would be totally unimportant in terms of added risk to human health.

    10,000 tonnes per year globally is absolutely trivial by the standards of most kinds of waste humans produce. Disposal long term using any one of a heap of rational proposals would be so easy it is laughable. The problem is people who scream and shout and protest at even the most sensible of those proposals. And it is the idiots who veto proper disposal who are truly responsible for the many thousands of tonnes of high level nuclear waste in 'temporary' and relatively unsafe storage.
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    There is a potential use for nearly every element known to man and as technology increases its scope this will become even more the case. Fission products are no exception. By far the largest isotope in spent fuel elements at present is U-238, in effect "fuel" for breeder reactors. By developing more such reactors and closing the fuel cycle as is done in France we can greatly reduce the volume of "waste" produced by the industry as a whole.

    Is Nuclear Waste Really Waste? - YouTube
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    Coal burning power stations contain, in their waste, 100 times as much radioactive material for their power output compared to nuclear power plants. It does not matter where the nuclear material comes from. If we are discussing hazard, that makes the coal plant waste more hazardous than nuclear.
    There is simply no excuse for this bullshit from you. You have been led directly to the correct information, specifically dealing with your source for these assertions.

    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    Think about this. (Not a serious proposal - just for demonstration purposes.) The world makes 20 billion tonnes of concrete each year. If all the waste from nuclear power stations was mixed with the sand that goes to making that concrete, the high level waste would end up at 0.5 parts per million.
    That would work. It would cost a fortune, and require an enormous dedicated effort. It's typical of the suggestions we have to work with - none of them will work at an acceptable cost.

    As noted, the problem of handling nuclear waste is not solved, as yet. The stuff is piling up, and the cost of dealing with it is growing faster than the piles as various schemes prove unworkable.
    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    10,000 tonnes per year globally is absolutely trivial by the standards of most kinds of waste humans produce.
    Declaring it trivial has been tried - with negative results.
    Quote Originally Posted by arthur
    By developing more such reactors and closing the fuel cycle as is done in France we can greatly reduce the volume of "waste" produced by the industry as a whole.
    And then we can put the remaining volume - a very hot and highly toxic mixture of bad stuff - into barrels and stash them under the floor of a warehouse somewhere while we await developments - hopefully, not an earthquake. That 's what France is doing, since they quit - or say they quit - dumping into the ocean.
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    Actually, dumping in the ocean is one of the best possible methods, as long as the radio-isotopes are solubilised first (by dissolving in nitric acid). A total of a few hundred tonnes each year of radio-isotopes in the ocean will make no effective difference to background radiation, since there is already 50 million tonnes of uranium 235 dissolved there.

    I realise, of course, that using such a rational and harmless method will not happen since it will run afoul of all the morons who oppose any and every effective disposal method. Greenie politics. Yuccch!
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    Actually, dumping in the ocean is one of the best possible methods, as long as the radio-isotopes are solubilised first (by dissolving in nitric acid). A total of a few hundred tonnes each year of radio-isotopes in the ocean will make no effective difference to background radiation, since there is already 50 million tonnes of uranium 235 dissolved there.
    This is the kind of reasoning that is behind the entire nuke industry. The "experts" are no better connected to reality - it's all right there, the entire analysis and justification is visible in that quote.

    This is where Sellafield came from. This is the approach that built nuclear reactors on islands in the upper Mississippi River near earthquake faults. This is where the idea of using H-bombs to dig harbors in Alaska and blow subway tunnels across the North American continent came from.

    These people cannot be trusted with sharp implements, let alone nuclear reactors.
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    Instead of using condescending language would you care to argue against Skeptic's point?
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    Quote Originally Posted by lynx
    Instead of using condescending language would you care to argue against Skeptic's point?
    What point? That it you evenly mixed all the high level fuel waste into the world's oceans, it would essentially vanish?

    Why would anyone bother to argue against that? If you rocketed the stuff into the sun it would vanish, too. If you sent it to the moon and buried it on the dark side, it would be almost harmless. If you pretended it was all just general background radiation of some amorphous and averaged kind, plutonium and all, it would hardly be worth monitoring. And this is the kind of point you guys find supportive of nuclear power. You actually need someone to argue seriously against that kind of suggestion, talk you out of taking it seriously yourself, presumably using very short words and simple phrases.

    The rest of us take this kind of discussion as a warning - nuclear power proponents are basing their favorable view of the disaster on that kind of argument. That's their level of comprehension and analysis, their mode of thinking here.
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    What point? That it you evenly mixed all the high level fuel waste into the world's oceans, it would essentially vanish?
    And he's saying it's not significant compared to what's already there--and he's right. You still aren't trying to argue against it. You'd rather come up with more condescension and comparing it to preposterous schemes such as blasting it off the planet.
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    Actually, dumping in the ocean is one of the best possible methods, as long as the radio-isotopes are solubilised first (by dissolving in nitric acid). A total of a few hundred tonnes each year of radio-isotopes in the ocean will make no effective difference to background radiation, since there is already 50 million tonnes of uranium 235 dissolved there.

    I realise, of course, that using such a rational and harmless method will not happen since it will run afoul of all the morons who oppose any and every effective disposal method. Greenie politics. Yuccch!
    Actually, the current approach to the industry is seriously in need of improvement- while I do not object to dilution/dispersal on safety grounds, it is wasteful. I propose breeder reactors, preferably LFTR or liquid metal fast breeders and pyroprocessing as indicated as it seems to provide significant advantages over the PUREX-based methods which are better than nothing and STILL too smart for the USA at present.

    Argonne's pyroprocessing technology
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    What point? That it you evenly mixed all the high level fuel waste into the world's oceans, it would essentially vanish?
    And he's saying it's not significant compared to what's already there--and he's right. You still aren't trying to argue against it. You'd rather come up with more condescension and comparing it to preposterous schemes such as blasting it off the planet.
    Permit me to say if you will that with respect to the environmental movement's general endorsement of reusing and recycling waste, a curious exception is made with regard to radioactive wastes. Indeed, complete fission of all the actinides would significantly reduce residual radioactivity and the period of time isolation is necessary, and as has been pointed out above, some fission products may be profitably harvested from the waste stream.
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    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    Actually, dumping in the ocean is one of the best possible methods, as long as the radio-isotopes are solubilised first (by dissolving in nitric acid). A total of a few hundred tonnes each year of radio-isotopes in the ocean will make no effective difference to background radiation, since there is already 50 million tonnes of uranium 235 dissolved there.
    This is the kind of reasoning that is behind the entire nuke industry. The "experts" are no better connected to reality - it's all right there, the entire analysis and justification is visible in that quote.

