Donate Bitcoin

Donate Paypal


PeakOil is You

PeakOil is You

THE Nuclear Power Thread pt 8 (merged)

Discussions of conventional and alternative energy production technologies.

Re: Nuclear Power discussion

Unread postby Subjectivist » Mon 29 May 2017, 22:04:58

What if nuclear power was invented today?

If it was invented and unveiled to the world today, there would be celebrations.

Picture an alternative 2017. Just like today, the world is gradually meeting the challenge of global development and facing the need to slash emissions of carbon dioxide at the same time. Hydroelectricity has helped but it’s hard to scale up, and its expansion is costing humanity scarce rainforest and river ecosystems.

Renewable technologies, like wind and solar, have made leaps and bounds. But overcoming the challenge of their variability makes the prospect of an all-renewable system daunting, and the gains seem constantly outstripped by overall growth in coal, gas and oil.

Then, the breakthrough is announced.

“We have devised a power system that can liberate us, all of us, from our dependence on fossil carbon,” a team of researchers announces.

“It provides all the scale and reliability of coal, but with a fuel that is not based on carbon at all. For the first time, humanity has a fuel that doesn’t burn. No carbon and no combustion means no carbon dioxide”.

At this point maybe you’re questioning how this alternative 2017 differs from today. Well this ‘new’ power source is nuclear fission.

“Using this fuel produces no air pollution at all. Communities living nearby will enjoy clean air. The entire process happens inside a sealed unit at the same scale as a normal power station but it only needs to be refueled about once every two years”.

“The really remarkable thing is, we also know how to get 150 times more energy from it with some recycling effort. It’s a total game changer, and we only see it getting better from here with further innovation and development”.

Nuclear power…to date, it's the only proven, scalable solution to displacing coal, oil and gas from the generation of electricity. But of course, it hasn’t just been invented.

Fission for electricity emerged after fission was first used for weapons. It’s a legacy that has seemed near impossible to shake. At that time, human-driven climate change was not even broadly understood, let alone the policy driver it is today. Founder of environmental NGO Bright New World, Ben Heard, muses that nuclear power was probably invented “before we really needed it”.

“I was in a panel in the United States and we were asked about how we might change the people’s perspective of nuclear energy when the thought occurred to me. Nuclear power is astounding technology, held back by outdated legacies. Were it invented today it would be embraced as a phenomenally environmentally friendly energy source”.

“Right now, we are in some danger of hating nuclear power out of existence in many parts of the world. That’s going to damage the future because fossil fuels will just retain and grow their dominance of the energy system in the vacuum that creates”.

The counter-argument in the real-life 2017 is that renewable energy technologies will affect a takeover of not only nuclear but also fossil fuels. Heard dismisses that idea as more fallacy than fact, with some powerful research published this year in Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews.

“We examined 24 such studies at various scales. We found not only huge gaps in demonstrating that it even works, but a huge reliance on two really damaging technologies: hydroelectricity and biomass.”

While classed as renewables, the researchers argue they are unsustainable, with Heard saying, “At the necessary scale their impact on ecosystems would be a profoundly destructive one, even after assuming unrealistic cuts to energy demand that would likely entrench poverty”.

“There is just no need for that. Pairing nuclear fission with proven renewable technologies at smaller scales can generate feasible, reliable energy systems anywhere in the world”.

“We need to start loving nuclear technologies back into the picture if we really want to make a brighter world. That requires a reinvention of environmentalism itself, based on people who are prepared to learn about nuclear as though for the first time”.

Taking that step back can yield some surprises. When Electricity Map launched their real-time tool for visualizing which electricity systems are clean and which are dirty, the green colour didn’t belong to vaunted renewable champion Germany. Even Denmark fluxes from green to brown depending (quite literally) on whether the wind blows. The steady green champions are Finland, Sweden, France and Ontario — the common thread? Nuclear power. Norway joins those ranks with its huge hydro electric resource.

“It’s the overlooked evidence that stares us in the face” remarks Heard. “Decarbonising electricity supplies may be a challenge, but it’s no riddle. Provided nuclear is included, mixing that with locally advantageous renewable resources provides a proven answer. Or, if the renewable opportunity is weak, nuclear can nearly do it all if required”.

While evidence of the like provided by Electricity Map is hard to deny, thoughts inevitably turn to nuclear waste. Alone, those two words don’t tend to be popular. In sequence they provoke a visceral response of fear and loathing. Heard sees a certain irony in that.

“For one thing, it’s recyclable. There is about 25 times more energy in that spent fuel when we want it, and when we do that the material we are left with only has a 30 year half-life”.

