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Old 03-30-2011, 12:13 PM   #101
phitruong
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Re: The fact that you believe a nuclear plant can explode....

Quote:
Ron Ragusa wrote: View Post
Ahhh... fusion power, the Holy Grail of energy production. Research into the peaceful use of the fusion reaction has been ongoing since 1947 with, to date, no reports of a sustainable chain reaction having ever been attained. From the beginning of this research the promise of unlimited energy produced cheaply and safely from fusion has been always about 20 years away. I dunno, why are we wasting all this money trying to build a fusion reactor on earth when we already have one operating just waiting to be tapped? Did you ever stop to consider that the sun is 93 million miles away for a reason? That bringing it down to earth in the form of a fusion reactor might not be such a good idea? Would you want a 10 million degree oven in your neighborhood?

I wonder if the money invested in fusion research for the past 60 years had been spent on research in renewable energy production whether we would be in the same pickle we find ourselves in today having to rely primarily on fossil fuels and the nuclear boondoggle.

Best,

Ron
don't know if you have seen this or not http://www.iter.org/ it will be in 20 years. we have much to lose if we won't.

if we looked at history, we built the atom bombs before we built the power plan. we already have fusion bombs. now we are working to harness that power. good idea or not, only time will tell. but by then, we won't be around to know.

we human like challenges and adversity. we thrive on such things. we looked up at the moon and said we want to walk on it and we did. was that a good idea? didn't matter, we just did. we look up at the stars and said we will travel among them, and we will. is that a good idea? doesn't matter. we will. that's human.
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Old 03-30-2011, 12:34 PM   #102
DonMagee
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Re: The fact that you believe a nuclear plant can explode....

Quote:
Keith Larman wrote: View Post
I'll wade in here a little, but I'll stand back a bit to stay out of range of flailing, random fists....

A company I invested in many years ago when it was called Thorium Power is now called Lightbridge. They are making inroads in a variety of places with thorium technology. Write your legislators and ask why more work isn't being done to change the focus towards technology like thorium. Write Mr. Chu at the Department of Energy.

That's what I did. I even had a moment to talk with my congressman a while back. Talked about it directly.

Back in 2008 there was the 2008 Thorium Energy Independence and Security Act sponsored by Orrin Hatch and Harry Reid. It failed, but it was a good step. More need to be taken.

However, the problem here is the shrill level of debate. Thorium tends to get lumped in to all things nuclear which itself means mushroom clouds, big booms, holes to China, vast devastation, mutant ants and lizards, etc. to many. We cannot move forward until we can have intelligent, focused, fair discussion. Too much knee jerking and a lot of babies are getting tossed with the bathwater...

I wonder how many people die or are horribly disfigured each year in car fires when the gasoline ignites... But no, that's background noise because that has been our world for a long time. Along with the pollution. Along with the accidents. How many people were basically vaporized when the BP rig exploded? How many have died on rigs just drilling? How many die transporting gasoline in tankers?

It all has costs.
This is exactly my point. I'm not saying to build 1960's reactors to keep our power running. I'm saying invest in new, safer, more efficient nuclear tech. David Orange seems to think that if it has the word nuclear in it then it can only lead to vast devastation and explosions. Look even at his description of fusion. The laughable concept that if we could figure out a way to have stable fusion we would kill us with some kind of mini sun. It's just a flawed representation of how these things work. I can't take anything else seriously when comments like that are made. With mindsets like these there will be no progress and our society will stagnate and be unable to keep up with it's own growth.

Further more there seems to be some kind of mental block that makes people think that cancer causing radiation is somehow worse then cancer causing pollutants from oil, coal etc. This becomes even sillier when you see how easy it is to control the dangerous substances with nuclear power as apposed to coal and oil where you have no choice but to release it into the air.

I'd say the deep water accident was way more damaging to this planet then this nuclear accident can ever be even if the plant does somehow find a way to explode (which is impossible based on the known physics of the universe). How many people are going to die from eating the byproducts of the chemicals dumped into the ocean to fix that problem? How many people have lost their home and livelihoods because their entire source of income for generations was destroyed?

It's clear to me that japan has some work ahead of it, but it doesn't look anywhere near ominous yet. Personally, I'd be more worried about eating poison fish from oil spills, breathing in all the toxic fumes being released from 2 hundred year long coal fires (that could run for thousands of years), or even drinking water contaminated with proprietary agents to get natural gas out of the ground.