    This is where Sellafield came from. This is the approach that built nuclear reactors on islands in the upper Mississippi River near earthquake faults. This is where the idea of using H-bombs to dig harbors in Alaska and blow subway tunnels across the North American continent came from.

    These people cannot be trusted with sharp implements, let alone nuclear reactors.
    Actually the problems at Sellafield stemmed from improper understanding of the Wigner energy and consequent fires. It would have released considerably more radiation if Cockcroft had not INSISTED that filters be retrofitted at great inconvenience and expense. This Nobel laureate was one of "these people" you have so much disdain for, sir.

    John Cockcroft - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    Iceaura

    That is a difference that makes no difference. Coal burning power stations contain, in their waste, 100 times as much radioactive material for their power output compared to nuclear power plants. It does not matter where the nuclear material comes from. If we are discussing hazard, that makes the coal plant waste more hazardous than nuclear.

    The big thing about nuclear waste, is that there is so little of it. Coal waste is massive and all toxic (the USA alone produces 120 million tonnes of it each year). Nuclear very minimal. Total high level (too hot to landfill) waste from nuclear power plants comes to 10,000 tonnes per year globally. And most of that 10,000 tonnes is actually inert diluent material. The actual tonnage of radioactive isotopes in the waste is only a few hundred tonnes per annum for the whole world!

    Think about this. (Not a serious proposal - just for demonstration purposes.) The world makes 20 billion tonnes of concrete each year. If all the waste from nuclear power stations was mixed with the sand that goes to making that concrete, the high level waste would end up at 0.5 parts per million. The actual radioactive isotopes would be at around 10 parts per billion in that concrete. The increase in radioactivity of that concrete would be measurable only with the most sensitive detectors, and would be totally unimportant in terms of added risk to human health.

    10,000 tonnes per year globally is absolutely trivial by the standards of most kinds of waste humans produce. Disposal long term using any one of a heap of rational proposals would be so easy it is laughable. The problem is people who scream and shout and protest at even the most sensible of those proposals. And it is the idiots who veto proper disposal who are truly responsible for the many thousands of tonnes of high level nuclear waste in 'temporary' and relatively unsafe storage.
    Allow me to add that coal combustion releases noxious elements into the atmosphere such as mercury, sulfur, arsenic, and fluorine, as well.
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    This source claims a 20-fold reduction in waste from pyroprocessing:

    Pyroprocessing Method
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arthur Angler View Post
    The larger problem is being addressed every day, by new technology, such as the example cited, and proven technology, such as reprocessing. People DO know how to handle the stuff- YOU are just not one of them.
    .
    Do we get to count the cost of this ongoing research against the price of the electricity?

    Maybe we would find that nuclear isn't as cheap as people are trying to make it out to be. It's just theorized that it *will* be cheap *someday* after all the research into waste management is done. Not unlike Solar and Wind power in a way.


    Quote Originally Posted by Arthur Angler View Post
    There is a potential use for nearly every element known to man and as technology increases its scope this will become even more the case. Fission products are no exception. By far the largest isotope in spent fuel elements at present is U-238, in effect "fuel" for breeder reactors. By developing more such reactors and closing the fuel cycle as is done in France we can greatly reduce the volume of "waste" produced by the industry as a whole.

    Is Nuclear Waste Really Waste? - YouTube
    The main problem is due to concerns over national security. You have to guard those reprocessing plants really really well or they can become tools for nuclear proliferation (or at least fodder for false flags). If the world ever gains easy access to outer space, that fuel might be useful up there, but down here it's probably still more trouble than its worth. (Partly because of hysteria, but ..... hysteria is a real thing unfortunately.)
    Some clocks are only right twice a day, but they are still right when they are right.
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    On the business of generating costs.
    I have previously quoted from a Wiki article. Iceaura has hated those estimates, since they make solar look terrible. Here is an alternative, from the International Energy Agency, based on new plants commissioned between 2010 and 2015. Overall, compared to the Wiki article which is based on older plants, costs have come down substantially, with the exception of solar!
    http://www.iea.org/textbase/npsum/ElecCostSUM.pdf

    Coal : 3.5 to 6 cents per kilowatt hour
    Gas : 4 to 6.3
    Nuclear : 3 to 5
    Wind : 4.5 to 14 plus
    Micro-hydro : 4 to 8
    Solar : 15 to 30

    Note to Kojax.
    Please read the figures for nuclear, which are not expensive.
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    Quote Originally Posted by lynx
    And he's saying it's not significant compared to what's already there--and he's right.
    And my observation that all nuke proponents on this forum are really, obviously, startlingly, and repetitively oblivious to the ludicrousness of their positions is reaffirmed.

    Quote Originally Posted by lynx
    You still aren't trying to argue against it. You'd rather come up with more condescension and comparing it to preposterous schemes such as blasting it off the planet.
    Blasting it off the planet would be considerably less preposterous - and probably cheaper, as well as being technologically easier and less hazardous - than mixing it evenly into the waters of the world's oceans. I was giving the clownbox, unparodied, sincerely presented folly on stilts the benefit of every consideration, every courtesy, every break.
    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    I have previously quoted from a Wiki article. Iceaura has hated those estimates, since they make solar look terrible.
    It's not hatred of them, it's mockery of your gullibility. Do you really believe that solar PV is significantly cheaper than solar thermal for large scale power generation under ordinary conditions? When your list of numbers apparently makes that claim, as you present it and defend it, do you see where people might begin to have some doubts about your ability to read and think?

    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    Here is an alternative, from the International Energy Agency, based on new plants commissioned between 2010 and 2015. Overall, compared to the Wiki article which is based on older plants, costs have come down substantially, with the exception of solar!
    http://www.iea.org/textbase/npsum/ElecCostSUM.pdf
    That's not an "alternative", it's the same stuff as the silly Wiki article you kept reposting, from the same kind of source (possibly the very same source), with exactly the same problems - the bookkeeping for nukes (and coal, but nukes are more immediately obvious) is missing huge and significant costs as well as subsidies, the bookkeeping for solar averages all manner of different setups, the whole thing is based on estimating approaches obviously bunkum, and the conclusions you come to are nonsense, quite obviously (the ranges for the costs support almost any conclusion, actually, but since they are missing so much of the security and mishap and waste handling costs of nukes anyway there's no point).

