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Glom
2003-Jul-19, 09:53 PM
I suggest that friends of nuclear power start up this movement to fight the evil ignorant mass hysteria that permeates the world today.

But first of all, I have to work out what to do.

Of course, it will be completely independant of Bad Astronomy.

BigJim
2003-Jul-19, 09:55 PM
First, I think we should debate anti-Cassini people like the moon hoaxers. Perhaps we could start a newsletter. Here's the first one:

FREEDOM FOR FISSION NEWSLETTER #1:

Nuclear power is good.

The Supreme Canuck
2003-Jul-20, 02:19 AM
The title is kind of discriminatory. What about fusion?

<Edit>

Oh yeah, nuclear power is good.

</Edit>

BigJim
2003-Jul-20, 02:20 AM
The title is kind of discriminatory. What about fusion?

I can't imagine what objections environmentalists could possibly have to nuclear fusion power.

The Supreme Canuck
2003-Jul-20, 02:28 AM
Well they have them. They're complaining that the experimental reactor that is going to be built (can't remember the name...) could be built in Canada. They think it's somehow bad for the environment and would release radiation. :roll:

BigJim
2003-Jul-20, 02:29 AM
HOW? HOW COULD A NUCLEAR FUSION REACTOR POSSIBLY DO ANY HARM?

Boy, am I getting fed up with these guys.

The Supreme Canuck
2003-Jul-20, 02:35 AM
You are?!? I live in the same country as them!!! GGGRRRRRR!!! :evil:

Sorry. They tick me off.

dgruss23
2003-Jul-20, 03:07 AM
HOW? HOW COULD A NUCLEAR FUSION REACTOR POSSIBLY DO ANY HARM?

Boy, am I getting fed up with these guys.

But fusion reactors would need to use seawater as fuel. Think about the fish! Imagine you're a poor little clownfish minding your own business and all of a sudden you're sucked into some tube and splatted against a filtering screen until the life is sucked out of you. How can you even suggest that fusion reactors are harmless? And don't think you're going to get out of it by shipping the whole human race to Mars. There could be Martian Bacteria you know ... and they have rights too! You humans ... nothing but a bunch of invaders terrorizing poor helpless life on Earth, taking your claws and ripping them into the flesh of otherwise peaceful nature.

(Here's hoping the intentional irony put into that last part is not wasted).

The Supreme Canuck
2003-Jul-20, 03:10 AM
Don't worry, it wasn't lost. :lol:

Maybe we should start by explaining how fission and fission reactors actually work. Start with the basics, you know?

orion11349
2003-Jul-20, 03:22 AM
Supreme,

I think that explaining how each works is a excellent idea. My question would be were do you store the waste products? How long does it have to be stored until it is no longer a danger?

What kind of waste is generated by a Fusion reactor? The same as a Fission?

Keep up the good work =D>

wedgebert
2003-Jul-20, 03:31 AM
HOW? HOW COULD A NUCLEAR FUSION REACTOR POSSIBLY DO ANY HARM?

Boy, am I getting fed up with these guys.

Many forms of Fusion power (Deuterium - Deuterium and Deuterium - Tritum for example) do release radiation. Not in the form of radioactive waste like fission but just as neutrons.

This means the core of the reactor will become radioactive itself as it absorbs the neutrons. But all things considered it's like not using coal power because fire scares very young kids.


Anyways, I'll join the Freedom for Fission group, but I want to be in charge of the "Why we need a lunar outpost/colony now" and "Why Helium-3 is your friend" debates :)

The Supreme Canuck
2003-Jul-20, 03:34 AM
orion11349:

The United States government has decided that all nuclear waste should be stored at the Yucca Mountain storage facility. They'll bury it under the mountain until it is no longer radioactive. The time it takes for materials to become non-radioactive varies. The half-lives of common radioactive materials are as follows:

Beryllium 2,700,000 years
Calcium 100,000 years
Cesium-137 half life - 30 years
Cesium-135 2,000,000 years
Rubidium 47,000,000,000 years
Palladium 7,000,000 years
iodine-129 17,200,000 years
plutonium-239 half life - 24,390 years
strontium-89 53 days
strontium-90 28 years
tin-126 100,000 years
uranium-235 713,000,000 years
uranium-238 4,510,000,000 years

Half-life is the time it takes for half of the substance to decay. For example, if you have a substance with a half-life of 1 day, half of it would be gone in 24 hours. 24 hours later half of the remaining substance would have decayed and so on.

Also, I'm fairly certain that fusion reactors do not produce waste in vast quantities, and it is not of the same kind as fission reactors.

Keep in mind, though, that I'm no expert. :wink:

ocasey3
2003-Jul-20, 04:01 AM
Aren't the byproducts of fusion basically water?

I am all for fusion, but I do have some reservations about fission. Let me explain. When I was in HS most of my science projects were about nuclear fission, so I know a little bit. The waste of fission is a big problem and I am not satisfied that we know how to dispose of it properly. Then, there seems to be so many problems with the reactors and containment buildings. I believe the science is good but what can you expect when it is the lowest bidder who builds the facilities? Did you ever see The China Syndrome? :o

How about sending nuclear waste into the sun? Is it feasible? Safe?

The Supreme Canuck
2003-Jul-20, 04:29 AM
Aren't the byproducts of fusion basically water?

As I said, I'm no expert. I really don't know.

Also, sending nuclear waste into the sun would be safe, but launching it might not be. There is a lot of waste and it would require a lot of launches to get it all up. Statistically, something is likely to go wrong with the rocket. Not a good thing.

wedgebert
2003-Jul-20, 04:55 AM
The byproducts of fusion can range from tritium (hydrogen-3) to helium and upwards past Lithium depending on the fuel used.

Water is not a by product since your using helium and hydrogen as your main fuels.

The Supreme Canuck
2003-Jul-20, 04:58 AM
Isn't the tritium used in furter reactions? Like a breeder reactor? (Bad analogy, but it gets the job done...)

wedgebert
2003-Jul-20, 05:07 AM
No, tritium is the end product of the breeder reactors. Tritium is radioactive with a short half-life and is not readily available in nature.

I believe (as in too lazy to look it up) that Lithium-6 (might be 8, but I think it's 6) is used as a breeder fuel to create tritium. Could be wrong though.

ocasey3
2003-Jul-20, 05:14 AM
The byproducts of fusion can range from tritium (hydrogen-3) to helium and upwards past Lithium depending on the fuel used.

Water is not a by product since your using helium and hydrogen as your main fuels.

Arrgh, I have forgotten soooo much. Where did I come up with the water thing? I know better. #-o

So tritium is "made" from lithium and deuterium from water. Fuse them together and you get helium and neutrinos and some other stuff.

Got it! 8)

The Supreme Canuck
2003-Jul-20, 05:18 AM
Wait, wait. I was asking if the tritium created in fusion reactors is used to further fusion. I may have muddled the question with that awful breeder reactor analogy. Sorry. :oops:

wedgebert
2003-Jul-20, 05:38 AM
Wait, wait. I was asking if the tritium created in fusion reactors is used to further fusion. I may have muddled the question with that awful breeder reactor analogy. Sorry. :oops:

That and spelling further "furter", I thought you might have meant father in the breeder reactor.

But no, the tritium is not used to further fusion. The tritium is fused with deuturium and out pops a helium atom (he4), a free neutron (bad = radiation) and some energy (17.6 MeV).

To "make" the tritum, you irradiate lithium-6 with slow neutrons and out pops helium, tritum and 4.8 MeV. You can also use the more common Lithium-7 and bombard it with fast neutrons, that gives you helium, tritium and a slow electron.

More Information (http://http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/nucene/fusion.html)

Hmm, with all the information I keep having to look up on nuclear fusion and releated topics for all my posts, maybe I should consider switching my major over to nuclear physics. Maybe then I'll get around to graduating :)

The Supreme Canuck
2003-Jul-20, 05:43 AM
Ah ha! I get it now, thanks a lot. Sorry about that confusing post, I was a bit distracted. I really need to get a book about all of this... :wink:

Kaptain K
2003-Jul-20, 09:21 AM
The problem with He3* is that even though no "particle" radiation is released, the energy released is in the form of gamma rays. Eventually, the whole reactor gets hot and has to be disposed of properly. Similar to the faulty logic of claiming that electric cars are "clean". The pollution is just one step removed.

* Aside from:
1) Finding it.
2) Making any fusion reaction actually work!

QuagmaPhage
2003-Jul-20, 09:58 AM
Nuclear power is good.

I would say that nuclear power is neutral like all other technology. If it is not handled correctly it can be very dangerous. A lot of the opposition to nuclear power is due to insufficient information and bad management. The Supreme Canuck mentioned that USA stores it's nuclear waste at the Yucca Mountain storage facility, which happens to be situated on a volcanic fault line. In my opinion the largest drawback of nuclear power is the very long halflife of the waste. It is easy for us to just shove the waste into a large hole in the ground but in 10,000 - 50,000 years a lot of geological activity can happen and it is not certain that the people of that time will know of the danger. Nobody want a waste facility placed in their backyard, but in Europe it is hard to find a suitable place where noone lives closeby.

I'm not against nuclear power but i'm also not all positive about it, that would be too naive. While it looks good on paper the implementation is not good enough many places. Britain has Magnox reactors that were designed to run for only 20 to 25 years but some are still running eventhough they are 30 to 45 years old. The Sellafield reactor is quite infamous and has had a lot of problems during the years.

Glom
2003-Jul-20, 11:02 AM
But nuclear waste wouldn't have been a problem if the fission products were reprocessed and reused. It's because of the anti-nukyular lobby that reprocessing was stopped. Then they complain about the resulting waste build up. They caused the problem in the first place.

Glom
2003-Jul-20, 11:23 AM
Just to clarify, fission is more of the hot topic and since calling it Freedom For Fission and Fusion isn't quite as poetic, Freedom For Fission is better.

BigJim
2003-Jul-20, 03:34 PM
Why do I feel a long post coming on again....





In my opinion the largest drawback of nuclear power is the very long halflife of the waste. It is easy for us to just shove the waste into a large hole in the ground but in 10,000 - 50,000 years a lot of geological activity can happen and it is not certain that the people of that time will know of the danger.

But not all of it is highly radioactive. In most cases just burying it underground away from groundwater is sufficient. And, even though the environmentalists would hate me for saying this....... we could dump it in the ocean. It's very large and very deep, and it would only affect a very minimal proportion of ocean life. Personally I wouldn't have any problem with dumping nuclear waste into the Pacific Ocean.


I'm not against nuclear power but i'm also not all positive about it, that would be too naive. While it looks good on paper the implementation is not good enough many places. Britain has Magnox reactors that were designed to run for only 20 to 25 years but some are still running eventhough they are 30 to 45 years old

But you have to understand why the implementation is bad. The current economics of nuclear power make it difficult to use. I do not know of the nuclear power situation in the UK but I do know of the situation in the United States, and it would not surprise me if they are similar.

Since TMI, the NRC has levied numerous, often arbitrary requirements for nuclear power plants to get licenses that make it almost impossible to get them. The US Capitol building in Washington, DC would be illegal to use as a nuclear power plant because the radiation levels are too high. Paperwork for setting up a nuclear plant is almost endless. It can take longer to finish it than to build the plant. Sometimes in the midst of construction requirements are changed, requiring new construction in place of what has already happened. Because of the extreme requirements put on nuclear power plants and the way they are built, each one is currently built slightly differently from others. There is not as of yet any "expertise" on building nuclear power plants because new teams of engineers build each one, causing the same mistakes to be made over and over. Once a reactor vessel at a California plant was installed backwards. And then the environmentalists can file hundreds of lawsuits, making it impossible to get the required licenses. Several nuclear power plants have been changed to coal in midconstruction because of the difficulty in obtaining licenses. Some plants were nearly finished for ten to fifteen years before obtaining licenses to operate.

The nuclear industry needs two things to become more economical. First, much of the paperwork needs to simplified as a great deal of it is arbitrary. If licenses are easier to get, plants will become easier to build. Second, there needs to be a more standard design for nuclear power plants, which will prevent mistakes from being made over and over. Right now, nuclear power plants can cost from $1 billion to $3 billion to build.

However, once built, nuclear power plants are far cheaper to operate than coal plants. The importance of this cannot be overstated. Almost all of coal plants' cost comes from their operating costs. They require thousands of trainloads of coal a year to operate. A nuclear power plant only requires a few truckloads of fresh fuel per year. Coal plants also must constantly run mining operations to get coal, in which many miners die. The pollution from coal plants is estimated to kill 50 people a day. The volume of waste produced is actually more than the orginal fuel, and they put more radiation into the environment than nuclear plants do.

So, because of the operating costs, the final cost per kilowatt hour to the customer is virtually the same to the customer. If nuclear power becomes easier to build by relaxing many of the arbitrary requirements and by using common designs, it will become much cheaper.

The anti-nukyular power activists don't care that coal plants are more radioactive than nuclear ones; that the Capitol bulding is more radioactive than a nuclear plant is legally allowed to be; that the only proven deaths from nuclear power were at the poorly designed Chernobyl plant, but it is a proven fact that over 50 people a day die from the pollution caused by coal and oil plants. They don't care that the heating power of a gram of uranium is similar to that of something like ten million tons of coal, that coal mining causes thousands of deaths, or that coal power plants require trainloads of fuel a day, and that nuclear power plants need a few truckloads per year. They also fail to realize the advantages of NTRs or NEPs, and that Yucca Mountain will cost $58 billion, mostly due to them (note that this is approximately three times the cost of a manned Mars mission).

Basically, if I wanted to stay safe from radiation, I would replace all coal plants with nuclear ones.

While nuclear power plants can have problems, in practice if safety regulations are followed they do not. A perfect example of a problem at a properly regulated plant was Three Mile Island. There was a major problem, and if the plant was not designed for safety people might have been hurt. But the containment structure prevented any radioactive release and protected the population of the area. The same cannot be said for coal and oil plants, whose pollution affects everyone in their area, including wildlife.

Glom
2003-Jul-20, 03:46 PM
:cry: =D>

Brought a tear to me eye.

That's why we need this movement. But figuring out what a movement is supposed to do is the tricky part. 8-[ :-?

The Supreme Canuck
2003-Jul-20, 06:44 PM
You should write a book! =D>

Glom
2003-Jul-20, 06:48 PM
You should write a book! =D>

That could be a good start to the movement.

The Supreme Canuck
2003-Jul-20, 06:51 PM
By the way, I was completely serious. Write a book. Who knows, it may actually change some peoples' minds.

Glom
2003-Jul-20, 06:55 PM
Where's g? He had that quote in his signature about one man changing the world.

The Supreme Canuck
2003-Jul-20, 06:57 PM
Vacationing.

ocasey3
2003-Jul-20, 07:27 PM
I'm sorry, but I don't think dumping any waste into the ocean is a good idea. No idea what the ramifications would be in the future. Underground is best, but not on a fault line! [-X

Glom
2003-Jul-20, 07:29 PM
Our reprocessing it to ensure a supply for hundreds of years would be even better.

ocasey3
2003-Jul-20, 07:30 PM
Agreed. Where is a good place to read up on that?

BigJim
2003-Jul-20, 07:54 PM
The Great Nuclear Power Debate. Your library should have it.

Wirraway
2003-Jul-20, 08:24 PM
to nuke proponents in the US:

Yucca Mountain, where the US government wants to dump YOUR nuclear waste, is a hundred miles from here in MY backyard.

no thanks. and don't think this fight is over.

so you like nuke plants in, that's fine with me, build all the ones you want, build them on every street corner if you're that much taken by them. that fact that you don't want to accept the true operating costs and hazards due to waste products and want to put anyone else but yourselves at risk is also understandable, but it is also fundamentally dishonest.

Nevada does not want your nuclear wastes. keep it yourselves.

helluva complex way to boil water.

Glom
2003-Jul-20, 08:49 PM
Yucca Mountain, where the US government wants to dump YOUR nuclear waste, is a hundred miles from here in MY backyard.

Yucca Mountain is 100 miles from Las Vegas. That is hardly backyard enough for it to be any threat. It's also a bit rich for someone living in a city like Las Vegas to be complaining about a nuclear storage facility when you're in the middle of the Nevada desert, get bombarded daily by extremely concentrated solar radiation as well as inhaling the radioactive isotopes released by all the motor vehicles.


and don't think this fight is over.

The fight hasn't begun. Fear mongerers have been promoting mass hysteria for half a century. Now we're fighting back.


that fact that you don't want to accept the true operating costs

Politics make the construction costs very high because of all the red tape and politically correct crap that power companies are put through. Once it is built, operating them is far cheaper than any other power plant.


and hazards due to waste products

The most radioactive isotopes produced are allowed to decay in the few hours after the fuel is removed from the reactor. The rest is more stable stuff that is stored until some administration realises that there are hundreds of years worth of energy locked up in the stuff and allows the fuel to be reprocessed and reused. If nuclear fission was given the proper freedom is deserves, there wouldn't be a waste problem. The fission products would be reused and we wouldn't have any Yucca Mountain.


and want to put anyone else but yourselves at risk is also understandable, but it is also fundamentally dishonest.

I would have no problem with living near a properly run storage facility. Of course, I don't so that statement is admittedly somewhat empty. But I wouldn't mind because I know that I should be far more concerned with radioactive radon gas in my home or radioactive potassium in my blood stream or the exhaust fumes from my car than with anything Yucca Mountain could throw at me.


helluva complex way to boil water.

However, it is the most efficient way of doing it.

Musashi
2003-Jul-20, 08:58 PM
What radioactive isotopes are released in car exhaust? Not sarcasm, serious question. Also, how does Vegas get bombarded by a higher concentrate of solar radiation?

The Supreme Canuck
2003-Jul-20, 08:59 PM
After you reprocess radioactive waste, you get usable fuel, but surely there must still be some waste material. What's left and how much would there be?

Vermonter
2003-Jul-20, 09:05 PM
I'll admit, I was once caught up in the mass hysteria of the Nuclear Plants of [)(o)(o)/\/\...until I started to realize, by reading here and there, that it wasn't so bad.

Chernobyl and Three Mile Island were highly publicized (I have a game on me Commodore 64 called Chernobyl!), and mass media has a way of hitting the most people with junk information. Hollywood has had its fair share of atrocities when it comes to dealing with nuclear power, also.

At our house in VT, my mother and father and I have been discussing ways to cut power costs for our house, to save money. We've been thinking of a combination of solar and wind to help out.

I think it would be wonderful if we could reprocess the spent fuel rods and use them again. Which brings me to an important question: Is that what North Korea is doing? So they can run their power plants longer? I've been awefully wary of what Mr. Bush has been touting ever since he decided we needed to fight the Iraqis. Not trying to start a political debate, tho.

Is that a possibility for the N. Koreans? Mass media has been making a big deal about them building weapons with the spent rods. Hmmm...

Glom
2003-Jul-20, 09:17 PM
Spent fuel consists of three components. Uranium that was unused in the initial reaction. Plutonium that was formed by neutron absorption. And radioactive fission products. The uranium and plutonium are comparatively stable, at least when compared to the other stuff, and are used again. The fission products consist of some stuff that decays in the initial cooldown period and other more stable nuclides that could be used for other purposes like in RTGs or in various medical technologies.