Even if we can reduce our power needs today by forcing a new 'dark' age on 1st world countries, demand will still grow faster then we can find ways to save power. We will need vastly more efficient and clean power generation methods. Power demand will grow even greater as we realize that fuels like gas and oil are economically and literally unsustainable. Unless we are proposing a destruction of society and building a new utopia where all jobs are within walking distance and all homes are heated, cooled, and powered by solar tech, earth tubes, and geothermal (as well as moving out of the areas where this is not possible) then the best we can hope for is too put pressure where it needs to be to keep our systems update, and build new safer systems.

I'm sure like all technologies there will be a breakthrough that renders nuclear power obsolete. Until that happens, I'm hedging my bets on it be our current best hope for living comfortably and civilly.

- Don
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough" - Albert Einstein
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Old 03-30-2011, 01:04 PM   #103
kewms
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Re: The fact that you believe a nuclear plant can explode....

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David Orange wrote: View Post
So you're saying that every reactor in the US is about 40 years old or older.

What happened to the "modern" plants that are so much safer than the design in Fukushima? You're saying they're all as old as Fukushima, it seems. Therefore, they're all outmoded and unreliable.
No, the more modern designs are being built in countries other than the US.

Also, because the approval cycle in the US is so long, I would expect that reactor designs are updated along the way. If I were the nuclear industry shill you accuse me of being, I might have a definitive answer to that question. Since I'm not, I don't.

Katherine
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Old 03-30-2011, 01:08 PM   #104
kewms
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Re: The fact that you believe a nuclear plant can explode....

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David Skaggs wrote: View Post
I Googled both Katherine and David Orange;

From http://www.thinfilmmfg.com/admin/about.htm#KDinfo,

"Katherine Derbyshire, the founder of Thin Film Manufacturing, has a BS in materials science and engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and an MS in materials from the University of California, Santa Barbara. She has published research on diamond thin films, high temperature superconductors, and archaeological bronzes.

She has been involved with the semiconductor manufacturing industry since 1994, when she joined Solid State Technology as Senior Technical Editor. She won two American Society of Business Press Editors (ASBPE) awards before departing as Chief Technical Editor in 1998. Next, she joined Semiconductor Online, where she quadrupled traffic and established the site as a leading information provider for the industry. She left Semiconductor Online in 2001 to found Thin Film Manufacturing. "
Thanks for the reminder that I need to update that page to reflect my work on solar stuff.

For those who care, my involvement in the solar industry began in 2003, when I wrote a market study on organic semiconductors, including organic solar cells. Since then, I've covered both organic and inorganic cells at some length and, as I said, done quite a bit of work under NDA for companies in the space.

Katherine
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Old 03-30-2011, 01:11 PM   #105
kewms
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Re: The fact that you believe a nuclear plant can explode....

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David Orange wrote: View Post
Well, so much of the argument presupposes that we have to meet all the "demand" for power when a tremendous amount of it is wasted and unnecessary usage.
Again, cut the demand for power in half and you still have a very substantial gap. But I haven't seen any realistic proposals that would cut demand in half.

Katherine
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Old 03-30-2011, 01:15 PM   #106
Keith Larman
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Re: The fact that you believe a nuclear plant can explode....

Don:

Yeah, I've been following the debates for a long time. That's one hazard of being born into a family a scientists. I put my money where my mouth is by investing in companies like lightbridge. We retrofit our house with gas filled double paned windows, added insulation to the attic, replaced the crappy entry door with a triple insulated door, and installed solar powered attic fans to exhaust air in the hot Southern California summers. Once we'd finished with all that it turned out that our average monthly electricity bill was about $60 (we use nat gas for heating). We'd be a bit higher in the summer due to AC, but if we are smart about things we often don't even have to use the AC as the house is so thermally efficient now. Just open up at night to get the house cool. I might be installing another active roof fan this year but not solar -- the idea is to exhaust the space between the roof and ceiling at night when the air is cool -- my solar fans kick out before it cools down completely.

Anyway, I called a couple solar companies. The companies who are doing the "leased" model really don't want to talk with us because we just don't use enough electricity for their model.

