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Thread: Nuclear is needed.

  1. #1 Nuclear is needed. 
    Forum Radioactive Isotope skeptic's Avatar
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    Taken from New Scientist 25 January 2014, page 7

    Germany has an aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030. However, they are also intent on shutting down nuclear power stations. This means that coal fired power stations are now working harder to make up the shortfall, and greenhouse gas emissions are on the rise. The intended increase in renewable energy generation is far too slow to compensate. Last year, coal burning was at its highest level in more than 20 years.

    Roger Pielke of the University of Colorado says nuclear is the best tool for reducing CO2 emissions.


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  3. #2  
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    Taken from New Scientist 25 January 2014, page 7

    Germany has an aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030. However, they are also intent on shutting down nuclear power stations. This means that coal fired power stations are now working harder to make up the shortfall, and greenhouse gas emissions are on the rise. The intended increase in renewable energy generation is far too slow to compensate. Last year, coal burning was at its highest level in more than 20 years.

    Roger Pielke of the University of Colorado says nuclear is the best tool for reducing CO2 emissions.
    That's to bad as the newest generation of nuclear reactors are a lot safer and more cost effective than 1st & 2nd generation reactors which are the most common ones still in service. Given what we know about reactors now, we can do a great deal better at making them safer. The consequence of not reducing our carbon emissions could be a great deal more dangerous to us than any single nuclear reactor disaster, and we can make them so much safer now. So go figure.


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    It seems to me the widespread adoption of nuclear power for most electrical power generation is essentially inevitable. None of the alternatives have the same long term viability. However, the accumulated political baggage of nuclear power is such a detriment it seems unlikely it will become the energy source of choice until crisis forces it to be. Instead of a steady, orderly development of the technology, public opinion will suddenly crystallize one day with the realization "we need nuclear now" and we'll have crash programs all over the world, with all the waste and accident statistics crash programs can be counted on to produce.
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    I suspect that if you add up all of the available energy from all the current alternate energy proposals you still would not have enough energy to replace fossil fuels, and it would also lack the convenience that petrolium offers.
    It is very hard to design coal powered airplanes.

    I am curious how the plans to mine the moon for helium3 are coming along. Fusion reactors might be our next energy source.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dan hunter View Post
    I am curious how the plans to mine the moon for helium3 are coming along. Fusion reactors might be our next energy source.
    I think calling the speculations about helium3 mining "plans", is very misleading.

    As to fusion power, the standard riposte is that it is thirty years away.....and has been for the last fifty.
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  7. #6  
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    There are many nuclear developments under way that do not rely on a problematic fusion system. Travelling wave reactors, the Toshiba/Westinghouse mini reactor, pebble bed reactors, thorium reactors etc. If enough resources are devoted to these, there will be technology enough to provide the world with electrical energy for the next 10,000 years. Sadly, there is the political problem.
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    75% of frances electricity derives from nuclear. now that is a fuck load.

    just thought i'd say that
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    I've heard about some helium on the moon they could possibly mine... Now the could put this in a nuclear reactor, without any harmful pollutants going into are atmosphere. I found this interesting.
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  10. #9  
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by dan hunter View Post
    I am curious how the plans to mine the moon for helium3 are coming along. Fusion reactors might be our next energy source.
    I think calling the speculations about helium3 mining "plans", is very misleading.

    As to fusion power, the standard riposte is that it is thirty years away.....and has been for the last fifty.
    I think it might be a bit disingenuous to not call it a mining plan
    Helium-3: One of the most Significant Contributions of the Apollo Missions | NASA
    Helium-3: One of the most Significant Contributions of the Apollo Missions
    Oct. 12, 2012
    "Helium-3 (He-3) is a light, non-radioactive isotope of helium with two protons and one neutron. Its presence is rare on Earth, it is sought after for use in nuclear fusion research, and it is abundant in the moon's soil by at least 13 parts per billion (ppb) by weight."

    NASA - Why Go Back to the Moon?
    Why Go Back to the Moon? 01.14.08


    "The Moon may offer mineral resources, so to speak, of great value on Earth. Apollo 17 astronaut Harrison Schmitt, working with the Fusion Technology Institute of the University of Wisconsin, has shown that helium 3, an isotope extremely rare on Earth, exists in quantity in the lunar soil, implanted by the solar wind. If – a very big if – thermonuclear fusion for energy is produced on Earth, helium 3 would be extremely valuable for fusion reactors because it does not make the reactor radioactive."

    We are not alone!
    Russia to launch industrial mining of helium-3 on the Moon in 2020 - English pravda.ru
    Russia to launch industrial mining of helium-3 on the Moon in 2020 17.03.2006

    "According to an official statement released in January, the mining of helium-3 on the Moon will be the main purpose of the Russian space exploration program. “We are planning to set up a permanent station on the Moon by 2015. The industrial mining of helium-3, a rare isotope, is expected to begin on the Moon in 2020,” said Nikolai Sevastianov, head of the Rocket and Space Corporation Energia. The lunar mission will involve the use of a Russian space shuttle Kliper and an interplanetary space tug Parom."


    and of course an obligatory youtube link
    Focus Fusion: The Fastest Route to Cheap, Clean Energy - YouTube
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  11. #10  
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    Quote Originally Posted by bio View Post
    75% of frances electricity derives from nuclear. now that is a fuck load.

    just thought i'd say that
    After two suspensions for bad language and having 2 sock puppets removed you've proved to be a slow learner. Good bye.
    --

    Fusion power is still a pipe dream at this point, not anything close to a practical and likely solution to future power needs--there isn't even a working long term working prototype, nor obviously any safety record.

    Youtubes are not obligatory--they are more often than not discouraged here because they are full of woo.

    --
    Fission has an amazingly good safety record for effective base loading. Countries, such a Germany, that decide to bend to irrational fears about nuclear power, are setting themselves up to either fail to meet carbon emission goals or become dependent on nuclear powered nations (such as France) during recurring lulls in renewable energy production/storage.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dan hunter View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by dan hunter View Post
    I am curious how the plans to mine the moon for helium3 are coming along. Fusion reactors might be our next energy source.
    I think calling the speculations about helium3 mining "plans", is very misleading.

    As to fusion power, the standard riposte is that it is thirty years away.....and has been for the last fifty.
    I think it might be a bit disingenuous to not call it a mining plan
    Helium-3: One of the most Significant Contributions of the Apollo Missions | NASA
    Helium-3: One of the most Significant Contributions of the Apollo Missions
    Oct. 12, 2012
    "Helium-3 (He-3) is a light, non-radioactive isotope of helium with two protons and one neutron. Its presence is rare on Earth, it is sought after for use in nuclear fusion research, and it is abundant in the moon's soil by at least 13 parts per billion (ppb) by weight."

    NASA - Why Go Back to the Moon?
    Why Go Back to the Moon? 01.14.08
    Please tell me where, in either of these links, we can find any plan, or even a reference to a current plan, or even specifics on when such a plane might be produced. There is no plan.
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  13. #12  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Physicsforall View Post
    I've heard about some helium on the moon they could possibly mine... Now the could put this in a nuclear reactor, without any harmful pollutants going into are atmosphere. I found this interesting.
    Try reading the earlier posts. It's been floated as a speculative possibility by NASA*, that's all.


    * "Know what makes this bird go up? Funding makes this bird go up." (The Right Stuff")
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  14. #13  
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    Humans buying things that they use which won't pollute would be a very good Idea for It Is consumers who create the demand for all products and until those consumers stop buying stuff which Is bad for the environment we won't see much happening to solve this problem.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmictraveler View Post
    Humans buying things that they use which won't pollute would be a very good Idea for It Is consumers who create the demand for all products and until those consumers stop buying stuff which Is bad for the environment we won't see much happening to solve this problem.
    What is needed is rational thinking. Especially by those in power. In the German example, we see a large number of irrational people, who are opposed to nuclear energy because of their emotional thinking. Their lobbying power has induced their leaders into the irrational position of deciding to close nuclear power stations, forcing them to burn a lot more coal, and thus reversing the result they actually state they want.

    Emotion and politics is a mixture that leads to disaster.
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  16. #15  
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by cosmictraveler View Post
    Humans buying things that they use which won't pollute would be a very good Idea for It Is consumers who create the demand for all products and until those consumers stop buying stuff which Is bad for the environment we won't see much happening to solve this problem.
    What is needed is rational thinking. Especially by those in power. In the German example, we see a large number of irrational people, who are opposed to nuclear energy because of their emotional thinking. Their lobbying power has induced their leaders into the irrational position of deciding to close nuclear power stations, forcing them to burn a lot more coal, and thus reversing the result they actually state they want.