The Supreme Canuck
2003-Jul-20, 09:21 PM
Thanks!

Hmm... seems to be pretty tidy to me. Reprocessing is a good idea.

BigJim
2003-Jul-20, 11:41 PM
Reprocessing is a good idea.

It is. Tell that to Jimmy Carter, though.

The reason that we don't reprocess fuel is entirely political. Only about 1% of the fissionable uranium in a fuel pellet is used during its time in the reactor, and a good amount of fissionable plutonium is there also. Almost all of the nuclear waste has vast amounts of fuel in it to be reprocessed.




Yucca Mountain, where the US government wants to dump YOUR nuclear waste, is a hundred miles from here in MY backyard.


As Glom said, 100 miles away is hardly your backyard. There are several nuclear and coal plants withing 100 miles of me but I'm not glowing yet. Mohave and Reid Gardner coal power plants are significantly closer to you and you will receive many times the radiation dosage you would get due to Yucca Mountain from them.

One of the reasons why Yucca Mountain costs three times what a manned Mars mission would is because it is safe. Many billions of dollars and years of effort have gone into selecting and preparing the site. I would not feel at all unsafe living near Yucca Mountain.


that fact that you don't want to accept the true operating costs and hazards due to waste products and want to put anyone else but yourselves at risk is also understandable, but it is also fundamentally dishonest.


I don't really understand your point. We didn't choose Yucca Mountain to endanger people who live in Nevada, we chose it because it was the safest place to deposit nuclear waste. It is a mountain. The waste stored there will not harm you, nor will it leak into the groundwater. There are nuclear waste sites in nearly every state in the US, and we are not afraid of them. There is nothing to fear from a properly built storage site. It's like being afraid of weapons arsenals at nearby military bases - there could be a problem, but most likely there would not be.

I would like to take this opportunity to point out that you would receive far more radiation from a luminous watch, television, radon gas, limestone, or even your own bloodstream than from nuclear waste buried in a mountain which is over 100 miles away from you. I'd like to ask what you're really afraid of. Ionizing radiation is made up of three things - alpha radiation, which can be stopped by paper, beta radiation, which is stopped by metal, and gamma radiation, which can be stopped by several meters of lead or concrete. Clearly Yucca Mountain has far more protection than that.


Nevada does not want your nuclear wastes. keep it yourselves.

That's OK. But don't put yourself in a position against nuclear power because you are upset that a mountain in your state was chosen to store nuclear waste. Neither one is going to hurt you and nuclear power can help you. You oppose nuclear power not for any reasons actually having to do with it, but entirely because of an irrational fear and NIMBY (Not In My Backyard) syndrome. Politics again, which is the reason why nuclear power is not widespread in the first place.

Plus, nuclear fission is far more efficient at boiling water than any chemical forms of heating, as Glom pointed out. Actually, it's not as frivolous as Wirraway made it seem - power is currently produced by making steam, and to make steam, one must boil water - and one gram of uranium has the heating power of 20 million tons of coal. Just think of the pollution from that much coal. Nuclear power does heat water - very efficiently. And that's not all it does. I have a friend who had a brain tumor, and had it treated with radiation. Without radiation, he may not have survived. When used properly, as it is in the US and UK, nuclear power and even radiation are two incredibly powerful and beneficial tools.

Wirraway
2003-Jul-21, 12:18 AM
we get a lot of solar radiation cuz' the sun shines a lot here, its what we're famous for. since this fact concerns at least one poster, my advice is to use sun block (when it rains, you might want to come out of it). apart from that brilliant observation....

like I said, if you're in love with nuke radiation, that's ok by me, build as many as you want, wherever you want, any design you want. its your decision. just accept the full costs with the benefits instead of doing the moral equivalent of polluting the river downstream. there are actually laws preventing that, even in this country.

100 miles or 10 miles, its our backyard. its our state. you're using the worst kind of justification for pollution possible -- "as long as it doesn't bother me and kinda sorta doesn't bother you". right? Nevada was chosen because it has minimal political clout. Surely you're not so naive to think that safety alone was the dominant consideration. is anyone you know of actually begging to become the country's nuke dumping ground? are you?

Nevada and its residents are fully capable of deciding what kind of energy sources and the associated environmental/health costs are acceptable -- coal fired plants OK. Lake Mead and the power plant there -- OK.

for us to bear the costs associated with YOUR nuke use isn't acceptable. this is not "irrational fear", this is a decision of the residents here. UNLESS you're going to lecture us on what's best for us, and what we should or should not be afraid of.

the question you'll never get around to addressing is, why not keep nuke waste yourselves? you're not afraid of something, are you?

tell me why you don't want nuke waste in your backyard.

I'm listening.

Musashi
2003-Jul-21, 12:26 AM
I still want to know what radioactive isotopes are coming out of my car.

And I am wondering why the sunlight in Vegas is more harmful than the sunlight in say, L.A.?

BigJim
2003-Jul-21, 02:03 AM
tell me why you don't want nuke waste in your backyard.

What does this have to do with Yucca Mountain? I agree with Glom. I wouldn't be afraid at all of a safe nuclear waste storage site such as Yucca Mountain. It's not as if they're actually dumping high-level waste in your backyard. It's being buried deep inside a mountain which is over 100 miles away from you.






Nevada and its residents are fully capable of deciding what kind of energy sources and the associated environmental/health costs are acceptable -- coal fired plants OK

Coal OK? Coal OK? If you think coal is OK, then I don't know what the heck you're worried about. Pollution from coal plants is proven to kill over 50 people a day. It is one of the primary causes of acid rain. You receive more radiation from coal plants than from nuclear plants. Coal mining kills thousands of miners either from injury in mines or from lung cancer.

Nuclear power plants are also far easiser to operate than coal plants. Coal plants require thousands of trainloads of coal a year to operate. A nuclear power plant only requires a few truckloads of fresh fuel per year. To get this coal, coal plants also must constantly run mining operations to get coal, in which many miners die. The volume of waste produced is actually more than the orginal fuel. And this waste has to go somewhere, too. Coal plants are so dirty that it makes nuclear waste seem clean by comparison. Would you rather have a coal plant releasing pollutants which are proven to cause cancer and other respiratory dieseases, are proven to cause acid rain, and kill many miners each year, or a nuclear plant whose only waste is nuclear waste which can be safely stored at the bottom of swimming pools?

I don't understand how you are opposed to both radiation and nuclear plants at the same time. If I wanted to stay safe from radiation, I would replace all coal plants with nuclear ones. Nuclear plants provide almost no radiation exposure to people whatsoever.

Wirraway, before you go on, view the file here (http://www.energy-northwest.com/NewFiles/Sources.html). It is a breakdown of your radiation exposure sources. As you can see, the amount of radiation you would receive from wearing a luminous wristwatch is seven times what you would get from living within 50 miles of a nuclear reactor. You don't live within 50 miles of a nuclear reactor, but you do live within 50 miles of two coal plants, each of which provide three times the radiation dosage that a nuclear plant would. Watching TV provides about 100 times the radiation that living near a nuclear plant would, and living in a stone, brick, or concrete buliding is a factor of 7 more. But you have to understand that none of these doses are serious. The .01 mrem you would receive if you lived within 50 miles of a nuclear plant, which you do not, is simply not important.



why not keep nuke waste yourselves? you're not afraid of something, are you?

Get this through your head: Yucca Mountain was not chosen because "everyone else was too scared." There were several sites under consideration and Yucca Mountain was chosen because it provides the safest environment for storing nuclear waste. If Yucca Mountain was in New York, than the waste would be deposited there. It's not as if there's some conspiracy against Nevada.






I'm listening.

If you were you would have addressed our points.

wedgebert
2003-Jul-21, 02:47 AM
I just wanted to say that I used to live in Oak Ridge, TN, where they did a lot of the work for the first nuclear bombs our country built alongw with building plenty more after that.

I lived not 15 miles from the X-10 and Y-12 plants where not only did they used to build nuclear weapons, but they are currently disassembling existing ones.

Yet, I'm not glowing, and you have to be in a real dark room to notice the water glowing.

frenat
2003-Jul-21, 03:09 AM
I have read before that if one were to live only one mile away from a nuclear plant they would still receive more radiation each year from the food they eat. I have been a supporter of nuclear power for years. It is safer, cleaner, and tons more efficient than coal. What's more is coal will not last forever. Neither will Uranium but it will last much longer than coal and will definitely last long enough for fusion to become a viable alternative. We need more funding in fusion research and we need more nuclear plants.

The Supreme Canuck
2003-Jul-21, 05:03 AM
Which type of fission reactor is the most efficient and the least likely to malfunction?

To me it looks like the CANDU reactor is a good candidate, but I really don't know much on the subject.

http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/CANDU_reactor
http://www.nuclearfaq.ca/

Kaptain K
2003-Jul-21, 05:20 AM
One thing that some people seem to miss (especially those who think that all radiation is equal and equally bad) is the relationship between radiation level and half-life.

Half-lives range from submicroseconds to outrageous multiples of the age of the universe. The short lived, highly active isotopes quickly decay to either stable or long lived elements. Radioactive gold is used for nuclear radiation therapy because it has a half life of around two days, so it quickly becomes non-radioactive. Also, it decays to a stable isotope of platinum. Since platinum is chemically inert, the spent pellet can be left in place.

Long lived isotopes such as U238 (4.7 billion years) or Pb204 (140 million billion years) have such low levels of radiocativity, that the radiation hazzard is also relatively low.

The danger lies in the middle ground. Isotopes that are hot enough to be dangerous and long lived enough to be dangerous for some time. Strontium 90 (30 years) and cobalt 60 (5 years) are in this category.

Wirraway
2003-Jul-21, 06:22 AM
tell me why you don't want nuke waste in your backyard.

What does this have to do with Yucca Mountain? I agree with Glom. I wouldn't be afraid at all of a safe nuclear waste storage site such as Yucca Mountain. It's not as if they're actually dumping high-level waste in your backyard. It's being buried deep inside a mountain which is over 100 miles away from you.






Nevada and its residents are fully capable of deciding what kind of energy sources and the associated environmental/health costs are acceptable -- coal fired plants OK

Coal OK? Coal OK? If you think coal is OK, then I don't know what the heck you're worried about. Pollution from coal plants is proven to kill over 50 people a day. It is one of the primary causes of acid rain. You receive more radiation from coal plants than from nuclear plants. Coal mining kills thousands of miners either from injury in mines or from lung cancer.

Nuclear power plants are also far easiser to operate than coal plants. Coal plants require thousands of trainloads of coal a year to operate. A nuclear power plant only requires a few truckloads of fresh fuel per year. To get this coal, coal plants also must constantly run mining operations to get coal, in which many miners die. The volume of waste produced is actually more than the orginal fuel. And this waste has to go somewhere, too. Coal plants are so dirty that it makes nuclear waste seem clean by comparison. Would you rather have a coal plant releasing pollutants which are proven to cause cancer and other respiratory dieseases, are proven to cause acid rain, and kill many miners each year, or a nuclear plant whose only waste is nuclear waste which can be safely stored at the bottom of swimming pools?

I don't understand how you are opposed to both radiation and nuclear plants at the same time. If I wanted to stay safe from radiation, I would replace all coal plants with nuclear ones. Nuclear plants provide almost no radiation exposure to people whatsoever.

Wirraway, before you go on, view the file here (http://www.energy-northwest.com/NewFiles/Sources.html). It is a breakdown of your radiation exposure sources. As you can see, the amount of radiation you would receive from wearing a luminous wristwatch is seven times what you would get from living within 50 miles of a nuclear reactor. You don't live within 50 miles of a nuclear reactor, but you do live within 50 miles of two coal plants, each of which provide three times the radiation dosage that a nuclear plant would. Watching TV provides about 100 times the radiation that living near a nuclear plant would, and living in a stone, brick, or concrete buliding is a factor of 7 more. But you have to understand that none of these doses are serious. The .01 mrem you would receive if you lived within 50 miles of a nuclear plant, which you do not, is simply not important.



why not keep nuke waste yourselves? you're not afraid of something, are you?

Get this through your head: Yucca Mountain was not chosen because "everyone else was too scared." There were several sites under consideration and Yucca Mountain was chosen because it provides the safest environment for storing nuclear waste. If Yucca Mountain was in New York, than the waste would be deposited there. It's not as if there's some conspiracy against Nevada.






I'm listening.

If you were you would have addressed our points.


what part of the statement "Nevada does not want your nuclear wastes" is unclear?

on what political theory do you question the right of Nevadans to choose coal or hydro-electric or natural gas or nukes or presume to lecture the people of this state on what is best for them? yes, I know, you have the votes to enforce your will, but you do not have the moral high ground. this much at least you should admit: your main concern isn't what level of radiation Nevadans are exposed to so much as it is that its not your population that's being exposed.

the comparison between coal-fired power plants and nukes is way off point. oil and gas use has been an accepted benefit and cost since the beginning of the industrial revolution with the befits universal and the costs spread out nearly as much and over time. as far as I know, there isn't one designated locale that has the dubious honor of bearing the entire waste from this kind of power generation.

let's get another thing clear. there's no "conspiracy" against Nevada. conspiracies are disposed of elsewhere on this board. and I'm well aware of the time honored method of smearing legitimate opposition by the use of such undeserved labels. Nevada is the designated dumping ground because YOU do not want to deal with your own nuclear waste, and because this state cannot swing the votes in congress to make you deal with your own problem. NIMBYism at its worst.

there are some politically naive statements, but stating that if Yucca Mountain were located in New York, that state would be the designated dump takes the grand prize. that statement presumes that the people of New York might actually want a nuclear waste dump, an utterly preposterous assumption. New York and the surrounding states are far too powerful (and good for them) to allow anything of the sort.

as for whether anyone is "scared" of nuke wastes, maybe they ought to be, but the point is, nobody is knocking down the doors of the federal regulators to install a waste dump in their state, are they?

why aren't you?

wedgebert
2003-Jul-21, 06:55 AM
there are some politically naive statements, but stating that if Yucca Mountain were located in New York, that state would be the designated dump takes the grand prize. that statement presumes that the people of New York might actually want a nuclear waste dump, an utterly preposterous assumption. New York and the surrounding states are far too powerful (and good for them) to allow anything of the sort.

Hmm, let's look at this from a logical standpoint. Nevada has a population of around 2 million people and it works out around 18.2 people per square mile.

The state of New York has 402 people per square mile with a total population of almost 19 million people and NY City has 25,925 people per square mile!

Nevada covers 110,567 square miles while NY only covers 54,475 square miles. And if you only count the square miles of land (i.e. no lakes or rivers) then NV still has 109,806 sq miles while NY is down to 48,708 sq miles.

Nevada is an ideal place for a nuclear waste dump because it's empty and has favorable terrain: little water and mountains. New York is one of the centers of our economy, and a nuclear waste dump would not have a favorable effect there (despite the low risks).

There are two major kinds of people who are opposed to Yucca mountain. The misinformed/uninformed public and the politicans who care more about their careers than doing the right thing. You have smaller groups who ignore the evidence and are still opposed because it's nukylar as well.

The best part is the "Not in Nevada" attitude that many Nevadaians (?) take. That's a big problem with this COUNTRY. For many things we're just 50 states squabbling about petty things. It's time people woke up and realized that we're a country. We're supposed to be the UNITED States of America, it's about time we started acting like it.

QuagmaPhage
2003-Jul-21, 09:57 AM
The anti-nukyular power activists don't care that coal plants are more radioactive than nuclear ones; that the Capitol bulding is more radioactive than a nuclear plant is legally allowed to be; that the only proven deaths from nuclear power were at the poorly designed Chernobyl plant, but it is a proven fact that over 50 people a day die from the pollution caused by coal and oil plants.
While nuclear power plants can have problems, in practice if safety regulations are followed they do not. A perfect example of a problem at a properly regulated plant was Three Mile Island. There was a major problem, and if the plant was not designed for safety people might have been hurt. But the containment structure prevented any radioactive release and protected the population of the area.
It is simply not true that the only proven deaths from nuclear power are from the Chernobyl plant.

Despite claims by the nuclear industry that "no one died at Three Mile Island," a study by Dr. Ernest J. Sternglass, professor of radiation physics at the University of Pittsburgh, showed that the accident led to a minimum of 430 infant deaths.

The Tokaimura (Japan 1999) accident also caused deaths.

These sites have examples of nuclear accidents (both power plants and weapons related):
http://archive.greenpeace.org/~comms/nukes/chernob/rep02.html The World.
http://www.lutins.org/nukes.html#process USA only.

There's no point in debating the weapon programs or the badly designed Eastern European/Russian reactors in this thread, but accidents even happpen in Western European/American reactors and they will happen again. This is not a perfect world. In these times where most of the world is fighting terrorism nuclear powerplants would be a major target. Such an act would be a much larger catastrophe than an terrorist attack on a coal plant. My point is that the potential danger of nuclear power plants and their waste are larger than the dangers from conventional power plants. I still support the use of nuclear power in space and properly designed and managed powerplants, but they are unfortunately not easy to find. I also think that some of you neglect that some waste products are chemically poisonous though they have low radioactivity.

And why should we build a lot of new powerplants (not just to replace old reactors) when we get more and more of our energy from solar, wind and wave energy?

Glom
2003-Jul-21, 12:27 PM
what part of the statement "Nevada does not want your nuclear wastes" is unclear?

That much is perfectly clear. What is unclear is the reason. You have repeatedly refused to address BigJim's points or explain exactly what it is the cause of your dislike for the repository. Without clarification, you come across as someone taken in by public hysteria.


on what political theory do you question the right of Nevadans to choose coal or hydro-electric or natural gas or nukes or presume to lecture the people of this state on what is best for them?

You're not going to weasle your way out of the facts that way. It is fact that coal power plants cause far more negative effects than nuclear. You can choose coal over nuclear if you want, but that doesn't change the fact you're choosing an inferior method of power generation.


your main concern isn't what level of radiation Nevadans are exposed to so much as it is that its not your population that's being exposed.

If you're going to get upset with us comparing you to a conspiracistm, you'd do well not to act like one. This is a blatant straw man. You are putting arguments in our keyboards to make your position look stronger.


the comparison between coal-fired power plants and nukes is way off point. oil and gas use has been an accepted benefit and cost since the beginning of the industrial revolution with the befits universal and the costs spread out nearly as much and over time.

Huygenian eyepieces were once considered the finest design in the world. Now, they are considered Christmas trash. Just because it was the best way back then, doesn't mean it's the best way now.

Oil burning is criminal as oil can be used to make all sorts of nice things.


as far as I know, there isn't one designated locale that has the dubious honor of bearing the entire waste from this kind of power generation.

You're not being victimised. Yucca is simply the best place for it. We're not out to get Nevadans.


Nevada is the designated dumping ground because YOU do not want to deal with your own nuclear waste, and because this state cannot swing the votes in congress to make you deal with your own problem.

