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Bob Wallace

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1100 on: June 25, 2019, 06:46:46 PM »
Cask storage might be the safest, least dangerous, storage method we have for radioactive waste.  But the casks aren't permanent.  We're handing our problem off to others who will be born later.  If they can't invent a better solution they will have to move the waste to new casks over and over for many thousands of years.

Is this really the legacy we want to leave?  Along with how we let the climate become messed up?

Why would we want to spend more for our electricity and create this problem for others yet to be born?  We can't even blame our thoughtlessness on our greed.

magnamentis

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1101 on: June 25, 2019, 08:07:28 PM »
Cask storage might be the safest, least dangerous, storage method we have for radioactive waste.  But the casks aren't permanent.  We're handing our problem off to others who will be born later.  If they can't invent a better solution they will have to move the waste to new casks over and over for many thousands of years.

Is this really the legacy we want to leave?  Along with how we let the climate become messed up?

Why would we want to spend more for our electricity and create this problem for others yet to be born?  We can't even blame our thoughtlessness on our greed.

IMO the safest and most final and most efficient way to get rid of nuclear waste would be to
load an airplane, fly the waste up to the troposphere and launch a rocket from up there to the sun.

even adds some extra fuel to our beloved star to make it last a few milliseconds longer once it's time has come LOL

what most people forget is that nuclear storage is a HUGE business for some who are already big players
« Last Edit: June 25, 2019, 08:14:05 PM by magnamentis »

b_lumenkraft

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1102 on: June 25, 2019, 08:09:12 PM »
Not so easy, Mag.


magnamentis

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1103 on: June 25, 2019, 08:13:20 PM »
Not so easy, Mag.

i did not say it's easy but how we do it now it's not easy either, costs probably a multitude and in one or several places of storage disaster is quasi predictable.

and it's definitely feasible looking at the latest developments like virgin galactic.

not saying we're ready but it could be done once we get to work and consider risks, costs and almost certain trouble ahead we should at least consider and take the path until proven otherwise.

Sam

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1104 on: June 25, 2019, 09:22:27 PM »
I'm sorry, no! Just, NO!

To start, even with relatively minor nuclear 'accidents' involving spacecraft re-entering there have been radioactive releases.

Top 10 incidents
https://listverse.com/2012/01/20/top-10-space-age-radiation-incidents/

Kosmos 954
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kosmos_954

April 1964, SNAP-9A
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plutonium_in_the_environment
http://www.space4peace.org/ianus/npsm3.htm

SNAP-9A released more curies of plutonium (nearly twice as much) to the atmosphere than did the entire global nuclear weapons testing did. It resulted in an estimated 2,100 man-sieverts of dose. Using the "standard" and highly erroneous and misleading risk estimate of 5 x 10^-4 lifetime fatal cancers/man-rem of exposure, this equates to 105 fatal cancers and circa 105 additional non-fatal cancers requiring immense personal and financial costs to deal with. The actual population risk from all causes of death is about 6.6 times these numbers, so ~700 dead - from one minor space accident. Obviously with 700 dead scattered through millions of cancer deaths, cardiovascular deaths and strokes in that period, it is impossible to identify who these 700 were. That does not mean that they do not count! To the contrary, they count. Randomly killing people isn't better. It is far far worse!

The spent nuclear fuel from reactors has to be loaded in highly shielded casks to allow for reasonable safety for workers measured at the surface of the cask. This then means that every 4.5 tones of nuclear fuel requires a bit over 25 tons of cask material.

Using the space shuttle as an example, it would be able to transport no more than 3 casks to low earth orbit per launch. Add rockets and fuel to send this to the sun, and you now are limited to one cask per launch, and at most two. Even with high density loading, which creates serious heat and cooling issues, the limit is still at most 4.

The 373 GWe of nuclear capacity extant in 2009 and all the predecessors had produced an estimated 240,000 metric tons (as heavy metal) of spent nuclear fuel as of 2009. The launch weight of that mass would be at a minimum 400,000 metric tons, and more likely over 1,600,000 tons. At a maximum launch capacity of about 100 metric tons, with at least half going to rockets and propellent to push this into the sun, this would require at a bare minimum 80,000 event free launches!  More likely this would require over 500,000 event free launches.

A single failure of a single launch would have Chernobyl/Fukushima scale potential consequences. At a fantastically successful 1% failure rate, that equates to 800 - 5,000 added massive accidents scattered all over the world.

And that doesn't in any way consider the environmental costs to build and launch that many vehicles. Those are substantial impacts and costs.

Just, NO!

In the 1990s, the US Government embarked on a program to eliminate 50 metric tons of weapons plutonium from each of the US and Russian nuclear weapons arsenals. They looked at space launch as one possible solution and quickly dismissed it for these same reasons. They also actually considered dissolving the plutonium in acid and then spraying it from submarines into the oceans of the world. The consequence to coastal peoples, fishermen, fish eaters and others was terrifying. In the end, they settled on two possibilities. 1) combine the plutonium with highly radioactive waste and burying it deep underground, and 2) converting the plutonium to fuel mixed with uranium and burning it in reactors.

The Russians absolutely would not agree to dispose of the plutonium on three grounds. First and by far foremost, they could not ever consider what they considered "throwing the plutonium away". They felt that would disrespect the memory of those that had died (been killed) in creating it during the Russian weapons development program!! Second, those making the decisions are and where staunch nuclear advocates. They could not in any way bring themselves to the idea of "discarding" the plutonium. Third, they refused to believe that the plutonium would be permanently isolated if it was mixed with nuclear waste and buried. They feared that the US would reverse their decision in the future, exhume the plutonium and put it back into weapons.