    Emotion and politics is a mixture that leads to disaster.
    So what else is new?
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    Ironic that Roger Peilke, who seems to be saying nuclear would be the best option to reduce emissions, works so hard to undermine acceptance of emissions as a significant problem and strongly pushes the idea that there is not any real need to worry about rising CO2 levels. Well, not ironic - disingenuous; I don't believe Peilke cares about emissions reductions except specifically to prevent government policies to impose any requirement to do so. Or cares about nuclear except as part of the ongoing rhetorical exercise by such opponents to action on climate in framing Environmentalism as some kind of overwhelming impediment action on climate. He certainly is not an advocate of the kinds of policies like carbon emissions pricing so as to make nuclear (or renewables) more competitive against coal. Via his persistent efforts to undermine acceptance of that need to reduce emissions he has helped hold nuclear back.

    It isn't opposition to nuclear from a small noisy minority that has been the biggest impediment to it's aggressive use for climate reasons, it's been the widespread failure to appreciate the seriousness and urgency of the climate problem. This has been assisted by a loud, well financed and influential mainstream voices. This same mainstream obstructionist movement has successfully diverted and muted the most influential voices that, if forced to, would call for nuclear over renewables - big industry and commerce - by the simple expediency of offering the option of not having to and continuing with fossil fuels unimpeded. Frightening to think that Business and community leaders will choose doing the least they can get away with over doing the least that is needed, purely on price.
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    i don't think you really would expect to find detailed business plans openly on the internet. I even doubt if any government would openly brag they intended to strip mine the surface of the moon. It just would not be politically expedient. I would expect the announcements to that effect to be very understated and overshadowed by talk of human exploration, boldly going where nobody has gone before and similar yadda yadda yadda.

    Anyway. Here are some more links related to it.
    NASA builds a lunar mining machine
    NASA - Engineers Building Hard-working Mining Robot
    Regolith Advanced Surface Systems Operations Robot (RASSOR) Excavator

    George Bush gaves speech about the future of solar system exploration
    http://georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov/news/releases/2004/01/print/20040114-3.html
    This was sidetracked into as plan to farm most of the lunar and astroid mining to private corporations.
    Plans to strip mine the moon may soon be more than just science-fiction - News - The Ecologist

    An MIT tech review article discussing lunar mining plans
    Mining the Moon | MIT Technology Review

    Wikipedia pages for a couple of private companies intending to mine the moon.
    Moon Express
    Moon Express - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Shackleton Energy Company
    Shackleton Energy Company - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    And as for how far they are from building working fusion power systems, there is no way to know that.
    ITER nuclear fusion reactor enters key phase
    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/8c00ac50-7157-11e3-8f92-00144feabdc0.html#axzz2sEpuVRv4

    As the new year dawned, nuclear fusion researchers in the European Union woke to a new funding system aimed at sharpening their focus on generating energy.
    http://www.sciencemag.org/content/343/6167/127.summary
    Last edited by dan hunter; February 3rd, 2014 at 02:14 AM.
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    Dan @9,17- none of these show any actual, cost effective means of reducing global CO2 emissions in any reasonable time frame. Even their potential to do so in the longer term is questionable - and probably won't be achievable by anything but a healthy world economy that has already fixed problems like low emission energy supply by other means.

    I don't have objections to putting some taxpayer funded R&D efforts towards some far sighted far off options but robotic mining the moon or asteroids or holding out for fusion as some kind of perfect clean energy solution looks like wishful thinking. Whilst fusion gets funding in the multi-billions for something that only the most advanced nations will ever be in a position to build and use there are energy innovations that would be profoundly useful that have modest technological obstacles to overcome in comparison. If it's space tech, then orbital solar makes more sense than mining tritium on the moon for fusion power that doesn't exist. But it's wishful thinking too as far as I can tell.

    Advancing energy storage technologies, which would be profoundly useful, mass produceable and safely deployable around the world - in poor nations as readily as the technological powerhouses - struggles with funding that wouldn't buy a hundredth of an ITER.
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    Frightening to think that Business and community leaders will choose doing the least they can get away with over doing the least that is needed, purely on price.
    I don't think that it is about price, nor about anything that you or I would call income. I came to that conclusion after years of wondering why these particular business people couldn't see that they could apply their expertise in generating, distributing and selling power to doing exactly the same thing with different technology. To me it seemed pretty obvious. They knew how to do it and, to people outside those businesses, it looked as though they had the necessary skill sets to go down that path.

    Then I read something that brought me up short. It's not about income. It's about assets.

    If these companies started a major transition to different technology and that transition was succeeding, the value of their current holdings in mines, mining leases and options as well as their generating plant would sooner or later collapse. They're facing exactly the same problem as the companies that used to mine and produce asbestos products. Once they were limited or prohibited from using asbestos in most applications, the new stream of income they might be able to profit from in new insulation and related products couldn't save their share price collapsing in the face of the (capital) losses in their now stranded assets.

    And then there's the other income issue. All senior management executives in these large companies have performance targets related to share price. Even if an individual doesn't have such a performance target, every single one of them has part of their remuneration "paid" in the form of shares or options. So innovation in such a company is suppressed even though the best possible option for the long term survival or success of the company would be to make one or more changes that might depress the share price for a few years. Their collective imperative is to hang on grimly to existing assets, do everything to talk up the value of those assets and only make changes at the margins. Changing the business wholesale in a way that devalues all of the current parcel of their biggest physical assets is just unthinkable.
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  21. #20  
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    The article below makes a great deal of sense, as China is fast becoming the biggest user of coal and we need to stop that ASAP.

    Nuclear Pact Between America and China; Could This Save the Planet from Climate Change? (GE, SO)
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    Adelady

    It is not even about assets. Businesses would drop those assets real quick if their competitors were making more money with better energy or resource capture systems.

    I think it is about evolution. Gradual, small improvements in different technologies eventually make them more competitive. When that happens, they slowly take over the economy. Things like solar and wind energy are not quite there yet, but getting closer. If big business is slow to take advantage, smaller, more flexible, more energetic businesses will dive in and drive the change.
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    Adelady

    It is not even about assets. Businesses would drop those assets real quick if their competitors were making more money with better energy or resource capture systems.
    And if it wasn't such a pain in the behind to do anything else. The energy industry was more than eager to convert to nuclear power during the 70s, but it got nothing but pain from the effort, referendums against, protest lines that interfered with dozer drives and everyone else trying to work on the site, unrealistic cooked up movies that scared the crap out of people, demands from politicians to put up mountains of often conflicting red tape; and too many plants being stopped while half built such as the Satsop plant here near me. None of those things have changed--if anything some things are even worse, such as the NRC completely delinquent in their earlier commitments to safely store the spent fuel and take it off the industry's hands, (so it sits in the same plants that produced it) There's also little dissentive to build more coal plants, especially compared to other means of producing base-load power such as large dams, nuclear; only recently in Kansas was there some push back to building more coal plants.
    That's how it is in the US. Not sure about other places.
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  24. #23  
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    That is sadly only too correct.

    Mind you. I am not too unhappy about the storage of nuclear waste near the place it was generated. If you keep nuclear waste in cool storage (under water), the short half life isotopes will decay quite rapidly, and within 50 odd years, most of the radioactivity will be gone. That can only add to safety.
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    Lynx

    That is sadly only too correct.

    Mind you. I am not too unhappy about the storage of nuclear waste near the place it was generated. If you keep nuclear waste in cool storage (under water), the short half life isotopes will decay quite rapidly, and within 50 odd years, most of the radioactivity will be gone. That can only add to safety.
    I think a lot of the resistance to nuclear power was from the oil industry. Oil has generally been very cheap power. Sure there was a huge price spike in the 1970s but in the 1980s the price of a barrel of oil actual fell as low as $10.00 a barrel. The recent price jump has been very large and has had a major economic effect.

    Next thing is a common misconception people have about nuclear waste.
    Nuclear waste is not spent fuel. Nuclear waste is all of the contaminated clothing, tools and equipment used in dealing with nuclear tech.
    Spent fuel goes in the cooling pond until most of the fast reactions have died down and then it is refined for valuable radioactive isotopes and valuable metals. The military uses depleted uranium metal for bullets, and there are a lot of other metals produced in the reactors.
    Even the heavy water gets taken out of the reactor and refined for tritium and then gets returned to the generating station.
    I worked in a nuclear generating station for a while as a scaffolder and I can remember the techs checking every piece of scaffold gear for contamination. Evrything went on a conveyor bely that took it through a set of detectors. If a plank set off the detectors as it was being taken out of the plant they would use the pancake detectors to see where the contamination was and cut that little piece out of the plank. The small contaminated piece of wood went into their nuclear waste bin.
    At every plant exit there was a set of detectors everybody had to walk through.

