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Mon Dec 17, 2012, 11:32 AM

Norway Begins Four Year Test Of Thorium Nuclear Reactor



"A Norwegian company is breaking with convention and switching to an alternative energy it hopes will be safer, cleaner and more efficient. But this isnít about ditching fossil fuels, but rather about making the switch from uranium to thorium. Oslo based Thor Energy is pairing up with the Norwegian government and US-based (but Japanese/Toshiba owned) Westinghouse to begin a four year test that they hope will dispel doubts and make thorium the rule rather than the exception. The thorium will run at a government reactor in Halden.

Thorium was discovered in 1828 by the Swedish chemist Jons Jakob Berzelius who named it after the Norse god of thunder, Thor. Found in trace amounts in rocks and soil, thorium is actually about three times more abundant than uranium.

The attractiveness of thorium has led others in the past to build their own thorium reactors. A reactor operated in Germany between 1983 and 1989, and three operated in the US between the late sixties and early eighties. These plants were abandoned, some think, because the plutonium produced at uranium reactors was deemed indispensable to many in a Cold War world."

http://singularityhub.com/2012/12/11/norway-begins-four-year-test-of-thorium-nuclear-reactor/

59 replies, 4516 views

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Arrow 59 replies Author Time Post
Reply Norway Begins Four Year Test Of Thorium Nuclear Reactor (Original post)
wtmusic Dec 2012 OP
jonthebru Dec 2012 #1
wtmusic Dec 2012 #2
kestrel91316 Dec 2012 #3
GliderGuider Dec 2012 #4
wtmusic Dec 2012 #5
GliderGuider Dec 2012 #6
wtmusic Dec 2012 #7
GliderGuider Dec 2012 #9
wtmusic Dec 2012 #12
GliderGuider Dec 2012 #14
joshcryer Dec 2012 #8
jonthebru Dec 2012 #10
wtmusic Dec 2012 #13
joshcryer Dec 2012 #15
wtmusic Dec 2012 #17
joshcryer Dec 2012 #21
wtmusic Dec 2012 #22
joshcryer Dec 2012 #23
wtmusic Dec 2012 #25
joshcryer Dec 2012 #26
PamW Dec 2012 #19
joshcryer Dec 2012 #20
PamW Dec 2012 #27
joshcryer Dec 2012 #31
PamW Dec 2012 #18
joshcryer Dec 2012 #24
PamW Dec 2012 #28
joshcryer Dec 2012 #32
PamW Dec 2012 #34
joshcryer Dec 2012 #37
PamW Dec 2012 #46
joshcryer Dec 2012 #47
PamW Dec 2012 #52
joshcryer Dec 2012 #53
NNadir Dec 2012 #29
GliderGuider Dec 2012 #30
NNadir Dec 2012 #57
GliderGuider Dec 2012 #58
joshcryer Dec 2012 #59
wtmusic Dec 2012 #33
GliderGuider Dec 2012 #35
wtmusic Dec 2012 #36
GliderGuider Dec 2012 #38
wtmusic Dec 2012 #39
GliderGuider Dec 2012 #40
wtmusic Dec 2012 #41
joshcryer Dec 2012 #44
NoOneMan Dec 2012 #49
joshcryer Dec 2012 #50
NoOneMan Dec 2012 #51
joshcryer Dec 2012 #54
NoOneMan Dec 2012 #55
joshcryer Dec 2012 #56
GliderGuider Dec 2012 #45
NoOneMan Dec 2012 #48
PamW Dec 2012 #16
XemaSab Dec 2012 #11
Odin2005 Dec 2012 #42
Odin2005 Dec 2012 #43

Response to wtmusic (Original post)

Mon Dec 17, 2012, 11:53 AM

1. LFTR,read up on it and watch the videos.

Thorium was not considered for our power plants because there was not a weapons grade waste by product that could be used for bombs and stuff. It is much safer, does not use the high pressure cooling systems and does not have the waste that is a problem with what is used today. A Thorium reactor can be scaled down for islands and remote areas and even could be used for water distillation for desert areas.
Is the USA doing anything with this research that taxpayers paid for in past decades? Well, no the current Corporate Nuclear culture prevents that unfortunately.


A 2 hour video with tons of information.

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Response to jonthebru (Reply #1)

Mon Dec 17, 2012, 12:11 PM

2. Its biggest problem is the uranium mining industry

Last edited Mon Dec 17, 2012, 12:49 PM - Edit history (1)

which would be made largely irrelevant.

I'm 100% on board with thorium.

http://www.thorium-now.org

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Response to wtmusic (Reply #2)

Mon Dec 17, 2012, 12:17 PM

3. Me, too. And I am famously anti-nuke (the dangerous waste-generating kind).

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Response to kestrel91316 (Reply #3)

Mon Dec 17, 2012, 05:51 PM

4. Not me. I'm now anti-nuke all the way.

Actually, I'm against any and all new energy technologies.

