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Re: Do you support or oppose nuclear power generation?

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2008/1/31 17:19
From Pretty much everywhere at some point, Thorndale today.
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P.S.

Solar - great on a small scale. To power a city like Philly you'd need a panel the size of an average county. And doesn't work at night, so it needs batteries the size of which we just don't have. Just won't work. Putting it on roofs, etc, to help lower demand from individual buildings is great though.

Wind - See solar, except instead of sunlight, you need wind.

Hydro - has its own problems, but overall its wonderful. The problem is that we've pretty much used all of the places where it can be used on a large scale, there's not too many high gradient, large rivers that aren't dammed up to near capacity. Additional ones will be smaller scale, thus more expensive.

Wave/Tides - great idea, I think it'd be small scale again, though more research is needed. Large scale tidal can be done in very few places. You need a large bay, projecting into a fairly high elevation area, with sturdy land protection, and a choke point where you can build an expensive dam. There's only a handful of places in the world.

Geothermal - can be large scale for power in a few places, and there's room for expansion in some of those places. For the home geothermal heat pump, it can be used pretty much everywhere, and should be. Economic break even point for a home is 10-20 years currently, and varies by location.

Nat Gas - Better than oil or coal, but not perfect. Can be expanded short term, but is a fossil fuel and we'll run into the same problems as oil within 20 years.

Oil - Fairly clean compared to coal, but still not environmentally friendly. But we're running out, and it ain't gonna turn around.

Coal - By far the worst environmental, safety, and health disaster of mankinds history. Think of the impact that the whole operation has had on us, from mining to production, and not even considering global warming. With huge reserves all over the world, its cheap, and will remain so. China and India are increasing its use like crazy, so any solution we have best be economically competitive or else moving away from coal will ruin our economy. It doesn't take a genious to relize if they're power is much cheaper than ours, the cheapest products will increasingly come from overseas, and our jobs will leave.

Posted on: 2008/2/18 17:46


Re: Do you support or oppose nuclear power generation?
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"Solar - great on a small scale. To power a city like Philly you'd need a panel the size of an average county. And doesn't work at night, so it needs batteries the size of which we just don't have. Just won't work. Putting it on roofs, etc, to help lower demand from individual buildings is great though. "

I was thinking about that the other day. But to be a little more accurate, I believe that solar farms covering all of Nevada and New Mexico would power the US. Which of course, is still untenable. But...

The US military is working on a fiber that can be worked into clothing. The application is to recharge batteries and other equipment used by soldiers. Now... if that fiber were mixed into asphalt, we could turn all the interstate and surface roads into solar generators. Surely we would be very close to having the surface area needed to generate electricity.

Posted on: 2008/2/18 18:19
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Re: Do you support or oppose nuclear power generation?

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2006/9/11 13:05
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Like pcray said, most of these alternatives are good on the small scale. But what if you put all of the small scale together, it would lead to large scale.
So combind various ideas/form for generating energy and we could be better off.
All houses and buildings have solar panels.
Cities along the coast use tidal.
Areas over hot spots use geothermal.
Windy areas get a couple wind generators.

There is so much energy out there that is produced naturally that why not?

Posted on: 2008/2/18 18:54
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Re: Do you support or oppose nuclear power generation?

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MKern,

While I will always be "for" renewables, your comment strikes me as a bit naive.

With all due respect, putting all of the small scale together adds up to... still a drop in the bucket (but a slightly bigger drop than before). I don't remember the exact numbers, but with expected increase in demand over a 20 year peroid, just holding onto the market share of renewables (not including hydro), they need to increase they're production over 10 times what they have now. To offset our need for ADDITIONAL coal, gas, or nuclear plants, its something like 150 times. Feasible? Maybe, but we still haven't reduced our demand for coal, oil, and nuclear, just stabilized it. To take out 10% of current non-renewable capacity, now your talking multiplying current renewable capacity by thousands in 20 years, now its not really feasible, as this may take a quarter of our GDP per year.

Keep working on the renewables. In the meantime, we're going to need some large scale, centralized capacity. The bulk of it will probably be gas, which is better than coal. But it just means that our pollution, emissions, etc., will grow at a slower rate than if the new plants were coal, but still growing nonetheless. And in 20-30 years when the gas runs low? Nuclear is the only thing out there than can stabilize our pollution, and possibly reverse it, without completely ruining our economy the likes of which have never been seen in history. There's also enough readily available to power the earth for thousands of years.