    If I remember correctly the time the spent fuel sat in the cooling pond was usually about ten years before it was radioactively cool enough to be shipped to Chalk River and refined.
    Last edited by dan hunter; February 3rd, 2014 at 02:21 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    Adelady

    It is not even about assets. Businesses would drop those assets real quick if their competitors were making more money with better energy or resource capture systems.
    And if it wasn't such a pain in the behind to do anything else. The energy industry was more than eager to convert to nuclear power during the 70s, but it got nothing but pain from the effort, referendums against, protest lines that interfered with dozer drives and everyone else trying to work on the site, unrealistic cooked up movies that scared the crap out of people, demands from politicians to put up mountains of often conflicting red tape; and too many plants being stopped while half built such as the Satsop plant here near me. None of those things have changed--if anything some things are even worse, such as the NRC completely delinquent in their earlier commitments to safely store the spent fuel and take it off the industry's hands, (so it sits in the same plants that produced it)
    That's not really the NRC's responsibility, it's the DOE's and they need funding from Congress. Obama did his pal Harry Reid a favor by putting the kibosh on Yucca Mountain ordering the DOE to withdraw their application, and Congress zeroed out the funding. Then Obama appointed Reid henchman Jaczko to head the NRC so he could put a stop to the safety evaluation for Yucca Mountain. They were recently ordered by the court to resume the review, even though they didn't get enough money from Congress to do it.
    There's also little dissentive to build more coal plants, especially compared to other means of producing base-load power such as large dams, nuclear; only recently in Kansas was there some push back to building more coal plants.
    That's how it is in the US. Not sure about other places.
    Coal plants are pretty much going the way of the buffalo around here. Most of the old plant are being shut down, and even the newer ones are hard pressed to meet the current regulations, and also the competition from natural gas.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dan hunter View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    Lynx

    That is sadly only too correct.

    Mind you. I am not too unhappy about the storage of nuclear waste near the place it was generated. If you keep nuclear waste in cool storage (under water), the short half life isotopes will decay quite rapidly, and within 50 odd years, most of the radioactivity will be gone. That can only add to safety.
    I think a lot of the resistance to nuclear power was from the oil industry. Oil has generally been very cheap power. Sure there was a huge price spike in the 1970s but in the 1980s the price of a barrel of oil actual fell as low as $10.00 a barrel. The recent price jump has been very large and has had a major economic effect.

    Next thing is a common misconception people have about nuclear waste.
    Nuclear waste is not spent fuel. Nuclear waste is all of the contaminated clothing, tools and equipment used in dealing with nuclear tech.
    Spent fuel goes in the cooling pond until most of the fast reactions have died down and then it is refined for valuable radioactive isotopes and valuable metals. The military uses depleted uranium metal for bullets, and there are a lot of other metals produced in the reactors.
    Even the heavy water gets taken out of the reactor and refined for tritium and then gets returned to the generating station.
    It looks like you have a few misconceptions of your own. You are talking about low level waste, but there is also the spent fuel. Reprocessing is against the law in the US.
    I worked in a nuclear generating station for a while as a scaffolder and I can remember the techs checking every piece of scaffold gear for contamination. Evrything went on a conveyor bely that took it through a set of detectors. If a plank set off the detectors as it was being taken out of the plant they would use the pancake detectors to see where the contamination was and cut that little piece out of the plank. The small contaminated piece of wood went into their nuclear waste bin.
    At every plant exit there was a set of detectors everybody had to walk through.

    If I remember correctly the time the spent fuel sat in the cooling pond was usually about ten years before it was radioactively cool enough to be shipped to Chalk River and refined.
    Nobody's shipping any spent fuel to Chalk River or anywhere else.
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    At Christmas...wound up with a nuclear scientist and an engineer who does consulting all over the USA, from what I understood. We had a very interesting conversation regarding nuclear energy and the new types of plants, etc, the benefits, the possible downsides, and the effects of Fukushima, which I asked him directly.

    He answered very informatively and concisely. I learned a bit on that one hour puddle jumper prop flight.....sometimes one runs into very interesting people in strange places.

    One thing he did say to me when I asked about Fuckushima and it's effects on water, fish, etc. as we have heard so much about it in the news and since it effects both places I live, was, "It's been blown way out of proportion by media hype. We aren't talking Hiroshima, etc. It will have no effect. Stop worrying."

    I have.
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    Quote Originally Posted by babe View Post
    At Christmas...wound up with a nuclear scientist and an engineer who does consulting all over the USA, from what I understood. We had a very interesting conversation regarding nuclear energy and the new types of plants, etc, the benefits, the possible downsides, and the effects of Fukushima, which I asked him directly.

    He answered very informatively and concisely. I learned a bit on that one hour puddle jumper prop flight.....sometimes one runs into very interesting people in strange places.

    One thing he did say to me when I asked about Fuckushima and it's effects on water, fish, etc. as we have heard so much about it in the news and since it effects both places I live, was, "It's been blown way out of proportion by media hype. We aren't talking Hiroshima, etc. It will have no effect. Stop worrying."

    I have.
    "Fuckushima", or perhaps "Fuckupshima", is right.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by dan hunter View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    Lynx

    That is sadly only too correct.

    Mind you. I am not too unhappy about the storage of nuclear waste near the place it was generated. If you keep nuclear waste in cool storage (under water), the short half life isotopes will decay quite rapidly, and within 50 odd years, most of the radioactivity will be gone. That can only add to safety.
    I think a lot of the resistance to nuclear power was from the oil industry. Oil has generally been very cheap power. Sure there was a huge price spike in the 1970s but in the 1980s the price of a barrel of oil actual fell as low as $10.00 a barrel. The recent price jump has been very large and has had a major economic effect.

    Next thing is a common misconception people have about nuclear waste.
    Nuclear waste is not spent fuel. Nuclear waste is all of the contaminated clothing, tools and equipment used in dealing with nuclear tech.
    Spent fuel goes in the cooling pond until most of the fast reactions have died down and then it is refined for valuable radioactive isotopes and valuable metals. The military uses depleted uranium metal for bullets, and there are a lot of other metals produced in the reactors.
    Even the heavy water gets taken out of the reactor and refined for tritium and then gets returned to the generating station.
    It looks like you have a few misconceptions of your own. You are talking about low level waste, but there is also the spent fuel. Reprocessing is against the law in the US.
    I worked in a nuclear generating station for a while as a scaffolder and I can remember the techs checking every piece of scaffold gear for contamination. Evrything went on a conveyor bely that took it through a set of detectors. If a plank set off the detectors as it was being taken out of the plant they would use the pancake detectors to see where the contamination was and cut that little piece out of the plank. The small contaminated piece of wood went into their nuclear waste bin.
    At every plant exit there was a set of detectors everybody had to walk through.

    If I remember correctly the time the spent fuel sat in the cooling pond was usually about ten years before it was radioactively cool enough to be shipped to Chalk River and refined.
    Nobody's shipping any spent fuel to Chalk River or anywhere else.
    I live in Canada.
    The generating station was Bruce Nuclear Generating Station One, at Douglas Point, on Lake Huron, in Ontario when it was operated by Ontario Hydro.
    I worked there in 1987.
    They did indeed ship their spent fuel to Chalk River where it was reprocessed. (At least that is what the engineers in the plant told me)
    In addition to that Canada has accepted nuclear weapons materials and other radioactive material from places like Russia for reprocessing.
    By far the largest portion of nuclear waste from our nuclear generating stations was contaminated garbage just like I described.

    One of the other wastes is all of the used fuel bundle containers. They are the steel tube bundles the unanium pellets are contained in inside the reactor.

    We have a large reserve of nuclear fuel, much of it is in spent fuel waiting to be reprocessed.
    The CANDU reactor actually creates additional fuel as it is operated because it is creating more fissionable fuel in the relatively low enrichment fuel it normally runs on.
    I don't understand how it does that myself, getting more fuel out of the reactor than you put in sounds a bit too perpetual motion to me, but that is what the engineers told me.
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    I was thinking of the US, but it seems the Canadian reprocessing is just experimental and not really being used to deal with the spent fuel.

    The Canadian Nuclear FAQ - Section B: The Canadian Nuclear Industry
    Although Canada's power reactor program is based upon a once-through fuel cycle, an extensive degree of experience with nuclear fuel reprocessing exists at Chalk River Laboratories (CRL). During World War II and its immediate aftermath, the establishment of CRL included the independent development of plutonium and thorium processing capabilities. The National Research Council's intent with this program was initially to support the war effort through military fissile material production, and subsequently to extend known fissile fuel resources (then thought to be in short supply). By the mid-1950s it became clear that economical supplies of uranium within Canada were much more abundant than first imagined, and the incentive for reprocessing disappeared.
    Also, the reprocessing does not get rid of all the high level waste, and a repository will be needed in any case.