The production of more energy from other sources lowers the demand for fossil fuels in some places, thereby lowering its price everywhere, and that encourages its consumption in other places.

Unless the burning of carbon ceases, all such developments merely delay the date of our execution. Other forms of energy simply blow up the balloon of human activity, with ever more unfortunate ultimate consequences for us and every other living being on the planet, from lions to foraminifera.

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Response to GliderGuider (Reply #4)

Mon Dec 17, 2012, 06:16 PM

5. That's where a carbon tax comes in

Artificially raising the price of fuel will discourage using it just as well as "naturally" raising it. If you do it aggressively enough you could make entire supply lines and markets unprofitable. This is not infrastructure that can spring up overnight.

Unless you have a realistic scenario of stopping the combustion of carbon (and not replacing it with something), you're guaranteeing a date for our execution.

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Response to wtmusic (Reply #5)

Mon Dec 17, 2012, 06:28 PM

6. How do you make every country on the planet go along with it?

Free riders are death in this case.

My point is that there is no realistic scenario for stopping the combustion of carbon.

The date for our execution is, as far as I can tell, already set some time between 2070 and 2100. All the thorium reactors and carbon taxes in the world won't delay it beyond that by more than a few decades at most.

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Response to GliderGuider (Reply #6)

Mon Dec 17, 2012, 06:44 PM

7. Either you believe a solution is possible, or you don't.

If you don't, why do you participate? No one who believes a solution is possible agrees with your fundamental premise, and the dramatic value of your estimates for the "date of our execution" is wearing a bit thin.

Can we create a Doomer forum where all of you can go to wail and moan?

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Response to wtmusic (Reply #7)

Mon Dec 17, 2012, 09:06 PM

9. Do you think a solution is possible?

Before the planet hits +4C, I mean?

I know there are a lot of attractive, interesting and potentially useful things that can be done to reduce carbon emissions. There are also some ugly, horrifying, probably useless things that should not be done. And then there are things that will make precious little difference, but might have value in other aspects of the human experience.

It seems to me that in order to decide which camp a given idea falls into, one must understand what the issues are, what the problem is we're trying to address. Each of us sorts the ideas differently according to our belief systems.

That's where the pro and anti-nuclear debate comes from. My views are, to some extent, a product of that debate. I started off being fairly neutral about the issue. As I discovered and thought more about carbon I became strongly pro-nuclear for a while. Then when I realized the implications of having large numbers of nuclear reactors and large amounts of hazardous waste around during a social breakdown, I turned anti again. Now I've come to terms with the idea of an eventual breakdown of civilization, and I'm back to being fairly neutral about the technology itself while still thinking it's a bad idea to develop things like that.

To me the singular problem is carbon, but it's a trap that has already been sprung. We have put too much carbon into the atmosphere to be able to avoid a dangerous rise in temperature and dangerous acidification of the oceans. At the same time there are too many people alive now who are too dependent on carbon energy to allow us to turn that tap off. We got ourselves into this fix by being too clever by half, and I see all new forms of energy - whether it's thorium, windmills or PV panels - as being further manifestations of that cleverness. At the same time they are totally unable (for a number of reasons) to solve the root problem of our carbon-dependent civilization.

So I would prefer that we put our ingenuity to work addressing other issues than energy. Like experimenting with low-carbon activities such as permaculture, or better, faster computers, or encouraging people to think with their long-term minds instead of their short-term brains.

I think that those who will survive the coming turmoil and spread truly sustainable ideas into our traumatized future won't be gadget-heads. They will be those who build communities and develop new stories about what humanity is doing here and how we can cooperate instead of dominate each other and life in general.

I know that my beliefs about who we are, what we're doing, what is happening and why are extreme - especially in comparison to mainstream environmentalists. That's largely because I no longer buy the cultural story that man is the measure of all things, the arbiter of all value, and that everything we do should be judged only in relation to its impact on human beings. That, and the fact that I've traced the implications of observed human behaviour through to its logical conclusion, and have accepted what I found at the endpoint.

I think there's a place here for people with views like mine - after all, the board is for discussions about energy and environment issues, with no requirement that one should think the issues have solutions. I'd like to put my marks on this side of the ledger, in the hopes of stimulating deeper though about where we are, where we're going, and why. I know that's uncomfortable for people who are attached to the idea that every man-made problem must have a man-made solution. However, these are not comfortable times - they're times for deep reflection and deep honesty. IMHO.

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Response to GliderGuider (Reply #9)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 02:13 AM

12. I don't understand the purpose of deeper thought if it's merely an expression of hopelessness.

This post represents a different perspective. In it you acknowledge the possibility of survivors, of people alive beyond our "execution date". That though the world will be profoundly different 100 years from now, it will likely be surviveable for some. How? What can we do now to prolong that date, even by a few decades?