And so the Russians decided to put all of their 50 tons into mixed oxide fuel. The Americans chose to dispose of two thirds in so-called "glass in glass" - ceramic pucks of plutonium embedded in classified nuclear waste embedded in heavy containers to be buried deep underground. The remaining one third would be converted to nuclear fuel. That decision was later changed to abandon the glass in glass proposal and shift all of the plutonium to reactor use.

Minor problem there, the gallium used as an alloying agent in the plutonium weapons pits is extremely hard to remove. And the resulting fuel is extremely difficult to fabricate in the quality required for reactor use. Efforts to do this have all failed. Even had they succeeded, the costs of operating reactors on MOx (Mixed Oxide Fuel) are substantially higher than for light water reactors. And those are already non-competitive with other power sources. In a capitalist environment, these reactors are non-viable. And the risks from these reactors, both from the likelihood of accidents, and the severity of those accidents is vastly higher, making them even less viable. All of the fuel must be guarded as if it were nuclear weapons material at all times, further adding to the costs and complexity. In short, the entire program and effort has failed at costs measured in the 20 billion dollar range in the US alone.

Today, there are thousands of tons of separated plutonium in the world from attempts at recycling nuclear fuel. All of this is (contrary to assertions from the nuclear health physics folks) - weapons usable. Plutonium from spent nuclear reactor fuel was successfully fabricated into nuclear devices by both the US and UK governments, and no doubt also by the Russians and Chinese. These detonated easily and with fuel nuclear yield. Arguments to the contrary about premature detonation preventing such use were entirely wrong.

Laser isotope separation or other enrichment techniques also can be employed to turn this material into even higher quality, more usable, weapons material.  As the plutonium ages troublesome nuclides decay away. In a hundred thousand years it becomes extremely attractive as weapons material. By then, gun assembly becomes trivial.

We cannot pound this genie back into the bottle. And we cannot truly eliminate it or get rid of the waste products. We also cannot leave them lying around or scatter them into the environment without enormous and horrible consequences. We also cannot in any way safely send these wastes off the earth. In short, we are stuck holding the mess, periodically repackaging it, and guarding it for many hundreds of thousands to millions of years. That is a sunk cost we cannot now eliminate with any known and proven technology.

Sam


EwanM

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1105 on: June 25, 2019, 09:38:51 PM »
Yes, firing waste up into space carries with it significant risks (even with Richard Branson in charge).

Once most of the waste's short lived isotopes have decayed, in around 50 years, it could just be disposed of in a very deep secure mine and left. There's plenty of radioactive decay happening in the earth crust anyway and this would just add a bit more to it.

There is, in my opinion, quite rightly a reluctance to dispose of high level waste in this way though. Much of it has the potential to be reused in future fast breeder or molten salt reactors. This would eliminate the need to mine more raw materials in future.

magnamentis

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1106 on: June 25, 2019, 09:55:18 PM »
I'm sorry, no! Just, NO!

i disagree but respect your point of view

none of what you mention is worse than what we have now and what we have now is certain and you talk about possibilities, hence we talk certain trouble against eventual trouble and i did not say to shoot a rocket from the ground but from stratosphere and fail rates as well as room for emergency destruction and dispersion as well as time that goes by till total fallout in case of a malfunction are considerably better IMO than what we do and have now.

but since you went to length and it's probably in vain to seek agreement between all people i want to leave it at that and yes, we can't put the genie back into the buttle, we are talking risk assessment and management of an existing problem to make the best out of the situation.

thanks for you input. it's interesting, only that for mit strengthened my conviction

enjoy further

Sam

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1107 on: June 25, 2019, 10:19:22 PM »
I'm sorry, no! Just, NO!

i disagree but respect your point of view

none of what you mention is worse than what we have now and what we have now is certain and you talk about possibilities, hence we talk certain trouble against eventual trouble and i did not say to shoot a rocket from the ground but from stratosphere and fail rates as well as room for emergency destruction and dispersion as well as time that goes by till total fallout in case of a malfunction are considerably better IMO than what we do and have now.

but since you went to length and it's probably in vain to seek agreement between all people i want to leave it at that and yes, we can't put the genie back into the buttle, we are talking risk assessment and management of an existing problem to make the best out of the situation.

thanks for you input. it's interesting, only that for mit strengthened my conviction

enjoy further

My oh my. People have such difficulty separating risk, probability, chance, probability and the like.

What we have now is a problem. There are risks - enormous risks with continued storage, especially in pool storage. We have chosen to plug our ears and cover our eyes to those risks.

But launching it involves probabilities of failure with direct and distinct consequences. That is not the same as risk. The individual risk is quite variable. That people will be killed in large numbers by such a program is not just a risk, it is a certainty. That is distinctly different than storage.

Continuing to run reactors involves similar problems and probabilities. The risks are enormous. The probabilities are lower. They are still wholly unacceptable. Any of a dozen major accidents should have made that clear.

That we societally can shrug off Chernobyl, Kyshtym, Tomsk-7, Fukushima, SL-1, KIWI-TNT, SNAP-9A, and so many others tells more about human inadequacy than anything else. But it is not just nuclear. Minimata, Seveso, Bhopal, Michigan Bromine, Henderson, and so many others just put an exclamation point on it. Humans are truly horrid at understanding risk, probability, hazard and safety.

Our hominim evolutionary development does not prepare us well to deal with risks and hazards beyond our immediate experience. We seldom learn from the past. We seldom adequately project to the future. We seldom deal with the present beyond the most immediate local concerns. We don't learn unless and until we burn our own hands. Even then we tend not to learn.

I do agree on one point. We will not reach agreement. Such is not possible when there is not an actual discussion, when belief and desires override analytical reasoning.

