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GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH SuperDork
12/24/08 8:07 a.m.

http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/12/23/tennessee.sludge.spill/index.html?iref=mpstoryview

So not only is coal releasing radioactive particles into the air, far worse than the bad juju coming out of a nuke plant, but you can also get large-scale environmental disasters from coal plants (and in this case the only thing holding it back was a "retention wall" with no failsafe system and apparently no warning system). Now if only that stuff was glowing green this would be an open-and-shut case.

I can't wait to show this to all the raving anti-nukers in my family :)

Wowak
Wowak Dork
12/24/08 8:24 a.m.

I'm pro-coal AND pro-nuke. shrug

neon4891
neon4891 SuperDork
12/24/08 8:34 a.m.

I wonder if it was from a "clean coal" plant. Of coarse clean coal is better than traditional coal plants in the same way having gonnarea is better than having HIV, not as bad, but i still dont want it.

confuZion3
confuZion3 Dork
12/24/08 9:03 a.m.

What the hell is clean coal anyway? How is it different than regular coal?

Tim Baxter
Tim Baxter Online Editor
12/24/08 9:07 a.m.

They scrub it with Simple Green. That stuff cleans everything.

Wally
Wally SuperDork
12/24/08 9:19 a.m.

Easy pro nuke arguement, Even the French can do it.

Tim Baxter
Tim Baxter Online Editor
12/24/08 9:28 a.m.

Monkeywrench
Monkeywrench New Reader
12/24/08 9:47 a.m.
confuZion3 wrote: What the hell is clean coal anyway? How is it different than regular coal?

They treat the coal at processing plants to remove as much sulfur as possible before it is shipped to power plants. Also depending on what part of the world the coal is found, it can have varying amounts of sulfur. I believe anthracite (Western PA, West Virginia) has a low sulfur content, hence why you see so many "clean coal" billboards in that part of the country.

In addition to this they use scrubbers (basically shooting water and limestone powder into a smoke stack) to help remove additional sulfur. The byproduct is a pasty type substance which they sell to sheetrock companies for use (basically, it's synthetic gypsum).

foxtrapper
foxtrapper SuperDork
12/24/08 10:16 a.m.

No. That's regular coal combustion with normal combustion. And the sulfur is removed largely on the exhaust side with things like amonia.

Clean coal is this bizare cockeyed notion of eliminating CO2 from it. Almost all clean coal notions involve pointing the smoke stack into the ground and ramming the exhaust gasses into the earth, with the belief that they will be trapped there and stay there for all eternity.

To date, no clean coal plants are in operation. There have been a few pilot projects.

"Clean coal, it's as good a cure as ethanol."

foxtrapper
foxtrapper SuperDork
12/24/08 10:17 a.m.

No. That's regular coal combustion with normal controls. And the sulfur is removed largely on the exhaust side with things like amonia.

Clean coal is this bizare cockeyed notion of eliminating CO2 from it. Almost all clean coal notions involve pointing the smoke stack into the ground and ramming the exhaust gasses into the earth, with the belief that they will be trapped there and stay there for all eternity.

To date, no clean coal plants are in operation. There have been a few pilot projects.

"Clean coal, it's as good a cure as ethanol."

mel_horn
mel_horn HalfDork
12/24/08 10:26 a.m.

I always thought that the anti-nuke crowd was also the anti-clean coal crowd.

We're seeing TV ads stating that "clean coal is impossible, so don't even try it"...

Jensenman
Jensenman SuperDork
12/24/08 10:50 a.m.

I seem to remember a prototype powdered coal furnace which generated stupid high temperatures with nearly zero emissions, similar to how stochiometric gasoline combustion is 'theoretically' very clean.

Anyway, the no coal/no nukes crowd is generally anti hydro too, which generates nearly no emissions once in operation. The same people who say no nukes want the Boulder Dam torn down. In short, we should all live like cave people.

ignorant
ignorant SuperDork
12/24/08 11:03 a.m.
Jensenman wrote: In short, we should all live like cave people.

it wouldn't hurt to cut our consumption down a bit. No need to throw away so much crap.