We do want to deal with our own waste. We want to reprocess and recycle. It is the anti-nukyular lobby that put a stop to that and has caused the nuclear waste problem.

Is it so hard to accept that maybe Yucca was accepted because, just maybe, it was considered the best location for the safe effective disposal of waste?


as for whether anyone is "scared" of nuke wastes, maybe they ought to be,

Why? Many people fear it because of nothing more than ignorant hysteria. If dealt with properly, it would pose no threat and be useful for many thousands of years.


but the point is, nobody is knocking down the doors of the federal regulators to install a waste dump in their state, are they?

Nevada is a desert. Hence, it is a safe location for the burying of nuclear waste. Nobody is out to get you. It was just seen as the best place.


why aren't you?

Me personally, there is enough trouble trying to find the land for an extra runway at Heathrow. We haven't got the space around London for a nuclear disposal facility.

As for other Americans, it is simply a case that their state wouldn't offer the same benefits as a nuclear disposal site as Nevada.


These sites have examples of nuclear accidents (both power plants and weapons related):

January
2-1993: Leak at Kozloduy nuclear power plant, release of radioactive steam (Bulgaria)
3-1961: Explosion in reactor Idaho Falls (USA); three people killed
4-1965: 6.5 kg plutonium sludge released from Savannah River reprocessing plant (USA)
5-1976: Two workers killed by radioactive carbon dioxide at Bohunice nuclear power plant (Slovakia)
6-1981: Accident at La Hague reprocessing plant (France)
7-1974: Explosion at Leningrad nuclear power plant (Russia)
8-1975: Release of radioactivity from Mihama nuclear power plant (Japan)
9-1993: Radioactive release from leaking fuel rods at Perry nuclear power plant (USA)
10-1987: Nuclear transport accident in the UK
12-1960: Technicians trying to restart a reactor at Savannah River reprocessing plant almost send it out of control (USA)
17-1966: A B-52 plane crashes in Spain causing plutonium contamination
18-1989: Eight workers are contaminated at Savannah River reprocessing plant (USA)
19-1992: Radioactive leak, reactor shut-down at Kola nuclear power plant (Russia)
20-1993: Technical failure at Paluel causes subcooling accident (France)
21-1969: Technical failure at Swiss experimental nuclear reactor causes release of radioactive water
22-1992: Technical failure in shut-down system at Balakovo nuclear power plant (Russia)
23- 1978: Radioactive helium released from Colorado reactor (USA)
26-1988: Dangerous temperature rise in a nuclear reactor on board a British submarine
27-1992: Leak causes a shut-down at Darlington nuclear power plant (Canada)
28-1990: Pump failure during a shut-down at Gravelines nuclear power plant (France)
31 -1996: Leakage of radiation due to human error and technical failure at Dimitrovgrad nuclear research centre (Russia)

February
1-1982: Release of 100 cubic metres of radioactive water from Salem nuclear power plant (USA)
2-1993: Breakdown of cooling system for two hours at Kola nuclear power plant (Russia)
3-1992: Failure of cooling pumps at Kozloduy nuclear power plant (Bulgaria)
5-1986: "Amber alert" (indicating an emergency in one building and a threat to the rest of the plant)" at Sellafield reprocessing plant, UK
6-1974: Explosion and radiation leak at Leningrad nuclear power plant, three people killed (Russia)
8-1991: Release of radioactivity from Fukui nuclear power plant (Japan)
9-1991: Rupture of steam generator pipe causes release of radioactivity at Mihama nuclear power plant (Japan)
10-1992: Technical failure in pump system at Zaporozhe nuclear power plant (Ukraine)
11-1986: Release of 13 tonnes of radioactive carbon dioxide from Transfynydd nuclear power plant (UK)
16-1973: Container filled with Cobalt-60 lost in the North Sea
17-1984: Accident at Kozloduy nuclear power plant (Bulgaria)
18-1988: Report of core melt in the nuclear reactor of the Soviet Ice-Breaker "Rossiya"
19-1986: Three workers suffer contamination at the Sellafield reprocessing plant (UK)
21-1976: Accident at Bohunice nuclear power plant (Slovakia)
23-1981: Accidental explosion of a Pershing-II missile in Germany
25-1983: Failure of automatic shut-down at Salem nuclear power plant (USA)
26-1988: Increased levels of radioactivity at Bohunice nuclear power plant (Slovakia)

March
2-1994: Breakdown of cooling system at Kola nuclear power plant (Russia)
6-1985: Emergency cooling system out of order at the Grohnde nuclear power plant (Germany)
8-1972: Radioactive water has to be pumped out of the Indian Point nuclear power plant (USA)
12-1981: Tornado washes nuclear waste from Moruroa into the lagoon (Pacific)
15-1989: Technical failure of fuel roads at Pickering nuclear power plant (Canada)
17-1984: Emergency cooling system at San Onofere nuclear power plant fails (USA)
18-1987: Fire and release of radioactivity at Australian nuclear research facility
22-1975: Fire in reactor at Browns Ferry nuclear power plant (USA)
24-1992: Incident with radiation leakage, shut-down of reactor at Leningrad nuclear power plant (Russia)
26-1991: Refuelling accident at Wuergassen nuclear power plant (Germany)
28-1979: Partial core meltdown at Three Mile Island nuclear power plant (USA)
29-1992: Failure of shut-down system at Ignalina nuclear power plant (Lithuania)

April
1-1989: Control rod failure at Gravelines nuclear power plant (France)
3-1960: Melting of fuel elements cause a release of radioactivity at the Test Reactor at Waltz Mills (USA)
6-1993: Explosion at the Tomsk-7 nuclear complex (Russia)
7-1992: Failure of automatic shut-down system at Novovoronezh nuclear power plant (Russia)
13-1979: Fire in the generator of the Baersbeck nuclear power plant (Sweden)
15-1983: Incident at Turkey Point nuclear power plant (USA)
16-1992: Technical failure of reactor shut-down system at Kola nuclear power plant (Russia)
17-1970: Incident involving a vehicle at a French nuclear test site in the South Pacific causes a plutonium spillage into the ocean.
18-1992: Technical failure during refuelling at Kola nuclear power plant (Russia)
19-1984: Technical failure at Sequoyah nuclear power plant causes spillage of radioactive coolant water. (USA)
25-1990: Flooding of building due to increase of coolant level at Bohunice nuclear power plant (Slovakia)
26-1986: Explosion of reactor 4 at Chernobyl nuclear power plant; the worst civilian nuclear accident to date.
28-1988: Release of 5000 Curies of tritium gas from the Bruyere le Chatel military nuclear complex (France)
30-1992: Breakdown of cooling system at Novovoronezh nuclear power plant (Russia)

May
4-1986: Release of radiation from Hamm-Uentrop nuclear power plant (Germany)
6-1989: Fire of pump equipment at Bohunice nuclear power plant (Slovakia)
7-1992: Failure of emergency system at Smolensk nuclear power plant (Russia)
9-1992: Technical failure of cooling system at Hatch nuclear power plant (USA)
10-1965: Release of eight cubic metres of cooling water from Savannah River reprocessing plant (USA)
11-1969: Fire at Rocky Flats nuclear weapons plant causes plutonium to spontaneously ignite. (USA)
12-1984: Uncontrolled power surge at Bohunice nuclear power plant (Slovakia)
13-1992: Tube leak causes a radioactive release of 12 Curies of radioactivity from Tarapur nuclear power station (India)
16-1992: Reactor shut-down at Kola nuclear power plant (Russia)
23-1958: Accident and release of radioactivity at the Chalk River experimental reactor (Canada)
24-1968: Incident on board of Soviet nuclear submarine "K- 27", 5 crew members killed by radiation release
26-1990: During refuelling, five cubic meters of radioactive water spilled at the Fessenheim nuclear power plant (France)

June
1-1991: Failure of core cooling system at Belleville nuclear power plant (France)
2-1992: Total failure of centralised control system at the Smolensk nuclear power plant (Russia)
4-1989: Fire in the cables of the cooling pumps at the Bohunice nuclear power plant (Slovakia)
8-1992: Failure of cooling system at Kola nuclear power plant (Russia)
9-1985: Malfunction in the cooling system at Davis Blesse nuclear power plant (USA)
11-1989: Spent fuel element dropped in the storage pool and damaged at Kruemmel nuclear power plant (Germany)
18-1978: Release of two tons of radioactive steam from Brunsbuettel nuclear power plant (Germany)
20-1985 Collision of two trucks carrying nuclear bombs in Scotland (UK)
23-1986: Twelve people receive `slight' plutonium contamination while inspecting a store room at Tokaimura nuclear complex (Japan)
24-1992: Technical failure of control system at Leningrad nuclear power plant (Russia)
30-1983: Total loss of coolant at Embalse nuclear power plant (Argentina)

July
1-1983: Technical failure causes release of Iodine-131 from Phillipsburg nuclear power plant (Germany)
3-1981: Fire at North Anna nuclear power plant (USA)
4-1961: Incident on board of Soviet nuclear submarine "K- 19", radiation release kills 9 crew members
9-1991: Flaw in cooling system at Wurgassen nuclear power plant (Russia)
10-1991: Leakage of radiation at Bilibino nuclear power plant (Russia)
12-1993: Failure of control system at Susquehanna nuclear power plant (USA)
18-1991: Steam leakage causes reactor shut-down at Paks nuclear power plant (Hungary)
20-1992: Leakage of radiation due to breakdown of cooling system at Ignalina nuclear power plant (Lithuania)
22-1992: Two workers contaminated at Dampierre nuclear power plant (France)
24-1989: Refuelling accident at Isar nuclear power plant (Germany)
31-1993: Refuelling machine malfunctions at the Wylfa nuclear power plant (UK)

August
1-1983: An engineer receives a fatal radiation dose at a research reactor in Argentina
3-1983: Argentinean engineer dies from radiation dose received two days earlier
10-1985: Explosion on board a Soviet nuclear submarine
11-1988: Damage detected at Atucha nuclear power plant (Argentina)
14-1989: Instrumentation and control failure at Grand Gulf nuclear power plant (USA)
16-1991: Eight control rods show delays in emergency shut- down insertion time at Millstone Point nuclear power plant (USA)
17-1991: Automatic shut-down due to technical problems at Sendai nuclear power plant (Japan)
19-1986: Flooding at the Cattenom nuclear power plant (France)
20-1974 Incident at Beznau nuclear power plant (Switzerland)
21-1980: Accident on board Soviet nuclear submarine, believed to kill at least nine crew members
22-1992: Failure of shut-down system at Novovoronezh nuclear power plant (Russia)
27-1990: Cable fire causes loss of control of the position of control rods at Chernobyl nuclear power plant (Ukraine)
30-1985: Fire in a barrel of radioactive waste at Karlsruhe nuclear complex (Germany)

September
6-1991: Incident and steam leak during refueling at Barsebeck nuclear power plant (Sweden)
9-1989: Control rod failure at Olkiluoto nuclear power plant (Finland)
12-1992: Leakage of radioactive water at Kola nuclear power plant (Russia)
14-1991: Leakage at Kozloduy nuclear power plant (Bulgaria)
16-1990: Superphenix Fast Breeder Reactor is closed down due to technical failures (France)
22-1980: Pump failure causes accidental release of radioactive water at La Hague reprocessing plant (France)
24-1973: 35 workers at the Sellafield reprocessing plant are contaminated following a technical failure (UK)
25-1955: First Soviet underwater nuclear explosion near Novaya Zemlya (Arctic Ocean)
27-1974: Soviet nuclear-capable destroyer sinks in the Black Sea
28-1990: Cables for reactor control and protection system supply overheat at Bohunice nuclear power plant (Slovakia)
29-1957: Thousands of square miles contaminated by accident at the Chelyabinsk nuclear complex (Russia)
30-1990: Failure of reactor core cooling system at Palisades nuclear power plant (USA)

October
1-1983: Technical failure and human error cause accident at Blayas nuclear power plant(France)
2-1968: Leakage at La Hague reprocessing plant (France) 3-1952: First UK nuclear test
4-1981: Release of 300-times the normal discharge level of Iodine-131 at Sellafield reprocessing plant (UK)
5-1966: Partial core meltdown at the Fermi fast breeder reactor (USA)
8-1985: Accidental radioactive release into the sea from Hinkley Point nuclear power station (UK)
9-1991: Technical failure at Yugno-Ukrainskaya nuclear power plant (Ukraine)
10-1957: Three tonnes of uranium catch fire at the Windscale reprocessing plant (now Sellafield UK)
13-1977: Sea water runs into the cooling circuit of Hunterston nuclear power plant (UK)
17-1969: Fuel elements melt at St Laurent des Eaux nuclear power plant (France)
22-1993: Instrumentation and Control failure at Saint Alban nuclear power plant (France)
23-1989: Failure of core cooling system at Dresdan nuclear power plant (USA)
25-1991: Failure of shut-down system during refuelling at Novovoronezh nuclear power plant (Russia)
26-1991: Incident during refueling at Vogtle nuclear power plant (USA)
27-1991: Technical failure of shut-down system at Zaporozhe nuclear power plant (Ukraine)

November
1-1992: Cracks in cooling system equipment at Brunsbuttel nuclear power plant (Germany)
3-1990: Failure of core cooling equipment at Doel nuclear power plant (Belgium)
7-1967: Release of radioactivity at Grenoble nuclear power plant (France)
9-1955: Core meltdown at EBR fast breeder reactor (USA)
11-1988: Accident during refueling on board of Soviet nuclear powered ice-breaker "Lenin"
14-1989: Breakdown of fuel rod control system at Oconee nuclear power plant (USA)
16-1983: Sellafield reprocessing plant discharges highly radioactive wastes directly into the sea (UK)
24-1989: Technical failure nearly causes core meltdown at Greifswald nuclear power plant (Germany)
27-1991: Disfunction of automatic shut-down system at Bilibino nuclear power plant (Russia)
28-1991: Failure of control system causes reactor shut- down at Kursk nuclear power plant (Russia)
30-1975: 1.5 million Curies released from Leningrad nuclear power plant (Russia)

December
4-1990: 2 workers irradiated during refuelling at Blayais nuclear power plant (France)
7-1991: Failure of cooling system at Kola nuclear power plant (Russia)
8-1995: Fire due to leakage of sodium coolant from Monju fast breeder reactor, Japanese nuclear industry attempts to cover up full extent of accident, reactor shut-down
9-1986: Explosion at Surry nuclear power plant, four people killed (USA).
10-1991: Failure of turbo-generator causes reactor shut- down at Balakovo nuclear power plant (Russia)
11-1991: Human error causes failure of automatic reactor shut-down equipment at Kola nuclear power plant (Russia)
12-1952: World's first major nuclear reactor disaster, Chalk River experimental reactor (Canada)
13-1988: Four of the eight emergency installations discovered out of order at Brokdorf nuclear power plant (Germany)
17-1987: Severe incident at Biblis nuclear power plant (Germany)
20-1990: Control element discovered damaged at Novovoronezh nuclear power plant (Russia)
21-1991: Radiation leakage at Kolskaya nuclear power plant (Russia)
23-1988: Two control rods jammed at Blayais nuclear power plant (France)
25-1992: Radioactive water leakage at Beloyarsk nuclear power plant (Russia)
28-1990: Incident and radiation leakage at Leningrad nuclear power plant (Russia)
31-1978: Fire and loss of reactor control, 8 workers irradiated at Beloyarsk nuclear power plant (Russia)

I managed to remove half the incidents as gratuitous padding.

These included: Any incidents involving nuclear weapons. I'm no fan either. What a waste of plutonium!
Any references to ships running aground or planes crashing which has nothing to do with nuclear accidents.
Any references to successful automatic shutdowns. These are occasions that demonstrate the safety of nuclear power.
References to release of heavy water, which is stable.
References to nuclear medicine. Try arguing against that.
Damages to components of nuclear power stations that are unrelated to the nuclear component.
Vague references to technical failiures when it is not stated how it relates to the nuclear component. I'm not upset nor surprised when a complex machine experience some kind of technical failiure. It is only relevant if it was caused by or causes problems with the nuclear component.
References to space-related accidents since you yourself are a proponent of nuclear spaceflight anyway. Besides a relase of 1kg of plutonium is hardly anything to loose sleep over.The interesting thing to note is that with all these meltdowns and loss of controls rods and release of radioactive material and all these other good things, we're hearing more about threats to our health from mobile phones, McDonals and GM foods than we are from these accidents.

dgruss23
2003-Jul-21, 12:43 PM
France generates most of their electricity from nuclear power. How do they manage the wastes?

BigJim
2003-Jul-21, 03:14 PM
These sites have examples of nuclear accidents (both power plants and weapons related):

As Glom said, most of those accidents are unrelated to the reactor, and the ones that are show how the safety systems prevented injury.

You could compile a much larger and more meaningful list on the dangers caused by coal plants.


but the point is, nobody is knocking down the doors of the federal regulators to install a waste dump in their state, are they?

How many times do I have to say it? Yucca Mountain was chosen by scientists because it is the safest place in the country to store nuclear waste.


the comparison between coal-fired power plants and nukes is way off point. oil and gas use has been an accepted benefit and cost since the beginning of the industrial revolution with the befits universal and the costs spread out nearly as much and over time.

On this basis, you could say the horse and carriage is superior to the automobile.


If you're going to get upset with us comparing you to a conspiracistm, you'd do well not to act like one.

I wholeheartedly agree. One of the hallmarks of a conspiracist is ignoring the facts, which is what you are doing. I have repeadtedly told you the facts of the situtation, which you continue to ignore and then you complain that, "You all hate Nevadans, you don't care about us."

Before I debate you any further I want you to respond to these points:

1. Yucca Mountain was chosed for nuclear wastes because it is the safest place in America to store them.

2. Nuclear plants are much safer and cleaner than coal power plants. Coal plants are proven to kill 16,000 people a year from the pollution alone, not to mention miner injuries, acid rain, the radiation release, or the waste produced. The only deaths proven to be from commercial nuclear reactors are those resulting from the improperly designed Chernobyl.

3. You have failed to address my point about radiation exposure, which I will reproduce here:


Wirraway, before you go on, view the filehere. (http://www.energy-northwest.com/NewFiles/Sources.html) It is a breakdown of your radiation exposure sources. As you can see, the amount of radiation you would receive from wearing a luminous wristwatch is seven times what you would get from living within 50 miles of a nuclear reactor. You don't live within 50 miles of a nuclear reactor, but you do live within 50 miles of two coal plants, each of which provide three times the radiation dosage that a nuclear plant would. Watching TV provides about 100 times the radiation that living near a nuclear plant would, and living in a stone, brick, or concrete buliding is a factor of 7 more. But you have to understand that none of these doses are serious. The .01 mrem you would receive if you lived within 50 miles of a nuclear plant, which you do not, is simply not important.

4. Yucca Mountain was chosen scientifically, NOT politically, because it is the safest place to store nucelar waste in the country.

5. The primary reason why waste has to be stored in Yucca Mountain is because the anti-nukyular activists refuse to let us reprocess the fuel (by the way, I will add that one of the former nuclear fuel reprocessing centers was in New York state).

ocasey3
2003-Jul-21, 03:39 PM
Assuming Yucca Mountain is safe for storage what kind of plans are being made for the transportation of waste to the facility? Not only regarding radiation but also the possibility of terrorist threat?