    Here's Wiki on just one of the many suspect aspects of your source there, for minor example:

    In the past, the IEA has been criticized by environmental groups for underplaying the role of renewable energy technologies in favor of nuclear and fossil-fuels.[12] In 2009, Guy Pearse stated that the IEA has consistently underestimated the potential for renewable energy alternatives.[13]

    The Energy Watch Group (EWG), a coalition of scientists and politicians which analyses official energy industry predictions, claims that the IEA has had an institutional bias towards traditional energy sources and has been using "misleading data" to undermine the case for renewable energy, such as wind and solar. A 2008 EWG report compares IEA projections about the growth of wind power capacity and finds that it has consistently underestimated the amount of energy the wind power industry can deliver.[14]
    For example, in 1998, the IEA predicted global wind electricity generation would total 47.4 GW by 2020, but EWG's report states that this level was reached by the end of 2004.[15] The report also said that the IEA has not learned the lesson of previous underestimates, and last year net additions of wind power globally were four times greater than the average IEA estimate from its 1995-2004 predictions.[14]
    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    Maybe we would find that nuclear isn't as cheap as people are trying to make it out to be. It's just theorized that it *will* be cheap *someday* after all the research into waste management is done. Not unlike Solar and Wind power in a way.
    There are no such huge and costly unknowns or similar factors hanging over the heads of the solar and wind power technologies. The costs of the things are fully included in estimates, at the highest levels realistically imaginable.

    With solar, the cost trend is down. With nukes (and coal) you can't even get the proponents to recognize major current and running costs, let alone the possibilities of the stuff they haven't figured out yet.
    Last edited by iceaura; February 6th, 2012 at 04:59 PM.
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    Iceaura said :

    "And my observation that all nuke proponents on this forum are really, obviously, startlingly, and repetitively oblivious to the ludicrousness of their positions is reaffirmed. "


    In the absense of any supporting data, such statements are merely an affirmation of Iceaura's commitment to irrational dogma.

    Iceaura also said :

    "it's mockery of your gullibility. Do you really believe that solar PV is significantly cheaper than solar thermal for large scale power generation under ordinary conditions? When your list of numbers apparently makes that claim, as you present it and defend it, do you see where people might begin to have some doubts about your ability to read and think? "

    When I quote those figures, I am presenting data. If Iceaura wants to dispute the figures, then he must also present data, or be seen to be promoting woo.

    Iceaura quoted "

    "The Energy Watch Group (EWG), a coalition of scientists and politicians which analyses official energy industry predictions, claims that the IEA has had an institutional bias towards traditional energy sources and has been using "misleading data" to undermine the case for renewable energy, such as wind and solar."


    I had a quick look at the Energy Watch Group web site. They openly admit their bias. Their whole reason to exist is to promote renewable energy and to put down fossil fuels and nuclear energy. While there is a lot of truth in the idea that fossil fuels need to be replaced, I cannot greet any statements by a group with such a strong bias as being anything other than very likely to be false.


    Iceaura also said :

    "With nukes (and coal) you can't even get the proponents to recognize major current and running costs, let alone the possibilities of the stuff they haven't figured out yet."


    Which immediately tells me that Iceaura did not bother to properly read the reference, which takes those things into account. When Iceaura uses words like 'nukes' for nuclear energy, he shows his unscientific bias, since that word is normally used for nuclear weapons, not power.

    Sadly, Iceaura has demonstrated over many posts and many threads, that he is strongly influenced by 'woo' and crackpot organisations and web sites. The broad assertions and lack of scientific data in his posts seriously weakens any case he brings.
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    I kinda thought extracting as much of the latent energy in the thorium and uranium as possible would be a good way to render it safe and useful. There is already a considerable body of knowledge on molten salt reactors and liquid metal fast breeders and pyroprocessing is currently used in the manufacture of cement.

    Fine, guard the reprocessing sites really well, guard the power plants really well, guard the military posts and civilian airports really well- we KNOW HOW TO DO THAT and guess what? In many cases we do it already. Here's an idea- reprocess all the stuff at AREA 51 instead of burying it at Yucca Mountain, maybe the ALIENS can give us a few TIPS, for God's sake!
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    When I quote those figures, I am presenting data. If Iceaura wants to dispute the figures, then he must also present data, or be seen to be promoting woo.
    Your posted "data" and conclusions are quite sufficient for any reasonable level of mockery. These threads are supposed to be discussions, not full scale comedy routines.
    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    I had a quick look at the Energy Watch Group web site. They openly admit their bias.
    Bias is irrelevant. Accuracy is what we want.
    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    Which immediately tells me that Iceaura did not bother to properly read the reference, which takes those things into account.
    It does not. It stated, for example, in the "executive summary", that 90% of the lifetime investment costs of building a nuke are incurred in the first five years - which means it did not count in anything like a reasonable estimate of the decommissioning or waste handling costs.

    And that statement, in that summary, should have rung a bell immediately. We all know it costs more to decommission a nuke than build one, after all - don't we?

    It was not, in fact, a reasonable estimate of the total costs of nuke power at all - only an estimate of the costs a commercial investor would likely face under current law and circumstances, and partial at that.
    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    When Iceaura uses words like 'nukes' for nuclear energy, he shows his unscientific bias, since that word is normally used for nuclear weapons, not power
    People at demonstrations against nuclear power plants have been waving signs that say "No Nukes!" for a full generation now. It's standard, normal, ordinary, daily political vocabulary everywhere outside of the little Teacup Terrarium, and it's perfectly reasonable. It's not scientific, but then neither is "nukes" in reference to weaponry or anything else. If you don't know that, might I suggest becoming better acquainted with the outside world of political viewpoints?

    I realize that anything from more than a few months ago might as well have happened in Ptolemy's Egypt for the Teacup deep thinkers, but you guys have spent enough time complaining about the antinuclear crowd in general and its amplification of TMI in particular to have at least the vocabulary register, such as the headline promotion of the "No Nukes" concerts in its wake - 1979, this would be:
    Quote Originally Posted by wiki
    The American public were concerned about the release of radioactive gas from the Three Mile Island accident and many mass demonstrations opposing nuclear power took place across the country in the following months. The largest one was held in New York City in September 1979 and involved two hundred thousand people; speeches were given by Jane Fonda and Ralph Nader.[3][47][48] The New York rally was held in conjunction with a series of nightly “No Nukes” concerts given at Madison Square Garden from September 19 through 23 by Musicians United for Safe Energy.
    Last edited by iceaura; February 6th, 2012 at 06:37 PM.
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    The irony is by linking to an example of nuclear plant protestors calling it "nukes," your supporting Skeptics position. It's been part of the language by anti-nuclearn plant crowd for decades because, as Skeptic correctly points, out associated with nuclear weapons and the emotional response that links weapons with electrical production.

    The other point is regardless of the actual cost of solar, that cost is largely on top of other reliable base loading production methods simply because it most places it has major interruptions, that last days to weeks--and in the case of German last all winter. Even it is only cost half of what coal cost, it doesn't actually save the difference, because you still need something when the sun isn't shining.
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    Quote Originally Posted by lynx
    It's been part of the language by anti-nuclearn plant crowd for decades because, as Skeptic correctly points, out associated with nuclear weapons and the emotional response that links weapons with electrical production.
    Even if your little fantasy there (evidence free and Fox framed as always) did have a trivial core of truth - so?