WRT buying a system outright we might go for it once we get the money together to fix our roof up completely (we need a reroofing due to leaks -- better to do that before installing). FWIW in California given current tax breaks (federal and state) we could install a 1.5 kw system on our roof for about 7.5K when all is said and done (incentives pay almost half). That would cover about half our use on average. The good thing is that on the hottest, sunniest days our system would be at full gonzo "make electricity" mode and that's when we tend to use the most power as our central AC is probably the biggest power gulper we have.

If we finance the thing over 30 years we would be paying more each month for a while, but eventually (assuming energy prices continue with inflation) would start getting cheaper than not having it. So it would "pay for itself" over time. But it is coming up with between 7 and 8 thousand USD. Or getting financing and yet another obligation. It would increase the resale value of the house, but we have no intention of ever moving. So... Don't know. Need money. Hmmm, lotto ticket.

Of course a grid-tied system that could handle 100% of our usage plus extra just in case for future stuff (i.e., 4 KW) would run about 43 thousand usd, or about 21 thousand after all the federal/state incentives.

If I take a step back, however, look at that 43 thousand dollar figure that would cover our full usage as a family. I current pay 60 a month on average. At that rate (ignoring inflation and all that jazz) it would take me 60 years to pay 43,000 for electricity. Wow. The fact that there are incentives really means someone else is paying my bill for me -- i.e., everyone else in the US who is taxed. Someone *still* pays. That doesn't make much sense to me in the bigger picture realm. Okay, in terms of building demand, funding the industry, getting more out there, reducing the load on the utilities, it's all good. But it is still totally insane from purely a cost point of view. It is *very* expensive electricity.

So... Last year I taught my daughter about some of this stuff. We cobbled together a couple old discarded solar panels, wired them up, and now have about 20 watts of generation charging a couple old deep cycle batteries in my workshop. We use that to charge phones, ipods, sometimes my netbook computer, and a small LED light I have in there for at night. I taught her how to make a solar oven last year and we had a lot of fun cooking stuff for lunch last summer using nothing but the sun, aluminum foil and old shipping boxes. This summer we're building a model car that runs on a small fuel cell. And what little I have in retirement money is invested in companies like Lightbridge and another couple solar companies.

The reality is that nothing right now can compete with the existing coal fired plants, nuclear plants, etc. Nothing. I have invested in places looking at alternatives. In all seriousness I think the next 20-30 years we will see further improvements in efficiencies in solar and especially in production cost in particular. Lots of good research going on there. But I doubt it will even come close to replacing much of anything as the demand for energy simply continues to grow. The future, IMHO, is we will *have* to move to more modern (and vastly safer) nuclear technologies such as thorium and nuclear batteries in the interim. Small, local power generation addresses a lot of problems including transmission loss, etc. These will be supplanted by solar (thank you local early adopters) and other things to some extent. But they simply will not do the whole job. Eventually the experiments in fusion will likely be the thing that takes us the next step.

Nuclear is our future. But it isn't the nuclear of the 1970's. There is no doubt we need to continue to invest in a wide spectrum of technologies. Many will fail to produce. Some will.

Do we have any other choice? I'm all for energy efficiency, but that doesn't come cheap either. And realistically what can we accomplish on a wide scale basis? I try to do my part. But in a sense I have the luxury of being able to do that. Many do not. I wish I could afford more. And maybe someday I will and I'll install that 2kw system I dream about. Or better yet -- 4 kw -- I don't mind sharing. But it is *very* costly. And if I did that it would be me investing in my planet, my country, my neighborhood, my family, and ultimately my daughter's future.

Complicated issues... No easy answers. We have a chance *right now* to move this whole thing forward. Rising oil costs due to unrest in the middle east. A reminder that there are vastly better ways *now* to do nuclear hence we should be re-evaluating our objections to future approaches.

Okay, I've kicked the soapbox out. Someone else get up now...

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Old 03-30-2011, 01:16 PM   #107
kewms
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Re: The fact that you believe a nuclear plant can explode....

Quote:
David Orange wrote: View Post
But no one can prevent my using solar heat, solar food production, solar cooling, solar light. A big part of the slander of solar power is that it has to be converted to electricity to be useful. It does not.
It is 49 degrees and raining outside my office as I write this. In Montana, where my brother lives, spring planting is likely to be a month late because there are still several feet of snow on the ground. In northwestern Pennsylvania, where my mother lives, it's 38 degrees and snow is likely overnight.