“For another thing, it is only an issue because we actually can take responsibility for it. Fossil fuels never faced that hurdle. It is simply impossible to contain that much polluting gas every day. So we don’t even bother trying. We permit pollution on one hand, and fear responsible waste management on the other. If we could start anew, people might regard that very differently”.
“There is a huge difference between waste and pollution. All energy sources have waste streams. Some cause pollution, which is what happens when we throw our waste into the environment without care or concern”.

It’s an intriguing concept. Around the world, women in pregnancy are advised to avoid consumption of certain type of fish due to concerns of contaminants like mercury. But why and how is the mercury even in the fish? While it occurs naturally, the elevated levels of concern to would-be mothers comes from burning coal. The effect is so great that the recent trend away from coal in the United States (driven by low prices of fossil gas) is already causing rapidly declining mercury levels in Atlantic Bluefin tuna.

But air pollution reaches beyond the impact of toxins on the unborn. In 2014, the World Health Organisation declared air pollution the world’s largest single environmental health risk, estimated to be responsible for 7 million premature deaths every year. That’s seven times greater than HIV-AIDS and about 15 times more than malaria.

“Cleaning up the air we breathe prevents noncommunicable diseases as well as reduces disease risks among women and vulnerable groups, including children and the elderly,” says Dr Flavia Bustreo, WHO Assistant Director-General Family, Women and Children’s Health. “Poor women and children pay a heavy price from indoor air pollution since they spend more time at home breathing in smoke and soot from leaky coal and wood cook stoves.”

Yet for ionising radiation, the bogey man of nuclear power, the World Health Organisation doesn’t even allocate an estimate. They highlight instead that 98% of the artificial radiation exposure comes from medical procedures – radiation as a diagnostic tool and a life-saving treatment.

These facts lead to a sobering question. Has environmentalism, for all its passion, botched the priorities when it comes to nuclear technology and harmed us all along the way?

“Sadly, yes” says Heard, “and I’m saddest because as a young environmentalist I was a small part of that”.

“Environmentalism fought one of our most beneficial technologies to a near standstill, leaving us exposed to pollution of far greater harm and sending global greenhouse emissions skyrocketing”.

“For example, had the China boom of the 1990s and 2000s been driven by uranium instead of coal, we would have a much cleaner world today, with decades more up our sleeve to decarbonize the rest of our energy. But nuclear power wasn’t ready, in part because its development in places like the United States and United Kingdom had been ground to a halt by the green movement”.

“We need so much more clean energy. We need it for the poor of today and tomorrow. We need it to cut the impacts of our food and agriculture systems and give land back to nature. We need it to create new, clean fuels for transport and industry. We have lost crucial decades, but a fightback is under way. Nuclear technology remains innovative, and new environmental organisations like Bright New World are taking up the fight for the future”.

So, it seems that a different environmentalism exists, one born of a different era, with a new generation of leaders and innovators. It will need a powerful tribe to make the difference it seeks to make. But it seems well worth it.

Kayla Paradiso, for Bright New World

https://www.brightnewworld.org/media/20 ... nted-today
II Chronicles 7:14 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
User avatar
Subjectivist
Fission
Fission
 
Posts: 3964
Joined: Sat 28 Aug 2010, 06:38:26
Location: Northwest Ohio

Re: Nuclear Power discussion

Unread postby DesuMaiden » Tue 30 May 2017, 14:52:22

Nuclear power is no solution to anything. First of all, conventional nuclear fission relies on radioactive ore (like uranium and plutonium) which is then processed into fission fuel for the nuclear power reactors. This ore--like almost all ores--is nonrenewable, finite and nonrecyclable. If we were to scale up nuclear power, we will need to build considerably more nuclear power plants. And if more nuclear power plants are built, more radioactive ore will be converted into fuel for generating electricity from these plants. The result is--the remaining supply of uranium ore will be depleted in 30 to 40 years max. Or even less time depending on how many more nuclear power plants we build in the future.

Plus, it takes nearly a decade to build and comission a nuclear power plant from scratch. So you can't just build one in a year or two, and expect it to generate electricity ASAP. Also, decomissioning a nuclear power plant is very energy extensive (just like how it is to build and maintain one).

Not to mention, radioactive waste from the by-product of these plants is very difficult to safely deposit into the environment. If you don't safely dispose of radioactive waste, it can cause serious damage to surrounding local ecosystems and human communities.

If you've read accurate information on the crisises of civilization, you will realize no solution can prevent it from collapsing from its excessive complexity and unsustainable growth. The Earth is better off without these pesky humans destroying the biosphere with their ever-increasing expoloitive and destructive technologies.