    The attempt to ban the customary and common use of "nukes" for power plants from this forum seems to me (and I do have evidence, including explicit statements from you to this effect) motivated by a desire to deny any hint of a connection between power plants and weaponry - and this easy and immediate connection is a major factor in all aspects of nuclear power production, including its correctly estimated costs. Denial of this connection prevents accurate and useful cost estimates, among other harms.
    Quote Originally Posted by lynx
    The other point is regardless of the actual cost of solar, that cost is largely on top of other reliable base loading production methods simply because it most places it has major interruptions, that last days to weeks
    These theoretical interruptions would have to be estimated from a specific setup - the storage, transmission, and related tech would have to be specified, as well as the type and location of generated capacity and its intended use.

    A thermal solar plant in high altitude southern Nevada used to charge fuel cells for an LA bus or rapid transit system would have no anticipated interruptions at all, for example. With a week's flywheel storage it would be a more reliable baseline residential power source, in theory, than the Diablo Canyon nuke.

    Quote Originally Posted by arthur
    Fine, guard the reprocessing sites really well, guard the power plants really well, guard the military posts and civilian airports really well- we KNOW HOW TO DO THAT and guess what? In many cases we do it already.
    And then send the bill to the power customer, not the taxpayer. That's a cost of nuclear power generation. It needs to be entered into the books as a cost of nuclear power.
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    These theoretical interruptions would have to be estimated from a specific setup - the storage, transmission, and related tech would have to be specified, as well as the type and location of generated capacity and its intended use.

    Indeed. But storage in spite of your unsupported claims are decades away--we don't have the technology--period. The transmission we know how to do but do we have the money, will to build the lines and cut through the huge amounts of legal (many environmental) and political barriers- In Europe's case to connect point South where there's reliable solar energy such as in Spain, or better yet Northern Africa across the continent to Germany. At present nuclear combined with solar/wind is the best choices by a long shot.

    Still waiting on the argument against dispersing nuclear waste at sea.
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    Quote Originally Posted by lynx
    Indeed. But storage in spite of your unsupported claims are decades away--we don't have the technology--period.
    We can't pump water up hill? We can't build tanks of salts? We can't charge fuel cells and batteries? We can't spin up flywheels on supermagnets? We can't even build capacity in different weather zones, to minimize cloud-outs? OK, whatever - - - -

    as long as we can launch fusion projects and reprocess fuel waste to nonexistence and decommission huge hot reactor buildings and structures by magical levitation, we can just go with the nukes.

    Quote Originally Posted by lynx
    Still waiting on the argument against dispersing nuclear waste at sea.
    I have no argument against dispersing nuclear waste at sea, any more than I have any argument against rocketing it into the sun. Have at 'er. Let me know how you did it - just a tip: the way they tried it at Sellafield, by running a big pipe out a ways and dumping lots of plutonium out the far end, doesn't work well; your get these things called "plumes", little lessens in the difference between certain naive assumptions common to nuclear power advocates and the realities of the physical universe. Also, the Somalian free-dumping zone (although perfect for organized crime and other entities with close links to nuclear power promoters) turned out to be less than ideal for dispersion, unless you count washing up on Somalian coast "dispersed". And so forth.
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    We can't pump water up hill? We can't build tanks of salts? We can't charge fuel cells and batteries? We can't spin up flywheels on supermagnets? We can't even build capacity in different weather zones, to minimize cloud-outs? OK, whatever - - - -
    No we can't. The only one which has been demonstrated in terms of water storage was tiny compared to the winter energy requirements of Germany, not supported by their topography except to the far South of their nation, and would involve more environmetnal destruction and risk than just about any of the alternative we're taling about. The rest are thus far pipe dreams that are decades away if ever posible. I already address the different weather zones; it's a variation of transport.
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    Quote Originally Posted by lynx
    No we can't. The only one which has been demonstrated in terms of water storage was tiny compared to the winter energy requirements of Germany, not supported by their topography except to the far South of their nation,
    Hence Spain, Italy, Turkey, and Greece, for locations.

    And we are replacing the nukes, not the "winter energy requirements" of Germany.
    Quote Originally Posted by lynx
    The rest are thus far pipe dreams that are decades away if ever posible.
    So are nukes with adequate waste handling and decommissioning etc - except they don't even have pilot projects built. Fuel cells we make now - it's just scaling up, not inventing the unknown.
    Quote Originally Posted by lynx
    I already address the different weather zones; it's a variation of transport.
    And transport is a matter of big DC lines, trains loaded with fuel cells, etc - again: Greece needs the money, Spain needs the money, Turkey needs Eurozone connections, the deal is there to be made.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    We can't pump water up hill? We can't build tanks of salts? We can't charge fuel cells and batteries? We can't spin up flywheels on supermagnets? We can't even build capacity in different weather zones, to minimize cloud-outs? OK, whatever - - - -
    No we can't. The only one which has been demonstrated in terms of water storage was tiny compared to the winter energy requirements of Germany, not supported by their topography except to the far South of their nation, and would involve more environmetnal destruction and risk than just about any of the alternative we're taling about. The rest are thus far pipe dreams that are decades away if ever posible. I already address the different weather zones; it's a variation of transport.

    There's one in NJ:

    Location: Blairstown and Pahaquarry, NJ

    MW: 400 (200 PSEG)