I am a proponent of nuclear energy but I do have serious concerns about human error. I think a lot of opponents are worried about the safety procautions failing. It appears that a nuclear disaster is far worse than, say, a coal plant blowing-up. I say appears, I do not know myself for sure.

BigJim
2003-Jul-21, 03:42 PM
I think a lot of opponents are worried about the safety procautions failing. It appears that a nuclear disaster is far worse than, say, a coal plant blowing-up. I say appears, I do not know myself for sure.

That's why nuclear plants cost so much - to prevent that from happening. An ideal worst-case scenario could cause severe damage, but the chances of one happening at an American, British or other properly designed reactor is virtually negligible. If a coal plant exploded we would have serious problems.


Assuming Yucca Mountain is safe for storage what kind of plans are being made for the transportation of waste to the facility? Not only regarding radiation but also the possibility of terrorist threat?

The waste will be solidified and stored in containers (which themselves are enough to protect people from most of their radiation). I believe the waste is transported to the site by guarded trucks and trains.

ocasey3
2003-Jul-21, 04:02 PM
From most radiation? How dangerous is the radiation that is not blocked?

BigJim
2003-Jul-21, 04:04 PM
It's not that important as long as you don't spend long periods of time near it. By the time waste is shipped to Yucca the most dangerous isotopes will already have decayed. And once it's stored inside the mountain it won't threaten anybody.

ocasey3
2003-Jul-21, 04:06 PM
Does the technology exisit to protect those who drive and protect these trains and trucks from the radiation?

Wirraway
2003-Jul-21, 04:07 PM
Nevada is an ideal place for a nuclear waste dump because it's empty and has favorable terrain: little water and mountains. New York is one of the centers of our economy, and a nuclear waste dump would not have a favorable effect there (despite the low risks). [edited]

interesting comment. you are honest enough to claim that NY is more important than Nevada to the country.

but tell me, why would a nuclear waste dump not have a favorable effect in New York? is it dangerous? is it bad for business? is it because the people don't want it there?

you and Big Jim (pardon me if I've got that wrong) want a debate on the science of nuclear waste dump safety.

but to do that is to concede outright the more important issue that neither of you can get a handle on: in this more or less democratic country, what is it, beyond expediency and political clout, that gives you the right to impose costs and burdens on others for your own choices?

and "because science sez so " is not a reason. "Because New York is more important than Nevada", if that is your reason, is at least honest.

Wirraway
2003-Jul-21, 04:08 PM
It's not that important as long as you don't spend long periods of time near it. By the time waste is shipped to Yucca the most dangerous isotopes will already have decayed. And once it's stored inside the mountain it won't threaten anybody.

if it doesn't threaten anybody, then you keep it.

Glom
2003-Jul-21, 04:15 PM
but tell me, why would a nuclear waste dump not have a favorable effect in New York? is it dangerous? is it bad for business? is it because the people don't want it there?

There is no site in New York that is as useful as Yucca Mountain.


but to do that is to concede outright the more important issue that neither of you can get a handle on: in this more or less democratic country, what is it, beyond expediency and political clout, that gives you the right to impose costs and burdens on others for your own choices?

Yucca Mountain, as a federal project, is of cost to all citizens. You're continually trying to play the poor downtrodden little guy act. It won't work. All Americans pay for Yucca. It is a Federal project.

As for burden, what burden? If anything, it may give jobs to some people in your area and provide a boost to the economy.


and "because science sez so " is not a reason.

Why not? Yucca will have no effect on you so why not follow what the scientists have concluded and put the facility there?

BigJim
2003-Jul-21, 04:21 PM
Wirraway, if "science sez so" (that's says, by the way) isn't a reason, then why is "you said so" a reason?


if it doesn't threaten anybody, then you keep it.

I said once it's buried inside Yucca Mountain, it doesn't hurt anybody.


interesting comment. you are honest enough to claim that NY is more important than Nevada to the country.

but tell me, why would a nuclear waste dump not have a favorable effect in New York? is it dangerous? is it bad for business? is it because the people don't want it there?

He didn't say that. You have taken his quote out of context. It wouldn't be bad because of any objective danger, but because of uniformed people being scared of it - exactly like you are now. And regardless, this is no site in New York or the entire country as useful as Yucca Mountain - hence why it was chosen.

Again I will bring up my points, which you entirely ignored:

1. Yucca Mountain was chosen for nuclear wastes because it is the safest place in America to store them.

2. Nuclear plants are much safer and cleaner than coal power plants. Coal plants are proven to kill 16,000 people a year from the pollution alone, not to mention miner injuries, acid rain, the radiation release, or the waste produced. The only deaths proven to be from commercial nuclear reactors are those resulting from the improperly designed Chernobyl.

3. You have failed to address my point about radiation exposure, which I will reproduce here:



Wirraway, before you go on, view the file here. (http://www.northwest-energy.com/newfiles/sources.html) It is a breakdown of your radiation exposure sources. As you can see, the amount of radiation you would receive from wearing a luminous wristwatch is seven times what you would get from living within 50 miles of a nuclear reactor. You don't live within 50 miles of a nuclear reactor, but you do live within 50 miles of two coal plants, each of which provide three times the radiation dosage that a nuclear plant would. Watching TV provides about 100 times the radiation that living near a nuclear plant would, and living in a stone, brick, or concrete buliding is a factor of 7 more. But you have to understand that none of these doses are serious. The .01 mrem you would receive if you lived within 50 miles of a nuclear plant, which you do not, is simply not important.


4. Yucca Mountain was chosen scientifically, NOT politically, because it is the safest place to store nuclear waste in the country.

5. The primary reason why waste has to be stored in Yucca Mountain is because the anti-nukyular activists refuse to let us reprocess the fuel (by the way, I will add that one of the former nuclear fuel reprocessing centers was in New York state).

ocasey3
2003-Jul-21, 04:24 PM
So, there is no danger of ground water contamination at Yucca Mountain, even if the containment vessels and walls fail?

BigJim
2003-Jul-21, 04:25 PM
No. That's why it was chosen - the rocks of Yucca Mountain are not porous.

The Supreme Canuck
2003-Jul-21, 05:47 PM
Just a word on the containers themselves;

They are extremely well designed. I've seen one (filled with water) hit by a train during testing and it did not rupture. Nothing was spilled. The train on the other hand...

BigJim
2003-Jul-21, 05:55 PM
And even if they did somehow rupture, which is unlikely, as The Supreme Canuck indicated, they would cause no harm - that's what the mountain is there for.

Glom
2003-Jul-21, 06:12 PM
Waste disposal for the anal retentive.

BigJim
2003-Jul-21, 06:21 PM
This page (http://www.ornl.gov/ORNLReview/rev26-34/text/colmain.html) describes some of the reasons why coal is far more dangerous than nuclear power. It releases much more radiation and pollution (well actually, that's not really fair since nuclear plants don't release any air pollution, but we'll leave that aside for now) and also destroys a lot of useful materials in the coal.

Wirraway
2003-Jul-21, 07:25 PM
these deceptive debating practices are wearing thin. I am not arguing against nukes -- I don't care about your choice for commercial use under the right conditions, and I like atomic weapons -- so comparisons to coal fired plants are off point. they are also irrelevant for reasons discussed elsewhere, mainly that the risks and costs are spread out over time and distance.

the only response I'm seeing here to the political rights question of the basis for imposing your burden on someone else is that it is expedient and the safest option. and that prattle about how everyone is burdened equally because Yucca Mountain is on a federal reservation.

NIMBYism is bad, but at least I can accept an honest admission of such, afterall, politics is not a zero-sum game and Nevada will eventually reap more federal payoffs before Yucca Mountain goes operational than what's currently on the table.

In this case -- and moreso on this and the companion thread -- what I find disgraceful is how science has let itself be prostituted to politically-defined goals and the blindness of some to this kind of manipulation. you could say it began with the overinflated promises of nuke energy, continued with the budget busting construction costs and the astonishing practice of beginning an industry without the key element of waste disposal in place. either the regulators and the industry was lying about waste hazards then, or they're lying about it now, and either way, they did it with the assistance of science.

just as offensive is the gall of scientists who would gladly substitute scientific pronouncements in place of the preferences of the people. this is a free country. people have a right to make scientifically incorrect decisions, be it to drive ever larger SUVs or vote down nuclear waste dumps.

BigJim
2003-Jul-21, 07:35 PM
these deceptive debating practices are wearing thin.

How are we being deceptive? We bring up multiple, clearly stated facts. You respond with hysteria.

Wirraway, you seem to be defending people's right to make stupid decisions. That's OK. You can make all the stupid decisions he wants, at the end of the day, it is the most intelligent thing that must be done. As I said, using your logic one could say that it's OK to drink mercury or jump off a cliff (that is, as long as the politicians didn't make you do it).

So you've made a stupid decision. Don't cry to us about it. We're going to act on intelligent decisions. As Glom said, we do not require the world to consistently operate according to the expectations of the ignorant.

You continue to conspiracise about politicians using science to their own ends. You don't seem to want to accept that Yucca is anything but a political decision.

I'm not even going to go into your other points. I have two things to say:

1. If you want to complain about science, do it in ATM.

2. Address my five points. I'm not even going to bring up other points or attempt to debunk your points - again - before you address these points which you have repeatedly ignored. In case you're too lazy to scroll back up to them, here they are again:

1. Yucca Mountain was chosen for nuclear wastes because it is the safest place in America to store them.

2. Nuclear plants are much safer and cleaner than coal power plants. Coal plants are proven to kill 16,000 people a year from the pollution alone, not to mention miner injuries, acid rain, the radiation release, or the waste produced. The only deaths proven to be from commercial nuclear reactors are those resulting from the improperly designed Chernobyl.

3. You have failed to address my point about radiation exposure, which I will reproduce here:




Wirraway, before you go on, view the file here. (http://www.northwest-energy.com/newfiles/sources.html) It is a breakdown of your radiation exposure sources. As you can see, the amount of radiation you would receive from wearing a luminous wristwatch is seven times what you would get from living within 50 miles of a nuclear reactor. You don't live within 50 miles of a nuclear reactor, but you do live within 50 miles of two coal plants, each of which provide three times the radiation dosage that a nuclear plant would. Watching TV provides about 100 times the radiation that living near a nuclear plant would, and living in a stone, brick, or concrete buliding is a factor of 7 more. But you have to understand that none of these doses are serious. The .01 mrem you would receive if you lived within 50 miles of a nuclear plant, which you do not, is simply not important.



4. Yucca Mountain was chosen scientifically, NOT politically, because it is the safest place to store nuclear waste in the country.

5. The primary reason why waste has to be stored in Yucca Mountain is because the anti-nukyular activists refuse to let us reprocess the fuel (by the way, I will add that one of the former nuclear fuel reprocessing centers was in New York state).

wedgebert
2003-Jul-21, 07:38 PM
I don't know about you BigJim, but I'm getting sick of all these "debates" with people who refuse who defend themselves in a logical matter. This is just like mr arriba's crop circle threads where he ignores all the questions that he can't answer and responds with hysteria.

Just once I would like a nice serious discussion where both sides actually defend their arguments by answering the questions thrown at them. Not just say the same thing over and over again.

Glom
2003-Jul-21, 07:39 PM
A man has the right to make as many stupid decisions as he wants. But that doesn't mean the world is obliged to accept those stupid decisions.

"We do not require the world to consistently operate according to the expectations of the ignorant."

BigJim
2003-Jul-21, 07:41 PM
Just once I would like a nice serious discussion where both sides actually defend their arguments by answering the questions thrown at them. Not just say the same thing over and over again.

I would too. Unfortuantely, that requires both sides to have knowledge of what they are talking about, which is rare.


but I'm getting sick of all these "debates" with people who refuse who defend themselves in a logical matter

I second that. And yet we debate them anyway. :oops:

Wirraway
2003-Jul-21, 07:47 PM
I don't know about you BigJim, but I'm getting sick of all these "debates" with people who refuse who defend themselves in a logical matter. This is just like mr arriba's crop circle threads where he ignores all the questions that he can't answer and responds with hysteria.

Just once I would like a nice serious discussion where both sides actually defend their arguments by answering the questions thrown at them. Not just say the same thing over and over again.


good. start by answering questions I've put to you.

remember, this isn't usenet, and innuendo and ad hominems aren't necessary.

Glom
2003-Jul-21, 07:51 PM
You answer ours and we'll answer yours.

Your attempts to defend your opposition to Yucca seemed to be based not on any credible argument that Yucca poses a threat or some form of hardship to you, but that it is the product of politicians exploiting science to upset people at one of America's most important tourist areas. You also seem to be suggesting that your position should be given credibility simply because it is your right to make a stupid, uninformed decision. In fact, while that may be your right, that does not translate into our responsability to accept a decision.

BigJim
2003-Jul-21, 07:51 PM
good. start by answering questions I've put to you.

I hope you're joking. How dare you say something like that when you ignored my five points at least six times? Your questions have been answered -at length - and yet you repeat the same things, over and over. There are no evil politicans out to get Nevada.

Now address my five points.

The Supreme Canuck
2003-Jul-21, 09:01 PM
Wirraway, if your concern with Yucca is proximity, I have to tell you that 100 miles is a very safe distance. Heck, standing on the mountain is a safe distance, but you're 100 miles away. You see, I know this because I live 200 km (124.274 Miles) away from the Chalk River Nuclear Research facility. It's where most of Canada's nuclear research and development is done. In fact, I get water from the Ottawa River, downstream from Chalk River and there are no ill effects to the population of Ottawa. There is no radiation poisoning. There is no elevated cancer level. It's completely safe.

Yucca Mountain is about the same distance from where you live. It isn't harmful at all.

Wirraway
2003-Jul-21, 10:07 PM
thanks, Supreme. my concern wasn't distance or safety, but other issues.

but given the trend towards usenet-style "argument" on this issue, I'll pass on further discussion.

mike alexander
2003-Jul-21, 10:13 PM
My concern about fission power has never been about the science, it's been about the economics.

As in, "Ed, I want you to take off your engineer's cap and put on your Manager's cap..."

BigJim
2003-Jul-21, 10:36 PM
but given the trend towards usenet-style "argument" on this issue, I'll pass on further discussion.

Translation: Since I don't really know what I'm talking about or how to address the points you brought up, I'm leaving. But I 'm not going to admit that, I'm just going to say that you forced me off.

Another victory for logic and fact.

wedgebert
2003-Jul-21, 10:40 PM
thanks, Supreme. my concern wasn't distance or safety, but other issues.

but given the trend towards usenet-style "argument" on this issue, I'll pass on further discussion.

What usenet-style argument? So far what I'm seeing is this:

Pro-nuclear: Gives valid reasons why Yucca is an ideal place for a nuclear waste storage area. Gives examples and the science behind our reasoning. Points out how safe it is.

Anti-nukylar: Thinks everyone is out to get Nevada. Objects to Yucca with reasons based on ignorace and has become so personally attached to the reasons "why not" that they refuse to even consider that they could be wrong.

I'm willing to be that any pro-nuclear person on this board, myself included, doesn't care one bit as to the actual location of where we store our nuclear waste. If it turned out to be across the street from one of us, so be it. We understand that it's safe and the chance for disaster is extermely low.

We also understand that Yucca mountain is the best choice. That is why we support it, not because of some plot against Nevada.

Glom
2003-Jul-22, 12:04 AM
I would love for them to open a reprocessing facility near me. I could do a work experience there. :)

dgruss23
2003-Jul-22, 12:21 AM
wedgebert wrote: I'm willing to be that any pro-nuclear person on this board, myself included, doesn't care one bit as to the actual location of where we store our nuclear waste. If it turned out to be across the street from one of us, so be it. We understand that it's safe and the chance for disaster is extermely low.

I think the key is to explain the details - as is being done here. You face a formidable task in trying to convince people that wastes can be handled safely. Its more than just the permanent storage site. Many people will look at the transportation issue and wonder about the transport of the stuff from New York to Nevada for example. Do we send it by rail? What if the train wrecks (known to happen) or terrorists strike it (a lot of miles to protect)? Do we send it by truck - that's a lot of trucks out there and that many more chances for an accident or opportunities for a terrorist to attempt to steal the stuff.

So a lot of people would need to know how those kinds of concerns are addressed before they would be comfortable with it.

wedgebert
2003-Jul-22, 03:13 AM
I'd say we send it by truck to multi-state collection centers, and from there we ship it by rail to Mt Yucca.

You can build the containers so that even in the event of a truck or train crash, the containers would remain sealed. In fact, I believe that's how they're built today.

The trucks can be sent randomly, unmarked and in different vehicle types everytime to help keep them safe. The trains can travel slow enough to not risk derailment, with an escort "train" in front to look for broken track or ambushes and one behind to watch for attacks from the rear. Heck, you could even have helicopters or fixed wing aircraft escort if you wanted.

It can be made safe, many people just don't want to try.

Wirraway
2003-Jul-22, 04:07 AM
thanks, Supreme. my concern wasn't distance or safety, but other issues.

but given the trend towards usenet-style "argument" on this issue, I'll pass on further discussion.

What usenet-style argument? So far what I'm seeing is this:

Pro-nuclear: Gives valid reasons why Yucca is an ideal place for a nuclear waste storage area. Gives examples and the science behind our reasoning. Points out how safe it is.

Anti-nukylar: Thinks everyone is out to get Nevada. Objects to Yucca with reasons based on ignorace and has become so personally attached to the reasons "why not" that they refuse to even consider that they could be wrong.

I'm willing to be that any pro-nuclear person on this board, myself included, doesn't care one bit as to the actual location of where we store our nuclear waste. If it turned out to be across the street from one of us, so be it. We understand that it's safe and the chance for disaster is extermely low.

We also understand that Yucca mountain is the best choice. That is why we support it, not because of some plot against Nevada.

usenet style flame wars involve ad hominems, misquotes and misrepresentations of another poster's positions, just like you're doing now.

maybe you'd like to think this over.

freddo
2003-Jul-22, 04:20 AM
usenet style flame wars involve ad hominems, misquotes and misrepresentations of another poster's positions, just like you're doing now.

maybe you'd like to think this over.

Sorry wirraway, but you might want to think this over...

I've not seen any evidence of wedgebert, BigJim, or Glom resorting to anything even remotely ad hominem, or misrepresenting your standpoint.
I have only seen an unwillingness on your part to address any of the points they are putting to yourself. It's a silly tactic to argue like this: =;

SeanF
2003-Jul-22, 01:05 PM
usenet style flame wars involve ad hominems, misquotes and misrepresentations of another poster's positions, just like you're doing now.

maybe you'd like to think this over.

Sorry wirraway, but you might want to think this over...

I've not seen any evidence of wedgebert, BigJim, or Glom resorting to anything even remotely ad hominem, or misrepresenting your standpoint.