And that too is our problem with the larger issue of climate disruption and destruction. It is why we see a rapidly melting arctic, and not only cannot do anything to change course, but cannot even have a true discourse on the subject to even consider doing something about it.  It is why -we will- kill the vast majority of species extant on earth today with the sixth great mass extinction event. It is also why we may already have committed suicide as a species. On our current course that looks more and more likely. At the very least, we are on course to cause the deaths of billions. But collectively - we cannot see that. And we refuse to act.

Nuclear is but one case in point. It could have been done well. It wasn't. It could have been done reasonably safely. It wasn't. It could have played a role. It cannot now. Instead we have fouled our home and will foul it worse.

We will also waste billions or tens of billions of dollars more on hare brained schemes. And should we be so foolish as to actually implement them, we will cause enormous disasters and kill huge numbers of people before we understand that stove burners are hot and burn, that electrical sockets are dangerous and shock, that cold water hurts and can kill, or that planes and rockets crash and explode. We are not a smart species, never mind our own choice of name.

Sam

magnamentis

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1108 on: June 25, 2019, 10:41:32 PM »
I'm sorry, no! Just, NO!

i disagree but respect your point of view

none of what you mention is worse than what we have now and what we have now is certain and you talk about possibilities, hence we talk certain trouble against eventual trouble and i did not say to shoot a rocket from the ground but from stratosphere and fail rates as well as room for emergency destruction and dispersion as well as time that goes by till total fallout in case of a malfunction are considerably better IMO than what we do and have now.

but since you went to length and it's probably in vain to seek agreement between all people i want to leave it at that and yes, we can't put the genie back into the buttle, we are talking risk assessment and management of an existing problem to make the best out of the situation.

thanks for you input. it's interesting, only that for mit strengthened my conviction

enjoy further

My oh my. People have such difficulty separating risk, probability, chance, probability and the like.

What we have now is a problem. There are risks - enormous risks with continued storage, especially in pool storage. We have chosen to plug our ears and cover our eyes to those risks.

But launching it involves probabilities of failure with direct and distinct consequences. That is not the same as risk. The individual risk is quite variable. That people will be killed in large numbers by such a program is not just a risk, it is a certainty. That is distinctly different than storage.

Continuing to run reactors involves similar problems and probabilities. The risks are enormous. The probabilities are lower. They are still wholly unacceptable. Any of a dozen major accidents should have made that clear.

That we societally can shrug off Chernobyl, Kyshtym, Tomsk-7, Fukushima, SL-1, KIWI-TNT, SNAP-9A, and so many others tells more about human inadequacy than anything else. But it is not just nuclear. Minimata, Seveso, Bhopal, Michigan Bromine, Henderson, and so many others just put an exclamation point on it. Humans are truly horrid at understanding risk, probability, hazard and safety.

Our hominim evolutionary development does not prepare us well to deal with risks and hazards beyond our immediate experience. We seldom learn from the past. We seldom adequately project to the future. We seldom deal with the present beyond the most immediate local concerns. We don't learn unless and until we burn our own hands. Even then we tend not to learn.

I do agree on one point. We will not reach agreement. Such is not possible when there is not an actual discussion, when belief and desires override analytical reasoning.

And that too is our problem with the larger issue of climate disruption and destruction. It is why we see a rapidly melting arctic, and not only cannot do anything to change course, but cannot even have a true discourse on the subject to even consider doing something about it.  It is why -we will- kill the vast majority of species extant on earth today with the sixth great mass extinction event. It is also why we may already have committed suicide as a species. On our current course that looks more and more likely. At the very least, we are on course to cause the deaths of billions. But collectively - we cannot see that. And we refuse to act.

Nuclear is but one case in point. It could have been done well. It wasn't. It could have been done reasonably safely. It wasn't. It could have played a role. It cannot now. Instead we have fouled our home and will foul it worse.

We will also waste billions or tens of billions of dollars more on hare brained schemes. And should we be so foolish as to actually implement them, we will cause enormous disasters and kill huge numbers of people before we understand that stove burners are hot and burn, that electrical sockets are dangerous and shock, that cold water hurts and can kill, or that planes and rockets crash and explode. We are not a smart species, never mind our own choice of name.

Sam

a lot of pessimistic assumption, take my offer and leave it as is, i thought this through over 40 years and my results have been always the same and the reasons why it's not done are not those you mentions, they are the excuse to make money infinitely. imagine a job that lasts millions of years and you got the contract.

no way to convince me, it's an old idea discussed and calculate for decades and i stick to that evaluation of decades without new, previously unknown input and your input is well known an has been analyzed by our group of 14 who regularly brainstorm over such things.

Bob Wallace

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1109 on: June 26, 2019, 12:43:01 AM »
Quote
Nuclear is but one case in point. It could have been done well. It wasn't.

Given that there still isn't an acceptable solution for dealing with nuclear waste it has never been the case that nuclear could have ever been done well. 

sidd

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1110 on: June 26, 2019, 03:01:02 AM »
Re: "been analyzed by our group of 14 who regularly brainstorm over such things"

Have you looked at delta v to go from earth orbit to  sun capture ? It is about twice as large as for solar escape velocity ...

Anyway, cool. After your group of 14 launches a thousand non radioactive hundred ton payloads with no failures into the sun, we might trust you with a thousand radioactive ones. When you complete those with no failure, we  might trust you with the rest.