    Fuel: Hydro

    Technology: Pumped Storage

    Commercial Operation: 1965

    Ownership: 50% PSEG Fossil

    To see it, go to Google Earth 41d 0m N, 75d 02m W
    Last edited by MeteorWayne; February 7th, 2012 at 02:02 AM. Reason: to add google earth location
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    8.2 Installations
    Pumped storage is the most widespread energy storage system in use for utility
    applications. Worldwide there is over 90 GW of pumped storage in operation,
    contributing about 3% of global generation capacity. In the U.S., pumped storage
    accounts for about 2.5% of baseload generating capacity.
    There are some 150 operational pumped-storage facilities in the United States,
    with a total capacity of over 25 GW. The largest facilities are as follows:
    Location Facility Capacity
    • California Castaic Dam 1,566 MW
    • California Edward C. Hyatt 780 MW
    • California Helms 1,200 MW
    • California John S. Eastwood 200 MW
    • California Pyramid Lake 1,495 MW
    • California San Luis Dam 424 MW
    • Colorado Cabin Creek 324 MW
    • Colorado Mount Elbert 1,212 MW
    • Connecticut Rocky River/Candlewood Lake 31 MW
    • Georgia Rocky Mountain Pumped Storage Station 848 MW
    • Georgia Wallace Dam, Lake Oconee/Lake Sinclair 208 MW
    • Massachusetts Bear Swamp 600 MW
    • Massachusetts Northfield Mountain 1,080 MW
    • Michigan Ludington 1,872 MW
    • New Jersey Mt. Hope 2,000 MW
    • New Jersey Yards Creek Generating Station 400 MW
    • New York Blenheim-Gilboa 1,200 MW
    • New York Lewiston Pump-Generating Plant 240 MW
    • Oklahoma Salina Pumped Storage 260 MW
    • Pennsylvania Muddy Run 1,071 MW
    • Pennsylvania Seneca 435 MW
    • South Carolina Fairfield/Lake Monticello Reservoir 512 MW
    • South Carolina Bad Creek/Lake Jocassee 1,065 MW
    • South Carolina Lake Jocassee 610 MW
    • Tennessee Raccoon Mountain 1,530 MW
    • Virginia Bath County 2,772 MW
    • Virginia Smith Mountain Lake n/a
    • Virginia Leesville Lake n/a
    • Washington Grand Coulee Dam 314 MW
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    Better than I thought. Thanks. But compared to any realistic requirement. German electrical use exceeds 125 GW per year. So even if the entire storage capacity of the US were somehow installed in Germany, Germany couldn't get through their winter when there was very little sunlight. In all likely hood the geography would limit them to a tiny fraction of that pumped capacity and result in huge environmental damage to get there. All to replace nuclear power plants that are operating safely.
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    Quote Originally Posted by lynx
    But compared to any realistic requirement. German electrical use exceeds 125 GW per year. So even if the entire storage capacity of the US were somehow installed in Germany, Germany couldn't get through their winter when there was very little sunlight.
    We're just replacing the nukes, not the entire winter electrical needs of Germany.
    Quote Originally Posted by lynx
    In all likely hood the geography would limit them to a tiny fraction of that pumped capacity and result in huge environmental damage to get there.
    I doubt Greece and Spain and Turkey and Italy all together lack any suitable locations.
    Quote Originally Posted by lynx
    All to replace nuclear power plants that are operating safely.
    No nuclear plants are operating without, at a minimum, piling up a waste and decommissioning hazard no one has any idea how to handle. None of them are operating safely.
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    None of them are operating safely. True.

    Neither are any coal burning power plants, hydro-electric, geothermal, wind, solar, gas etc etc.
    Total safety is a myth. An impossibility. The thing is that nuclear is operating as safely, or more safely than most other methods. Total deaths from nuclear power (mostly Chernobyl, and including all present and future cancers) will be of the order of 4,500 (IAEA estimate) to 30,000. A single hydro-electric dam (Banqiao) burst in China killed 200,000 and made 11 million people homeless.

    So yes. Nuclear is not safe. But it is a damn sight safer than most alternatives.
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    Total safety is a myth. An impossibility. The thing is that nuclear is operating as safely, or more safely than most other methods. Total deaths from nuclear power (mostly Chernobyl, and including all present and future cancers) will be of the order of 4,500 (IAEA estimate) to 30,000.
    Such prescience in one so young - let us at least include a reasonable estimate of the cost of this safety, and the price of breakdown, such as the Iraq war, the current Iranian and Pakistani troubles, North Korea's price, that kind of consideration.

    You can write the lives off if you want to, by the hundreds of thousands, but not the money.
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    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    Total safety is a myth. An impossibility. The thing is that nuclear is operating as safely, or more safely than most other methods. Total deaths from nuclear power (mostly Chernobyl, and including all present and future cancers) will be of the order of 4,500 (IAEA estimate) to 30,000.
    Such prescience in one so young - let us at least include a reasonable estimate of the cost of this safety, and the price of breakdown, such as the Iraq war, the current Iranian and Pakistani troubles, North Korea's price, that kind of consideration.

    You can write the lives off if you want to, by the hundreds of thousands, but not the money.
    Again, the conflation of nuclear weapons, which NONE of these countries have used to date, with nuclear electric power production. At least you are consistent. This came right on schedule.

    Would it be too much to ask that you stick to the topic and put up some facts instead of all this hand-wringing about hypothetical disasters. And, oh, yeah, Finland. And Israel- why do you always forget to mention them?
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    Would it be too much to ask that you stick to the topic and put up some facts instead of all this hand-wringing about hypothetical disasters.
    Nothing hypothetical about the Iraq war(s), or the connection between the US's emergency launching of disastrous invasion and the nuclear power technology given to that misfortune ridden country (as well as its neighbor Iran).

    The price of nuclear power has included and will include the proliferation of weapons capability and terrorist hazard, with all the effects including ginned up war and many dead. That has proven to be a fairly heavy price - in Iraq, Iran, North Korea, Pakistan, India, etc. A reasonable person would presume it will continue to prove so, and a sane, honest, competent accountant would include these expenses in the averages of past expenditures as well as estimations of future cost.
    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    So yes. Nuclear is not safe. But it is a damn sight safer than most alternatives.
    Until it isn't - Diablo Canyon is waiting, Fukushima is approaching its first anniversary still unevaluated and still within second shock range, Chernobyl is not over yet (the shell is cracking), and so forth.

    It is not safer than thermal solar, PV solar, wind turbine power, geothermal power, and so forth, even presuming its waste can be some day managed; and its waste is not managed.

    And what safety it does possess requires huge expense and permanent, diligent, continuous, competent effort by all concerned. That is a heavy debt to load on the future.
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    Iceaura

    You still stick to that for which there is no data, and that which is plain wrong!!

    The Iraq war was about oil. Nothing else.

    "Diablo Canyon?". At least your bullsh!t is poetic.

    Safer than....?
    When you are using data, not supposition, nuclear has been proved to be safer than both wind power and domestic solar cell power. I have not seen the figures for geothermal and thermal solar yet. Safety is measured (quantitative - see!) as fatalities per terrawatt year of electricity generated. Wind power has a higher number due to accidents while constructing wind turbines.

    Domestic PV is way, way, worse than nuclear, for two reasons.
    1. The amount of power generated is minimal, meaning a few deaths adjusted to fatalities per terrawatt year becomes thousands of deaths.
    2. Lots of home owners insist on the old DIY, and install their own PV panels. A small number of these guys fall off ladders and kill themselves. Those deaths, adjusted for power output, makes domestic PV far, far more dangerous when converted to an actual number, compared to nuclear.

    But you are not fond of numbers or data, are you, Iceaura? They are so often inconvenient. There is that unacceptable problem that they have this nasty habit of proving you wrong!