I've been staying out of this discussion, but I would like to point out that I think

So far what I'm seeing is this:

Pro-nuclear: Gives valid reasons why Yucca is an ideal place for a nuclear waste storage area. Gives examples and the science behind our reasoning. Points out how safe it is.

Anti-nukylar: Thinks everyone is out to get Nevada. Objects to Yucca with reasons based on ignorace and has become so personally attached to the reasons "why not" that they refuse to even consider that they could be wrong.(Bolding Mine) would certainly qualify as "remotely ad hominem."


I have only seen an unwillingness on your part to address any of the points they are putting to yourself. It's a silly tactic to argue like this: =;

I think Wirraway is letting himself get drawn into a discussion of the pros and cons of nuclear waste, when his real issue is whether or not it's right for the federal government to force this on a state that wants no part of it (http://www.state.nv.us/nucwaste/yucca/state01.htm).

I think you guys are certainly right that there's no real danger from the Yucca Mountain site, but the feds need to convince the people of Nevada to accept it, not just force it on them (which would tend to raise suspicions about their motives).

BigJim
2003-Jul-22, 03:49 PM
(Bolding Mine) would certainly qualify as "remotely ad hominem."

But not out of order. I specifically asked him to address five key points numerous times, and every time he ignored it. He refused to answer direct, pertinent questions. I don't think that then using the term "anti-nukyular" qualifies as harmful.


I think you guys are certainly right that there's no real danger from the Yucca Mountain site, but the feds need to convince the people of Nevada to accept it, not just force it on them (which would tend to raise suspicions about their motives).

Which is what we're trying to tell Wirraway. But it's hopeless. He continually insists that there is a conspiracy against Nevada and ignores direct questions. A waste of our time to continue.

SeanF
2003-Jul-22, 04:15 PM
(Bolding Mine) would certainly qualify as "remotely ad hominem."

But not out of order. I specifically asked him to address five key points numerous times, and every time he ignored it. He refused to answer direct, pertinent questions. I don't think that then using the term "anti-nukyular" qualifies as harmful.

Well, I'd disagree about it being out of order, but that's just me.

Of the four points you raised (I say four because #1 and #4 are the same thing), I find the last one kind of interesting:


5. The primary reason why waste has to be stored in Yucca Mountain is because the anti-nukyular activists refuse to let us reprocess the fuel (by the way, I will add that one of the former nuclear fuel reprocessing centers was in New York state).

It seems like you're saying "We have to do this (Yucca Mountain) in spite of the activists' demands because we can't do what we should do (reprocess) . . . because of the activists' demands!"

If we're going to ignore the folks in Nevada like Wirraway who don't want a waste dump in their state and just do it anyway, why not ignore the folks around the country who don't want to reprocess and just do it anyway?

Glom
2003-Jul-22, 04:21 PM
The term 'anti-nukyular' is intended to be slightly derisery. But it isn't all that significant. Stop Cassini Wacko is a bit more significant. But the important thing about an ad hominem is that it is an argument based on a personal attack. We don't argue that nuclear power is good because anti-nukyular activists are stupid. That would be an ad hominem. We argue that nuclear power is good because of X, Y and Z and then say that anti-nukyular activists are stupid because they don't realise that. That is not technically an ad hominem although it is admittedly, not a symptom of truly civilised debate.

Reprocessing was stopped by presidential order. It sounds like you're trying to find consistency in the decisions of politicians. [-X

BigJim
2003-Jul-22, 04:24 PM
If we're going to ignore the folks in Nevada like Wirraway who don't want a waste dump in their state and just do it anyway, why not ignore the folks around the country who don't want to reprocess and just do it anyway?

There aren't that many people opposed to reprocessing. It was a Presidential order from Jimmy Carter. If we had a President who wanted to reprocess, we could. But the reason that he issued the order was because of the environmentalists' demands. We should reprocess fuels. We don't for purely political reasons.

We're not totally ignoring the people in Nevada. But Yucca Mountain has been chosen because of its safety in storing nuclear wastes. There will always be those who are uninformed and opposed to it. But it wouldn't make sense to abandon the project on which so many billions have already been spent because of the irrational and hysterical fears of a small portion of the population.

Glom
2003-Jul-22, 04:30 PM
Shall I quote it again?

"We do not require the world to consistently operate according to the expectations of the ignorant."

SeanF
2003-Jul-22, 04:40 PM
If we're going to ignore the folks in Nevada like Wirraway who don't want a waste dump in their state and just do it anyway, why not ignore the folks around the country who don't want to reprocess and just do it anyway?

There aren't that many people opposed to reprocessing. It was a Presidential order from Jimmy Carter. If we had a President who wanted to reprocess, we could. But the reason that he issued the order was because of the environmentalists' demands. We should reprocess fuels. We don't for purely political reasons.

That's kind of what I thought. But I want you to notice something in what you've said. First you said:


The primary reason why waste has to be stored in Yucca Mountain is because the anti-nukyular activists refuse to let us reprocess the fuel.

Just now, you said:


We should reprocess fuels. We don't for purely political reasons.

So, the primary reason for Yucca Mountain is for purely political reasons, which I think is what Wirraway suggested before people started accusing him of being a "conspiracy theorist."


We're not totally ignoring the people in Nevada. But Yucca Mountain has been chosen because of its safety in storing nuclear wastes. There will always be those who are uninformed and opposed to it. But it wouldn't make sense to abandon the project on which so many billions have already been spent because of the irrational and hysterical fears of a small portion of the population.

The population of Nevada may be a small portion of the population of the US, but in a federal vs. state land-use issue like this, I think they've got some precedence. And you're lending credence to Wirraway's fears that his "small state" is being picked on.

Glom
2003-Jul-22, 04:58 PM
So, the primary reason for Yucca Mountain is for purely political reasons, which I think is what Wirraway suggested before people started accusing him of being a "conspiracy theorist."

That's a very naive argument. Wirraway was saying that the location of the disposal facility was chosen because it had political advantages. BigJim was saying that the reason we (meaning you) need a disposal facility at all is because of the consequences of a different political decision.

BigJim
2003-Jul-22, 05:15 PM
Yes. There is a difference in the argument. Wirraway was saying that Yucca Mountain was chosen for political reasons; namely, that there is a conspiracy against Nevada. I am saying that the entire concept of having a nuclear repository is due to political reasons, but Yucca Mountain was still chosen purely scientifically. There is a major difference.


The population of Nevada may be a small portion of the population of the US, but in a federal vs. state land-use issue like this, I think they've got some precedence. And you're lending credence to Wirraway's fears that his "small state" is being picked on.

I don't think so. I've repeatedly said that Nevada and Yucca Mountain were chosen for scientific, not political, reasons. We can't allow a nuclear waste site to be put in a place which is less safe because of the irrational fears of the uninformed. Yucca was chosen for safety not only of the people of the rest of the US, but for those who live around it as well. That's why it costs three times what a manned Mars mission would: $58 billion.

SeanF
2003-Jul-22, 06:21 PM
I don't think Wirraway ever really claimed that, although some of his comments could be taken that way. Whether or not the federal gov't would try to push the waste dump onto an unwilling population in NY or CA if the "ideal site" had been found there is something we'll never know. The fact they are forcing it on the "ideal site" is not proof that the political location of the site had no effect on the decision to force it. (Boy, that's an awkward paragraph)

At any rate, the fact remains that they're pushing Yucca Mountain because they've made the decision to push for that instead of pushing for reproccessing, which by your own admission is scientifically superior. And why would they push for the scientifically inferior option, unless they considered it to be politically easier?

Would it still be politically easier if the site was in NY or CA? I don't know, but I think it's a valid question, and it ties in directly to Wirraway's concerns, doesn't it?

Glom
2003-Jul-22, 06:40 PM
The fact they are forcing it on the "ideal site" is not proof that the political location of the site had no effect on the decision to force it.

Quite true. Frankly, political undercurrent behind seemingly scientific decisions do not concern me. The purpose was to establish first that Yucca is not a threat to the population and second that it was chosen because it is the best place to put the facility, even if politicians can see other less scientific advantages to it.


At any rate, the fact remains that they're pushing Yucca Mountain because they've made the decision to push for that instead of pushing for reproccessing, which by your own admission is scientifically superior. And why would they push for the scientifically inferior option, unless they considered it to be politically easier?

Reprocessing with only solve the waste problem if the reprocessed fuel is used. If it's not going to be used, then you still have loads of material with no where to put it and you've spent a lot more on it. Therefore, to advocate reprocessing as a solution to the waste situation would be to advocate expansion of America's dwindling nuclear infrastructure. Such an advocation is politically unfavourable because of the unjust stigma attached to all things nuclear.


Would it still be politically easier if the site was in NY or CA? I don't know, but I think it's a valid question, and it ties in directly to Wirraway's concerns, doesn't it?

Maybe. Either way, it's irrelevant. When Wirraway joined this thread to declare in no uncertain terms his opposition to Yucca, our instinctive reaction was presume it was because of a misinformed idea that the facility would pose a threat to the population. It's becoming apparent that Wirraway doesn't feel that way, or at least, doesn't anymore and that his opposition stems from the idea that having a tip located not far from your city is not particularly nice. But it would have been easier if Wirraway had simply said that and then presented his political argument.

BigJim
2003-Jul-22, 06:46 PM
Perhaps, but it's an irrelevant question for two reasons. First, there are no sites in New York or California that are as useful and safe as Yucca. And second, Yucca is safe, as we've said, so Wirraway's fear of it is irrational.

There would be no reason to put the site in another site - Yucca Mountain is the safest one. While New York or California migt be politically opposed to nuclear waste sites in their states, it's irrelevant because no sites in New York or California are as safe as Yucca, so they would not be chosen. One of the reasons that Yucca Mountain was chosen was that waste stored there will not leak into groundwater. The same cannot be said for many other sites. Yucca is also in a sparsely populated desert region in a dry climate. It has many advantages that other nuclear waste sites did not - hence it was chosen. Its location in Nevada is irrelevant. If Yucca were somewhere else, and I would venture to say anywhere else, it would still have been chosen.

Here is a website (http://www.landercounty.com/yucca/yucca01.htm) on Yucca Mountain and some of te history on why it was chosen. There were possible sites in Washington state and Texas, too, hardly states which lack any political power - at least Texas, anyway. And although the Nuclear Waste Act said that:


The Act stressed that if, at any time, Yucca Mountain is found unsuitable, studies will be stopped immediately.


Nevadans were still unhappy:


The amendment to the Act is commonly referred to by many Nevadans as the "Screw Nevada Bill."

even though the Act and the $58 billion going into Yucca strongly protects their safety.

France, which gets more than three-quarters of its power from nuclear reactors, reprocesses its fuel:


France’s 59 operating nuclear reactors produce 76 percent the country’s electricity, making France the most nuclear-reliant country in the world. Under French law, producers of nuclear waste must arrange and pay for its disposal at a facility approved by the government.

France currently plans to reprocess all of its spent fuel. Cogema’s La Hague plant in northern France reprocesses not only French spent fuel, but fuel from Japan, Switzerland, Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands. Eventually high.level waste, in the form of vitrified glass logs, will be permanently disposed in a deep geologic repository. The waste is currently being stored at reactor sites and reprocessing facilities.

Four potential areas for a geologic repository were initially selected for study. Each had a specific geologic formation: clay in the northern part of the Parisian Basin, granite and shale in western France, and salt in eastern France. After a seven-year long process of public inquiries and technical assessments, it was decided that research should proceed at two sites. An underground laboratory is currently under construction at Bure in the east of France. A granite site is still to be selected but inquiries into potential granite sites were halted last year due to strong local opposition. French law requires that at least two underground research laboratories be developed prior to a final decision on a repository, one in crystalline rock and another in a sedimentary formation. The French parliament is expected to select the final site in 2006.



France gets many advantages (http://www.edf.fr/html/en/decouvertes/voyage/nucleaire/d13n/d13n-04.html) from its large nuclear power industry. It saves about $5.4 billion a year in not paying for oil or coal and exports $2.3 billion of electricity each year. It also puts no pollution or excess radiation into the atmoshpere, which is a bonus.

SeanF
2003-Jul-22, 07:03 PM
Frankly, political undercurrent behind seemingly scientific decisions do not concern me.

But it probably would concern you if you felt you were directly and negatively affected by the decision, as Wirraway and other Nevadans (rightly or wrongly) apparently do.


. . . it would have been easier if Wirraway had simply said that and then presented his political argument.

Agreed. And I should point out that my arguments may not actually be Wirraway's - I'm just giving my perception of the situation.

BigJim, I really think you don't understand where the Nevadans' opposition is coming from. Especially when you say things like:


There were possible sites in Washington state and Texas, too, hardly states which lack any political power - at least Texas, anyway.

Do you think that pointing out the fact that Nevada was chosen over two more politically powerful states is a persuasive argument that Nevada's lack of political power was not an issue?

BigJim
2003-Jul-22, 07:13 PM
What I meant is that other states with more political power were initially under consideration. Whether Yucca was ultimately chosen politically or scientifically is your own opinion, but there are legitimate scientific reasons for using Yucca Mountain.

Glom
2003-Jul-22, 07:33 PM
Wirraway's fear of it is irrational.

The question we have to ask Wirraway is whether or not it is fear or whether it is that he doesn't like the principle of it, nuclear or not.

Glom
2003-Jul-22, 07:46 PM
I thought I'd mentioned it but I can't post the post in which I did.

This site (http://www-formal.stanford.edu/jmc/progress/nuclear-faq.html).

Musashi
2003-Jul-22, 10:34 PM
Question: If Nevada passed some kind of referendum or law that specifically banned the use of it's land for nuclear waste dumping, what then? Would that be OK? Or would the feds ignore them and keep using Yucca Mt.?

man on the moon
2003-Jul-22, 10:49 PM
i think they already tried that musashi, a year or two ago. i remember them having a big deal about it with the federal government anyway, even if it wasn't that extreme. if i find it i'll post it.

Musashi
2003-Jul-22, 10:54 PM
Thanks man on the moon. I think that is the main crux of Wirraway's posts. Regardless of saftey, Nevada should have a right to say no thanks. Yucca Mt. may be the best place in all of the USA to put the stuff, but that does not obligate Nevada to accept it. Perhaps if each state had its own dump, they could deal with their own waste, and then nobody could really argue about where it is being dumped. (Untill you get into the county level, as is going on with landfills here in California)

man on the moon
2003-Jul-22, 11:38 PM
here it is. (http://www.cnn.com/2002/ALLPOLITICS/07/10/yucca.mountain/index.html)

[edited to fix link]

The Supreme Canuck
2003-Jul-23, 12:00 AM
If there's such a big deal about nuclear waste storage, why not just export it to a country that will either store it or reprocess it? Send it to France, they reprocess their waste. You might not even have to pay; they could keep what they extract from the waste as payment.

ocasey3
2003-Jul-23, 05:27 AM
Canada seems to have a lot of land going to waste. :wink: (pun intended)

The Supreme Canuck
2003-Jul-23, 05:30 AM
Actually, we may take it. No joke. We don't reprocess it, but we'd take your money to store it. The Canadian sheild is ideal. Solid granite without a large population to complain.

Plus if we ever did start reprocessing, we could sell it back to you... :P

Erekose
2003-Jul-23, 08:10 AM
HOORAY FOR FISSION!

Glad to see not everyone thinks that nuclear=evil
We had a situation here in oz where anti-nuke people actually picketed our one and only nuclear reactor (which is only used for medical and scientific purposes) TO KEEP WASTE FROM BEING TRANSPORTED TO A SAFE LOCATION! Does this seem like rational behavior to anyone?
These "enviromentalists" are stopping the devlopment of cleaner and safer nuclear energy both in my country and around the world.

So where do I sign up?

ps: If you want the U.S nuclear waste you will have to fight us for it! :x :D

Glom
2003-Jul-23, 11:35 AM
It has long been my contention that these anti-nukyular environmentalists aren't so much interested in saving the environment as they are in being regressive. They are anti-technology.

ocasey3
2003-Jul-23, 11:42 AM
It has long been my contention that these anti-nukyular environmentalists aren't so much interested in saving the environment as they are in being regressive. They are anti-technology.

I would say that that is not entirely true for all anti-nuclear activists. Some would just like to see more advancement in alternative energy sources such as Solar, wind and hydroelectric power, which would leave little or no impact on the environment. Regardless of safety precautions, the fact still exists that power created by fossil fuels or nuclear fuel creates dangerous by-products. Not all enviromentalists are regressive nor are they misinformed.

Glom
2003-Jul-23, 11:48 AM
I would say that that is not entirely true for all anti-nuclear activists.

Not all, clearly.


Some would just like to see more advancement in alternative energy sources such as Solar,

At current levels, the space it consumes as a major power source is in itself damaging.


wind

Again, the space it consumes is damaging, even without emissions, although admittedly, wind can be both a blessing as well as a curse to the land.


hydroelectric power,

The building of dams is actually quite damaging, although not in the usual sense in that it has no emissions. which would leave little or no impact on the environment.

It is a matter of fact that producing most of our power from renewables is not an option at the present time. We need either fossil fuels or nuclear and given the choice, I'd vote nuclear.

ocasey3
2003-Jul-23, 11:59 AM
I agree about the damming of rivers, look what's going on in China. :-?

But I do think that solar and wind power is feasable on a small scale, and I especially want to see solar power developed better. Maybe we will get there one day. I do know of several people that are off the grid completely, granted they are not in an urban area, but they have been very successful in maintaining their power supply. Considering the amount my gas bill has gone up in the past year, and how it is going to go up again soon, I wish my roof was covered in solar panels, if only to ease my wallet a bit.

Nuclear power is the best alternative, at the moment, for large power generation, no argument from me.

frenat
2003-Jul-23, 12:16 PM
I remember many months ago a "news" story came out about all the supposed proposed routes that the waste would take on its way to Nevada and how many schools, hospitals, etc. it would go past. The story was designed to raise fear and wasn't even completely correct. It offered a website one could go to to check how close waste came to you. Sadly I don't still have that link. But for example, in Columbus, OH where I am currently, downtown is centered on Interstates 71 and 70 and mostly surrounded by an outerbelt Interstate 270 which you can see here (http://maps.yahoo.com/py/maps.py?Pyt=Tmap&ed=.0lhm.p_0Tp5u.s6IH4JlfXNhuc2mN wCavwRDmbC8s1CPL7fynRy.2XD6Iz8MPFb&csz=Columbus,+O H&country=us&cs=4&name=&desc=&poititle=&poi=&uz=43 215&ds=n&BFKey=&BFCat=&BFClient=&mag=5&newmag=6). These supposed routes took waste right through downtown on 71 and 70 which would never happen. 270 is designated as a hazmat route. Any vehicle unless picking up or dropping off within 270 must go around. This doesn't avoid everything but does avoid a majority of the population.

dgruss23
2003-Jul-23, 01:37 PM
ocasey3 wrote: Nuclear power is the best alternative, at the moment, for large power generation, no argument from me.

Here is the crux of the problem with many environmentalists - they REFUSE to see the common sense compromise positions. Ocasey3 is exactly right. I think the majority of people would agree that solar power and wind power would be nice, but its not feasible for large scale energy production at this time. So what do we do in the meantime? If the environmentalists get their way we get rid of all nuclear plants, we eliminate all fossil fuels (to protect against the global warming that isn't happening) and where does that leave the economy? Most of them don't care!

