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Duke
Duke Dork
12/28/08 8:52 a.m.

We could end the fossil fuel dependence in 20 years, using today's nuclear technology, and running 95%+ efficiencies in using nuclear fuel. All it would take is building a lot of modern nuclear plants. Nuclear-generated makes hydrogen cars and plug-in electric cars viable instead of merely a matter of changing where the fuel is burnt.

I strongly urge everyone to read The Power To Save The World by Gwyneth Cravens. She is a former anti-nuclear writer who became converted after actually doing the research and learning the facts instead of repeating the same old conventional 'wisdom'.

HiTempguy
HiTempguy Reader
12/28/08 12:21 p.m.

I don't know if it has already been mentioned, but France gets 70% of its power from nuclear. A perfect example, when was the last time you heard them have a problem? And some of those plants are OLD.

mel_horn
mel_horn HalfDork
12/28/08 5:06 p.m.

Not to mention the United States Navy. They have a couple carriers and a submarine or two that run on nuclear power.

Schmidlap
Schmidlap New Reader
12/28/08 9:28 p.m.

Or the Russian Navy. How many times have one of their nuclear subs sunk and there been no nuclear disaster?

aircooled
aircooled Dork
12/30/08 10:34 p.m.
spitfirebill
spitfirebill HalfDork
1/5/09 4:23 p.m.

TVA plants have been notorious polluters have for years been grandfathered so they don't have to update the plants. The huge sludge disasters have mostly been from coal mining operations. They have been very good at getting the regs relaxed.

Nuclear power certainly isn't clean. We have been burying everybody's low level waste here in SC for a quarter centrury. Now the groundwater in the lower part of the state is contaminated with tritium and the state has sealed the files so nobody can FOI them. Sweeeeet.

Tim Baxter
Tim Baxter Online Editor
1/5/09 4:32 p.m.

There's been efforts to get more wind farms going in Kansas that have been stymied by the NIMBY types, too. Seems like a no-brainer to me. If Kansas has anything, it's wide open spaces and wind. It's not like the cows and wheat will care. Bring on the windmills!

iceracer
iceracer Reader
2/16/09 9:58 a.m.

The US has more nuclear plants than anybody.

aircooled
aircooled Dork
2/16/09 10:58 a.m.
iceracer wrote: The US has more nuclear plants than anybody.

I will believe you without checking, sounds reasonable, but:

  • They do not provide the highest percentage of the power needs (currently coal, and France has the highest percentage I believe)

  • They are REALLY old.

Also of note: New style plants could be built that would use the large amounts of nuclear waste we have as fuel. Not only getting rid of the waste, but there would effectively be free fuel for many, many years. Is coal a better idea then that?

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH SuperDork
2/16/09 11:51 a.m.

Yep, the plants in the US (and some in Canada, IIRC) are made intentionally inefficient so that the waste can be used for weapons. The ones like the French have are something like 95% more efficient (It'll be interesting to see what kind of plant the Iranians build).

Also, more relevant news:

http://blog.wired.com/wiredscience/2009/02/carbonstorage.html

Yep just keep polluting and shove all that CO2 underground...It should stay down there, right?

Toyman01
Toyman01 New Reader
2/16/09 11:54 a.m.

I guess you could say I am from the burn it all crowd. There doesn't seem to be any one perfect answer, so why not use all of them wisely. Nuclear works, build them, Clean coal is better than old coal, build them, wind power, build them, solar, still too expensive, but build them. Conservation has it's place too, but I'm not turning off the A/C, I'm not driving a hybrid. You want to build a windmill on your land, your neighbors shouldn't be able to say no. Hell, as far as I am concerned, if you want to build a nuclear plant on your land, you neighbors ought to just deal. Maybe the offer of free power for life would shut some of them up. To do what the green lobby wants done concerning conservation and fossil fuels would cost the nation something on the order of 25,000,000,000,000.00 and that's not realistic. My work van gets 14-17 MPG, and spending 40,000.00 to buy something that gets 20-25 MPG doesn't make good sense, but I bet they would outlaw my van if they could. At this point the only economical way to store and transport energy is fossil fuels. Sometime in the future someone will build the ultimate battery that will store as much energy as a tank of gas, but until then, fossil fuels is it.

Travis_K
Travis_K Reader
2/16/09 12:23 p.m.
Toyman01 wrote: I guess you could say I am from the burn it all crowd.

I feel the same way. IMO, as long as people want to 1. be able to repoduce freely, and 2. have conviences such as water, electricity, fuel for transportation, commercially produced food, among many other things, it is going to take every available sounce of energy to meet our needs. I do think conservation and alternatives are needed, but I think eliminting the use of fossil fuel completly would be impossible.

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH SuperDork
2/16/09 12:40 p.m.
Travis_K wrote:
Toyman01 wrote: I guess you could say I am from the burn it all crowd.
I feel the same way. IMO, as long as people want to 1. be able to repoduce freely, and 2. have conviences such as water, electricity, fuel for transportation, commercially produced food, among many other things, it is going to take every available sounce of energy to meet our needs. I do think conservation and alternatives are needed, but I think eliminting the use of fossil fuel completly would be impossible.

The only area where I see eliminating fossil fuel entirely as impossible is aviation. Electric cars + nuclear / renewable = no emissions from transportation or the energy grid. Technology-wise, that's something we could see in our lifetime, but politics could get in the way.