    PS

    Some more of that inconvenient data. This compiled by on the following website, and measured as deaths per terawatt hour.
    Deaths per TWH by energy source

    Burning coal. 161
    Domestic solar 0.83
    Wind 0.15
    Hydroelectricity 0.1
    Nuclear 0.04
    Last edited by skeptic; February 7th, 2012 at 03:11 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    When you are using data, not supposition, nuclear has been proved to be safer than both wind power and domestic solar cell power.
    Bullshit. People are running around comparing home rooftop solar with central power company managed nukes, without even calculating a risk factor in the nuke numbers.

    Compare a thousand homeowner basement nuke installations, with a thousand home PV panel installations - see what you get. Or add in a more realistic death and injury assessment for nuke mishaps - notice how that goofy TMI count of "0" is qualified by "directly due to radiation" and "proven"? Let's see your deaths from PV solar "directly" due to photon collection and "proven".

    The Diablo Canyon nuke is currently assigned a meltdown risk of about 1/25,000 for its remaining lifetime - by the US official lowballers, the ones that labeled Fukushima safe. Its waste is of course an even bigger hazard, as will be its decommissioning debris.

    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    The Iraq war was about oil. Nothing else.
    Unless some lefty is trying to impeach W or get Cheney under oath, at which time it becomes about Saddam's terrorism threat and nothing else.

    Regardless of what it was "about", it was started by people using allegations of Saddam's nuclear threat to us all as its justification. Without that threat, packed into the media by every official and expert allowed to speak for the US government, there's no sign of actual war. And that threat was a consequance of nuclear power and power technology proliferation, into Iraq.
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    Iceaura

    How about some data?
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    How about some data?
    More than 100,000 civilian Iraqis were killed by the Iraq war. Add them to your casualty list for nuclear power.

    No one has ever been a direct casualty of photon collection by a PV panel - death rate of 0, for PV solar, using your data criteria for nukes.
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    Iceaura

    I claim that I have secret powers. I can stare at a distant star and make it explode. (Of course, we will not see the light of the explosion till after I am dead.)


    My claim above is just as true as yours about nuclear power killing 100,000 in Iraq.

    My claim also fails for the same reason yours does. Lack of evidence!
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    My claim above is just as true as yours about nuclear power killing 100,000 in Iraq.

    My claim also fails for the same reason yours does. Lack of evidence!
    You wanted data, I gave you data. Unlike your alleged "data", it is both accurate and relevant - supported by argument in its role here. This pattern has been consistent on this forum.

    Apparently you think people have been killed directly by photon capture in their PV panels. Do you have an example of this ever happening?

    Apparently, you are aware of no evidence that 100k civilians were killed in the Iraq war, that the war was launched on the threat of nuclear violence from Saddam, or that the nuclear threat in Iraq derived from the proliferation of nuclear power and related technology into Iraq. May I suggest a rudimentary perusal of a few relevant Wikipedia links of your choice? This stuff is not arcane or obscure or hidden knowledge - pretty much everyone knows this, who has any interest in these topics.
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    Iceaura

    You are now arguing by obfuscation.

    You cannot win an argument by raising things that have nothing to do with the subject.
    Domestic PV cells, as a source of electricity, are more hazardous than nuclear power because people fall off ladders. Not because of photons hitting the cell. Get real!

    And your idea that fatalities in Iraq are caused by nuclear power is just weird.
    The Iraq war came as a result of weapons of mass delusion. George W. Bush wanted to attack Iraq, and merely looked for an excuse. He use WMD's as an excuse, but if that had not been available, he would have found another excuse. Trying to use that as a harmful consequence of nuclear power shows that you are personally vulnerable to WMDs. Emphasize delusion!
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    Domestic PV cells, as a source of electricity, are more hazardous than nuclear power because people fall off ladders.
    This is almost enjoyable. Now I know why you guys argue like this - it's easy, and you don't have to know jack shit about anything.

    You have supplied no data showing that people do not fall off ladders at even higher rates when domestically installing nuclear power, nor have you supplied any data showing that PV panels directly push people off ladders.

    Come up with some data, baby - it's the scientific way!

    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    He use WMD's as an excuse, but if that had not been available, he would have found another excuse.
    Your baseless and dubious conjectures of possible alternative realities are noted. The facts of the matter, the actual events, are as I described. The Iraq war was launched, as an emergency response to threat, by special Presidential war powers, specifically to counter Saddam's alleged approaching possession of nuclear weapons, derived from the nuclear power technology and capability given to Iraq in years past. Please include, with the ladder accidents and other such fatalities, the actually relevant 100k Iraqi deaths by military violence generated from nuclear power proliferation.
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    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    Would it be too much to ask that you stick to the topic and put up some facts instead of all this hand-wringing about hypothetical disasters.
    Nothing hypothetical about the Iraq war(s), or the connection between the US's emergency launching of disastrous invasion and the nuclear power technology given to that misfortune ridden country (as well as its neighbor Iran).

    The price of nuclear power has included and will include the proliferation of weapons capability and terrorist hazard, with all the effects including ginned up war and many dead. That has proven to be a fairly heavy price - in Iraq, Iran, North Korea, Pakistan, India, etc. A reasonable person would presume it will continue to prove so, and a sane, honest, competent accountant would include these expenses in the averages of past expenditures as well as estimations of future cost.
    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    So yes. Nuclear is not safe. But it is a damn sight safer than most alternatives.
    Until it isn't - Diablo Canyon is waiting, Fukushima is approaching its first anniversary still unevaluated and still within second shock range, Chernobyl is not over yet (the shell is cracking), and so forth.

    It is not safer than thermal solar, PV solar, wind turbine power, geothermal power, and so forth, even presuming its waste can be some day managed; and its waste is not managed.

    And what safety it does possess requires huge expense and permanent, diligent, continuous, competent effort by all concerned. That is a heavy debt to load on the future.
    There is indeed nothing hypothetical about the war in Iraq, and not much to connect it to the topic, but if you insist on rambling there is nothing I can do to stop you. If Iran has nuclear generating capacity, it also bears responsibility for disposal of the spent fuel- perhaps they will be wise enough to opt for pyroprocessing and breeders, or some currently available solution such as the PRISM technology from the source below. None, repeat NONE of the countries you cite, have so far used nuclear weapons, and permit me to belabor the point, nuclear POWER programs are distinct from nuclear WEAPONS programs. Israel. Finland.

    PRISM Sodium-Cooled Reactor | GE Energy
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    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    You have supplied no data showing that people do not fall off ladders at even higher rates when domestically installing nuclear power, nor have you supplied any data showing that PV panels directly push people off ladders.
    Your baseless and dubious conjectures of possible alternative realities are noted. The facts of the matter, the actual events, are as I described. The Iraq war was launched, as an emergency response to threat, by special Presidential war powers, specifically to counter Saddam's alleged approaching possession of nuclear weapons, derived from the nuclear power technology and capability given to Iraq in years past. Please include, with the ladder accidents and other such fatalities, the actually relevant 100k Iraqi deaths by military violence generated from nuclear power proliferation.
    Again, nuclear WEAPONS capability is separate from nuclear POWER capability. The war is the result of the insanity of United States foreign policy, for which the nuclear power industry is not responsible. It is highly unlikely under current conditions that the people of Iraq will have access to nuclear energy in any capacity.