Relying on a technofix--or in other words, relying on technology to fix a problem originally caused by a previously implemented technology--is like trying to put out a fire (that was started by the lighting of gasoline by a match) by dumping more gasoline onto the fire. It is a futile effort.

Yet we continue to rely on technofixes to solve problems that were originally caused by technology. It's basically doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting a different result, which is basically the definition of insanity.

For example, car accidents are an unfortunate side-effect of driving cars, and no technofix can prevent or soften the impact of car accidents. Self-driving cars--which some people claim willl reduce the probability of such accidents--actually don't...they are useless, and don't make driving a vehicle any safer. Therefore, we need to accept the fact that car accidents are an inevitable side-effect of driving cars at high-speeds, and the only way to prevent them in a full-proof manner is to stop driving in its entirety.
History repeats itself. Just everytime with different characters and players.
DesuMaiden
Intermediate Crude
Intermediate Crude
 
Posts: 850
Joined: Mon 06 Oct 2014, 15:00:31

Re: THE Nuclear Power Thread pt 8 (merged)

Unread postby Subjectivist » Wed 31 May 2017, 11:07:56

Desu your post is a perfect exampke of basing ideas on propogandainstead of of real world facts.
II Chronicles 7:14 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
User avatar
Subjectivist
Fission
Fission
 
Posts: 3964
Joined: Sat 28 Aug 2010, 06:38:26
Location: Northwest Ohio

Re: THE Nuclear Power Thread pt 8 (merged)

Unread postby yellowcanoe » Wed 31 May 2017, 11:56:19

Nuclear power is like any other technology -- it takes time to mature. The earliest power reactors had top physicists and engineers involved in their construction and operation. Large scale deployment of power reactors brought in engineers and managers who didn't have the same level of understanding of nuclear power and/or whose previous experience was with thermal generating plants that didn't have the same complexity and safety concerns that nuclear power did. The result was two very serious accidents at Three Mile Island and Chernobyl plus a large number of less serious accidents. The safety record of nuclear power has improved significantly since those days and yet as a society we've written off further development of nuclear power.

The situation reminds of the introduction of iron bridges in the 18'th century. Engineers switched to using iron as it allowed larger and stronger bridges than could be built from wood or stone. However, they did not foresee the phenomena of brittle fatigue which could cause a railroad bridge to fail catastrophically without warning. Thousands of people died in bridge collapses and yet society did not demand that use of metal in bridge construction be stopped. Engineers eventually discovered that steel was a much better material for bridge construction than iron. I am rather annoyed that we simply gave up on nuclear power rather than trying to improve it.
yellowcanoe
Heavy Crude
Heavy Crude
 
Posts: 437
Joined: Fri 15 Nov 2013, 13:42:27
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Re: THE Nuclear Power Thread pt 8 (merged)

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Wed 31 May 2017, 14:59:20

I don't understand why you consider TMI a "serious accident". YES the reactor melted - but it was within a reinforced concrete containment structure. The only radioactivity released was some unknown (but fairly small) amount of Tritium vented from the dome. No adverse environmental impacts were ever found.

Chernobyl was a disaster. As accidents go, this one killed a few dozen people. It does not hold a candle to a hydropower dam failure, which have killed 100's of thousands of people via sudden flooding. It also doesn't compare to the 12,000 or so people each year in the USA killed by toxic coal emissions. Chernobyl doesn't even compare to the dozens of people killed by falls each year installing rooftop solar in the USA alone.

Nuclear energy, far from being a problem, is the safest form of energy production by a country mile.
KaiserJeep 2.0, Neural Subnode 0010 0000 0001 0110 - 1001 0011 0011, Tertiary Adjunct to Unimatrix 0000 0000 0001

Resistance is Futile, YOU will be Assimilated.

Warning: Messages timestamped before April 1, 2016, 06:00 PST were posted by the unmodified human KaiserJeep 1.0
KaiserJeep
Fission
Fission
 
Posts: 3799
Joined: Tue 06 Aug 2013, 16:16:32
Location: California's Silly Valley

Re: THE Nuclear Power Thread pt 8 (merged)

Unread postby Simon_R » Sat 03 Jun 2017, 02:04:55

If nuclear is as safe as touted, then surely the sensible thing would be to build the plants in the middle of population centres so they can provide without any transmission loss adjustment factor, also providing work for the unemployed, you could have one in DC one in Manhattan, London etc etc.
Land could be obtained under eminent domain, its gonna be a bright future

That I would support safe clean etc etc etc
Simon_R
Tar Sands
Tar Sands
 
Posts: 196
Joined: Thu 16 May 2013, 08:28:06

Re: THE Nuclear Power Thread pt 8 (merged)

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Sat 03 Jun 2017, 04:26:33

The problem with nuclear energy is irrational hysteria, caused by ignorance and decades of movies about nuclear wars, mutants, and Godzilla. That there is absolutely no connection between these things and commercial nuclear power plants is a fact most people don't even know, or bother to understand.