Good luck. I look forward to reading news about your efforts.

sidd

« Last Edit: June 26, 2019, 03:10:59 AM by sidd »

b_lumenkraft

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1111 on: June 26, 2019, 05:25:19 AM »
a lot of pessimistic assumption

By all means, there was nothing pessimistic in Sams post. It's pure realism. It's an accurate description of the things happened. No doom, only truth.

magnamentis

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1112 on: June 26, 2019, 05:33:02 PM »
a lot of pessimistic assumption

By all means, there was nothing pessimistic in Sams post. It's pure realism. It's an accurate description of the things happened. No doom, only truth.

as i said i disagree with using that information to say no to IMO better solutions.

when it comes to nuclear waste folks become kind of paranoid  and i see things differently.
but that has to to with the general approach to life and it's risks.

i try to avoid certain trouble and am willing to take possible trouble to find solutions that are better than what we currently have.

all great inventions and brakethroughs are based on this approach, else we would still live in stone age.

but then i offered now several times that we agree to disagree, hence i again ask to leave it at that, it's a collision of two or several totally distinct philosophies as to "everything univers"

destruction is part of creation, rule number one and i go from there.

to build anything risk free and knowing everything beforehand is leading nowhere and even mother nature is doing her things on a "learning by doing" basis, it's called evolution and one success has seen billions of fails and casualties in it's history.

look at what happens, the word accident does only exist on paper, every accident needs a culprit nowadays (who has to pay or can be "Branded".

i KNOW where this goes which is why i want to stop it here, let's agree that we disagree because after such fraction of the entire picture follows a "Rat's Tail" of reasoning that goes deeper and deeper until we reach a level of total disagreement while in fact that difference are minor if we look at the whole picture of all things in existance.

b_lumenkraft

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1113 on: June 26, 2019, 05:45:36 PM »
The problem with high radiative nuclear waste is that there is no solution.

Despite waiting it out there is nothing!

This is why it is so important not to produce even more.

kassy

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1114 on: June 26, 2019, 05:58:37 PM »
look at what happens, the word accident does only exist on paper, every accident needs a culprit nowadays (who has to pay or can be "Branded".

Every accident has damage, someone pays but is it the proper party?

You gross over the fact that the reactors we have are mostly picked because they fitted into a weapons program and fucking over the general population was always part of the deal.
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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1115 on: June 26, 2019, 07:45:30 PM »
Quote
The problem with high radiative nuclear waste is that there is no solution.
Geologic time solves lots of problems.  Astronomic time solves even more. 

Yeah, I might have been trained as a geologist, but I get impatient with the idea we have to trust ten or fifteen thousand generations to not abuse some waste created for the benefit of a few generations (me included). 
Plutonium half-life:  24,100 years
Safe after: 10 to 20 half-lives
1 generation: 30 years
24,100 x 15 ÷ 30 = 12,050 generations
[references: Live Science and ISOGG]
Yes, maybe thirty years from now we'll discover a cool use for radioactive waste - but it's always (so far) 'maybe in 30 years'. 

When's the last time there was a continuously stable civilization lasting even 100 generations?  None, apparently:
Rome: 50 generations
Kush: 47 generations
Venice: 37 generations
[reference: HowStuffWorks]
Using a 20-year generation span (but see ISOGG reference), Rome could claim 75 generations.

And the radioactive waste is spread around the world, so we'd need multiple stable civilizations … Do you think global warming might disrupt any of the existing waste-securing regimes?

All of this functionally guarantees there will be abuse, some serious, of nuclear waste during the next thousand plus years.
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b_lumenkraft

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1116 on: June 26, 2019, 07:56:48 PM »
Thanks, Tor, for the math!

Let me just add, it's not only abuse, but it's also unimaginable to have no accidents during this time.

Every gram of that shit is an accepted murder in the future.

sidd

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1117 on: June 26, 2019, 08:04:44 PM »
One solution i have seen for waste burnup is Rubbia's accelerator based system. I have posted about it before, but here is a writeup. The costs, as usual, are huge.

https://world-nuclear.org/information-library/current-and-future-generation/accelerator-driven-nuclear-energy.aspx

sidd

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1118 on: June 26, 2019, 08:12:31 PM »
Nuclear is like immigration: a topic too controversial to be discussed on internet forums.

Although I agree burying waste underground is not a real solution to anything, I detest the double standards commonly applied to everything nuclear. Industrial society produces all sorts of horrific waste products such as heavy metals, but none needs to be processed as thoroughly as nuclear waste. For some reason we don’t have a multi-generational mercury problem.

Hundreds of thousands of people die every year to air pollution, yet public reaction is almost non-existent compared to for example Fukushima accident which caused no casualties at all.

The most dangerous or most reactive nuclear waste products decay the fastest; that’s the very reason they are so dangerous. At some point waste is no more dangerous that uranium ore.

Etc etc, list could go on and on.

My point is that as anything in this world nuclear has its issues, but it is intellectually dishonest and unscientific to treat nuclear differently from everything else we do.
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b_lumenkraft

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1119 on: June 26, 2019, 08:12:47 PM »
Well, those are studies, Sidd.

Never tested or proven to work, right?

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1120 on: June 26, 2019, 08:42:29 PM »
I will accept that 'time' is not the only potential solution to the nuclear challenge.  It is true that we poison many environments knowingly and unknowingly with many substances, natural and 'man-made'.  We're pretty good at, what's the phrase, "Why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?"
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Bob Wallace

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1121 on: June 26, 2019, 08:48:32 PM »
Quote
My point is that as anything in this world nuclear has its issues, but it is intellectually dishonest and unscientific to treat nuclear differently from everything else we do.

I'm unaware of any substance that has the ability to kill for over 10,000 generations.  And since there is no need to make the problem larger then why would we?  Do you really think we should make electricity more expensive?  Do you really think it is in our best interest to extend burning fossil fuels longer than needs be?