Monkeywrench
Monkeywrench New Reader
12/24/08 11:30 a.m.
foxtrapper wrote: Clean coal is this bizare cockeyed notion of eliminating CO2 from it. Almost all clean coal notions involve pointing the smoke stack into the ground and ramming the exhaust gasses into the earth, with the belief that they will be trapped there and stay there for all eternity. To date, no clean coal plants are in operation. There have been a few pilot projects.

Interesting. You learn something new everyday

HiTempguy
HiTempguy Reader
12/24/08 12:05 p.m.
involve pointing the smoke stack into the ground and ramming the exhaust gasses into the earth, with the belief that they will be trapped there and stay there for all eternity.

Er, ya, mabye you need to read up a bit on this. While not "clean coal", the Alberta government invested $2 billion dollars into carbon sequestration due to the emissions up north. It does work, and why not put the carbon back into the holes that the oil/resource came from. Pretty simple really, I mean natural gas is just hanging out down there for the most part, why can't CO2.

Jensenman
Jensenman SuperDork
12/24/08 12:07 p.m.
ignorant wrote:
Jensenman wrote: In short, we should all live like cave people.
it wouldn't hurt to cut our consumption down a bit. No need to throw away so much crap.

Oh, I'm all about that. I detest Styrofoam cups, plastic forks, plastic wrap for cheap Chinese crap which winds up in landfills, yada yada yada.

What chaps my ass is when some jerk goes on and on about: no coal or other fossil fired power plants (emissions too high), no nuke power plants (possibility of radioactivity), no hydro plants (might get someplace flooded) no wind farms (birds might hit the blades and Ted Kennedy could see them from his house) or solar panels (the soil under them will become sterile due to lack of sunlight).

SOMETHING will be altered by any of the preceding, the question is which will have the most power output coming from the smallest area and with the least damaging long term effects. (Hydro has the lowest ratio of damage to potential power production, BTW.) But the greenie weenies will say hell NO to any and/or all of the above, meaning NOTHING gets built, the pressure on the existing power production methods goes up, the laws of supply and demand kick in meaning lots of people will have to chose between eating and staying warm.

That's one of my hot buttons.

TJ
TJ Reader
12/24/08 1:58 p.m.

I like it when people drive to the airport, then fly to New York, to give an interview on a TV network, which gets spread around the internet...and in the interview they want us to believe how bad power plants and using oil are....all the while they are totally dependent on the very same power plants and fossil fuels.

The truth is that without the cheap energy provided by fossil fuels about 6 out of every 7 people would have to die off to get down to a sustainable population.

oldopelguy
oldopelguy HalfDork
12/24/08 2:05 p.m.

From an insider's perspective, anti-nuke is just plain ignorant. Too many people believing stupid movies and having no idea that there's a difference between a weapon and a power plant, and that the power plant cannot become the weapon.

Clean coal has to do with the combustion cycle having super-high temperatures. And there are working units that actually emit so little of any of the controlled pollutants that they are not even high enough levels to require EPA permits anymore.

Those coal sludge breaks are actually old news. Several town-destroying level accidents over the last century. Thing is, it's only really on the really old units, the new ones use higher temps to have dry ash and it gets sold off to someone to use in something else. The wet-ash plants are pretty much ancient.

Monkeywrench
Monkeywrench New Reader
12/24/08 2:37 p.m.
oldopelguy wrote: The wet-ash plants are pretty much ancient.

The only two power plants I've ever been to were wet ash facilities. Of course both of them are near the top of the "most polluting" list in their respective states

Hal
Hal HalfDork
12/24/08 3:14 p.m.
Jensenman wrote: What chaps my ass is when some jerk goes on and on about: no coal or other fossil fired power plants (emissions too high), no nuke power plants (possibility of radioactivity), no hydro plants (might get someplace flooded) no wind farms (birds might hit the blades and Ted Kennedy could see them from his house) or solar panels (the soil under them will become sterile due to lack of sunlight). SOMETHING will be altered by any of the preceding, the question is which will have the most power output coming from the smallest area and with the least damaging long term effects. (Hydro has the lowest ratio of damage to potential power production, BTW.) But the greenie weenies will say hell NO to any and/or all of the above, meaning NOTHING gets built, the pressure on the existing power production methods goes up, the laws of supply and demand kick in meaning lots of people will have to chose between eating and staying warm. That's one of my hot buttons.