I happen to agree with you. I am currently house hunting in Wisconsin, and I would not want to live within a dozen or so miles of a coal power plant that has been spewing toxics for decades. But a nuclear plant I would have no problem with as a neighbor.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/jamesconca/2012/06/10/energys-deathprint-a-price-always-paid/#39161e4f709b
KaiserJeep 2.0, Neural Subnode 0010 0000 0001 0110 - 1001 0011 0011, Tertiary Adjunct to Unimatrix 0000 0000 0001

Resistance is Futile, YOU will be Assimilated.

Warning: Messages timestamped before April 1, 2016, 06:00 PST were posted by the unmodified human KaiserJeep 1.0
KaiserJeep
Fission
Fission
 
Posts: 3799
Joined: Tue 06 Aug 2013, 16:16:32
Location: California's Silly Valley

Re: THE Nuclear Power Thread pt 8 (merged)

Unread postby StarvingLion » Tue 06 Jun 2017, 12:06:15

KaiserJeep wrote:The problem with nuclear energy is irrational hysteria, caused by ignorance and decades of movies about nuclear wars, mutants, and Godzilla. That there is absolutely no connection between these things and commercial nuclear power plants is a fact most people don't even know, or bother to understand.

I happen to agree with you. I am currently house hunting in Wisconsin, and I would not want to live within a dozen or so miles of a coal power plant that has been spewing toxics for decades. But a nuclear plant I would have no problem with as a neighbor.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/jamesconca/2012/06/10/energys-deathprint-a-price-always-paid/#39161e4f709b


The problem with nuclear energy is that its not a cash dispenser like you think it is. This system is run by hard currency (certain types of oil) and nothing else. The purpose of renewables is preparation to MASS BANKRUPTCY. Notice how all energy "transition" is to devices that require NO personnel? Its because everyone will be broke once the hard currency of conventional oil is gone. Same goes for that crap called automated ev ride-sharing...people with a few electronic "money" in their accounts.

But hey you know better, the fools of France need another 5 university degrees before they stop listening to people like you and figure out that they are flat broke.
EV's are fuel-less automobiles and Thorium Reactors are fuel-less reactors. Perfect.
StarvingLion
Intermediate Crude
Intermediate Crude
 
Posts: 864
Joined: Sat 03 Aug 2013, 17:59:17

Re: THE Nuclear Power Thread pt 8 (merged)

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Tue 06 Jun 2017, 15:20:53

Still, it should be your goal to live somewhere debt-free, with a vegetable patch, a few fruit trees, a well, and a wind turbine or solar PV setup, and whatever else you desire for your comfort.

Best case, you'll be a survivor. Worst case, the world won't go to Hell, but you'll still be slim and fit with no debt.
KaiserJeep 2.0, Neural Subnode 0010 0000 0001 0110 - 1001 0011 0011, Tertiary Adjunct to Unimatrix 0000 0000 0001

Resistance is Futile, YOU will be Assimilated.

Warning: Messages timestamped before April 1, 2016, 06:00 PST were posted by the unmodified human KaiserJeep 1.0
KaiserJeep
Fission
Fission
 
Posts: 3799
Joined: Tue 06 Aug 2013, 16:16:32
Location: California's Silly Valley

Re: THE Nuclear Power Thread pt 8 (merged)

Unread postby StarvingLion » Wed 14 Jun 2017, 16:01:44

The nuclear reactor has no fuel. Fuel rods, trisco particles, and the liquid salts either are totally unreliable or burn basically almost nothing of the original uranium stock.

The whole industry is a boondoggle and completely dependent on massive oil input.

Imagine a completely new design that is somehow possible. It take 40 years to see if it worked reliably in a series of pilot plants that would cost over a trillion dollars.

Meanwhile, Scamerica has to shut down all coal plants to fund more funny derivatives money.

BANKRUPT.
EV's are fuel-less automobiles and Thorium Reactors are fuel-less reactors. Perfect.
StarvingLion
Intermediate Crude
Intermediate Crude
 
Posts: 864
Joined: Sat 03 Aug 2013, 17:59:17

Previous

Return to Energy Technology

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 16 guests

cron