    The Canadian Nuclear FAQ - Section E: Waste Management

    As with many countries with a significant nuclear power program, Canada has focussed its research and development efforts for the long-term management of high-level nuclear waste on the concept of Deep Geological Disposal (DGD).
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    Here's another environmentalist who understands the need for nuclear power.

    Greens Still See Red on Nuclear Power - NationalJournal.com

    A lot of people following the ongoing fight over the Keystone XL pipeline have heard the words of retired NASA climate scientist James Hansen.

    It was Hansen who said fully exploiting Canada's oil sands would be "game over for the climate," a phrase that became a battle cry in the movement against the pipeline.

    But while Hansen is a hero to many within the green movement, environmental groups are nonetheless hostile to another Hansen view: that nuclear power is essential to attacking climate change as global energy demand rises.

    Along with three other prominent climate scientists, Hansen penned an open letter to environmental groups in November about nuclear power, warning that "continued opposition ... threatens humanity's ability to avoid dangerous climate change" and urging them to push for "development and deployment of safer nuclear energy systems."

    No sale. Major groups such as the Sierra Club, Greenpeace, and the Natural Resources Defense Council haven't budged in their opposition to a nuclear build-out.




    The unwavering opposition among several major environmental organizations isn't sitting well with Hansen, and he's comparing them to, yes, the very global warming skeptics they often lampoon.
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    Here is a thought I have had. Perhaps one or two of you guys might care to comment.

    As has been pointed out here, the vastly greatest tonnage of nuclear waste is low level waste, made up of assorted materials contaminated with relatively small amounts of radio-isotopes. In other words, not very radioactive.

    What if we made concrete artificial reefs for sinking into the ocean? 1,000 tonnes of low level waste gets mixed with 100,000 tonnes of cement (and other, non radioactive and non biodegradable garbage), and turned into a custom designed artificial reef, and sunk in an appropriate place. The resulting level of low radioactivity should be less than what is required to cause real harm to living things. This should encourage marine life, and even enhance fisheries.
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    Here is a thought I have had. Perhaps one or two of you guys might care to comment.

    As has been pointed out here, the vastly greatest tonnage of nuclear waste is low level waste, made up of assorted materials contaminated with relatively small amounts of radio-isotopes. In other words, not very radioactive.

    What if we made concrete artificial reefs for sinking into the ocean? 1,000 tonnes of low level waste gets mixed with 100,000 tonnes of cement (and other, non radioactive and non biodegradable garbage), and turned into a custom designed artificial reef, and sunk in an appropriate place. The resulting level of low radioactivity should be less than what is required to cause real harm to living things. This should encourage marine life, and even enhance fisheries.
    I think it would be okay, but apparently you'd have to find a way around an international ban.

    London Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matter - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Since its entering into force in 1975, the Convention has provided a framework for international control and prevention of marine pollution within which the Contracting Parties have achieved continuous progress in keeping the oceans clean. Among its milestones are the 1993 ban on ocean disposal of low-level radioactive wastes
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    I was thinking of the US, but it seems the Canadian reprocessing is just experimental and not really being used to deal with the spent fuel.

    The Canadian Nuclear FAQ - Section B: The Canadian Nuclear Industry
    Although Canada's power reactor program is based upon a once-through fuel cycle, an extensive degree of experience with nuclear fuel reprocessing exists at Chalk River Laboratories (CRL). During World War II and its immediate aftermath, the establishment of CRL included the independent development of plutonium and thorium processing capabilities. The National Research Council's intent with this program was initially to support the war effort through military fissile material production, and subsequently to extend known fissile fuel resources (then thought to be in short supply). By the mid-1950s it became clear that economical supplies of uranium within Canada were much more abundant than first imagined, and the incentive for reprocessing disappeared.
    Also, the reprocessing does not get rid of all the high level waste, and a repository will be needed in any case.

    The Canadian Nuclear FAQ - Section E: Waste Management

    As with many countries with a significant nuclear power program, Canada has focussed its research and development efforts for the long-term management of high-level nuclear waste on the concept of Deep Geological Disposal (DGD).
    Interesting.
    I said NGS1 one last time but it was Bruce NGSA. There are two sets of four reactors at the site and they use A and B to distinguish the buildings instead of 1 and 2 because the reactors inside the buildings are numbered 1 through 4. I was working at Bruce NGSA in 1987 and they were still shipping fuel for reprocessing then.
    We were still accepting mixed oxide fuel bundles from Russia as late as 2000 and reprocessing them to burn the plutonium as fuel.
    So I am not sure how to interpret the statements on his site.

    I also found this statement on that site: "In Canada, "high-level nuclear waste" refers to used nuclear reactor fuel, sometimes referred to as "spent nuclear fuel" or "nuclear fuel waste". Strictly speaking, discharged power reactor fuel in Canada is neither "waste" nor "spent", since it retains a significant energy potential (see related FAQ and article on advanced fuel cycles in CANDU reactors); however, since reprocessing of used power reactor fuel is not currently practiced in Canada, the terminology does have meaning in the context of current Canadian nuclear operations."

    and this one "In Canada, "low-level radioactive waste" applies to two categories of waste:
    1. Historic Waste: Contaminated residues and soil from past industrial processes. This material constitutes over two-thirds of Canada's low-level radioactive waste, by volume (about 1.5 million cubic metres). Generally low-level waste is stored in interim storage facilities, awaiting long-term management. One example is the contaminated soil in Port Hope, Ontario, dating back to a radium-refining operation in the 1930's. Responsibility for historic low-level waste has been assumed by the Canadian federal government.
    2. Ongoing Waste: Contaminated material created by nuclear power plants (except used fuel), nuclear research institutions, and medical isotope processing. This material accounts for about 600,000 cubic metres of low-level radioactive waste in Canada. Generators of ongoing low-level waste are responsible for management of their own waste material. Ontario Power Generation has proposed a Deep Geologic Repositoryfor its low and intermediate level radioactive waste, to be located at the Bruce site.
    Federal oversight of low-level radioactive waste management in Canada is provided by the Low-Level Radioactive Waste Management Office (LLRWMO) of Natural Resources Canada (NRCan), which is operated byAtomic Energy of Canada Ltd. (AECL). The LLRWMO's mandate is to:
    • investigate and manage historic waste on behalf of the federal government;
    • provide a user-pay service for the management of ongoing waste (utilizing low-level waste storage facilities at AECL's Chalk River Laboratories); and
    • provide a public information service on low-level radioactive waste in Canada.
    A special class of low-level radioactive waste applies to tailings from uranium mining and milling, as well as uranium fuel processing. Over 200 million tonnes of this waste material exists in Canada, confined at or near the sites where it was created.Typically, long-term decommissioning of these sites takes place in situ, involving the improvement or construction of containment dams, flooding or covering of tailings to reduce acid generation and the release of radiation and radon gas, and management/monitoring of tailings and effluent. The newer mining and milling operations in Saskatchewan use pits with impervious liners, designed to redirect groundwater flow around the waste rather than through it. [source: Inventory of Radioactive Waste in Canada (1999), available as a PDF file on the LLRWMO website given below.

    So in other words they just leave it lying around out in the open.


    I have not been able to find a statement on his site stating exactly when the reprocessing of spent fuel was stopped either.
    Last edited by dan hunter; February 3rd, 2014 at 09:59 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    Here is a thought I have had. Perhaps one or two of you guys might care to comment.

    As has been pointed out here, the vastly greatest tonnage of nuclear waste is low level waste, made up of assorted materials contaminated with relatively small amounts of radio-isotopes. In other words, not very radioactive.

    What if we made concrete artificial reefs for sinking into the ocean? 1,000 tonnes of low level waste gets mixed with 100,000 tonnes of cement (and other, non radioactive and non biodegradable garbage), and turned into a custom designed artificial reef, and sunk in an appropriate place. The resulting level of low radioactivity should be less than what is required to cause real harm to living things. This should encourage marine life, and even enhance fisheries.
    Basically you are suggesting mixing a dump with concrete and sinking it under water. I doubt if it would hang together for very long.
    Since most of the contamination is metal either as dust or as filings it might be better to burn it and then just put the metal filings and the rest of the ash in with the high level waste.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dan hunter View Post
    . I doubt if it would hang together for very long.
    Actually, concrete under the sea lasts indefinitely. The reason is that it is rapidly overgrown with many life forms, including corals, oysters, barnacles, and other reef formers. The size of the reef will actually grow over time. Concrete is already in use to make artificial reefs in a number of places.
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    Seeing as we use these concrete things here either on their own or holding together a great heap of tyres - which, let's be honest, are not the world's friendliest to wildlife products. I reckon there's more than a dozen in our waters. Anglers and divers love them.