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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1122 on: June 26, 2019, 08:54:16 PM »
And since there is no need.......
And that is the final and conclusive point.

There is no need for nuclear power. So why do it?
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Bob Wallace

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1123 on: June 26, 2019, 09:03:26 PM »
And since there is no need.......
And that is the final and conclusive point.

There is no need for nuclear power. So why do it?

Stupidity and greed come to mind...

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1124 on: June 26, 2019, 09:19:21 PM »
Re: Accelarator based reactor

None has ever been built. Rubbia has been pushing for one forawhile, got nowhere.

sidd

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1125 on: June 26, 2019, 10:11:05 PM »
Bob, toxicity is about dosage, not generations. Many substances are lethal indefinitely.

I’m not going to answer to strawman arguments when all I wanted to do was to initiate an honest and open discussion.

Apparently nuclear is so toxic (sic) a topic even agreeing to disagree is not enough.
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Bob Wallace

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1126 on: June 26, 2019, 10:14:14 PM »
When one person attempts to stop a discussion by "agreeing to disagree" without the agreement of others we might call that dictatorial behavior.

Or at least attempted dictatorial behavior.

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1127 on: June 26, 2019, 10:21:05 PM »
When one person attempts to stop a discussion by "agreeing to disagree" without the agreement of others we might call that dictatorial behavior.

Or at least attempted dictatorial behavior.
That’s not what I meant.

Even though we have opposing view on the subject, I’d appreciate if we could discuss NP in nuclear thread without resorting to strawman arguments.
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Bob Wallace

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1128 on: June 26, 2019, 10:27:59 PM »
 
Quote
Many substances are lethal indefinitely

That's the "Don't punish me, Little Johnny pulled the cat's tail too" defense.

Quote
toxicity is about dosage, not generations

Each of those containers that last 30 to possibly 300 years contains very high dosages of a very toxic substance.  Let's not just wave this away.

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1129 on: June 26, 2019, 10:47:21 PM »
Quote
Many substances are lethal indefinitely

That's the "Don't punish me, Little Johnny pulled the cat's tail too" defense.
No it’s not. It is a reply to your comment:
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I'm unaware of any substance that has the ability to kill for over 10,000 generations.

Quote
toxicity is about dosage, not generations

Each of those containers that last 30 to possibly 300 years contains very high dosages of a very toxic substance.  Let's not just wave this away.
I wasn’t going to:
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Although I agree burying waste underground is not a real solution to anything, I detest the double standards commonly applied to everything nuclear.

And that’s all I’m gonna say about that.
In PIOMAS we trust

b_lumenkraft

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1130 on: June 27, 2019, 06:50:19 AM »
Bob, toxicity is about dosage, not generations. Many substances are lethal indefinitely.

Are you serious? Is this how you think radiation works??

Quote
I’m not going to answer to strawman arguments when all I wanted to do was to initiate an honest and open discussion.

Your sentence "toxicity is about dosage, not generations. Many substances are lethal indefinitely." is the definition of a strawman, sucking all honesty out of the debate.

Doing something while accusing the other side of doing this exact thing...

So it's either you really don't know how radiation works, or you are not honest. Which one is it?

Quote
Even though we have opposing view on the subject,

Opposing indeed. He is right, you are wrong!

NeilT

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1131 on: June 27, 2019, 02:26:09 PM »
Opposing indeed. He is right, you are wrong!

And thus ends all debate as you cannot debate when this situation exists.

Talking low CO2 power and "green" credentials, I was looking at Gridwatch for France yesterday and updated today.

Because the entire Nuclear debate is so poisoned, nobody ever talks about this.  So let's try and level set it.

The UK is seen as progressive and low carbon in its power generation.  For the UK 35GW of power, 42% is gas and therefore CO2 emitting.

For Germany, supposedly super green, the chart shows that of the ~200gw of power generating capacity that Germany has,  some 79gw is coal, gas and oil.  This is, very nearly, the entire power generation of France and the UK using some of the most CO2 emitting substances on the planet.

Even worse is the chart for capacity is way short of the actual generation in TW/h.  Apparently the capacity for renewables is 60% of the total capacity.  However Renewables generate only 44% of the TW/h generated in Germany.  I have excluded the "German" Nuclear because it is not theirs, it comes from outside.  You will see why I have done that in a moment.

Now let us compare that French Gridwatch.

At time of writing.  And please accept that the figures add to more than 100%, which probably is the same as Germany with their incoming Nuclear:

Demand, 58GW
Nuclear  73%
Hydro 13%
Solar 11%
Wind 5%
Gas 6.9%

Yet I hear, all the time, about the German "greenness".

Arguing semantics about the CO2 cost of the production of nuclear materials is exactly that, at this scale, semantics.  Cost is a different issue with the requirement for long term storage and the inherent risks.

However, when we come down to Risk assessment.  AGW is estimated at a human cost of around 2bn lives by 2100.  At this scale of energy generation, who is doing better than France?  I haven't looked, but, at a guess, I'd say virtually nobody.

Why is France not held up as a shining example of how to do power without endangering 2bn lives?

Nuclear is politically unacceptable in the "green" agenda.

Scratches head and walks away mumbling....
Being right too soon is socially unacceptable.

Robert A. Heinlein

Tom_Mazanec

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1132 on: June 27, 2019, 02:28:52 PM »
Bob, toxicity is about dosage, not generations. Many substances are lethal indefinitely.

Are you serious? Is this how you think radiation works??

Quote
I’m not going to answer to strawman arguments when all I wanted to do was to initiate an honest and open discussion.

Your sentence "toxicity is about dosage, not generations. Many substances are lethal indefinitely." is the definition of a strawman, sucking all honesty out of the debate.

Doing something while accusing the other side of doing this exact thing...