That's what ticks me off. Right now we need fossil fuels. Period. But do you think these activitsts do anything but throw a tantrum if we dare to suggest drilling in Alaska or the Gulf of Mexico? Right now we could probably reduce our need for fossil fuels by expanding our use of nuclear power. But we can't even launch a nuclear powered probe to Saturn without the activists throwing yet another tantrum.

They want solar NOW! They want Wind power NOW! They don't care what it does to the economy - and thereby jobs - if we conform to their demands. They don't care if the technology isn't ready yet. Make it ready yesterday they demand. Its all because of the greedy corporations they say. Doesn't it occur to them that since the corporations are in business for profit (which is where the employees pay comes from incidentally) - they will be developing these alternatives WHEN it becomes possible for them to do it profitably. But PROFIT is another evil word in the environmentalist dictionary.

I would say that within 100 years some of these alternatives they like should be more feasible. Common sense says we should be doing what it takes to bridge that gap.

wedgebert
2003-Jul-23, 05:02 PM
oh oh, what is we put up wind farms, but cover the wind generators themselves with solar panels? Twice the power for the same space!

tracer
2003-Jul-28, 07:39 PM
But nuclear waste wouldn't have been a problem if the fission products were reprocessed and reused. It's because of the anti-nukyular lobby that reprocessing was stopped. Then they complain about the resulting waste build up. They caused the problem in the first place.
You're talking about public opposition to the building of CANDU reactors, which can operate on fuel that would be considered "waste grade" in any other kind of reactor, aren't you?

Glom
2003-Jul-28, 09:03 PM
Of course. 8-[

wedgebert
2003-Jul-28, 11:13 PM
But nuclear waste wouldn't have been a problem if the fission products were reprocessed and reused. It's because of the anti-nukyular lobby that reprocessing was stopped. Then they complain about the resulting waste build up. They caused the problem in the first place.
You're talking about public opposition to the building of CANDU reactors, which can operate on fuel that would be considered "waste grade" in any other kind of reactor, aren't you?

I think we should just take the public out back and shoot them. They're always getting in the way.

tracer
2003-Jul-29, 02:33 AM
To be fair, CANDU reactors do require a huge investment in heavy water, they do generate waste of their own (of a less radioactive grade than conventional reactors), and the ones that are in operation now mostly run off of "new" fuel.

Furthermore, the U.S. military is looking to build a CANDU reactor as a means of turning weapons-grade and near-weapons-grade plutonium into useful energy, partly because we're downsizing our nuclear arsenal and partly because weapons-grade plutonium (being radioactive) doesn't stay weapons-grade forever. Naturally, anything associated with those kinds of "nukes" tends to get a big thumbs-down politically. :roll:

The Supreme Canuck
2003-Jul-29, 02:36 AM
Canada is currently building a CANDU that runs on normal water. I can give you the website if you want it.

dgruss23
2003-Jul-29, 02:39 AM
Canada is currently building a CANDU that runs on normal water. I can give you the website if you want it.

Sounds like the energy messiah is born.

The Supreme Canuck
2003-Jul-29, 02:43 AM
Whoops. Spoke to soon. It still uses heavy water, but one heck of a lot less of it.

Here (http://www.nuclearfaq.ca/cnf_sectionA.htm#ngcandu)

tracer
2003-Jul-29, 02:56 AM
From that link:


The Advanced CANDU Reactor (ACR) ... maintains proven elements of existing CANDU design, while making some significant modifications:

* reduced use of heavy water (one quarter of the heavy water required for existing plants)
* flatter neutron flux shape, allowing 14% lower peak fuel element ratings
So it uses only 1/4 as much heavy water, and can operate on fuel that's even lower grade than existing CANDU reactors. Sounds like a winner to me! If they can pull it off.

The Supreme Canuck
2003-Jul-29, 03:01 AM
Oh they will. They've even created a small research reactor for universities that has been approved to be left alone overnight. No monitoring (well, automatic warning and acramming systems). It's that safe!

Glom
2003-Aug-06, 05:16 PM
I was watching Voyager on SkyOne and during the commercial break, I saw an advert for this visitors centre at Sellafield. 8) The scientists fight back.

Pi Man
2003-Aug-06, 06:49 PM
I thought you were talking about fission, not fusion. But now you're talking about heavy water? :-? :-k

Glom
2003-Aug-06, 06:50 PM
I thought you were talking about fission, not fusion. But now you're talking about heavy water? :-? :-k

:-? What? I am talking about fission.

Pi Man
2003-Aug-06, 06:53 PM
Heavy hydrogen is extracted from heavy water to fuse. How does heave water relate to fission?

The Supreme Canuck
2003-Aug-06, 06:54 PM
I thought you were talking about fission, not fusion. But now you're talking about heavy water? :-? :-k

Heavy water is used in some fisson reactors. I'm confused. :-?

The Supreme Canuck
2003-Aug-06, 06:55 PM
Here you go. (http://www.nuclearfaq.ca/cnf_sectionA.htm#e)

Pi Man
2003-Aug-06, 06:59 PM
Oh! Ok! I get it. Thanks!

Now, what I don't understand is why they don't power fusion reactions with fission. It would be more efficient, and most likely, not very difficult. :-k I dunno.

tracer
2003-Aug-10, 03:27 AM
The only fusion "reactors" that are powered by fission are hydrogen bombs.

It takes hundreds of millions of degrees of temperature, and tremendous amounts of pressure, to make Deuterium and Tritium to fuse together into Helium-4 and a neutron. The conditions inside a nuclear fission reactor are nowhere near hot enough or high-pressure enough for this to occur. And if they were, you'd get the same runaway reaction you get in a thermonuclear fusion (hydrogen) bomb.

If you can invent a way to detonate an H-bomb, and contain the vast amount of energy released so that it doesn't destroy the countryside, and harness all that energy to generate electrical power -- keeping in mind that the blast only lasts for a fraction of a second -- then by all means, build us such a reactor! ;)

tracer
2003-Aug-10, 03:34 AM
I'VE GOT IT!!

I know how we can get rid of the nuclear waste produced by fission reactors! I don't know why I didn't think of it sooner!

What do we use to make the nuclear fuel used by reactors? Naturally-occurring Uranium ore, mined out of the ground, right? Well, that naturally-occurring Uranium ore is already radioactive! And you don't see it ruining the ecosystem or poisoning the water table, do you?

So:

We take our radioactive waste -- which isn't going to be any more radioactive than the naturally-occurring combination of Uranium-235 and Uranium-238 we took out of the ground to begin with -- and we chemically combine it with whatever materials Uranium normally occurs in an "ore" with. Then, we put this artificial "nuclear waste ore" back into the same place in the ground where we mined the original Uranium out of!

Problem solved!

Glom
2003-Aug-10, 09:58 AM
Except that fission products contain some other medium life isotopes that weren't there before.

My suggestion is to seperate out the uranium and plutonium and send them back to the reactors and to use the remaining nasty stuff in a huge RTG at the reprocessing plant so they can power themselves. That way they don't have to use anything off the National Grid.

wedgebert
2003-Aug-11, 02:16 AM
Off topic, why is it that the good threads always die, but boring ones always last 30+ pages?

tracer
2003-Aug-11, 03:53 AM
My suggestion is to seperate out the uranium and plutonium and send them back to the reactors and to use the remaining nasty stuff in a huge RTG at the reprocessing plant so they can power themselves.
Most of the Uranium you separate out will be Uranium-238, and I don't think the reactors would be interested in it. Nor do I believe U-238 is radioactive enough to use in an RTG. About the only thing it's used for nowadays is anti-tank ammunition, and it's used there only because it's cheaper than tungsten.

Glom
2003-Aug-11, 09:36 AM
Off topic, why is it that the good threads always die, but boring ones always last 30+ pages?

This thread has only lasted 6 pages. Are you saying that this is a good thread that has died?


Nor do I believe U-238 is radioactive enough to use in an RTG.

I wasn't thinking off using U-238. I was talking about all of those other smaller fission products that are medium lived.

tracer
2003-Aug-11, 03:36 PM
Nor do I believe U-238 is radioactive enough to use in an RTG.

I wasn't thinking off using U-238. I was talking about all of those other smaller fission products that are medium lived.
True -- I was just "headin' off at the pass" any potential suggestions of using U-238 in an RTG since reactors aren't going to want the stuff.

Of course, I don't see anything wrong with putting the U-238 back into the ground from which the Uranium ore was originally dug up. I mean, the original ore had a small percentage of U-235 in it, which would've made it more radioactive than pure "depleted" Uranium-238.

BTW, is there someplace a list of the percentages of various materials that typical nuclear reactor waste is made out of?

wedgebert
2003-Aug-11, 05:00 PM
[quote=wedgebert]Off topic, why is it that the good threads always die, but boring ones always last 30+ pages?

This thread has only lasted 6 pages. Are you saying that this is a good thread that has died?


Nor do I believe U-238 is radioactive enough to use in an RTG.

Yeah, I'm saying this is a good thread that seems to be dying.

I guess it's happening because we lost the major antinukyular poster and now everyone is agreeing.

Sever
2003-Aug-11, 05:07 PM
I want to join 2!

Glom
2003-Aug-11, 08:00 PM
I had an idea that might endear nuclear power to the masses.

Call it actinide power. Since the public have no idea what nuclear power is or how it works and merely fear the name, there won't care if it's called actinide power.

BigJim
2003-Aug-11, 08:06 PM
Call it actinide power. Since the public have no idea what nuclear power is or how it works and merely fear the name, there won't care if it's called actinide power.

=D>

Glom
2003-Aug-15, 03:02 PM
I heard about these power outages in North America. There were reports that a few nuclear power stations were shut down. Why? Were they causing problems, or was it just because the public are hysterical about nuclear power?

Roy Batty
2003-Aug-15, 03:12 PM
I believe several power stations were shut down, because since the grid was down there was no longer sufficient demand to keep them online i.e no consumption for the electricity they were producing.

Pinemarten
2003-Aug-17, 02:15 AM
I heard about these power outages in North America. There were reports that a few nuclear power stations were shut down. Why? Were they causing problems, or was it just because the public are hysterical about nuclear power?

Nuclear power plants work by boiling water with 'hot' nuke piles and then sending the steam through turbines. The turbine speed is governed by the the electricity it produces.
When the output was disconnected, there was no where for the energy to go. They had to go to emergency shutdown.
Once shut down, they take a day or so to start up again.
I heard 40% of normal power is supplied this way, so it may take a day or so to get back up to normal.

Kizarvexis
2003-Aug-18, 01:36 AM
Reactor waste storage. What about the subduction zones under the ocean?

Once placed there to be subducted back into the bowels of the earth, you won't be able to ge it back. That means you would need to reprocess it first to get the usable stuff out before putting the waste there. If the waste is at the bottom of a deep ocean trench and is going to be reasborbed into the earth, shouldn't it be safe then?

Of course we would have to find a away to put the containers in the crust of the subduction zone way down under water first. :) Sounds expensive, but if the waste is sent down to the mantel it won't hurt any future wildlife (people included).

Kizarvexis
Of course, storage vaults on land would be used until we figure out how to stick it under water.

Glom
2003-Aug-29, 09:34 PM
What is this thread doing on page two? :evil:

Get back to ranting at once! [-(

This is important!

The Supreme Canuck
2003-Aug-30, 06:10 PM
Glom, what happened to this thread? We need to start it up again!

Glom
2003-Aug-30, 06:26 PM
Charge the paddles.

CLEAR!!

The Supreme Canuck
2003-Aug-30, 06:28 PM
Alright, how do we do this? Why not start a list of good nuclear energy sites that we can direct people to?

Kizarvexis
2003-Aug-30, 06:30 PM
Why not comment on if my idea about putting the waste into subduction zones is a good idea or not?

Kizarvexis

Glom
2003-Aug-30, 06:33 PM
www.nuclearspace.com
www.nuclear.com
www.nuclear.co.uk
www.bnes.com
www.bnfl.com
www.iaea.org
www.ukaea.org.uk
www.ornl.gov/ORNLReview/rev26-34/text/colmain.html
www.phact.org/e/z/pronuke.htm
www.libertyhaven.com/politicsandcurrentevents/energy/nuclear.shtml

Glom
2003-Aug-30, 06:35 PM
Why not comment on if my idea about putting the waste into subduction zones is a good idea or not?

Good in theory. But might be difficult to get it there.

The Supreme Canuck
2003-Aug-30, 06:37 PM
Kizarvexis: Alright, I'll do that...

If you want to get rid of it permanently, it's a great idea. (If cost isn't an issue. It would probably be hard to do) But if you want a more efficient system, you're going to want to reprocess the stuff. Why dump it if it can be used again for the same purpose? It's cheaper and is environmentally friendly.

But, with the current anti-nukyular attitude that the populace has, getting rid of it by throwing it into subduction zones looks like a better option. If you could convince them that it's better for the environment than trowing it in a hole.

*Sigh*

Great ideas are easily destroyed by popular ideas.

Added:

Glom, here's one:

www.nuclearfaq.ca

BigJim
2003-Sep-01, 08:28 PM
Republicans foil Democratic attempt to funnel $114 million from Project Prometheus (http://pub97.ezboard.com/fnuclearspacefrm4.showMessage?topicID=353.topic).

Nuclear Space's stuff is very, very good.

Kizarvexis
2003-Sep-01, 08:36 PM
Kizarvexis: Alright, I'll do that...

If you want to get rid of it permanently, it's a great idea. (If cost isn't an issue. It would probably be hard to do) But if you want a more efficient system, you're going to want to reprocess the stuff. Why dump it if it can be used again for the same purpose? It's cheaper and is environmentally friendly.

But, with the current anti-nukyular attitude that the populace has, getting rid of it by throwing it into subduction zones looks like a better option. If you could convince them that it's better for the environment than trowing it in a hole.

*Sigh*

Great ideas are easily destroyed by popular ideas.

Added:

Glom, here's one:

www.nuclearfaq.ca

Well, I mentioned that since you wouldn't be able to get the waste back, you would reprocess it first. As I understand it, reprocessing allows you to use almost all the spent fuel again, but some is waste you can't do anything with. It's this stuff that you would put into the subduction zone. This would mean that you would have less waste to dispose of, so hopefully the disposal costs would stay the same or be reduced over what we're planning now. And if it costs more, then make the anti-nukyular activists pay the extra to get the extra security. :)

How about using Glomar Explorer for its stated purpose as a drilling platform to drill a hole near a subduction zone to put one of those transport containers of (useless) nuclear waste into? then in a few thousand years, it will make it to the mantel and be gone.

Kizarvexis

The Supreme Canuck
2003-Sep-01, 08:42 PM
Excellent! Wonderful! Now all we need to do is convince people to do it... *Plots*

First we need to begin reprocessing...

Kizarvexis
2003-Sep-01, 09:32 PM
Excellent! Wonderful! Now all we need to do is convince people to do it... *Plots*

First we need to begin reprocessing...

Well since they were worried a few years ago about how people 100,000 years from now will know what's buried in Yucca mountain and to leave it alone, maybe we should propose the plan to dispose of the waste first, an then go "oh, by the way since the waste will be gone, maybe we should get the good stuff out of it first", then we would have a disposal plan that should satisfy the anti-nukular activists and we would use the fuel as efficiently as possible for generating power so that we can stop using coal and oil in power plants and make the air much cleaner and also not have to dig up the coal and oil as well and really stick it to the middle east by not buying their oil, since they seem to not to like us very much, so this would have political benefits as well as environmental benefits and everyone would be happy, except maybe the middle east as we wouldn't be using oil as much, but we would still need to make plastics so some oil exploration would be needed, just not as much, unless we started using plastic for more things, but on the other hand their is a company here in the US that can take trash and send it through a cooking process to turn it back into it's basic components like oil, metals, powdered chemicals and the like, they can even make trailer sized units that can handle a ton or so of trash and you tweak the cooking process depending on the type of trash that goes into the cooker and you get different kinds of stuff out, which would make this tech great for using in space as you can recycle the trash into other usable froms, but it generates lots of waste heat that here on Earth you can use to power the machine that in space you would have to dump into the universe's biggest thermos bottle, but what if you used this on a Mars base, then you could dump the waste heat into the atmosphere to heat up the planet to start terraforming Mars into a green paradise, but I'm sure that some environmental activists would complain that you would be changing Mars from it's natural red colour to a more pleasing green color to suit humans and that we shouldn't be arrogantly going around imposing our will on nature and should revert to a hunter gatherer society as if that isn;t imposing our will on nature anyways, especially as we would have to import (or clone, but that would open another whole can of worms [why would anyone put worms in a can and why would anyone want to open a can {worm pizza - Take quite a few earthworms and draw them across an exactoknife. Clean out all the junk inside and then wash the gutted worms. Boil the worms in garlic flavored water for a few minutes and then spread on pizza of your choice. Bake and enjoy!} of worms anyways] for the anti-clone activists) animals and plants to have enough for every human to return to a hunter gatherer existance, not to mention there wouldn't be enough room for all of them unless we made a Dyson sphere, but that would take so much material and engineering ability that it would be easier just to keep the grocery stores anyways and further more how many people know how to hunt and gather in the first place, although would could consider our current system just a sophisiticated hunter gather system where everyone is specialized at a particular type of hunting and gathering and people in the future will probably be even more of a specialist as new types of industry and technologies are developed furthering the difficulty of being a generalist in anything, so they would probably communicate diffently and wouldn't understand our generalized lingo, so any type of nuclear waste disposal system would need to be able to communicate that the stuff it holds is dangerous which is what the anti-nukular were worried a few years ago about how people 100,000 years from now will know what's buried in Yucca mountain and to leave it alone, maybe we should propose the plan to dispose of the waste first, an then go "oh, by the way since the waste will be gone, maybe we should get the good stuff out of it first"...

Kizarvexis
See, I'm conserving as I combined my grammer pet peeve and freedom for fission posts together. :)

The Supreme Canuck
2003-Sep-01, 11:28 PM
:o I actually read all that before I realized what was happening. My head hurts...

Kizarvexis
2003-Sep-01, 11:35 PM
:o I actually read all that before I realized what was happening. My head hurts...

LOL! :) I directly connected the brain to the fingers without any filtering. :) Except for the part about worm pizza.:o I went googling for a recipe, but didn't find much. Wonder why? :)

Kizarvexis
I like this little smiley. :o It's soo cool. :o :o :o :)

wedgebert
2003-Sep-01, 11:49 PM
Paragraphs man, for the love of all that is good and just in the world, PARAGRAPHS!!

Just kidding 8)

Glom
2003-Sep-02, 08:26 AM
Republicans foil Democratic attempt to funnel $114 million from Project Prometheus (http://pub97.ezboard.com/fnuclearspacefrm4.showMessage?topicID=353.topic).

Republicans may have their uses after all.

The problem is that with only two major parties in the American system, all the eco-wackies will vote Democrat as they are the most liberal party. So the Democrat politicians will act in ways that please the eco-wackies.