Posted on: 2008/2/19 13:21


Re: Do you support or oppose nuclear power generation?

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pcray I am all for nuclear power, but it's side effects are hysteria and poorly informed citizens. When it comes to a society that votes, the masses usually win and unfortunatly our masses are relatively not very knowledgable on how nuclear power works. Matter of fact I only know because I chose to take Chemistry and the Environment class in college; without taking this volluntary class I'd probably still have no idea how it worked, and would think nothing but that nuclear power create glowwing green toxic waste.

If every home/building was forced to have solar panels, this would put a large dent in our dependance for oil and coal. Not a sollution, but a step in the right direction. And at @ $5,500, not a bad investment, to not have electric bills.

Remember most of the sun's energy hits and is absorbed by the oceans.

Posted on: 2008/2/19 13:33
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Re: Do you support or oppose nuclear power generation?

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2006/9/11 11:41
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Quote:

MKern wrote:
pcray I am all for nuclear power, but it's side effects are hysteria and poorly informed citizens. When it comes to a society that votes, the masses usually win and unfortunatly our masses are relatively not very knowledgable on how nuclear power works. Matter of fact I only know because I chose to take Chemistry and the Environment class in college; without taking this volluntary class I'd probably still have no idea how it worked, and would think nothing but that nuclear power create glowwing green toxic waste.

If every home/building was forced to have solar panels, this would put a large dent in our dependance for oil and coal. Not a sollution, but a step in the right direction. And at @ $5,500, not a bad investment, to not have electric bills.

Remember most of the sun's energy hits and is absorbed by the oceans.


Well maybe we should save the solar panel discussion for another day. I'll dig out some old research I did and start a seperate thread.

Posted on: 2008/2/20 7:59


Re: Do you support or oppose nuclear power generation?
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As noted, I just created the poll. I think I did vote for "it is worth the risks." My feeling is that the devil will be in the details. Will we continue to regulate it carefully to make sure, to the greatest extent possible, that an "accident" doesn't happen? Will profits trump safety as the industry grows? Will the energy generated remain as affordable as it should be, or will the corporations or individuals controlling supply price the energy on what the market bears, even if that results in profit disproportionate to cost?

As for the waste issue, I have always, perhaps naively, wondered whether it could safely be jetisoned into the wild blue yonder with an effective one-way ticket to a far-off galaxy.

Posted on: 2008/2/20 10:44
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Re: Do you support or oppose nuclear power generation?

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2006/9/11 11:41
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Quote:

JackM wrote:
As noted, I just created the poll. I think I did vote for "it is worth the risks." My feeling is that the devil will be in the details. Will we continue to regulate it carefully to make sure, to the greatest extent possible, that an "accident" doesn't happen? Will profits trump safety as the industry grows? Will the energy generated remain as affordable as it should be, or will the corporations or individuals controlling supply price the energy on what the market bears, even if that results in profit disproportionate to cost?

As for the waste issue, I have always, perhaps naively, wondered whether it could safely be jetisoned into the wild blue yonder with an effective one-way ticket to a far-off galaxy.


My view is it should be priced at whatever the market can bear. If it's then highly profitable that will encourage additional investment and competition. If not how would you come up with a "fair" price and a "fair" return to investors?

As the two space shuttle failures and the recent spy sat shows every once in a while things come down and not where you want. Even a 1% failure rate on something like that would not be good.\

I think the Navy's record shows that with good disipline it can be done. Aren't there about 100 nuclear power plants in the US today? That's already a sizable amount and, while there is some room for improvement, has worked safely. (We could argue about TMI but even there the actual release was not threatening.)

Posted on: 2008/2/20 11:06


Re: Do you support or oppose nuclear power generation?

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2006/10/25 12:30
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Al the spent nuclear material should be sent to the largest nuclear reactor in the solar system, the sun. Seal it in a container, put it on a rocket, and send it to the sun. No more radioactive waste laying around. Problem solved.

Posted on: 2008/3/3 13:37
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