There's some solar light and heat in those places right now, but not a whole lot of it, and no solar food production at all. (Incidentally, essentially all food production anywhere on earth depends on sunlight, so I'm not sure why you're treating solar food production as an untapped resource.)

Meanwhile, I'm using electricity to power the computer I use to write this, not to mention the network link out to the world, the servers that host aikiweb, etc.

Katherine

Last edited by kewms : 03-30-2011 at 01:28 PM.
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Old 03-30-2011, 01:33 PM   #108
Keith Larman
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Re: The fact that you believe a nuclear plant can explode....

As a side-note... One neat thing in building the small solar array with my daughter is that by the time we were done she realized that it really didn't put out much energy at all. 10 watts? 20 watts? A single old "low wattage" incandescent light needs 60.

I pointed out to my daughter that if we assume a (expensive) full-sized panel is 240 watts, we'd need about 15 of them to generate the power we use in a day on the average given our location, orientation, etc.

Or to put it in other terms, the tiny system we built to generate 20 watts would have to be 200 times larger. It gives one an appreciation of the scale (and inefficiencies) of things.

I do, however, understand that there are a number of advances hopefully coming soon. Ms. Derbyshire here probably knows quite a bit about those things as some of the exciting things are going on in thin-film solar and other areas. But still... Doubling efficiency, halving cost and it will still be expensive comparatively. It is good stuff, it is useful stuff, it is part of the solution no doubt. But... It will be very unlikely to be the full solution.

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Old 03-30-2011, 01:50 PM   #109
David Orange
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Re: The fact that you believe a nuclear plant can explode....

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Keith Larman wrote: View Post
However, the problem here is the shrill level of debate. Thorium tends to get lumped in to all things nuclear which itself means mushroom clouds, big booms, holes to China, vast devastation, mutant ants and lizards, etc. to many. We cannot move forward until we can have intelligent, focused, fair discussion. Too much knee jerking and a lot of babies are getting tossed with the bathwater...
Keith, I hope you've noticed my many positive comments about thorium. Clearly, it's not same as uranium. It may not be perfect, but the differences are so stark that it seems to me to be night and day. I think it's worth a lot of consideration and research. Good going on your part.

Quote:
Keith Larman wrote: View Post
I wonder how many people die or are horribly disfigured each year in car fires when the gasoline ignites... But no, that's background noise because that has been our world for a long time. Along with the pollution. Along with the accidents. How many people were basically vaporized when the BP rig exploded? How many have died on rigs just drilling? How many die transporting gasoline in tankers?

It all has costs.
Yes, it does, but uranium nuclear plants clearly have a drastically higher cost and far greater risks than anything related.

I'd rank them as 1) nuclear; 2) oil; 3) coal as the big three serious threats to human life on earth. Add in hyraulic fracking for natural gas...

And of course each of those areas has multiple areas. In oil, offshore drilling should be a clear danger to anyone with at least as much sense as a monkey. Anyone with more sense than a monkey should be firmly against offshore drilling, especially in areas like the gulf of Mexico. Next, protected natural lands should simply be removed from the discussion. I have more respect for wolves and moose than for Sarah Palin's right to gun her snowmobile in the wild and for people to drive their Suburbans and H2s at 90mph down the freeway just because they think it's cool. The idea that "If I can afford it, then you have no right to tell me I can't have it" is just baloney. We do that with all kinds of things. Lots of people "can afford" methamphetamine, cocaine and heroin, but we restrict those. It's time we realize as a society that oil and gasoline are our biggest vulnerabilities, along with wasteful demand for electricity and air conditioning. A thing that's killing you cannot also be a "necessity".

Best to you.

David

"That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
Lao Tzu

"Eternity forever!"

www.esotericorange.com
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Old 03-30-2011, 01:56 PM   #110
David Orange
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Re: The fact that you believe a nuclear plant can explode....

Quote:
Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
Again, cut the demand for power in half and you still have a very substantial gap. But I haven't seen any realistic proposals that would cut demand in half.
"Demand?"

People "demand" heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, whiskey, vodka, bigger cars, more electric lights, etc., etc., etc., every day. That doesn't mean that any of that is "necessary".