    While Israel has returned some radioactive material to the USA, thank you very much, this does not include weapons-related waste from their installation at Dimona, twelve miles from the nearest town. The volume and exact location of material from Dimona is unknown.

    Israel reveals it has returned dozens of kilograms of nuclear waste to U.S. - Haaretz Daily Newspaper | Israel News
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    Ironically, the nuclear weapons program of the USA is a model of rationality compared to the civilian waste management policy.

    http://www.wipp.energy.gov/pr/2011/F...ipment_SNL.pdf
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    Quote Originally Posted by arthur
    Again, nuclear WEAPONS capability is separate from nuclear POWER capability.
    No, it isn't. The connection is not only obvious to simple inspection of the technology involved, but perfectly plain and visible in dozens of historical events.

    If you spread nuclear power capability, you spread nuclear weapons capability. You also spread their common waste management issues, which have in common the absence of a reasonable solution thus far and the increasingly serious threats inherent in that - we're piling this stuff up, no one knows what to do with it, and it's dangerous as well as expensive.
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    Iceaura

    Do you have blinkers over your mental eyes?
    Nuclear power and nuclear weapons are not the same thing. For a start, it is much, much easier to refine fissionable material to nuclear power standards than to do the same for nuclear weapons. Very low purity uranium 235 will suffice for nuclear power, but a bomb requires high purity, and a much, much higher level of technology to achieve it.

    You also compared domestic PV to domestic nuclear. Please tell me when nuclear technology got to the stage when it started to be used domestically. I will want to purchase my own mini-reactor to power my own home. Perhaps you have the web site for the reactor supplier?

    Actually, if we had domestic nuclear, what a boon to transport! Small reactors to power trucks, trains, buses, boats, - perhaps even cars. The solution to the energy crisis! Sadly, that is extremely unlikely for purely technical reasons.
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  58. #57  
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    For a start, it is much, much easier to refine fissionable material to nuclear power standards than to do the same for nuclear weapons. Very low purity uranium 235 will suffice for nuclear power, but a bomb requires high purity, and a much, much higher level of technology to achieve it.
    Look, this is not theoretical debate. We are not discussing whether nucler power proliferation might enable weapons development, in a sort of reverse of the US military/industrial immersion in the public trough. We are faced with the fact that it has and does and threatens more. We are presented with wars past and wars present and threats of wars future, heavy security expenses both military and civilian, and piles upon piles of radioactive and otherwise poisonous waste we can't as yet handle; these are physical realities.
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    Iceaura

    There is only one significant factor determining if a nation does, or does not develop nuclear weapons.

    That factor is motive.
    If a nation wants nuclear weapons and is prepared to spend the time, energy, and money, then it will get nuclear weapons. This is not the 1940's. It is no longer that difficult. Half the information needed to make nuclear weapons is already there on the internet.

    Most countries, of course, do not give a damn. My country is one. We have nuclear scientists, and very competent engineers. If the government decided to get nuclear weapons, and invested the funds, we would get them. But we do not want them.

    Lots of countries have nuclear power and no nuclear weapons. On this web site
    ( Nuclear power by country - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia )
    there is a list of 30 nations with nuclear power. The majority do not have nuclear weapons.
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    [RANT]A country's development of nuclear generation can cause sanctions, wars, yes terrible disruption and suffering. That is because nuclear (weapon or otherwise) countries act contrary to the Non-Proliferation Treaty. Countries like France and Canada are bound by the treaty to help non-nuclear states like Iran develop peaceful nuclear technology... including uranium enrichment so Iran becomes the world's greatest nuclear fuel supplier, including generation so Iran can jack up gas prices and profit off the working American. Through IAEA we're supposed to have advisers over there partially managing the program and thereby safeguarding that neither materials, equipment, nor specialists get diverted into military use. However the established economies of France and Canada (e.g. Canada sells fuel and reactors) have to be protected from this menacing development, and we will shamelessly sanction Iranians into the stone age if necessary.[/RANT]

    The political grief is due to nuclear technology not spread around.
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  61. #60  
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    On the business of generating costs.
    I have previously quoted from a Wiki article. Iceaura has hated those estimates, since they make solar look terrible. Here is an alternative, from the International Energy Agency, based on new plants commissioned between 2010 and 2015. Overall, compared to the Wiki article which is based on older plants, costs have come down substantially, with the exception of solar!
    http://www.iea.org/textbase/npsum/ElecCostSUM.pdf

    Coal : 3.5 to 6 cents per kilowatt hour
    Gas : 4 to 6.3
    Nuclear : 3 to 5
    Wind : 4.5 to 14 plus
    Micro-hydro : 4 to 8
    Solar : 15 to 30

    Note to Kojax.
    Please read the figures for nuclear, which are not expensive.
    If the waste disposal is an area of ongoing research, and that research costs a lot of money, then I hope the future research we will need to do in order to properly dispose of today's waste is included as part of today's cost.

    Research costs for Solar/Wind are expected to increase their efficiency and have a future payoff when the price is reduced. But research into waste disposal for nuclear only has a pay off if it makes waste disposal cheaper. If there's a payoff, then its fair to remove it from the books or at least count the expected return against it. If it doesn't, then it has to be looked at as a net loss. Indeed, probably improving our waste disposal options is like medical research: it raises costs instead of lowering them, because it offers new possibilities, which once available, become mandatory.
    Some clocks are only right twice a day, but they are still right when they are right.
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    LFTR. We can rid ourselves of the transuranics with reprocessing and breeders. We can recover valuable fission pruducts for economic gain, some are radioactive, some are not. Anything we do NOT want can be vitrified or immobilized in Synroc or other such material.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radioac...#Vitrification

    So I know how to do it, even if you never will, iceman, poor soul.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    On the business of generating costs.
    I have previously quoted from a Wiki article. Iceaura has hated those estimates, since they make solar look terrible. Here is an alternative, from the International Energy Agency, based on new plants commissioned between 2010 and 2015. Overall, compared to the Wiki article which is based on older plants, costs have come down substantially, with the exception of solar!
    http://www.iea.org/textbase/npsum/ElecCostSUM.pdf

    Coal : 3.5 to 6 cents per kilowatt hour
    Gas : 4 to 6.3
    Nuclear : 3 to 5
    Wind : 4.5 to 14 plus
    Micro-hydro : 4 to 8
    Solar : 15 to 30

    Note to Kojax.
    Please read the figures for nuclear, which are not expensive.
    If the waste disposal is an area of ongoing research, and that research costs a lot of money, then I hope the future research we will need to do in order to properly dispose of today's waste is included as part of today's cost.