So it's either you really don't know how radiation works, or you are not honest. Which one is it?

Quote
Even though we have opposing view on the subject,

Opposing indeed. He is right, you are wrong!

No, poisonous elements and compounds can be toxic indefinitely if they are not degradable. I read somewhere if the dinosaurs had died off in a VX gas war, the planet would still be uninhabitable from it.
SHARKS (CROSSED OUT) MONGEESE (SIC) WITH FRICKIN LASER BEAMS ATTACHED TO THEIR HEADS

b_lumenkraft

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1133 on: June 27, 2019, 03:00:37 PM »
Opposing indeed. He is right, you are wrong!

And thus ends all debate as you cannot debate when this situation exists.

I'm not arguing from a CO2 standpoint here. We talked about nuclear waste.

I'm not gonna follow this moving of the goalposts.

So, back on topic: What's your solution to handle the nuclear waste problem, Neil?

And why are you willing to argue in favour of nuclear energy, even though renewables are cheaper, faster to deploy, emit fewer GHG, and don't kill people today nor in the future?

NeilT

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1134 on: June 27, 2019, 03:21:59 PM »
No, poisonous elements and compounds can be toxic indefinitely if they are not degradable. I read somewhere if the dinosaurs had died off in a VX gas war, the planet would still be uninhabitable from it.

The very fact of radioactivity happens because of the decay of the element, emitting radioactivity as a result of that decay.

Whilst the "half life" of a compound may be very long indeed, there is nothing more certain than that it will decay, eventually, into something harmless.  Well in radiology terms that is.

VX Nerve evaporates, eventually, down to non lethal levels.  Fly spray triggers military testing kits as Nerve agent, because it is.  Just at levels low enough not to bother humans but high enough to be lethal to insects.

Whoever wrote that bit about VX nerve has never trained to live under an attack of it.

You might want to check out the Half-Life of VX in water and soil.
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bluice

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1135 on: June 27, 2019, 03:28:45 PM »
Are you serious? Is this how you think radiation works??

So it's either you really don't know how radiation works, or you are not honest. Which one is it?

I'm sorry but that's just the way it is. Toxicity, including radiotoxicity, is about dosage.

"Medical Definition of radioactivity: the property possessed by some elements (as uranium) or isotopes (as carbon 14) of spontaneously emitting energetic particles (as electrons or alpha particles) by the disintegration of their atomic nuclei"
https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/radioactivity#medicalDictionary

I honestly don't understand why this is such a hot topic. There is nothing mysterious or supernatural about radioactivity. It's physics. And of course it can be dangerous.

To get back on topic, I still don't think burying nuclear waste underground indefinitely is a good solution. Unfortunately we are running out of good solutions. CO2 level is rising faster every day and we haven't been able to do anything about it.
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NeilT

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1136 on: June 27, 2019, 03:45:03 PM »
And why are you willing to argue in favour of nuclear energy, even though renewables are cheaper, faster to deploy, emit fewer GHG, and don't kill people today nor in the future?

Because the reality does not bear out the headline.

Renewables, wind and solar are not baseload power.  The sheer scale of the amount of TW/h required to be stored, to make it baseload, is outside our ability to engineer at this time.

Cheap?  Germany has the most installed renewables, in TW/h, of the entire EU.  Germany has one of the highest price levels for electricity in the EU.  The two are not a coincidence, it is directly a cost of implementing renewables which is driving the cost in Germany.

The sheer scale of translating the (virtually), always on Nuclear to renewables, world wide, leads to diminishing returns.

I've already posted the links for the cost of offshore wind, the current growth place in renewables.  Real world results that show, per GW/h generated, after around 12-15 years, the installation and ongoing maintenance costs of offshore wind start to exceed the costs of Nuclear.  At least the build and ongoing run costs.  Decommissioning is another factor.

Reprocessing fuel is totally possible to a high degree and fuel can be "burnt" over and over again with high quality reprocessing.  It requires commitment and investment.  This reduces the amount of waste we have to deal with dramatically.  Reprocessing methods also include glass encapsulation before burying.

Then we have Gen3 and Gen4 nuclear reactors.  Investment on development of which is being stalled because of this attitude that renewables can solve all our requirements for forever more.

I'm not totally for Nuclear.  It needs to be a mix and Nuclear needs to be in it.

Because every time the renewables fail to fill the gap, coal, gas and oil are what comes back to fill that gap.  Why?  Because we have no alternative to generate that volume of power because we will not have a backbone of Nuclear which fills that gap.

I know that people normally can't do the risk-reward analysis.  It is not part of their daily lives.  But it is simple.  Fail with AGW and the cost is 2bn lives or more.  Failing with renewables means failing with AGW if we have no mix.

Now tell me, just how many lives are at risk from a "Nuclear" incident even with the current level of technology?  The incidents mentioned above are in the hundreds to thousands and the vast majority of those incidents were from before the 70's or within the USSR who didn't give a crap about the environment.  Just go to the IAEA and get a report on Chernobly.  They were, quite literally, PLAYING with a dangerous reactor design to see what it would do....  Hardly the situation today.

Ultimately we need fusion power to meet the needs of the 4bn people, today, who lack sufficient power.

Almost all of these arguments revolve around the 1/3 of the population of the planet who have sufficient power.  The other 2/3?  Are they going to go renewables when they have sufficient fossil fuels to burn?  Unless we have a real answer to that question, then all of our 1st world attempts at renewables are going to add up to exactly zip when the other 2/3 of the world start really consuming power.

Hence my viewpoint that just throwing our hands up and saying "Nuclear is too difficult/dangerous/deadly" simply won't wash.  How deadly?  CO2, as we are doing it, is close to an Extinction Level Event as far as humans are concerned.