In Britain, eco-wackies vote for the Green party, whom no-one has ever heard of apart from the eco-wackies.

BigJim
2003-Sep-02, 03:58 PM
Republicans foil Democratic attempt to funnel $114 million from Project Prometheus (http://pub97.ezboard.com/fnuclearspacefrm4.showMessage?topicID=353.topic).

Republicans may have their uses after all.

The problem is that with only two major parties in the American system, all the eco-wackies will vote Democrat as they are the most liberal party. So the Democrat politicians will act in ways that please the eco-wackies.

In Britain, eco-wackies vote for the Green party, whom no-one has ever heard of apart from the eco-wackies.

We have our own Green Party here, who a lot of people have heard of because its main guy is Ralph Nader, a consumer activist who is extremely opposed to nuclear power.

Glom
2003-Sep-02, 05:34 PM
So this Nader? What does he think of coal power or hydroelectric power?

Ripper
2003-Sep-02, 05:43 PM
I think he would only approve of solar. All other forms of power generation create either environmental or asthetic ploution or damage.

By the way, I believe the US is the only industrialized country that has a decresing amount of nuclear power. I know the French are cutting edge, and I think generating a higher percentage of its power in Nuke plants than any other nation.

The Supreme Canuck
2003-Sep-02, 08:10 PM
Good for them! I think they reprocess, too. But I could be wrong.

BigJim
2003-Sep-02, 09:50 PM
So this Nader? What does he think of coal power or hydroelectric power?

As Ripper says, he's opposed to pretty much anything but solar. He became famous for being partially responsible for a large increase in gas mileage for cars. Information about Nader here (http://search.biography.com/print_record.pl?id=17936). He helped bring aobut a revolution in automobile safety, which is good, but he is strongly anti-nuclear and wrote a book against nuclear energy, which is bad.

Musashi
2003-Sep-02, 11:23 PM
I think a lot of Sci Fi writers make fun of him by making groups of anti-technology nuts called Naderites in their books.

Glom
2003-Oct-06, 08:02 PM
I've been gone for two weeks and none of you could think of something else to contribute?

The Supreme Canuck
2003-Oct-06, 08:05 PM
Alrighty, in the paper this morning, someone wrote in to the paper saying that it's all well and good that we have nuclear reactors, but they're environmentally unfriendly until we find a way to deal with waste. Well, we have a way. Reprocessing.

Stupid political decisions...

Pinemarten
2003-Oct-07, 09:30 AM
Our Candu reactors in Canada used to sell the spent uranium to the US as plutonium for their nukes. Since the SALT talks/treaties we are having trouble finding a market for it.

tjm220
2003-Oct-07, 05:16 PM
Our Candu reactors in Canada used to sell the spent uranium to the US as plutonium for their nukes. Since the SALT talks/treaties we are having trouble finding a market for it.

I guess we can't go into business for ourselves then eh? :P

The Supreme Canuck
2003-Oct-15, 04:17 AM
Crud, it got buried again...

Anyway, looks like Canada is getting ready to sell quite a few CANDU's.

http://www.canada.com/search/story.aspx?id=64146f3c-3d0f-47ce-8223-c355d7189e3b

A few are going to England (as in the article) and a few advanced reactors will (hopefully) be going to the States soon. The advanced ones are great. They replace quite a bit of heavy water with light water.

It also seems that the media around here have lost the nu-ku-lar phobia for a while. They actually reported that nuclear power is cleaner than coal and gas in the paper today!

Pinemarten
2003-Oct-15, 07:42 AM
Light water?
Would we call them CANHU reactors then? :wink:

The Supreme Canuck
2003-Oct-15, 11:36 PM
Sure! Though officially they're "Advanced CANDU" reactors. But from now on, CANHU!

wedgebert
2003-Nov-15, 10:25 PM
Just giving this thread a quick bump so that people can find it coming from the "Nuclear Power is Kaput" thread.

Glom
2003-Nov-15, 10:46 PM
Our best hope lies with the French. As long as they keep the same energy policy, they serve as an example to the world of how nuclear power isn't going to destroy the world.

tuffel999
2003-Nov-15, 11:03 PM
Hmmm......relying on the french. Too bad the Germans jumped ship.

The Supreme Canuck
2003-Nov-15, 11:08 PM
Hopefully our sale of advanced CANDU's to the Americans goes through...

wedgebert
2003-Nov-16, 12:32 AM
Hopefully at some point we'll have a president who know more about science than the average 8 year old kid.

If a famous (and qualified) scientist or engineer ran for president, I might actually vote.

Captain Kidd
2003-Nov-16, 01:40 AM
I heard about these power outages in North America. There were reports that a few nuclear power stations were shut down. Why? Were they causing problems, or was it just because the public are hysterical about nuclear power?

Nuclear power plants work by boiling water with 'hot' nuke piles and then sending the steam through turbines. The turbine speed is governed by the the electricity it produces.
When the output was disconnected, there was no where for the energy to go. They had to go to emergency shutdown.
Once shut down, they take a day or so to start up again.
I heard 40% of normal power is supplied this way, so it may take a day or so to get back up to normal.

That description is for boiling water reactors, however, there's also pressurized water reactors where the reactor loop is water-solid, nothing gets boiled, the water is heated to.. uh, 580F +/- but the pressurization keeps it from boiling. Then the water goes to a heat exchanger where it is used to boil water to steam. That steam then goes to the turbines. So PWR's are a bit cleaner.
Oh and the turbine speed is not dictated by the energy it produces. It's dictated by the frequency of the power grid. Here in the states it's 60 hertz or 60 cycles per second (think of a sine wave). Most nukes use 4 (I think 4, might be 6... too lazy to check) pole generators so that locks the speed at 1800 rpm. 0% power or 110% power, you're running at 1800 rpm, although at 0% you're 'motoring', the grid is actually turning the generator into an electric motor and spinning the turbine. Not a good thing.
As for Glom's question. The reason the plants went down was because of requirement to have a source of outside power to run electrical stuff like pump motors and whatnot. When the grid went down, they lost their outside power, the diesel generators started up but since the requirement is to have outside power and there was none, they had to shut down. Plus there's no since in burning fuel that ain't going anywhere. :)

DreadCthulhu
2003-Nov-16, 01:34 PM
Hopefully at some point we'll have a president who know more about science than the average 8 year old kid.

If a famous (and qualified) scientist or engineer ran for president, I might actually vote.

Well, just because a person is a scientist or engineer, and should know better about nuclear power, doesn't mean they would support it. For example, Jimmy Carter, who was a nuclear engineer when he was in the Navy, is the President who killed reprocessing in the United States. :o

As for the current President, well, he does support the Project Prometheus, which pushes for more nuclear power in space and his energy plan does include more nuclear power. How effectively these plans will be carried out does remain up in the air.

Glom
2003-Nov-19, 08:45 PM
Okay consider this.

Nuclear power in spaceflight would give us the ability to expand out into space. This will allow more people to leave Earth permanently. This will mean less human matter releasing carbon dioxide and screwing up Earth in other ways. Nuclear power for spaceflight is better for the environment.

daver
2003-Nov-20, 01:46 AM
Okay consider this.

Nuclear power in spaceflight would give us the ability to expand out into space. This will allow more people to leave Earth permanently. This will mean less human matter releasing carbon dioxide and screwing up Earth in other ways. Nuclear power for spaceflight is better for the environment.

Even better, the people who want to go into space are by and large the same nasty, ill-mannered people who adore nuclear power.

The Supreme Canuck
2003-Nov-21, 09:31 PM
That's rather rude. And what, pray tell, is wrong with nuclear power?

russ_watters
2003-Nov-21, 09:37 PM
... And what, pray tell, is wrong with nuclear power? FEAR.

The Supreme Canuck
2003-Nov-21, 09:47 PM
Of course. When people think "nuclear" they also think "bomb" "destruction" and "fallout." It's probably due to all of the "warnings" and "safety films" that governments released during the cold war.

Glom
2003-Nov-21, 09:57 PM
Most large nuclear power stations make use of something like four reactors. What if instead of a few huge nuclear power stations, you have loads of small single reactor stations spread across the country? That would shrink the transmission distance to many areas and such would increase efficiency. It would also make each one less of a concern because they're smaller and so lock up less radioactive material. More areas would benefit from the jobs that would be created.

Would that kind of system be better?

The Supreme Canuck
2003-Nov-21, 10:00 PM
It's doable:

http://www.nuclearfaq.ca/cnf_sectionH.htm#g3

Glom
2003-Nov-21, 10:07 PM
Cool.

The Supreme Canuck
2003-Nov-23, 06:41 AM
Just a question; what is the nuclear regulatory body in the United Sates? What is it in England? I'd like to know how they're run. The AECL (Atomic Energy Canada Limited) is a Crown Corporation (a company owned by the government, expected to turn a profit) and I was wondering if other regulatory bodies were the same. It seems to work pretty dang well.

Musashi
2003-Nov-23, 06:43 AM
http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/nuregs/staff/sr1650/

And from somewhere else (http://www.physics.isu.edu/radinf/radrus.htm):


The regulations that control the use of radioactivity in our country are based on recommendations of science organizations like the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP), the National Council on Radiation Protection (NCRP), the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the United Nations (UN), and the Health Physics Society (HPS). Governing bodies like the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), the Department of Energy (DOE), and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) review these recommendations and propose the regulations that industry and government must follow. These are then passed by Congress, if found to be acceptable, and published in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFRs).

The Supreme Canuck
2003-Nov-23, 06:45 AM
Ah. Thanks. I was looking for the Atomic Energy Commission. It was disbanded in 1974. Oops.

Added: I see. In the States, it's more governmental and in Canada it's more corporate. If that makes sense.

Musashi
2003-Nov-23, 06:47 AM
For the UK, I think this site covers it, but I don'tknow for sure:

http://www.hse.gov.uk/press/2003/c03015.htm


Nuclear Safety Advisory Committee (NuSAC) and the Radioactive Waste Management Advisory Committee (RWMAC)

The Supreme Canuck
2003-Nov-23, 07:00 AM
Thanks. I've got the US one here:

http://nuclear.gov/

I think that the NRC is kind of an oversight committee. Also, I was wrong about the AECL. It's a Crown Corporation resonsible for the design and construction of reactors, and falls under the Department of Natural Resources.

http://www.nrcan.gc.ca/inter/index.html

Thanks for the British one as well.

Glom
2003-Nov-23, 09:56 PM
I was reading this site (http://www.libertyhaven.com/politicsandcurrentevents/energy/nuclear.shtml). Using his statistic of a 1,000,000 kW non-renewable plant consuming 25 acres, or about 100,000m˛, I came to some startling calculations.

Solar potential.

The intensity of the Sun at this distance is 1kW/m˛. That means, to generate a million kW from solar energy would take a huge honkin' collector of size 1 million m˛ or 10 times a non-renewable plant. That's the best you're going to get. That isn't an issue of our current state of technology. More research will not change that. That is a fact of nature.

But, there are other issues. A non-renewable can run 24/7. A solar plant can only run for half the year as the other half is nighttime. Hence, you'd need either one collector on either side of the planet, or more practically, two collectors to generate twice as much power to compensate for the no generation at night. So now, the land costs have doubled to 20 times that of a non-renewable.

But this assumes two honkin' collectors, each of size 1km˛. And it assumes that the sunlight is always at normal incidence. Of course, in order to maintain normal incidence, the panels would need to track the Sun. Problem! How do you built a mount for a 1km˛ panel to track the Sun? Obviously, the solution is the break up the collector into an array of little collectors.

With this having been done, other needs have to be considered. These panels are exposed to the elements, so they're going to need to be regularly cleaned. They are on motorised mounts and so the moving parts issue comes up. They're going to need maintenance. That means, you're going to need to space the collectors apart to allow maintenance. Given that maintenance may include removing and replacing a panel, this will mean a distance between panels equivalent to the size of a panel itself. So, panel, panel gap, panel, panel gap. This quadruples the size of an array to 80 times the area of a non-renewable.

Of course, the issue of cleaning raises an important issue of the amount of toxic chemicals that will be used on this so called clean power source.

But, this spacing is only the beginning. The sun isn't always at directly above and sometimes might be quite low in the sky. This means that if the panels are too close together, they will start casting shadows on eachother. To prevent this, they'll have to be even more spaced out. From trigonometry, it can be shown that for a sun altitude of 45°, there must be a gap of one and a half panel lengths. So instead of 80 times, the size will be 120 times assuming 45° is the worst case scenario angle, which it is obviously not. I only picked 45° because it makes the trig nice. In fact, in Britain the Sun doesn't even reach 45° altitude at any point in the day for over half the year.

Not that so far, I haven't referred to panel efficiencies or anything like that. Nothing to which I've referred are issues that may improve with time as our technology grows. These are problems inherrent to the concept of solar power. No amount of technology will change the Sun's intensity. No amount of technology will eliminate the night. No amount of technology will prevent shadows. No amount of technology will change the fact that a solar array must be much greater than 100 times the size of a non-renewable plant to generate the same power. Although, please note that this figure depends of the accuracy of the original statistic. If the statistic is wrong, then all of the above is wrong.

It is quite clear to be seen (assuming the accuracy of the original statistic) that solar power is not very practical on commercial scales. It has the potential to serve many special purposes, like space stations and other things, but it cannot compete with non-renewables as a primary generator of commercial power.

Freedom for Fission.

Jack Higgins
2003-Nov-23, 10:48 PM
If the statistic is wrong, then all of the above is wrong.
Even if it is a bit off, non-renewable will still be much more efficient!

It really just makes so much sense- why are the public so afraid of it?! If they're willing to have x-rays passed through their bodies, get radiotherapy for cancer, etc etc, why is it that nukyular power stations, which are probably going to have far less of an effect on their lives (apart from supplying lots of electricity) scare them so much? :roll:

I've heard people saying it's not "natural" etc - 99% of the materials around them when they say that are probably manmade, which is also not "natural". We've screwed up the planet enough already, and now people want to do something about it. This is a way to do something!

Next time there's an anti-nukyular protest somewhere, wouldn't it be nice to have a pro-nuclear protest nearby also?!

Someone should really write a book about this... :)

Glom
2003-Nov-23, 11:19 PM
It really just makes so much sense- why are the public so afraid of it?! If they're willing to have x-rays passed through their bodies, get radiotherapy for cancer, etc etc, why is it that nukyular power stations, which are probably going to have far less of an effect on their lives (apart from supplying lots of electricity) scare them so much? :roll:

Nuclear power stations actually give a third of the radiation dosage to the nearby residents than a coal power station.


I've heard people saying it's not "natural" etc - 99% of the materials around them when they say that are probably manmade, which is also not "natural". We've screwed up the planet enough already, and now people want to do something about it. This is a way to do something!

That's what really annoys me. These so called environmentalists are really just anti-technology. If they like all this hippie "get back to nautre" crap, then fair enough. That's their decision and their life. There are all sorts of low budget programmes on TV about people who have chucked it all and gone to live a "natural" life away from the industrialisation. But they do it without flaunting it on us. These activists are trying to tell us how to live our lives. Not all of us embrace primitive, "natural" lives. Some of us like technology and progress. We enjoy things like the Internet, mobile phones and spaceflight. The activists try to impose their own ideology on us, and they try to gain support by alleging, incorrectly, that their ideology is environmently friendly.


Next time there's an anti-nukyular protest somewhere, wouldn't it be nice to have a pro-nuclear protest nearby also?!

A protest against anti-nuclear protests?


Someone should really write a book about this... :)

I started a thread (http://www.badastronomy.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=6110) about this very thing.

Jack Higgins
2003-Dec-05, 06:39 PM
Saw the link back to this from the "anticlimatic responses" thread...


Nuclear power stations actually give a third of the radiation dosage to the nearby residents than a coal power station.
Ok grand- but that's still not going have them glowing in the dark...!


That's what really annoys me...
Absolutely.


A protest against anti-nuclear protests?
Yeah! I'd go! :D


I started a thread about this very thing.
Good thread! :)

Just tried on my new contact lenses for the first time... It's so weird seeing everything clearly- without glasses!! :o :D It's awful putting them in though-takes me forever...

Glom
2003-Dec-07, 04:45 PM
We need an emblem.

Ikyoto
2003-Dec-07, 05:00 PM
I'm working on one now. Check back a little later this afternoon.

..and just a little later...

http://www.loresinger.com/Hourglass/Pro-Nuc-sm.jpg

And the basic black and white

http://www.loresinger.com/Hourglass/Pro-Nuc-bw.jpg

Permission to use these images as symbols showing support for nuclear research and development is granted. Images are Copyright 2003 Paul Telesco. Non-commercial use only.

ps- go the idea for these after making an image to show some basic concepts to my class on atomic theory and a collider.

Sammy
2003-Dec-07, 06:42 PM
The Supreme Canuck wrote


I think that the NRC is kind of an oversight committee

Nope, it's much more than that. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is just that -- the agency of the U.S. government which controls/regulates the nuclear industry. No license from the NRC, no build, no operate!

frenat
2003-Dec-07, 06:52 PM
A protest against anti-nuclear protests

Wouldn't that make it an anti-anti-nuclear protest protest?

Glom
2003-Dec-07, 07:26 PM
..and just a little later...

Very nice. I like the idea of using the blue. It's quite a serene look; a stark contrast to the way most like to paint nuclear power.

I've got to give a five minute talk on something tomorrow and I've chosen to do it on my comparison of solar and non-renewable. Given the agenda of my talk, I'd like to go in with an emblem for our cause.

Ikyoto
2003-Dec-07, 09:02 PM
The blue was picked from the scale of colors most likely to instill a sence of calm. All youse guys deal with the real science - i went history and psychology in college ;). It was a lot easier!

Glom - fight the nuclear boogie men where ever you find them. I take it as a personal responsability to give people facts:

- Every year more people die from diseases caused by toxins made by "conventional fuel use than have died IN TOTAL from all from the bombs dropped on both Hiroshima, Nagasaki, the disaster at Chernoble AND all known cases of death due to exposure to nuclear waste.

Glom
2003-Dec-08, 02:18 PM
I had one thing to bring for my talk today, the Freedom For Fission badge, and I forgot it. :x But the talk went well. I got full marks. :)

Glom
2003-Dec-08, 08:35 PM
Okay, I did some more (moderately) extensive analysis.

Now, as established, due to nighttime, you'd need to 4km˛ of panel to match a non-renewable. But, there are other limitations when dealing with low sun angles. Obstructions on the horizon for one. Increased diffusion for another. And also the issues of long shadows.

Now lets say you try to run New York off solar power. Suppose that for altitudes below +30°, the array in inoperable (primarily because it is a nice angle for trig). In New York, there are only just over 2000 hours in the year when the sun is above +30°. That's half the daylight hours! This means you'd have to double your array size to 4km°.

Then to deal with shadow spacing. If you only need your array to track the sun as long as +30°, then we're dealing with a simple trig triangle at low sun. One side has panel length, l. The light rays are perpendicular and so the shadow on the ground forms the hypotenuse of the triangle, which comes out to 2l. So, at no shadows, the panel would take up length, l. But with 30°, the panel needs to claim length 2l. That's double.