    I presume we'd drop a nuclear waste concrete mix artificial "reef" a good bit further out and a fair bit deeper than the fish promoting ones are usually placed.
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
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    I am not sure what level of radioactivity would come from the reef. It is kind of sad that the media hype up the risk of radioactives way beyond what they should be. There was a major study of survivors from Hiroshima, that followed people through their lives. The major finding was that those who received less than 100 millisieverts calculated radiation lived as long as the control group (the rest of Japan).

    Fukushima, for example, has caused exposure to radiation to those living near the plant of orders of magnitude less than this, and yet the media still cry 'disaster'.

    There are places in the world, like a hydrothermal site in Iran, where people are exposed to 250 millisieverts per year, without apparently suffering ill health. I am not sure how much radiation our artificial reef would produce, but if it is less than (say) 100 millisieverts per year exposure to the life living on it, there should be no hassles, and that reef could be in shallow water.
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    Here is a thought I have had. Perhaps one or two of you guys might care to comment.

    As has been pointed out here, the vastly greatest tonnage of nuclear waste is low level waste, made up of assorted materials contaminated with relatively small amounts of radio-isotopes. In other words, not very radioactive.

    What if we made concrete artificial reefs for sinking into the ocean? 1,000 tonnes of low level waste gets mixed with 100,000 tonnes of cement (and other, non radioactive and non biodegradable garbage), and turned into a custom designed artificial reef, and sunk in an appropriate place. The resulting level of low radioactivity should be less than what is required to cause real harm to living things. This should encourage marine life, and even enhance fisheries.
    Not a bad idea...think bridges, etc....concrete and in water does seem to create marine life......
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    I am not sure what level of radioactivity would come from the reef. It is kind of sad that the media hype up the risk of radioactives way beyond what they should be. There was a major study of survivors from Hiroshima, that followed people through their lives. The major finding was that those who received less than 100 millisieverts calculated radiation lived as long as the control group (the rest of Japan).

    Fukushima, for example, has caused exposure to radiation to those living near the plant of orders of magnitude less than this, and yet the media still cry 'disaster'.

    There are places in the world, like a hydrothermal site in Iran, where people are exposed to 250 millisieverts per year, without apparently suffering ill health. I am not sure how much radiation our artificial reef would produce, but if it is less than (say) 100 millisieverts per year exposure to the life living on it, there should be no hassles, and that reef could be in shallow water.
    As I said, the nuclear engineering scientist consultant that I talked to, was very explicit in his wording on how minute the radiation was compared to Hiroshima. Yet, we are being told not to eat the fish, etc.

    It's media nonsense!
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    The major finding was that those who received less than 100 millisieverts calculated radiation lived as long as the control group (the rest of Japan).
    So does that mean that houses made of granite release enough radon to give a dose higher than 100 millisieverts - or that more constant contact in your living quarters changes the odds in some other way.

    Like limestone, granite contains uranium and radium, which in certain circumstances can give rise to radon gas. Radon is officially the second-largest cause of lung cancer in the UK, and while Aberdeenshire is not the worst affected part of the country (that honour belongs to parts of Torbay and South-West England), the Scottish Executive has pinpointed a high prevalence of radon in the Granite City.

    With more and more houses built to provide less ventilation, with double glazing and insulation the order of the day, radon gets less and less chance to escape its surroundings - so builders are being advised to build in radon barriers and better ventilation, which adds to the cost. The visual benefits of granite are less important these days than the financial and health implications.
    From BBC - Legacies - Architectural Heritage - Scotland - North-East Scotland - How Granite Made a City - Article Page 3
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    The health impacts are often specific to particular elements rather than how radioactive they are. No simple radiation level vs health risk analysis is going to be enough. Strontium90, Caesium137, Iodine131 aren't especially dangerous because of how many milliseverts they radiate, they are dangerous because they bind in the place of other elements and subsequently decay into different elements, messing up biochemistry.

    Irrespective of whether anti-nuclear activism exaggerates the dangers the greatest beneficiaries of opposition to nuclear are fossil fuel interest and I note that these have been consistent in support for an anti-climate action agenda, successfully co-opting mainstream political parties as well as mainstream media to their cause. Those political parties have been quite subdued about support for nuclear or countering anti-nuclear sentiment as a direct consequence.

    Of course it's possible it does have significant real and not imaginary problems associated with it. I note that Media outlets that routinely promote distrust of climate science also willingly promote distrust of nuclear power and I think that's an accurate indicator of the combined stance of the captains of commerce and industry; they don't want to have to act on climate and emissions and don't want nuclear energy cutting into the good thing they have going with fossil fuel revenues by being aggressively used for that purpose. As things stand they can claim it's not them who doesn't like nuclear and prevents it's widespread use, even as they fail to back nuclear or admit any real need to reduce emissions. I suspect that even in places like Germany the most pro-nuclear voices are aligned politically with the strongest opponents of action on climate, to nuclear's detriment. Climate science denial is the biggest political impediment to nuclear, as it undermines support for nuclear amongst those who would, in it's absence, be it's strongest and most politically influential proponents.
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    Fair comment, Ken.

    Adelady.

    Your comments on radon are pertinent. It is not possible, of course, to equate a 'safe' dose at Hiroshima with a 'safe' dose of radon, for the simple reason that radon concentrates in the lungs and discharges its radiaton locally there.

    However, my 100 millisievert figure is appropriate for something like Fukushima.
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    BERKELEY —
    In a quest to make concrete more durable and sustainable, an international team of geologists and engineers has found inspiration in the ancient Romans, whose massive concrete structures have withstood the elements for more than 2,000 years.

    Core sample
    Sample of ancient Roman maritime concrete from Pozzuoli Bay near Naples, Italy. Its diameter is 9 centimeters, and it is composed of mortar formulated from lime, volcanic ash and chunks of volcanic tuff. (Carol Hagen photo)

    Using the Advanced Light Source at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), a research team from the University of California, Berkeley, examined the fine-scale structure of Roman concrete. It described for the first time how the extraordinarily stable compound – calcium-aluminum-silicate-hydrate (C-A-S-H) – binds the material used to build some of the most enduring structures in Western civilization.

    The discovery could help improve the durability of modern concrete, which within 50 years often shows signs of degradation, particularly in ocean environments.

    To improve today’s concrete, do as the Romans did


    Cement is the third largest source of CO2 after autos and coal-fueled power plants. Large amounts of energy are required to produce cement, around 450 grams of coal per 900 grams of cement produced, according to the World Coal Association. Limestone is heated with fossil fuels up to 2,642 degrees Fahrenheit and causes 7% of global carbon dioxide emissions per year.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Fabos View Post
    Irrespective of whether anti-nuclear activism exaggerates the dangers the greatest beneficiaries of opposition to nuclear are fossil fuel interest and I note that these have been consistent in support for an anti-climate action agenda, successfully co-opting mainstream political parties as well as mainstream media to their cause. Those political parties have been quite subdued about support for nuclear or countering anti-nuclear sentiment as a direct consequence.
    Ken, you seem to think you have it all figured out as "us vs. them." You have some compulsive need to line up people on one side or the other and put labels on them. If someone agrees with you on an issue like nuclear power, why not just go along with it? It looks to me like you are the one who is subdued about nuclear power because you don't want to be associated with "those" people.
    I suspect that even in places like Germany the most pro-nuclear voices are aligned politically with the strongest opponents of action on climate, to nuclear's detriment.
    Citation needed.
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    Harold, they are lined up that way. The unfortunate political alignment of anti-climate action with support for nuclear is not imaginary and is common across most democratic polities. It is just as real as opposition to nuclear being aligned with pro-climate action within "green" environmental type advocacy. But the former represents mainstream and well connected political interests whilst the latter is a minority fringe, limited to populism, that appears much more influential than is actually the case. Most pro-business associations, lobbyists, think tanks, politically partisan media and opinionators are firmly lined up against action on climate but few represent any direct interests promoting nuclear energy. That is a big problem for nuclear because the best reason to promote nuclear - climate change - is antithetical to the dominant anti-climate agenda of pro-business lobbyists. Far more influential within those advocacy arms than those pushing either nuclear or climate action are those with fossil fuel interests. They are not nuclear's friends, even if they give lip service to the same free-market ideology and support the same political parties and express no direct objections to nuclear. As long as nuclear is unpopular they don't have to.