So we need to get stuck in and get Nuclear/Fusion to work for us instead of against us.  Then throw it into the mix with renewables.
Being right too soon is socially unacceptable.

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b_lumenkraft

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1137 on: June 27, 2019, 03:48:04 PM »
Toxicity, including radiotoxicity, is about dosage.

When someone in 10 000 years will dig it up, they will die. Also eroding sites, cracked rocks, and washed out salt domes will cause anyone and everything passing by to become radioactively contaminated. Do you understand this dynamic? You can't predict these things. So don't tell me the radiation will be fine. You can't possibly know that.

Quote
I honestly don't understand why this is such a hot topic.

It has something to do with not wanting to kill people for 12 thousand generations. It's a moral question. Ethics, you know? We do not have the right to do that.

bluice

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1138 on: June 27, 2019, 03:48:45 PM »
Despite all the talk and action about cheap renewable energy, the inconvenient fact is we haven't been able to even slow the growth of our CO2 emissions. I don't think the general public understands we aren't heading for Paris goal of 1,5 C warming or even "non-catastrophic" 2 C warming, but exceeding the highest BAU scenarios. This will make the planet uninhabitable before the end of the century unless some country, a group of countries or even wealthy individuals resort to unreliable, likely hazardous and expensive geoengineering efforts.

To categorically reject nuclear power as too dangerous is in this situation comparable to a terminally ill cancer patient worrying about high cholesterol food.
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b_lumenkraft

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1139 on: June 27, 2019, 03:53:34 PM »
Renewables, wind and solar are not baseload power.

Not true. I stopped reading there. I'm not willing to debate under provably wrong premises.

You need to inform yourself on this topic. Your knowledge is either outdated or you ate up big oil propaganda.

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1140 on: June 27, 2019, 04:05:39 PM »
When wind is stalled for a week and there is no sun, unless you have massive hydro (most dont'), or incredible geothermal like Iceland, then your renewables are not baseload.  Even the huge hydro on the great rivers in France only produce a fraction of the power needed.

You can't simply tell me renewables are baseload when there is clear and categorical evidence that they are not.

There is no renewable source, except for the likes of Iceland geothermal, which gives you clear, always on (you cycle the 95%), power.  When wind is off, it is off. When the sun doesn't shine, then it is off. When it is dry and the reservoirs are low, it is off. When it is summer and the rivers are low, it is off.

This is not surmise, this is not wrong. This is FACT.

Gridwatch UK.

Last Month, hourly.



Nuclear, baseload.
CCGT, fast reacting baseload
Renewables?  Nice to have when we have it....
« Last Edit: June 27, 2019, 04:13:53 PM by NeilT »
Being right too soon is socially unacceptable.

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b_lumenkraft

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1141 on: June 27, 2019, 04:28:12 PM »
Neil, these are the keywords you want to search for when you want to update your knowledge.

1 ) batteries
2 ) pumped hydro
3 ) power to gas
4 ) molten salt solar plants
5 ) compressed air storage
6 ) smart grids
7 ) grid interconnectivity
8 ) gravity storage

There are many more storage solutions. Have fun learning. :)


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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1142 on: June 27, 2019, 04:30:28 PM »
The billions of dollars new nuclear would require would serve us better if it were used to help the world make do with less energy.  (See the Efficiency thread.)
And make better use of clean energy, as we reduce the dirty energy we already have.  (See the Batteries thread.)
New nuclear is not needed, period.
People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

bluice

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1143 on: June 27, 2019, 05:44:21 PM »
When wind is stalled for a week and there is no sun, unless you have massive hydro (most dont'), or incredible geothermal like Iceland, then your renewables are not baseload.  Even the huge hydro on the great rivers in France only produce a fraction of the power needed.

You can't simply tell me renewables are baseload when there is clear and categorical evidence that they are not.

There is no renewable source, except for the likes of Iceland geothermal, which gives you clear, always on (you cycle the 95%), power.  When wind is off, it is off. When the sun doesn't shine, then it is off. When it is dry and the reservoirs are low, it is off. When it is summer and the rivers are low, it is off.

This is not surmise, this is not wrong. This is FACT.

Gridwatch UK.

Last Month, hourly.



Nuclear, baseload.
CCGT, fast reacting baseload
Renewables?  Nice to have when we have it....

Tripling British nuclear capacity would enable to cover peak demand with renewables essentially decarbonizing the grid. But green dogma says nuclear is not needed so gas is burned instead.
In PIOMAS we trust

Sam

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1144 on: June 27, 2019, 06:37:22 PM »
NeilT,

By those measures Nuclear isn't baseload either. Periodically Nuclear stations must go offline for refueling and for maintenance. These are generally scheduled outages. But taking a gigawatt of production offline for a prolonged period is far more than inconvenient. Such outages are usually between 30-60 days in length, but range from 2-13 weeks. They often run longer as difficulties are encountered.

Nuclear plants also have the interesting problem of being highly sensitive to temperature in many locations. The reactors must dump two thirds of their energy production as heat because they are heat engines. They do this often by dumping that heat to receiving water bodies such as rivers. And when the rivers warm along with everything else, the viability of local fish populations is threatened, necessitating limitations on heat discharge and power reductions or shutdown of the reactors making the problem worse. These sorts of events are increasing as the climate warms. Worse yet, they occur across whole regions taking down many plants simultaneously and threatening the entire power grid of nations and continents. And they occur at the most inconvenient times, precisely when the demand for electricity for cooling is at its maximum, severely threatening the lives and livelihoods of the most vulnerable populations.