And of course, the panel has to sweep out an area as it tracks. Since, in summer in will need to track northward of due east and west, that means that it needs to claim 2l in the orthogonal direction as well. Hence, that's double squared.

So, the area increases by a factor of 4 and so the area consumed now comes to 16km˛. That's 6˝ square miles! It's also 160 times the area of a non-renewable! If you accept a lower sun angle, then the amount of panel you need goes down, but the overall area consumed goes up owing to longer shadows.

FREEDOM FOR FISSION

BigJim
2003-Dec-09, 12:11 AM
I'm glad to see there is a still a "Freedom for Fission" movement here....

daver
2003-Dec-09, 02:15 AM
So, the area increases by a factor of 4 and so the area consumed now comes to 16km˛. That's 6˝ square miles! It's also 160 times the area of a non-renewable! If you accept a lower sun angle, then the amount of panel you need goes down, but the overall area consumed goes up owing to longer shadows.

FREEDOM FOR FISSION

I didn't see where you figured in inclement weather.

New York in winter (at least, I assume the Low column means winter) averages around 3 kW-hr/m**2/day. So a 1 GW solar plant would need 8e6 m**2 of collector, or about 3 square miles. Now, that's assuming 100% efficiency; multiply that by 6 (for a 15% efficient cell) and you're looking at about 20 square miles of collector. That area can only be used for buildings or parking lots or similar--no sunlight gets through, so you can't grow anything there.

It doesn't really matter if you're using steerable collectors or flat plate collectors--the steerable collectors will use less solar cell area, but the same (if not greater) ground area. Maintenance on the steering mechanism might swamp the savings on the solar cells. It might make some sense to tilt the solar cells, to make cleanup after snowstorms easier. That would make them more likely to get caught in the wind, though.

You can throw in some cogeneration if you put the cells in the middle of the city (on top of buildings and parking lots and whatever). Since the cells are only (in this case) 15% efficient, you have a lot of leftover heat energy. This can be used for water heating, and space heating of poorly-designed buildings (a well designed building presumably would never need to be heated). During the winter it could be used to melt the snow and ice off the solar panels.

Heat is a lot easier to store than electricity, still, as part of your solar conversion you're gong to have to include the cost of digging and insulating pits to house your molten sodium (or whatever you end up using to store the heat).

Electricity storage is a major cost factor--we have no good ways of doing this. Anyway, you'll need to factor in the losses for charging and discharging your batteries, and their maintenance and replacement costs into your overall equation.

Of course, I'm preaching to the choir here, but solar cells as a prime power generator may well be an idea whose time will never come.

Musashi
2003-Dec-09, 02:30 AM
What is the surface area of the rooftops in NYC?

frenat
2003-Dec-09, 04:38 AM
Don't forget cost of cleanup from the pigeons.

Stylesjl
2003-Dec-12, 11:11 AM
You people are heroes! :D



People should stop all these protests and embrace nuclear fission until someone works how cold fusion will run

I support you guys! You have given me inspiration to help my arguments supporting fission








On a pessimistic note:

Even with slow fission, cars are another great problem as they create lots of pollution. and unfortunately cramming a fission reactor in a car is impossible at this state of technology

Iain Lambert
2003-Dec-12, 01:00 PM
What is the surface area of the rooftops in NYC?

Good question. As has been explained so well, dedicated solar 'power stations' aren't a terribly good way to go about power generation, particularly for the latitudes of the places we're talking about right now. Where it does have a place, however, is to augment power generation on surfaces that can easily take cells. A roof-full of cells is better than nothing for the house that has them.

To be fair, though, I don't find the "don't touch Nukulur power! Its evil!" brigade half as annoying as the transport guys who keep arguing that the only reason I drive all the way to work and back every day is just to cause the maximum amount of pollution possible, and if only the Government would make it a bit more expensive I'd stop wastefully doing such nasty things.

Glom
2003-Dec-12, 01:26 PM
A couple of nights ago, BBCTWO had a programme about the power generation problems in Britain. I would have posted this sooner, but my computer spazzed :x .

Anyway, they were saying that we were facing real problems. We are hanging off the edge of a sharp precipous, made of polystyrene because of the power situation. Currently, coal power stations are being decommissioned because they're pollutive. Same goes for oil as well as the fact that reliability on oil is un-PC and the precious resource is better used for manufacturing. No new non-renewable plants were on the drawing board and the ones that still existed were on the list to be decomissioned.

They were saying that the one hope lies in wind power and the noble goal to, by 2010, get wind power to account for- gasp- 10% of our total power generation. Of course, it's going to be tough and expensive. On shore wind power is twitchy. Off shore is better but hampered by transmission problems.

I was much delighted to see all my flatmates getting extremely annoying with the programme because they wrote off nuclear power so quickly. They all agreed that in the time of an energy crisis, it was sheer stupidity to overlook the most clean and environmentally friendly form of mass power generation: nuclear power. They laughed with scorn at how, when the programme described these great carbon free renewables, they neglected to mention how nuclear is also carbon free.

They also said, "F*** Greenpeace!" :D

orion11349
2003-Dec-15, 06:16 AM
Glom,

you might get a kick out of this link.

http://www.nukepills.com/contentbuilder/layout.php3?contentPath=content/00/01/08/65/98/userdirectory6.content

I found it in one of the adds on the bottom of the page.

Glom
2003-Dec-15, 01:06 PM
It's been coming up all over the place. Without a doubt being alarmist, but after dealing with Russell Hoffman, he seems more moderate.

Glom
2003-Dec-17, 12:18 PM
Mixed news on British Energy's profits (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/3326587.stm).

Glom
2003-Dec-17, 12:45 PM
Talking point on Sellafield (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/talking_point/1689416.stm)

Mixed, reserved opinions until someone from Wisconsin chimes in with stereotypical ignorance.


All nuclear power should be phased out. It is an outdated technology whose benefits do not justify the enormous dangers to humans and the environment. This issue transcends national borders, and Ireland is justified in being very concerned about this plant.
Micahel Hengels, Wisconsin, United States

Or how about this ignorant, hysterical fool:


Shut it down now! If we concentrated on using renewable sources of energy we would not have to risk both the people of England and Irelands health by maintaining what is, and always has been, a patently unsafe industry. There is no reason for us to have to use nuclear power. If the government gave funding in the same measure as they have done with Sellafield, towards renewable energy, we would all benefit. This is a matter of morals - ignore the people of England & Ireland and kill them slowly with Nuclear power or use our heads by building renewable energy producing plants. The 'faut' economic benefits of nuclear power would then dissipate.
Alan De Brun, UK

When are people going to understand that these "renewables" are crap and will cause a far greater environmental disaster if the power companies attempt to replace "non-renewables" with them by shear virtue of extraction and processing of raw materials for construction, consumption of land and extraction and processing of raw materials for maintenance?

But then the enlightened French, and that's not often a phrase you'd expect to hear, but in this case it's true, step in:


Looks like the law is not such an *** after all
John, France

Oh dear, it gets worse:

I removed a quotation here. The original writer asked for it to be removed. Please link to external sites. - Fraser

Exaggeration of the effects of Chernobyl, plus ignorance of the cause. Just like this one:


Of course it should. It's dirty, dangerous and expensive. Just one significant accident would have us all irradiated for decades - a major incident would be worse than Chernobyl simply because of our population density. Shut it now.
Simon, UK

Talk about radiation boogey man! :o

Glom
2003-Dec-24, 05:37 PM
We currently live in a Dark Ages where nuclear power is heresy and anathema.

Rue
2003-Dec-24, 06:22 PM
You may like this:http://www.aandc.org/research/wind_pec_present.html


Since Chernobyl no one has been able to ignore nuclear risks and a limited number of recent problems have underlined them (Indian Point, Sellafield). It is incorrect of the wind industry to use such risks to frighten people into accepting wind turbines that can form no part of the solution. The chairman of the British Wind Energy Association is on the record: "The future can only be renewables and nuclear in some sort of combination".

Glom
2003-Dec-24, 06:41 PM
Pretty cool!

Sammy
2003-Dec-24, 06:51 PM
You may like this:http://www.aandc.org/research/wind_pec_present.html


Since Chernobyl no one has been able to ignore nuclear risks and a limited number of recent problems have underlined them (Indian Point, Sellafield). It is incorrect of the wind industry to use such risks to frighten people into accepting wind turbines that can form no part of the solution. The chairman of the British Wind Energy Association is on the record: "The future can only be renewables and nuclear in some sort of combination".

Just one of the many reasons I'm an Anglophile!

Stylesjl
2003-Dec-25, 10:27 PM
Fact: France has the lowest CO2 Emissions in the world (of the industrialissed world)


Just look at the size of France! :o


And france also has high comitment to nuclear power, coincidence?

Glom
2003-Dec-25, 11:20 PM
Good point, Stylesjl. To be fair, the condition of their trains might also help.

Glom
2003-Dec-28, 10:20 PM
I have an idea. Make it the law that all cockpit lights must be powered by RTGs. That way it will scare away any pilot wannabes who are nuclearphobes and hence reduce my competition.

The Supreme Canuck
2003-Dec-29, 06:07 AM
It would be cheaper to put a sign on the cockpit door that says, "WARNING! YOU WILL BE EXPOSED TO RADIATION IF YOU ENTER THE COCKPOT!"

Which is absolutely true.

:P

ZaphodBeeblebrox
2003-Dec-29, 06:08 AM
It would be cheaper to put a sign on the cockpit door that says, "WARNING! YOU WILL BE EXPOSED TO RADIATION IF YOU ENTER THE COCKPOT!"

Which is absolutely true.

:P

Or if you Stay Outside.

Or if you do just about anything. :o

The Supreme Canuck
2003-Dec-29, 06:09 AM
Bingo. Anywhere you go, there is some form of radiation. Even from your own body. It's not like it's harmful, it's just there.

Glom
2004-Jan-01, 08:05 PM
I was playing Enter The Matrix and reached the part where Niobe has to blow up the nuclear power station. I thought that the image of a nuclear power station exploding is just the kind of thing eco-wackies would love to plaster all over their posters so I decided I was ideologically opposed to participating in this destructive act...

But I did it anyway. The music was gorgeous.

The Supreme Canuck
2004-Jan-01, 09:03 PM
I should think that an exploding hydroelectric station is just as bad. Yikes. :o

Yoshua
2004-Jan-14, 09:42 AM
Well, I personally wouldn't mind seeing nuclear power used more.

However, a friend of mine was trying to sell me on the idea of using fuel cells for generating electricity. Well, given I only have a basic understanding of nuclear energy and fuel cells, I couldn't say much on the matter.

What exactly would be the problems with trying to generate electricty via fuel cells and could it be better than nuclear ? Seems to me it'd be alot cleaner and the fuel (hydrogen) is available in abundance.

I'm probably missing some facts though.

Glom
2004-Jan-14, 09:59 AM
Yoshua, tell your friend that on this planet we obey the Laws of Thermodynamics! :evil:

Fuel cells are not a source of power any more than battery is. Fuel cells are merely a means of storing energy to be used in some other place (eg out in space onboard a spacecraft). Take the hydrogen-oxygen fuel cell. You extract hydrogen mostly cleanly from water (you can extract it from methane but that releases carbon dioxide, the thing we're all trying to avoid) and to do that, you input energy. You then take this extracted hydrogen, combine it with oxygen in the fuel to produce water again. Hess's Law (I believe also the second law of thermodynamics although I'm never sure which numbers): you can't go full circle and have more energy than you started with. In fact, because of inefficiency, you'll lose energy.

Captain Kidd
2004-Jan-14, 12:21 PM
And the extraction of hydrogen from water will need a power source too. So that goes back to the question of, 1 nuke plant or 100 square miles of wind turbines*?

*Estimate of amount of wind turbine needed is a product of the speaker’s bias against the “wind/solar only” lunatic fringe. Actual size of wind farm to extract 1 molecule of hydrogen from water would probably take the isle of Brittan. There’s a thought, let's convert all of Brittan to one big wind farm; that should power about 1% of Europe and who’s using it anyways?** ;)

**We're sorry; the comment about nobody using Brittan was an expansion of the speaker's bias against wind farms. It is uncertain, but plausible that a species of roach does indeed find the isle quasi-habitable.***

***Wayyyy too much Monty Python lately. Bought my wife the complete Flying Circus for Christmas and it’s starting to take over. :D

Yoshua
2004-Jan-14, 08:42 PM
Well you could extract hydrogen at hydro electric dams. Wouldn't even need to move it from there since all the power transmission stuff is already in place, just make room for the fuel cells. Might improve efficiency of hydro dams since they cannot always be used to generate electricity.

I'm still feeling like your just dismissing this outright. From what I have read on fuel cells, they can be used to generate electricity. You've not said why they would do poorly compared to nuclear power.

Mind you, I don't doubt you, but that is based on belief and not anything I would call a fact. Seems to me if these fuel cells were so wonderous, they'd be in use all over the place (then again, current ones on the market are very expensive).

Zachary
2004-Jan-14, 08:54 PM
<snip>

I'm sorry, where's Brittan?

Glom
2004-Jan-14, 09:13 PM
I'm still feeling like your just dismissing this outright.

I am. That's not because I'm a nuke wacko who is trying to diss the competition, it's because fuel cells are thermodynamically incapable of being a competitor to nuclear power, or any other form of power.

You start of with water. In a plant, you break up that water through electrolysis into hydrogen and oxygen. That requires an input of energy. Maybe you do it in a hydroelectric dam. That's all semantics. But you have hydrogen and oxygen, you put them in a tank and cart them off to the fuel cell place. The consumer buys a deluxe fuel cell package complete with hydrogen and oxygen tanks and sets it up wherever he needs it. Then he switches it on and the hydrogen and oxygen are combined in the fuel cell to form water and release energy.

But this energy is the same energy you put in to break up the water in the first place. All you've done is go round in a circle. Now, if the process were 100% efficient, that could work, but you wouldn't get anything out of it. In reality, no process is 100% efficient as such a think is illegal under the Laws of Thermodynamics so the fuel cell actually generates less energy than was required to make the raw materials in the first place. And that's not a technology thing, that's a basic physics priniciple.

Fuel cells can be useful in cars. Fuel cells are very useful on spacecraft. Fuel cells can be useful in areas where you need some way to store energy for a time. But they are not an energy source like fossil fuels, solar, nuclear, wind. They are merely a battery.

They generate electricity, but electricity is merely a means of transporting energy without getting mechanical. The question is, where does that energy come from?

wedgebert
2004-Jan-14, 09:24 PM
Here's a broad way to look at things: It takes more energy to make a fuel than you get from using it.

This is why we have to mine coal and drill for oil. We can't just make coal in a giant machine and then expect to power cities with it.

Sammy
2004-Jan-14, 09:25 PM
Glom's points are 100% on target. There are one or two additional issues he did not mention, however.

Big hydro dams are not without environmental impact. First, they have to be built -- a major undertaking. There are existing dams, but most of their power is already being used. Also, they have major impacts on local and distant eco systems -- probably more that a nuke plant.

In addition, all that hydrogen would have be stored, transported, and distributed to end users. We're talking big cryo storage and transports, all with cost and environmental impacts also.

daver
2004-Jan-14, 09:34 PM
Well you could extract hydrogen at hydro electric dams.
This is a waste--hydroelectricity is about the only mainstream reliable renewable energy source--using it to generate hydrogen is inappropriate. It'd be much better to use solar or wind power to generate the hydrogen.

russ_watters
2004-Jan-14, 09:44 PM
In equation form, Yoshua, this is what you are describing:

2H2O + E <-> 2H2 + O2

The hydro dam (or other power source) pushes the equation from left to right, the fuel cell rides the equation from right to left. To belabor the obvious: both processes use the same eqation and as a result, that "E" is the same for the hydro plant as it is for the fuel cell. So even before you consider losses, the energy you get from a fuel cell can't be more than the energy you put into it.

Yoshua
2004-Jan-14, 09:44 PM
You can't really build anything without impacting the environment. Even nuke plants aren't in the clear in this area. Just a matter of whether the cost (in this case, to the enviornment) is justified. Given how reliant we now are on electricty, it's a given we will accept some cost.

Dams aren't always a bad thing to build though. The Hoover dam for instance helps manage the water coming in from the colorado river. Previously the river would flood then cause 6 month droughts. But then that was the purpose of the dam in the first place, generating power was just a happy byproduct.

Though I do know what you mean about dams being bad things. The name of it escapes me, but the one in Egypt they used to dam the Nile with. That wound up screwing up the ecology downriver pretty badly.

Yoshua
2004-Jan-14, 09:49 PM
Alright, since fuel costs are an equation. How much energy is spent mining and refining uranium ore into something usable in a reactor ?

Sure, it's efficient as a fuel, but what is the cost of obtaining the fuel ?

What would be wrong with gathering hydrogen at a dam ? That doesn't make much sense.

wedgebert
2004-Jan-14, 10:02 PM
Not much energy is required to mine and refine uranium. The mining isn't much different than coal mining I would imagine. Refining is a tad more expensive. I found one measure of $1,000 per pound (not to be used as evidence. I'm just too lazy to look for more data)

However, when it's all over, the cost of a kW of nuclear power isn't much more than a coal kW. Research will eventually bring the price down even more.

To collect hydrogen at a dam would require either
A: A new hydroelectric dam
B: converting a normal dam (if we still have any) into a hydroelectric one.

Most or all of the power generated by the dam is used by nearby cities. It's a lot more effecient to use that power than it is to use it to convert water in to hydrogen, transport the hydrogen to that town and then use fuel cells to convert it back into electricity.

If you're going to build a new hydrodam, just have it power nearby areas.

Fuel cells are only needed for a few things:
1: Mobile devices where size is limited and you want as low a mass as possible (space probes, automobiles, etc)
2: Back up power sources. A fuel cell might make a good, portable UPS for a computer.
3: Devices where size is a factor. I've seen stuff about fuel cell powered cellphones, laptops, and tiny robots.

For things like buildings, all you care about is high power and low cost. Fuel cells can't beat regular power sources in that regard.

Glom
2004-Jan-14, 10:37 PM
Alright, since fuel costs are an equation. How much energy is spent mining and refining uranium ore into something usable in a reactor ?

No no. The energy costs to prepare the fissionable fuel, which are small compared to the yield, aren't the same thing as we're talking about. We aren't taking the daughter nuclei of the fission reaction and fusing them to make uranium-235. We are taking U-235 that already exists and making it ready to realise hitherto untapped energy.

It's a thermodynamics thing. The energy you get from fuel cells is the exact same energy you put in upstream minus taxes. So at the end of the day, you've still got to find some other energy source to generate the electricity required for the electrolysis. So the end argument is unchanged.

Coal, oil, fission, solar, wind, HEP, gas are all energy sources that give us access to energy we didn't have before. Fuel cells are merely a way of storing and transporting energy we already have access to.

Using HEP dams to generate hydrogen for fuel cells to be used in cars or spacecraft may work, and be part of the industry once fuel cells become more commonplace.