Large aircraft on the other hand are a loooong way from flying on electric power, barring some totally unforeseen breakthrough in electric energy storage it's probably impossible. Aircraft in the future will probably fly on a biofuel / fossil fuel mix.

Toyman01
Toyman01 New Reader
2/16/09 12:55 p.m.
GameboyRMH wrote:
Travis_K wrote:
Toyman01 wrote: I guess you could say I am from the burn it all crowd.
I feel the same way. IMO, as long as people want to 1. be able to repoduce freely, and 2. have conviences such as water, electricity, fuel for transportation, commercially produced food, among many other things, it is going to take every available sounce of energy to meet our needs. I do think conservation and alternatives are needed, but I think eliminting the use of fossil fuel completly would be impossible.
The only area where I see eliminating fossil fuel entirely as impossible is aviation. Electric cars + nuclear / renewable = no emissions from transportation or the energy grid. Technology-wise, that's something we could see in our lifetime, but politics could get in the way. Large aircraft on the other hand are a loooong way from flying on electric power, barring some totally unforeseen breakthrough in electric energy storage it's probably impossible. Aircraft in the future will probably fly on a biofuel / fossil fuel mix.

The autos have the same problem though. Range on most Electric cars is 25-45 miles. I drive about 100-300 miles a day. Electric just won't cut it. Until power storage density for batteries reaches the same levels as fossil fuels, electric transportation just isn't going to be the be all and end all.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Energy_density.svg

Check out the above link. Lithium batteries almost aren't on the chart, and they are the best we can make for power density. Then look where gas and diesel is. That is the problem with electric cars.

Toyman01
Toyman01 New Reader
2/16/09 1:08 p.m.

Another way of looking at it.

One gallon of gas, about 6.5 pounds will power my 7000 pound van for 14-16 miles at 70 miles per hour.

A one gallon size Lithium battery, probably 15-20 pounds, would never get the same load to 70. Much less move it 14-16 miles.

oldopelguy
oldopelguy HalfDork
2/16/09 1:27 p.m.
GameboyRMH wrote: Yep, the plants in the US (and some in Canada, IIRC) are made intentionally inefficient so that the waste can be used for weapons. The ones like the French have are something like 95% more efficient (It'll be interesting to see what kind of plant the Iranians build).

Where did you get those #s from, because that's not at all the truth? In fact, several plants are currently burning wepons fuel in order to use it up since there wasn't anywhere to put it after we started taking apart our nuclear arsonal.

The difference between the US and France is a little thing called re-processing. In order to achieve critical mass there needs to be a certain amount of fissionable fuel in the core, and it has to be cotained within a certain volume, so there are enough neutrons and things for the neutrons to hit to be able to keep the reactor operating. Round numbers say you need 1000# of uranium in the core to have a minimum sustainable reaction. You then load all the fuel you are going to use into the core on top of that amount, say 250# for the next 18 months. As soon as the core is in operation and burned down to 999# the reactor cannot sustain a reaction and it shuts itself down, and that 999# of fuel is stuck there out of reach.

On top of that, the mechanical parts of the fuel, the hot metal parts, are subject to thermal cycles that fatigue them and cause them to potentially fail. An element that has reached it's metalurgical end of life cannot be used again no matter how much fuel is in it.

In the US we are not allowed to take the fuel assemblies apart, seperate the unburned parts back out, melt down the metal parts, then build new assemblies out of them. In France they are. If we could do that here the last # I heard was that with no further mining or additional uranium we have enough fuel sitting in storage around the country to keep the entier US nuclear industry running at current levels for the next 40 years. We could then seperate out the waste into only the parts tha can't be burned, and that would reduce the amount of waste around the country by a couple orders of magnitude.

Jensenman
Jensenman SuperDork
2/16/09 1:49 p.m.
GameboyRMH wrote: Large aircraft on the other hand are a loooong way from flying on electric power, barring some totally unforeseen breakthrough in electric energy storage it's probably impossible. Aircraft in the future will probably fly on a biofuel / fossil fuel mix.

You mean that Bono, Al Gore and the rest of the oh so high and mighty 'do as I say, not as I do' eco/conservationist crowd will eventually be the world's largest consumers of fossil fuels? Oh, the irony of it all!

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH SuperDork
3/6/09 1:40 p.m.
Clean Coal Thread Spammer wrote: Technological success has denaturized the chronicle of everyone in the globe and it has also denaturized the way combust defence companies explore and mart coal. High-tech and innocuous utilization and practice of combust is the obligation of the 21st century http://www.lincenergy.us/

I'd really be interested to find out who's dropping these canoes around here. This isn't random. I wonder if the coal companies (they have an 'association' now) are paying people to spread this stuff.

John Brown
John Brown SuperDork
3/6/09 1:50 p.m.

If you could see all the bots and crawlers running over this page you would scream for NEO.

confuZion3
confuZion3 Dork
3/6/09 5:24 p.m.

I have access to data that strongly suggests that nuclear powerplants are almost completely responsible for the decay in the average IQ of Americans (measured by SAT tests and adjusted for when they were made easier in the 70s) and the drastic increase in crime rates in the united states (and now France as well). When lagged by 18 years (the time it takes a person to grow into an adult) there is a strong correlation between the activation of a nuclear power plant and the rise in brain damage due to damage to the thyroid gland (or maybe it was the hypothalimus). It's interesting stuff.

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