It's time to shift our priorities from "demand" to "necessity" and cover only the bases that must be covered. We waste far more than half of the energy that's consumed in this country. Take a tour of any city and you'll see vast parking lots of car dealerships lit up brightly all night long, every night of the year. We see giant signs lit up all night for thousands of businesses that aren't even open. Maybe you like it that way. Maybe the business owner loves it, but don't tell me we have to have nuclear plants because most of the "demand" in our country is exactly that kind of pure waste.

There's nothing that says we have to satisfy all the demand for anything. And when satisfying wasteful demand requires exposing everyone to the dangers and the costs of uranium-based nuclear generation plants, the stupidity is clear.

Last edited by akiy : 03-30-2011 at 02:25 PM. Reason: Fixed quote tag

"That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
Lao Tzu

"Eternity forever!"

www.esotericorange.com
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Old 03-30-2011, 02:07 PM   #111
David Orange
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Re: The fact that you believe a nuclear plant can explode....

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote: View Post
11 I believe...someone check my math please...and 11 is already a lot, if you belong to their families or knew them.
I've been in pretty much the same shoes, myself. I was a coal miner, briefly, 1,300 feet underground. We had three fires and some cave-ins while I was there.

I was a steel worker for several months in 1979, exposed to molten steel in various places, as well as fire, CO gas and various mineral dusts.

I've worked in a pulp plant, putting abrasive ceramic onto the debarker machine. I've been a vacuum cleaner demonstrator, a modern dancer (winning the 1987 Panoply of the Arts in Huntsville, Alabama and performing around the state). I've been an English teacher, a bank detective, a technical writer, an interviewer in cancer research, an airplane paint-stripper....a painter...a carpenter...you name it, I may have done it for a living.

The difference with the guys on the oil rig is that they chose to be there. A lot of the people around Fukushima were against the plant, protested when it was approved and had no choice but to live there when it was built. Most of them probably had a good bit of solar capacity in their homes and would have been happy to do without a nuclear plant nearby. They had no choice.

That's a big difference.

Has the radiation from Fukushima reached your area yet? Yesterday in Huntsville, Alabama, a monitor detected a reading of 150 (of whatever unit they use) when the alert level is 100. We certainly didn't choose to receive this fall-out from Tokyo Electric Power Company.

At least the workers knew they were taking a risk and they were getting paid to be there by choice. Are you going to get any money from TEPCO?

Let me know where to apply if you do.

David

"That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
Lao Tzu

"Eternity forever!"

www.esotericorange.com
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Old 03-30-2011, 02:09 PM   #112
kewms
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Re: The fact that you believe a nuclear plant can explode....

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David Orange wrote: View Post
It's time to shift our priorities from "demand" to "necessity" and cover only the bases that must be covered.
Okay, then let's talk about the billions of people living without refrigeration, or the hospitals where doctors operate by candlelight. Or the places where "electricity" means the truckload of car batteries that someone hauls back and forth to the nearest town with a generator. What's your answer for those people?

The US consumes obscene amounts of energy per capita. No argument there. But my point is that even if you substantially reduce that -- which I have so far seen very little political will to do -- you *still* have developing countries doing everything they can to achieve a comparable standard of living. Even if they do it in the most efficient way possible, and even if they do it without US-style overconsumption, you *still* have an enormous amount of, yes, *demand* that simply isn't going to be met by renewables alone.

Katherine
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Old 03-30-2011, 02:21 PM   #113
David Orange
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Re: The fact that you believe a nuclear plant can explode....

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Don Magee wrote: View Post
David Orange seems to think that if it has the word nuclear in it then it can only lead to vast devastation and explosions.
Wrong, Don, and badly played. I have suggested thorium. But I doubt we'll see it because effectively, the word "nuclear" does mean uranium in today's economy, ruled by the uranium interests. And that almost guarantees explosions and devastations.

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Don Magee wrote: View Post
Look even at his description of fusion. The laughable concept that if we could figure out a way to have stable fusion we would kill us with some kind of mini sun.
Hold it right there, Don. Quote it or take it back. I haven't even mentione fusion. Find the quote or apologize, bud.

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Don Magee wrote: View Post
It's just a flawed representation of how these things work. I can't take anything else seriously when comments like that are made.
Quote the comment, Don, or admit that you were at best wrong, and at worst you have badly misrepresented me. State your case, but don't lie to bolster a weak position.