    Because they are the part of the economy that do things, businesses (and their lobby arms) rightly have enormous influence. But their stance in this doesn't appear to be based on any genuine unreliability of climate science, but rather on how policies to deal with it appear to affect their costs, competitiveness and profitability. Scientist have an ethical obligation to be truthful and accurate; business lobby groups have no such obligation and they have no ethical problem with slandering climate science to help prevent committed action on emissions. This undermines nuclear as well as renewables. It also undermines broader democratic principles.

    I don't think it's irrational to think that mainstream opposition to action on climate is the biggest impediment to action on climate. I do not believe that in the absence of opposition to nuclear energy that opposition to action on climate would magically evaporate; that opposition to climate action has it's own internal logic that is entirely independent of support or opposition to nuclear. A small but vocal anti-nuclear movement has been largely permitted to push their message unchallenged, even in the same politically partisan media that routinely ridicule and denigrate climate science; if the future of our planet's climate is being decided by that small minority that will be entirely the fault of mainstream politics for refusing to bear the burdens of trust and responsibility the climate problem pose.

    I'm not intimately familiar with German politics but even if those similar interests realise that pushing climate obstructionism there is a vote losing proposition - perhaps because community acceptance of the problem's seriousness was not so successfully undermined early by those lobbying interests as in , say the USA or Australia - they have the same ongoing incentive to dodge having to shoulder any cost burden of transforming energy supply. In Germany those business interests appear to be doing so by demanding and receiving exemptions from renewable energy surcharges. I don't know exactly how that came about but as long as they are getting those exemptions their incentive to lobby for nuclear is reduced.

    Personally I have my own doubts about the advisability of massive global expansion of nuclear energy, even if I have no ideological objections. Not as expensive and dangerous as the staunch opponents claim. Not as safe and cheap and problem free as the staunch proponents claim.

    I think strong non-partisan commitment to massive reductions in fossil fuel usage - absent in most nations - is an absolute prerequisite for nuclear in most jurisdictions. If an Australian mainstream political party had a genuine commitment to using nuclear for emissions reductions I would count that a big step forward, because it would represent a genuine commitment to aggressively reducing emissions, not because it's a commitment to nuclear. As long as the parties I get a choice to vote for put more effort into avoiding action on climate and seeking to nurture the fossil fuels export sector than grasping the climate nettle firmly there never will be such a commitment. Yet, if the proudly pro-business and Right leaning LNP accepted a genuine need to reduce emissions, they would be genuine advocates of nuclear; they don't and they aren't.

    I think nuclear requires strong international regulation, oversight and effective enforcement to prevent weapons proliferation as well as to maintain adequate safety practices. Here in Australia only steep carbon pricing or direct regulatory intervention could make electricity companies choose it over the abundant and cheap coal that has been the foundation of their business. Business lobbies consistently opposes that kind of intervention - and with compliant mainstream political parties willing to compromise on the need to act on emissions to keep this lobby happy, such intervention will not happen. Forcing nuclear on them doesn't fit at all well with an unregulated energy sector that find it in it's interests to not treat the climate problem and emissions as a priority. Or even as a reality if they can get away with it.
    Last edited by Ken Fabos; February 5th, 2014 at 09:50 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by babe View Post
    As I said, the nuclear engineering scientist consultant that I talked to, was very explicit in his wording on how minute the radiation was compared to Hiroshima. Yet, we are being told not to eat the fish, etc. It's media nonsense!
    ?? Some fish concentrate heavy metals. That's why pregnant women are told to NEVER eat certain fish, even in the absence of a nuclear accident. Heavy metals in the ocean are indeed minute, but in today's society, even that minute risk is played up and made into official recommendations.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Fabos View Post
    I think strong non-partisan commitment to massive reductions in fossil fuel usage - absent in most nations - is an absolute prerequisite for nuclear in most jurisdictions.
    This is an absurd statement, given that nuclear power plants have been built in the past without any such commitment. Yet, the nuclear power plants have in fact massively reduced fossil fuel usage.

    You're like a frickin' dog in the manger. You're part of the problem, not part of the solution.
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    Taken from New Scientist 25 January 2014, page 7

    Germany has an aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030. However, they are also intent on shutting down nuclear power stations. This means that coal fired power stations are now working harder to make up the shortfall, and greenhouse gas emissions are on the rise. The intended increase in renewable energy generation is far too slow to compensate. Last year, coal burning was at its highest level in more than 20 years.

    Roger Pielke of the University of Colorado says nuclear is the best tool for reducing CO2 emissions.
    The intent here is to provoke,..... what? Nuke power plants MAY reduce CO2, but how much CO2 is added in shipping, storing, guarding, manipulating, the waste products? There is no alternative to a reduced number of human inhabitants of the Earth.
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    Quote Originally Posted by billvon View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by babe View Post
    As I said, the nuclear engineering scientist consultant that I talked to, was very explicit in his wording on how minute the radiation was compared to Hiroshima. Yet, we are being told not to eat the fish, etc. It's media nonsense!
    ?? Some fish concentrate heavy metals. That's why pregnant women are told to NEVER eat certain fish, even in the absence of a nuclear accident. Heavy metals in the ocean are indeed minute, but in today's society, even that minute risk is played up and made into official recommendations.
    Those "recommendations" being made to enhance the position of the Major-Domos in charge? (HMF'sIC, if it's new to you).
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    Quote Originally Posted by jocular View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by billvon View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by babe View Post
    As I said, the nuclear engineering scientist consultant that I talked to, was very explicit in his wording on how minute the radiation was compared to Hiroshima. Yet, we are being told not to eat the fish, etc. It's media nonsense!
    ?? Some fish concentrate heavy metals. That's why pregnant women are told to NEVER eat certain fish, even in the absence of a nuclear accident. Heavy metals in the ocean are indeed minute, but in today's society, even that minute risk is played up and made into official recommendations.
    Those "recommendations" being made to enhance the position of the Major-Domos in charge? (HMF'sIC, if it's new to you).
    I live in two fishing communities. Never cut back on fish when pregnant. Two healthy babies. It however was not a daily diet.
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    We have a problem here in NZ in one harbour, in that the sharks caught have high mercury levels. But it has nothing to do with man-made pollution. It is entirely due to natural geothermal seepages.

    To jocular

    You might as well get off the population band wagon. Human fertility is dropping rapidly. Now 2.4 compared to 5.5 about 50 years ago, as a global average. The only thing driving global population growth is the fact that people live a lot longer. They are not dying off.

    There is nothing we can or need to do to control population. By the year 2100, it will be stabilised or dropping. Since it is unlikely to exceed 10 billion at the most, humanity is well able to supply the energy required from non greenhouse emitting sources. But that will have to include nuclear.
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    We have a problem here in NZ in one harbour, in that the sharks caught have high mercury levels. But it has nothing to do with man-made pollution. It is entirely due to natural geothermal seepages.

    To jocular

    You might as well get off the population band wagon. Human fertility is dropping rapidly. Now 2.4 compared to 5.5 about 50 years ago, as a global average. The only thing driving global population growth is the fact that people live a lot longer. They are not dying off.

    There is nothing we can or need to do to control population. By the year 2100, it will be stabilised or dropping. Since it is unlikely to exceed 10 billion at the most, humanity is well able to supply the energy required from non greenhouse emitting sources. But that will have to include nuclear.
    Hush!! I WANT a grandbaby or two....I'm not greedy!
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    We have a problem here in NZ in one harbour, in that the sharks caught have high mercury levels. But it has nothing to do with man-made pollution. It is entirely due to natural geothermal seepages.

    To jocular

    You might as well get off the population band wagon. Human fertility is dropping rapidly. Now 2.4 compared to 5.5 about 50 years ago, as a global average. The only thing driving global population growth is the fact that people live a lot longer. They are not dying off.

    There is nothing we can or need to do to control population. By the year 2100, it will be stabilised or dropping. Since it is unlikely to exceed 10 billion at the most, humanity is well able to supply the energy required from non greenhouse emitting sources. But that will have to include nuclear.
    The first: Dropping why? Human sperm counts have been seen as dropping for decades now. Connection? Any possibility of resultant effects of human fat-tissue storage of Estrogen-like chemicals?

    The second: Absolutely.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jocular View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    We have a problem here in NZ in one harbour, in that the sharks caught have high mercury levels. But it has nothing to do with man-made pollution. It is entirely due to natural geothermal seepages.