Worse, when (not if... this is probability not just "risk"), nuclear plants suffer emergencies, there is no notice at all, and the rapid withdrawal of a gigawatt of production or more. That is hard to deal with when planned. It is staggeringly hard to deal with when unplanned, and vastly yet more difficult to deal with when the whole power generation system is stressed either in winter or summer, or when other stations are offline, or worse yet when many stations must go offline simultaneously.

Some of the worst and most massive and destructive fires in California occurred when power lines were sagging from current heating causing them to contact ground vegetation starting the fires. The current sagging gets dramatically worse with large scale power transmission across distance. Nuclear requires both. The plants must be located away from population centers they serve. When the power system is distorted by major outages, line capacities are stressed to the maximum.

And then there are the disasters. Japan is not yet fully recovered on power from Fukushima. A nuclear disaster not only distorts the power supply and grid, it also twists it all out of shape for a decade or more. Power may simply not be recoverable at all during the first year or two.

And that is made vastly worse when a natural catastrophe causes severe damage to the system as well. Under those conditions, the nuclear plants disaster diverts massive local, regional, and national assets to deal with it as a priority over dealing with the natural disaster. They become the bully demanding they be serviced first, even at the cost of people's lives and livelihoods.

But, we have an answer to that. We waive the liability laws for them and sacrifice the rights and properties of innocent people to protect them.

Then there are the special conditions, like hurricanes, where not only is power threatened, but the plants themselves are threatened. And should they go down either intentionally or unintentionally, they are then at the greatest risk of a station blackout and a consequent severe accident or disaster right in the middle of a natural disaster, which also makes response the most difficult, and possibly impossible.

Last year Florida suffered just such a problem. The hurricane threatened to entirely sink several reactors with storm surge. By the greatest of good fortune that did not happen. However, the grid was distorted and damaged and ultimately all but one reactor was forced to shut down. The power from that reactor allowed recovery. But the continued operation of that reactor occurred in violation as it had no offsite backup power. Procedurally it was required to shut down.

Once shutdown, the reactors cannot be quickly restarted and brought back on line. Partly this is a procedural safety issue. But primarily it is a physics issue. At shut down samarium and xenon nuclear poisons grow in quantity. These make safe restart impossible until the xenon-135 mostly decays away in a day or so. They make restart either extremely dangerous or physically impossible for much of the first day.  Samarium-149 is stable. So restart requires added reactivity insertion to overcome it and burn it out on restart, with careful power control until it is gone. Xenon-135 has a 9.2 hour half-life. It must largely decay away before restart commences. Restart earlier requires even more careful power control to insert offsetting poisons as it burns out. That can be quite dangerous. With reactors designed to allow rapid power level variation that is a problem. With power stations not designed for that it is a severe problem mandating they stay down for a prolonged period, just as the power grid is most in need of power.

Nuclear because of its frailty in design must be used only as baseload power. So it gets treated as a special case. It also gets special treatment for liability and response. Nuclear is bad and dangerous baseload power.

Sam
« Last Edit: June 27, 2019, 06:59:13 PM by Sam »

BenB

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1145 on: June 27, 2019, 06:49:20 PM »
This interview is from 2015, so things will have moved on quite a bit from then:

https://energypost.eu/interview-steve-holliday-ceo-national-grid-idea-large-power-stations-baseload-power-outdated/

What is the future of baseload generation in such a system? “That’s asking the wrong question”, says Holliday. “The idea of baseload power is already outdated. I think you should look at this the other way around. From a consumer’s point of view, baseload is what I am producing myself. The solar on my rooftop, my heat pump – that’s the baseload. Those are the electrons that are free at the margin. The point is: this is an industry that was based on meeting demand. An extraordinary amount of capital was tied up for an unusual set of circumstances: to ensure supply at any moment. This is now turned on its head. The future will be much more driven by availability of supply: by demand side response and management which will enable the market to balance price of supply and of demand. It’s how we balance these things that will determine the future shape of our business.”

Sam

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1146 on: June 27, 2019, 06:57:22 PM »
BenB,

Truly excellent point in comparing distributed power production, use and utilization systems with centralized power systems. The design constraints and needs are vastly different between these two.

Divorcing power production from power use leads us to many of the problems. Designing our societies and systems based on distributed power creates enormous benefits over centralized power system designs. It also greatly lessens or eliminates many of the frailties and problems inherent in centralized power schemes.

The change in constraints leads to other changes as well. These are societal choices. E.g. During a severe heat wave, a distributed system reliant on wind may necessitate policies that flex when people work. A distributed system based on solar may not. A combined system is likely more resilient against issues.

Sam

b_lumenkraft

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1147 on: June 27, 2019, 07:04:24 PM »
88,000 tons of radioactive waste – and nowhere to put it


be cause

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1148 on: June 27, 2019, 07:23:51 PM »
I always thought .. well since I was 15 .. that the only sensible place to put nuclear waste was in subduction zones .. let it come back again as rock in a few million/billion years .. b.c.
2007 + 5 = 2012 + 4 = 2016 + 3 = 2019 ...

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1149 on: June 27, 2019, 07:27:26 PM »
Quote
Why is France not held up as a shining example of how to do power without endangering 2bn lives?

For the same reason Paraguay, 100% hydro, is not held up as a shining example.  Neither countries installed low carbon generation in order to combat global warming.  Paraguay had big rivers to dam and dammed them.  France had a national security problem due to OPEC forming using oil supply as a way to force other countries to bend to its will. 

Germany earned great cred earlier when they established very attractive subsidies for solar and boosted installation rates high enough to bring down solar prices.  More recently Germany has slowed with renewable projects and praise for Germany's progress has cooled.

France did good for the climate by accident.  Germany did something purposeful.