Plus eleventy billion

The county is considering a "waste to energy"(garbage incinerator) project. There is a group of people who oppose the project and they even have a web site.

A company is proposing a "Wind Farm" in the next county to the west. There is a group of people opposing that project. They also have a website.

Surprize! If you check out the two web sites you find that it is the same group of people involve in both.

HappyAndy
HappyAndy Reader
12/24/08 10:38 p.m.
Hal wrote: The county is considering a "waste to energy"(garbage incinerator) project. There is a group of people who oppose the project and they even have a web site.

I used to work in the waste to energy buisness, and its much cleaner and more eficient than anyone out side the buisness knows. It is not the perfect solution to waste or energy problems, but it is a responcible solution. I wouldn't object to one in my comunity, particularly the newest generation of WTE plants.

mel_horn
mel_horn HalfDork
12/25/08 11:51 a.m.

You might have noticed that the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA)is a US government entity, much like Freddy Mac and Fannie Mae (or is it Ellie Mae?)...

Schmidlap
Schmidlap New Reader
12/25/08 10:07 p.m.
Hal wrote: The county is considering a "waste to energy"(garbage incinerator) project. There is a group of people who oppose the project and they even have a web site. A company is proposing a "Wind Farm" in the next county to the west. There is a group of people opposing that project. They also have a website. Surprize! If you check out the two web sites you find that it is the same group of people involve in both.

It used to be NIMBY (not in my backyard), now its BANANA - Build Absolutely Nothing, Anywhere, Near Anyone.

There's a company proposing to build a solar panel farm in Amherstburg, Ontario, Canada (about 25 minutes across the border from Detroit, MI). The company wants to convert three former General Chemical sites to solar farms. The plan is to build the solar farms and surround the farms with large berms covered with trees, so nobody will see the actual solar panels - it will look like a forest as you drive by. Neighbours are trying to stop the project because they claim it will decrease their property values. These idiots bought property across the street from a chemical plant and are worried that someone cleaning up the property is going to drive down their property values. Absolutely ridiculous.

http://www.canada.com/windsorstar/story.html?id=ad469de9-e348-42af-bfab-f4d5414fba92

Bob

matt_fulghum
matt_fulghum New Reader
12/26/08 12:16 a.m.
foxtrapper wrote: Clean coal is this bizare cockeyed notion of eliminating CO2 from it.

you have no idea what you're talking about.

Clean coal is an umbrella term for several methods of burning coal as a fuel with lower pollutant output.

The primary method in development (and use) is gassification, where pulverized coal is combusted in a low oxygen environment, so rather than burn completely to CO2 and H2O, it combusts to CO and H2, which is then generally fed into a gas turbine (and then, in an Integrated Gassification Combined Cycle plant, the leftover heat from the exhaust generates steam which runs steam turbines). All in all, you're looking at 50-60% thermal efficiency, and almost none of the nasty pollutants from regular coal burning, since mercury and other heavy metals are trapped in the gassification stage.

It's not perfect, but it's pretty good and quite affordable. Minimal flue gas treatment is needed and none of the scrubber systems are needed (which can run into the billions of dollars).

Nuclear power is still a much better option though. Nuclear waste really isn't the problem that people seem to think it is, meltdowns aren't a particularly serious issue and can be handled, and uranium mining is much safer than coal mining. Plus it doesn't put out any greenhouse gasses of importance. Yes, water vapor is a potent greenhouse gas... but people seem to forget sometimes that it rains. What do they think is falling out of the sky?

mel_horn
mel_horn HalfDork
12/26/08 11:30 a.m.
Schmidlap wrote: These idiots bought property across the street from a chemical plant and are worried that someone cleaning up the property is going to drive down their property values. Absolutely ridiculous.

Sounds like folks who bought property and lived near a strip mining operation (for years) and who subsequently object when someone wants to clean up the place and build a race track...

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