    To jocular

    You might as well get off the population band wagon. Human fertility is dropping rapidly. Now 2.4 compared to 5.5 about 50 years ago, as a global average. The only thing driving global population growth is the fact that people live a lot longer. They are not dying off.

    There is nothing we can or need to do to control population. By the year 2100, it will be stabilised or dropping. Since it is unlikely to exceed 10 billion at the most, humanity is well able to supply the energy required from non greenhouse emitting sources. But that will have to include nuclear.
    The first: Dropping why? Human sperm counts have been seen as dropping for decades now. Connection? Any possibility of resultant effects of human fat-tissue storage of Estrogen-like chemicals?

    The second: Absolutely.
    Well I am not fertile and haven't been since I was 31!!!

    Yet I question that it is dropping. Women are having babies well into their 40's now....which was unheard of 20 years ago.

    Nice to see your name in here!!!
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    The first: Dropping why?
    It's about educating girls and women as well as making family planning available at reasonable prices, often free.
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    Quote Originally Posted by babe View Post
    I live in two fishing communities. Never cut back on fish when pregnant. Two healthy babies. It however was not a daily diet.
    =================
    Mercury In Fish More Dangerous Than Believed
    By Dominique Mosbergen Posted: 12/04/2012



    Scientists say that consuming fish may be more hazardous to your health than you think, according to new reports published this week.
    . . .
    As the Global Post notes, scientists have long warned consumers about the potential dangers of mercury in fish and other seafood. However, the new reports have revealed that the guidelines for safe seafood consumption in place in the U.S., Europe and elsewhere may now be out of date.
    “Levels of [mercury] exposure that are defined as safe by the official limits, are actually having adverse effects,” environmental health scientist Dr. Edward Groth, who authored one of the three reports, said at a web conference, according to the Post.
    “These are not trivial effects, these are significant effects. There does appear to be evidence now, fairly persuasive evidence, that adverse effects occur from normal amounts of seafood consumption,” Groth, who is an adviser to the World Health Organization, continued.
    One of the reports -- an epidemiological overview on the effects of the toxic metal on brain development -- also stressed that consumption of "everyday" amounts of fish with higher mercury levels can be damaging to the health of children and the developing fetus in a pregnant woman.
    =======================
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    Re human fertility.
    I think there may be a slight msunderstanding of how the phrase "average global fertility" is used. It does not mean the ability of a woman to have a baby. It means the average number of babies those women actually have. It has nothing to do with sperm counts. It has a hell of a lot to do with contraceptives and the right to choose whether to become pregnant or not.

    Fifty years ago, average global fertility was 5.5, meaning that on average, each woman had 5.5 babies. Today it is 2.4 and is still dropping, with the United Nations predicting it will reach 2.0 by the year 2050. 2.0 is less than replacement rate, meaning that it is only a matter of time till the older generation is dying faster than the younger can replace them with babies. When that happens (by 2100), the world population will begin to fall. Populations are already falling in a lot of countries, like Japan, and they would be falling across Australasia, North America, and Europe, if it was not for the massive and ongoing immigration from third world countries.
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    I am primarily interested in the new generation IV reactors being developed. There are several design types to be considered and I'll post them. I tend to favor the non-water cooled reactors, because many areas they will be needed are areas without enough water. But I will concede there might be reasons to choose each of these reactor models.

    Generation IV reactors (Gen IV) are a set of theoretical nuclear reactor designs currently being researched. Most of these designs are generally not expected to be available for commercial construction before 2030. Current reactors in operation around the world are generally considered second- or third-generation systems, with most of the first-generation systems having been retired some time ago. Generation V reactors refer to reactors that may be possible but are not yet considered feasible, and are not actively being developed.



    The very high temperature reactor concept uses a graphite-moderated core with a once-through uranium fuel cycle, using helium or molten salt as the coolant. This reactor design envisions an outlet temperature of 1,000 °C. The reactor core can be either a prismatic-block or a pebble bed reactor design. The high temperatures enable applications such as process heat or hydrogen production via the thermochemical iodine-sulfur process. It would also be passively safe.

    The planned construction of the first VHTR, the South African PBMR (pebble bed modular reactor), lost government funding in February, 2010. A pronounced increase of costs and concerns about possible unexpected technical problems had discouraged potential investors and customers.

    The Peoples Republic of China began construction of a 200-MWe High Temperature Pebble bed reactor in 2012 as a successor to its HTR-10.

    Also in 2012, as part of the Next Generation Nuclear Plant competition, Idaho National Laboratory approved a design similar to Areva's prismatic block Antares reactor as the chosen HTGR to be deployed as a prototype by 2021. It was in competition with General Atomics' Gas turbine modular helium reactor and Westinghouse' Pebble Bed Modular Reactor.
    Generation IV reactor - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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  61. #60  
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    What happened to the rest of my posts through 64?
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    It would appear they were duplicates?
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    They were not duplicates, please restore them.
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    As far as I know, they can't be recovered after they're deleted.
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  65. #64  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    As far as I know, they can't be recovered after they're deleted.
    I still have a tab that shows all my posts as they were. Can that be used or do I have build each post from scratch again. I can't believe Linx deleted them without reading them first.
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    A molten salt reactor is a type of nuclear reactor where the primary coolant, or even the fuel itself is a molten salt mixture. There have been many designs put forward for this type of reactor and a few prototypes built. The early concepts and many current ones rely on nuclear fuel dissolved in the molten fluoride salt as uranium tetrafluoride (UF4) or thorium tetrafluoride (ThF4). The fluid would reach criticality by flowing into a graphite core which would also serve as the moderator. Many current concepts rely on fuel that is dispersed in a graphite matrix with the molten salt providing low pressure, high temperature cooling.

    The Gen IV MSR is more accurately termed an epithermal reactor than a thermal reactor due to the average speed of the neutrons that would cause the fission events within its fuel being faster than thermal neutrons.

    The principle of a MSR can be used for thermal, epithermal and fast reactors. Since 2005 the focus has moved towards a fast spectrum MSR (MSFR).
    Generation IV reactor - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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    The supercritical water reactor (SCWR) is a reduced moderation water reactor concept that, due to the average speed of the neutrons that would cause the fission events within the fuel being faster than thermal neutrons, it is more accurately termed an epithermal reactor than a thermal reactor. It uses supercritical water as the working fluid. SCWRs are basically light water reactors (LWR) operating at higher pressure and temperatures with a direct, once-through heat exchange cycle. As most commonly envisioned, it would operate on a direct cycle, much like a boiling water reactor (BWR), but since it uses supercritical water (not to be confused with critical mass) as the working fluid, it would have only one water phase present, which makes the supercritical heat exchange method more similar to a pressurized water reactor (PWR). It could operate at much higher temperatures than both current PWRs and BWRs.

    Supercritical water-cooled reactors (SCWRs) are promising advanced nuclear systems because of their high thermal efficiency (i.e., about 45% vs. about 33% efficiency for current LWRs) and considerable plant simplification.

    The main mission of the SCWR is generation of low-cost electricity. It is built upon two proven technologies, LWRs, which are the most commonly deployed power generating reactors in the world, and supercritical fossil fuel fired boilers, a large number of which are also in use around the world. The SCWR concept is being investigated by 32 organizations in 13 countries.
    Generation IV reactor - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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    A fast reactor directly uses the fast neutrons emitted by fission, without moderation. Unlike thermal neutron reactors, fast neutron reactors can be configured to "burn", or fission, all actinides, and given enough time, therefore drastically reduce the actinides fraction in spent nuclear fuel produced by the present world fleet of thermal neutron Light Water Reactors, thus closing the Nuclear fuel cycle. Alternatively, if configured differently, they can also breed more actinide fuel than they consume.

    Gas-Cooled Fast Reactor



    The gas-cooled fast reactor (GFR) system features a fast-neutron spectrum and closed fuel cycle for efficient conversion of fertile uranium and management of actinides. The reactor is helium-cooled and with an outlet temperature of 850 °C it is an evolution of the Very High Temperature Reactor(VHTR) to a more sustainable fuel cycle. It will use a direct Brayton cycle gas turbine for high thermal efficiency. Several fuel forms are being considered for their potential to operate at very high temperatures and to ensure an excellent retention of fission products: composite ceramic fuel, advanced fuel particles, or ceramic clad elements of actinide compounds. Core configurations are being considered based on pin- or plate-based fuel assemblies or prismatic blocks.