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Don Magee wrote: View Post
With mindsets like these there will be no progress and our society will stagnate and be unable to keep up with it's own growth.
With continued construction of uranium nuclear plants, especially in countries like China, we'll have worse than stagnation. So what mindset are you talking about? Quote it, or apologize.

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Don Magee wrote: View Post
Further more there seems to be some kind of mental block that makes people think that cancer causing radiation is somehow worse then cancer causing pollutants from oil, coal etc.
Okay. Then you'll accept living in a house with asbestos insulation? It's no worse than radiation? It's not a matter of which is worse. It's a matter that only a fool would accept any of it if there's a choice around it.

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Don Magee wrote: View Post
This becomes even sillier when you see how easy it is to control the dangerous substances with nuclear power as apposed to coal and oil where you have no choice but to release it into the air.
Tell that to the people of Fukushima and Tokyo, Don. Did they have a choice? Obviously, it isn't nearly as easy to control as you make it out. Who's paying you to broadcast this kind of false "information"?

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Don Magee wrote: View Post
I'd say the deep water accident was way more damaging to this planet then this nuclear accident can ever be even if the plant does somehow find a way to explode (which is impossible based on the known physics of the universe).
Yet, you still have to qualify your statement, don't you: "IF the plant does somehow...explode..." Which it has already done quite well enough to have sent radiation into Alabama. You're just saying it can't get worse (which it is doing day by day) when the last guy telling me this said that it couldn't happen at all. You're both very seriously wrong.

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Don Magee wrote: View Post
How many people are going to die from eating the byproducts of the chemicals dumped into the ocean to fix that problem? How many people have lost their home and livelihoods because their entire source of income for generations was destroyed?
Yeah. Since the Gulf is already ruined, let's just crack all the reactors open. It won't be as bad as an oil spill?

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Don Magee wrote: View Post
It's clear to me that japan has some work ahead of it, but it doesn't look anywhere near ominous yet.
Open your eyes, Don. It is ominous. I think I waited maybe 18 months since the last guy told me that a nuclear plant "cannot explode". Come back and tell us how ominous it's not in another 18 days. I think you'll have to backpedal quite a bit by then.

"That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
Lao Tzu

"Eternity forever!"

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Old 03-30-2011, 02:24 PM   #114
David Orange
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Re: The fact that you believe a nuclear plant can explode....

Quote:
Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
No, the more modern designs are being built in countries other than the US.
OK. So all US plants are of the same generation as the Fukushima plant (which was designed by GE. That's not helping your arguments for the general safety of the industry.

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Don Magee wrote: View Post
Also, because the approval cycle in the US is so long, I would expect that reactor designs are updated along the way.
You might expect it. I seriously doubt it due to the profit motive. Cut every cost, including safety.

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Don Magee wrote: View Post
If I were the nuclear industry shill you accuse me of being, I might have a definitive answer to that question. Since I'm not, I don't.
Don't worry. I don't expect it.

"That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
Lao Tzu

"Eternity forever!"

www.esotericorange.com
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Old 03-30-2011, 02:27 PM   #115
David Orange
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Re: The fact that you believe a nuclear plant can explode....

Quote:
Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
Again, cut the demand for power in half and you still have a very substantial gap. But I haven't seen any realistic proposals that would cut demand in half.
The only reason the proposals aren't realistic is that the man with the money makes the rules and the rule, in general is "If I can afford it, you can't tell me I can't do it."

So all of us have to pay for the car dealer to light up his gigantic lot all night. All of us have to pay for the lights in Wal Mart's thousands of parking lots all night, every night.

Cut the waste and you're getting realistic.

"That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
Lao Tzu

"Eternity forever!"

www.esotericorange.com
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Old 03-30-2011, 02:33 PM   #116
Marc Abrams
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Re: The fact that you believe a nuclear plant can explode....

For those of us who remember the energy crisis of the 1970's, it was a remarkable period for what has turned out to be a wasted, wake-up call. Imagine if we set 20, 30, 40, 50 year mandates so that today, all new home and business construction in sunbelt areas had mandated solar panels and northern latitudes all had geothermal systems. Wind farms in certain areas, research in water-current generators,etc...

The lack of political will has been bought and paid for by you know who.....

Marc Abrams
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Old 03-30-2011, 02:35 PM   #117
kewms
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Re: The fact that you believe a nuclear plant can explode....