    Research costs for Solar/Wind are expected to increase their efficiency and have a future payoff when the price is reduced. But research into waste disposal for nuclear only has a pay off if it makes waste disposal cheaper. If there's a payoff, then its fair to remove it from the books or at least count the expected return against it. If it doesn't, then it has to be looked at as a net loss. Indeed, probably improving our waste disposal options is like medical research: it raises costs instead of lowering them, because it offers new possibilities, which once available, become mandatory.
    Then by all means let us HALT medical research, MUCH cheaper to bleed people for everything! Hand me that leech, nurse!

    Maybe it will be more like another model, that of the computer, faster, better, and less expensive. We'll never know for sure until we give it a fair shot. You are an advocate of synthetic fuels, are you not? Well, nuclear is far and away the best means of producing them.
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  64. #63  
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    But research into waste disposal for nuclear only has a pay off if it makes waste disposal cheaper.
    As I have pointed out before, disposing of nuclear waste is easy, and cheap. The difficulty is political. In other words, the thousands of idiots who will not permit the best methods to be used. Get past the political barriers, and the rest is gravy.
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    I've never previously read a thread in which almost all participants are acting like creationists. Very entertaining. Please keep going.
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    Quote Originally Posted by arthur
    LFTR. We can rid ourselves of the transuranics with reprocessing and breeders. We can recover valuable fission pruducts for economic gain, some are radioactive, some are not. Anything we do NOT want can be vitrified or immobilized in Synroc or other such material.
    And we can do all that in the happy future of successful employment of interesting but not yet quite "viable" technology.

    Which is quite similar to the situation we were in twenty five years ago, and twenty five years before that - the happy ideas of the times did not work, unfortunately. It's too bad they weren't tried out before we built all these plants, no? So maybe the latest happy idea will work.

    But it won't be cheap, and it won't be easy, and it won't be safe (the transportation alone - - - ). And it won't handle the decommissioning problem, or the mishap problem, or the military threat proliferation problem (makes that one worse, actually). So a more prudent approach might be to solve the problem first, before expanding the consequences of not solving it.
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    Iceaura

    Everything has problems.
    You want to build a skyscraper? Bear in mind that men are likely to die from industrial accidents during the construction.

    You can point out problems with nuclear power all you like. Problems exist. Problems always exist, with everything. But time will show whether those problems are too much, because more nuclear power stations will depend on the assessment of real experts (as opposed to idiots like you and I). If a lot more nuclear power stations are built, you will know that you were wrong.
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    First nuclear plant constution in 30 years just got approved.
    About time we came to our senses.

    NRC OKs first new nuke plant in 34 years
    Meteorologist/Naturalist & Retired Soldier
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  69. #68  
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    You can point out problems with nuclear power all you like. Problems exist. Problems always exist, with everything. But time will show whether those problems are too much, because more nuclear power stations will depend on the assessment of real experts (as opposed to idiots like you and I). If a lot more nuclear power stations are built, you will know that you were wrong.
    How will building more of these things prove that the huge expenses and risks of them do not exist?

    Like this:

    First nuclear plant constution in 30 years just got approved.
    About time we came to our senses.

    NRC OKs first new nuke plant in 34 years
    Ten bucks says the risk premium for the liabilities picked up by the State of Georgia and the Federal government will not be added to the books kept by those entities.

    A CPA would lose their license, in my state, by signing off on that for a private concern.

    BTW: what are the odds on a major nuke mishap in the US between now and when these new plants are due to come on line? My guess is 50/50, and it will involve stored waste. Be interesting to watch the decision then - spent the money; committed, they will be.
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    BTW: what are the odds on a major nuke mishap in the US between now and when these new plants are due to come on line? My guess is 50/50, and it will involve stored waste. Be interesting to watch the decision then - spent the money; committed, they will be.
    Zero for nukes--since it has nothing to do with weaponry.

    If you mistakingly meant nuclear power that depends on what you mean by major. If you define it like the experts, and most of us define it, and given there's only been one major incident in 60 years and few if any deaths associated with that one, plus a few associated with construction accidents (not considered major by any stretch of the imagination)--the probability is pretty close to zero.

    Can you lay out how you arrived at your 50% number? What objective criteria were used, what database of past incidents etc.?
    Meteorologist/Naturalist & Retired Soldier
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    Quote Originally Posted by lynx
    Can you lay out how you arrived at your 50% number?
    Just figure that, lacking any other good data, mishaps will keep occuring at the rate we've seen - one or two a decade, and the US due for its share.

    There is the factor that this stuff is aging, and the waste in particular is hitting critical quantities, but I have no real idea how to factor that in - so more of a conservative, prudent estimate seemed more reasonable.
    If you mistakingly meant nuclear power that depends on what you mean by major.
    I meant both, of course - hence the common generic term.

    Major means something that is prevented from killing a few thousand people only by luck - where control of the plant or waste storage or dangerous material is lost.
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    Iceaura

    That is a poor definition of major, because the actual definition of such an incident has to be subjective (who can know for sure a "might have been?"). Perhaps you might like to consider 'major' as similar to Chernobyl, with just over 50 deaths at the time. Further deaths, such as from cancer, are only available as estimates - not firm knowledge. But the immediate deaths are clear cut.

    Would you accept that definition? A nuclear power plant accident with a minimum of 50 immediate fatalities?

    If so, and by that definition, I would bet that there will be no 'major' nuclear power incidents in the USA for the next 50 years, and probably longer. Not even if every coal burning monstrosity of a power station was replaced with a nice, modern, clean, and environmentally friendly nuclear power station.

    You should also bear in mind the law of continuous improvement. Every new plant is better than previous ones. Safer, cleaner, more cost effective, more environmentally friendly.
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    That is a poor definition of major, because the actual definition of such an incident has to be subjective (who can know for sure a "might have been?").
    If the only factor between the event and a catastrophe was good luck - if the people in charge of the plant lost control of it, and did not know whether what they were doing would work (TMI, Fukushima, etc) - then I count that as "major".

    The US Navy, for example, treats errors of procedure in reactor handling as mishaps equivalent to the worst event that could have - barring good fortune - taken place, regardless of actual outcome. That seems prudent to me, and a solid way of keeping accounts.
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    My point, Iceaura, was not how serious such as accident might be, but how measurable. When you say an accident is serious because it might have killed a thousand people, you are entering a world of waffle.

    I am suggesting that you define serious in a way that is measurable.
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