    The European Sustainable Nuclear Industrial Initiative is funding three Generation IV reactor systems, one of which is a gas-cooled fast reactor, called Allegro, 100 MW(t), which will be built in a central or eastern European country with construction expected to begin in 2018. The central European Visegrád Group are committed to pursuing the technology. In 2013 German, British, and French institutes finished a 3 year collaboration study on the follow on industrial scale design, known as GoFastR. They were funded by the EU's 7th FWP framework programme, with the goal of making a sustainable VHTR.
    Generation IV reactor - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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    Sodium-cooled fast reactor (SFR)



    The Sodium-cooled fast reactor (SFR) is a project that builds on two closely related existing projects, the liquid metal fast breeder reactor and the Integral Fast Reactor.

    The goals are to increase the efficiency of uranium usage by breeding plutonium and eliminating the need for transuranic isotopes ever to leave the site. The reactor design uses an unmoderated core running on fast neutrons, designed to allow any transuranic isotope to be consumed (and in some cases used as fuel). In addition to the benefits of removing the long half-life transuranics from the waste cycle, the SFR fuel expands when the reactor overheats, and the chain reaction automatically slows down. In this manner, it is passively safe.

    The SFR reactor concept is cooled by liquid sodium and fueled by a metallic alloy of uranium and plutonium or spent nuclear fuel, the "nuclear waste" of Light Water Reactors. The SFR fuel is contained in steel cladding with liquid sodium filling in the space between the clad elements which make up the fuel assembly. One of the design challenges of an SFR is the risks of handling sodium, which reacts explosively if it comes into contact with water. However, the use of liquid metal instead of water as coolant allows the system to work at atmospheric pressure, reducing the risk of leakage.

    The European Sustainable Nuclear Industrial Initiative is funding three Generation IV reactor systems, one of which is a sodium-cooled fast reactor, called ASTRID, Advanced Sodium Technical Reactor for Industrial Demonstration, EDF and Areva are leading the design with British collaboration. Astrid will be rated about 600 MWe and is expected to be built in France, with construction slated to begin in 2017 near to the Phénix reactor.

    The PRC's first commercial-scale, 800 MWe, fast neutron reactor, to be situated near Sanming city in Fujian province will be a SFR. In 2009 an agreement was signed that would entail the Russian BN-800 reactor design to be sold to the PRC once it is completed, this would be the first time commercial-scale fast neutron reactors have ever been exported.

    In India, the Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor, a 500MWe Sodium cooled fast reactor is under construction, with a completion year of 2014/2015.
    Generation IV reactor - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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    Lead-Cooled Fast Reactor



    The lead-cooled fast reactor features a fast-neutron-spectrum lead or lead/bismuth eutectic (LBE) liquid-metal-cooled reactor with a closed fuel cycle. Options include a range of plant ratings, including a "battery" of 50 to 150 MW of electricity that features a very long refueling interval, a modular system rated at 300 to 400 MW, and a large monolithic plant option at 1,200 MW. (The term battery refers to the long-life, factory-fabricated core, not to any provision for electrochemical energy conversion.) The fuel is metal or nitride-based containing fertile uranium and transuranics. The LFR is cooled by natural convection with a reactor outlet coolant temperature of 550 °C, possibly ranging up to 800 °C with advanced materials. The higher temperature enables the production of hydrogen by thermochemical processes.

    The European Sustainable Nuclear Industrial Initiative is funding three Generation IV reactor systems, one of which is a lead-cooled fast reactor that is also an Accelerator-driven sub-critical reactor, called Myrrha, 100 MW(t), which will be built in Belgium with construction expected to begin after 2014 and the industrial scale version, known as Alfred, slated to be constructed sometime after 2017. A reduced-power model of Myrrha called Guinevere was started up at Mol in March 2009.
    Generation IV reactor - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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  71. #70  
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    Quote Originally Posted by adelady View Post
    Frightening to think that Business and community leaders will choose doing the least they can get away with over doing the least that is needed, purely on price.
    I don't think that it is about price, nor about anything that you or I would call income. I came to that conclusion after years of wondering why these particular business people couldn't see that they could apply their expertise in generating, distributing and selling power to doing exactly the same thing with different technology. To me it seemed pretty obvious. They knew how to do it and, to people outside those businesses, it looked as though they had the necessary skill sets to go down that path.

    Then I read something that brought me up short. It's not about income. It's about assets.

    If these companies started a major transition to different technology and that transition was succeeding, the value of their current holdings in mines, mining leases and options as well as their generating plant would sooner or later collapse. They're facing exactly the same problem as the companies that used to mine and produce asbestos products. Once they were limited or prohibited from using asbestos in most applications, the new stream of income they might be able to profit from in new insulation and related products couldn't save their share price collapsing in the face of the (capital) losses in their now stranded assets.
    Yeah. Just think how much money they lost on the real estate. Paying millions to buy up land because it has a valuable resource under it only to discover that resource has suddenly been legislated into being worthless.

    Coal/natural gas companies know if nuclear takes over, then their products will drop in value. They'll be in the same situation as all those home owners were in after the housing collapse in the USA: owing the bank more than their coal mines/oil wells are currently worth.


    Quote Originally Posted by Bad Robot View Post


    A molten salt reactor is a type of nuclear reactor where the primary coolant, or even the fuel itself is a molten salt mixture. There have been many designs put forward for this type of reactor and a few prototypes built. The early concepts and many current ones rely on nuclear fuel dissolved in the molten fluoride salt as uranium tetrafluoride (UF4) or thorium tetrafluoride (ThF4). The fluid would reach criticality by flowing into a graphite core which would also serve as the moderator. Many current concepts rely on fuel that is dispersed in a graphite matrix with the molten salt providing low pressure, high temperature cooling.
    Using graphite as the moderator is kind of dangerous. If there's a malfunction and you're not able to turn off the reaction, it will continue getting hotter until it reaches the temperature at which the moderator evaporates and disperses.

    If you're moderating with water, that's a pretty low temperature. If you're moderating with graphite, well graphite has the same melting point as diamond. The use of graphite as the moderator is what opened the door for Chernobyl to be able to explode like it did.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    Using graphite as the moderator is kind of dangerous. If there's a malfunction and you're not able to turn off the reaction, it will continue getting hotter until it reaches the temperature at which the moderator evaporates and disperses.

    If you're moderating with water, that's a pretty low temperature. If you're moderating with graphite, well graphite has the same melting point as diamond. The use of graphite as the moderator is what opened the door for Chernobyl to be able to explode like it did.
    I can't really disagree with you on this point, however, Chernobyl had a completely different configuration from the 4th generation salt reactor. Chernobyl diagrammed below.



    In any water cooled reactor, any disruption in the water flow could become dangerous very quickly. I don't know enough about salt reactors, but it seems like it would be in a closed system where there could never be a flow stoppage, so over heating might never become a problem.
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    Yeah, Chernobyl had a lot of other problems besides just being a graphite reactor. The main issue is just that if something goes wrong with graphite, it can go really badly wrong. Hopefully nothing will go wrong, of course.


    I'd like to see boat based nuclear reactors become popular. If the power plant is out on the ocean, then nobody has to be afraid they'll die if it blows up. Just scuttle the boat and drop it in the middle of the Pacific. The ocean can absorb one or two melt downs, I think. Just so long as they don't become common events.

    That won't work for a power grid, though. There wouldn't be any way to connect power lines, I don't think. Could use it for making methanol or hydrogen or something like that, though.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    Yeah, Chernobyl had a lot of other problems besides just being a graphite reactor. The main issue is just that if something goes wrong with graphite, it can go really badly wrong. Hopefully nothing will go wrong, of course.


    I'd like to see boat based nuclear reactors become popular. If the power plant is out on the ocean, then nobody has to be afraid they'll die if it blows up. Just scuttle the boat and drop it in the middle of the Pacific. The ocean can absorb one or two melt downs, I think. Just so long as they don't become common events.

    That won't work for a power grid, though. There wouldn't be any way to connect power lines, I don't think. Could use it for making methanol or hydrogen or something like that, though.
    I like the following reactor because it's durable and can be modularized. Build what you need it for now and just add modules as needed.

    Lead-Cooled Fast Reactor



    The lead-cooled fast reactor features a fast-neutron-spectrum lead or lead/bismuth eutectic (LBE) liquid-metal-cooled reactor with a closed fuel cycle. Options include a range of plant ratings, including a "battery" of 50 to 150 MW of electricity that features a very long refueling interval, a modular system rated at 300 to 400 MW, and a large monolithic plant option at 1,200 MW. (The term battery refers to the long-life, factory-fabricated core, not to any provision for electrochemical energy conversion.) The fuel is metal or nitride-based containing fertile uranium and transuranics. The LFR is cooled by natural convection with a reactor outlet coolant temperature of 550 °C, possibly ranging up to 800 °C with advanced materials. The higher temperature enables the production of hydrogen by thermochemical processes.
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