Quote:
David Orange wrote: View Post
OK. So all US plants are of the same generation as the Fukushima plant (which was designed by GE. That's not helping your arguments for the general safety of the industry..
Actually, a plant that was begun in 1974 would have substantially newer technology than one that was *finished* in 1974, as the Fukushima reactors were.

But you don't have to take my word for it.

Complete list of operating US reactors, with technology used:
http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/in..._reactors.html

Complete list of operating Japanese reactors, with technology used:
http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/inf79.html

The rest of your post attributes to Don some things that I actually wrote. As you recently demanded that Don produce quotes from your posts, I suggest you pay a little more attention to your own attributions.

Katherine
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Old 03-30-2011, 02:37 PM   #118
David Orange
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Re: The fact that you believe a nuclear plant can explode....

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Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
(Incidentally, essentially all food production anywhere on earth depends on sunlight, so I'm not sure why you're treating solar food production as an untapped resource.)
The reason is that it is untapped for the most part. Sure, most all food is grown with sunlight, but if I grow it in my back yard, I avoid all the oil that would be used to transport it from some distant source. I save the energy of going to the store to buy it and bring it home. I don't use the store's resources to keep it.

Again, the big falacy is to measure all "solar power" by conversion to electricity. Buckminster Fuller could trace almost anything back to a source at the sun. It's also possible to trace almost anything forward from the sun to our daily use. It just takes a little creative thinking and realizing that electricity does not have to be involved in everything, even though, these days, it is.

"That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
Lao Tzu

"Eternity forever!"

www.esotericorange.com
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Old 03-30-2011, 02:47 PM   #119
David Orange
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Re: The fact that you believe a nuclear plant can explode....

Quote:
Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
Okay, then let's talk about the billions of people living without refrigeration, or the hospitals where doctors operate by candlelight. Or the places where "electricity" means the truckload of car batteries that someone hauls back and forth to the nearest town with a generator. What's your answer for those people?
Obviously, for those people, getting by on almost zero electricity, solar electricity can vastly multiply their electricity, can't it? It can double, triple, quadruple their supply. It can provide all their current usage and more. The key is for them not to fall into the situation you describe below. All your arguments so far have been based on the idea that we must supply all the obscene demand for electricity in the US. For the societies you mention, the key is to not be the kinds of fools we have been in the US and not develop obscene energy habits: stay close to nature and work in ways that don't require generated elelctricity--as humanity was able to do for thousands of years before Ben Franklin.

Quote:
Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
The US consumes obscene amounts of energy per capita. No argument there. But my point is that even if you substantially reduce that -- which I have so far seen very little political will to do -- you *still* have developing countries doing everything they can to achieve a comparable standard of living.
A comparable standard of obscenity, you mean? Obviously, that's a big mistake. So we shouldn't even consider trying to support that around the world.

Quote:
Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
Even if they do it in the most efficient way possible, and even if they do it without US-style overconsumption, you *still* have an enormous amount of, yes, *demand* that simply isn't going to be met by renewables alone.
Again, however, with the same kinds of investments in renewables (including a more intelligent conceptualization of the very nature of energy and renewable energy sources), they could. The US' obscene consumption is not a golden state to be sught after but a cancer to be avoided. What we have has long since passed beyond quality of life to a serious sickness. Putting nuclear plants all over the map is just a kind of convulsion from a very sick mind.

"That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
Lao Tzu

"Eternity forever!"

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Old 03-30-2011, 02:50 PM   #120
kewms
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Re: The fact that you believe a nuclear plant can explode....

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David Orange wrote: View Post
The only reason the proposals aren't realistic is that the man with the money makes the rules and the rule, in general is "If I can afford it, you can't tell me I can't do it."

So all of us have to pay for the car dealer to light up his gigantic lot all night. All of us have to pay for the lights in Wal Mart's thousands of parking lots all night, every night.

Cut the waste and you're getting realistic.
And your concrete proposal for changing this situation is?

A dramatic increase in electricity cost would be a good start, perhaps beginning with a carbon tax that would favor electricity from renewable sources. Alabama's congressmen are listed here:
http://www.contactingthecongress.org...c2011&state=al

Perhaps you could do us all the favor of finding out where they stand on carbon taxes?

Sorry, but I'm really sick of seeing proposals (not just from you) that suggest conservation as the ultimate solution to all our energy woes. Yes, conservation would certainly help. But how do you get there? You need a carbon tax. You need decent schools in urban areas so that people are willing to live there instead of commuting from 20 miles out. You need zoning that favors high density instead of urban sprawl. You need sidewalks, bike lanes, and effective public transit to serve that higher density. You need electricity regulations that favor net metering and demand-based pricing, plus the technological upgrades to the grid that would support those regulations. And so on and so on. Some steps can be taken at the local level, and are being taken in some communities. Some require state or national-level action. To *really* have a global effect, you need to make such steps part of the infrastructure, so that developing economies work that way, too. But none of them are going to happen overnight, and none of them are going to be achieved by essentially telling people to sit at home in the dark.

And so you can't wave a magic wand and cut energy consumption in half. And because you can't, you *still* have to figure out where all that energy is going to come from, and renewables *still* aren't enough to fill the gap.

Katherine
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Old 03-30-2011, 02:52 PM   #121
kewms
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Re: The fact that you believe a nuclear plant can explode....

Quote:
David Orange wrote: View Post
The reason is that it is untapped for the most part. Sure, most all food is grown with sunlight, but if I grow it in my back yard, I avoid all the oil that would be used to transport it from some distant source. I save the energy of going to the store to buy it and bring it home. I don't use the store's resources to keep it.
And food self-sufficiency is feasible for what fraction of the US population?

Katherine
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Old 03-30-2011, 02:55 PM   #122
kewms
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Re: The fact that you believe a nuclear plant can explode....

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David Orange wrote: View Post
A comparable standard of obscenity, you mean? Obviously, that's a big mistake. So we shouldn't even consider trying to support that around the world.
Sorry, but "we" here in the US don't have a choice. China is building a megawatt-scale coal-fired generation plant every *week,* whether we like it or not.

Katherine
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Old 03-30-2011, 03:02 PM   #123
Ron Tisdale
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Re: The fact that you believe a nuclear plant can explode....

Ok, David, don't hate me for this but...

While i feel a certain sentimental attachment to your arguements, they ONLY way I see all of these things coming together is to live under a one world government where CHOICE is an obscene word.

Ok, now, SEE!!!! I really am getting paranoid!

Best,
Ron (hastily looking over my shoulder, and closing my blinds to keep out the dark helicopter)

Ron Tisdale
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Old 03-30-2011, 03:03 PM   #124
kewms
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Re: The fact that you believe a nuclear plant can explode....

Quote:
David Orange wrote: View Post
Obviously, for those people, getting by on almost zero electricity, solar electricity can vastly multiply their electricity, can't it? It can double, triple, quadruple their supply. It can provide all their current usage and more. The key is for them not to fall into the situation you describe below. All your arguments so far have been based on the idea that we must supply all the obscene demand for electricity in the US. For the societies you mention, the key is to not be the kinds of fools we have been in the US and not develop obscene energy habits: stay close to nature and work in ways that don't require generated elelctricity--as humanity was able to do for thousands of years before Ben Franklin.
So you'll be canceling your phone line, your cell service, and your internet access?

Sorry, asking the rest of the world to pass on "luxuries" like electric lights and telephones is not a viable option. Number one, they won't do it. And number two, IMO it's immoral for the developed world to ask them to.

Think about it: I can earn a decent living without breaking my back in the fields all day, because I can sell electronically-generated "products" into the information economy. But you, developing world farmer, should continue to stay close to nature, and burn wood and cow dung for light and to stay warm (both of which are horrendously polluting), and bounce along on a donkey-drawn cart for days when you need to take your products to the market or see a doctor (who may not be there because you didn't have a phone to call ahead), because you shouldn't aspire to my hideously wasteful standard of living. Now *that's* obscene.

Katherine
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Old 03-30-2011, 03:12 PM   #125
kewms
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Re: The fact that you believe a nuclear plant can explode....

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David Orange wrote: View Post
Has the radiation from Fukushima reached your area yet? Yesterday in Huntsville, Alabama, a monitor detected a reading of 150 (of whatever unit they use) when the alert level is 100. We certainly didn't choose to receive this fall-out from Tokyo Electric Power Company.
If you don't even know what units are used to define the "alert" level, you really shouldn't claim to be knowledgeable about nuclear risks.

In many cases, the monitors that are going off were intended to detect things like clandestine nuclear weapons tests. They're designed to spot very small needles in very big haystacks.

Katherine
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