When you talk about permaculture or faster computers, I want to know why you find these idea attractive. But unless you're religious there's not much choice to believe that "man is the measure of all things, the arbiter of all value, and that everything we do should be judged only in relation to its impact on human beings". When you make a judgement about the future of genetic diversity, you really don't care about genetic diversity at all - you care about how the destruction of GD makes you feel. But at least it represents a concern which isn't entirely selfish. When you talk of a post-apocalyptic generation which can work in cooperation, you not only acknowledge there might be a post-apocalyptic generation, but that it might aspire to a loftier goal than survival. That kind of thinking is inspirational and courageous.

Despair, hopelessness, acceptance, endpoints, blah. It's laziness under pseudo-intellectual cover.

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Response to wtmusic (Reply #12)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 07:02 AM

14. There are seven billion different ways of finding value in existence.

Yes, I think there are going to be some people around for a long time. And I think there will be many, many fewer than there are today.

You ask, "What can we do now to prolong that date, even by a few decades?" I think the pertinent question is what are we prolonging by our actions? It's not our own personal lives, and not the end-point of our species. To my mind we are prolonging one thing only: the physical and psychological comfort of whoever is around just before the slide begins

But what is the cost of their prolonged comfort? Is it the deeper immiseration of those who come after, as we have used up more of the resources we might have left behind for them? Is it a few hundred other species that might not have gone extinct due to our continued activity? If so, I think that is too high a price to pay for a few more decades of automobiles, subdivisions, central heating and industrial food.

I find the ideas of permaculture, faster computers and wisdom development attractive because they are activities that add value to human lives without diminishing the opportunities of other species. You see, I am actually hopeful about things like that. I'm just not hopeful about stopping the slide or returning the atmosphere to some safe, comfortable level of CO2. I'm not hopeful about convincing 7 billion other people to stop burning carbon to make themselves feel better. But I am deeply hopeful about the power of the human spirit, and its ability to do the right thing - once it has tried everything else.

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Response to GliderGuider (Reply #4)

Mon Dec 17, 2012, 08:39 PM

8. Oh, I'm all about LFTR, but we have to be honest about it.

It's not going to get built, if it ever is, for several decades. And to top it off there probably won't be any U233 to get it to work so they will have to go a round about way to get it working, dragging it out longer. It's not going to stem catastrophic climate change, and if it is ever built it will be in the remains of a civilization that has nearly destroyed itself.

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #8)

Mon Dec 17, 2012, 11:48 PM

10. But the top story is about a current project. Not some future pipe dream.

It is true that there are no ready to go LFTR projects in the US. But other countries are doing research as we read this. In fact they are able to use research material from the US Atomic Energy Commission from the 50's. Bringing it up to date for today's material and needs will take some years, maybe a decade.
If the desire is there, it could be done.

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #8)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 02:23 AM

13. U233 not required.

It can be kickstarted with U235, Pu238. Dismantled warheads.

One was already built 45 years ago. It works. The two critical issues which need to be resolved for utility-scale reactors are 1) materials durability, with which we've made light-years of progress since then, and 2) removal of fission products which get in the way of the reaction. There isn't a physicist on the planet who thinks either of these are deal-breakers.

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Response to wtmusic (Reply #13)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 07:17 AM

15. Right, the "round about way."

The ideal LFTR runs on U233, breeds its own, and allows you to exponentially provide fuel for other LFTRs.

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #15)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 10:06 AM

17. No

It takes no longer (and it's quite a bit safer) to start MSRs with U-235 than U233. Any of the major actinides will work.

On what are you basing a timeframe of "several decades" to get a commercial MSR off the ground?

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Response to wtmusic (Reply #17)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 03:45 PM

21. Since it takes about a decade to build a reactor after permission is granted.

And since there exist no prototype for one to even ask for permission.

I simply assume it'll take a decade from now to build the prototype.

And another decade to build the commercial reactor.

Oh, and since there's no real demand for clean energy and there exist no carbon tax, there's no pressure to get it done any sooner.

We're going to burn up all the fossil fuels we can.

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #21)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 04:46 PM

22. Your assumptions are based on no historical precedent

but I guess that's ok

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Response to wtmusic (Reply #22)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 05:23 PM

23. WEll, do you got a timeline when you think it will be built?

I'm not optimistic.

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #23)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 01:40 AM

25. It could be built in 5 years.

It would take $30-50 billion and a Manhattan Project-level priority to make it happen.

I'm only optimistic because Romney isn't in the White House and the technology shows real promise. If Obama got $10B budgeted, within a decade we could have a gigawatt-capacity power generating facility in the US and tech to license to the world.

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Response to wtmusic (Reply #25)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 03:37 AM

26. Flibe Energy exists, though.

You're talking about a scenario that doesn't exist. I wouldn't expect any efforts to be made until climate change had a really big impact. I don't think there will be efforts until we have three or more Sandy-like storms and long protracted droughts, after the aquifers dry up.

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #15)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 10:16 AM

19. Again, you don't understand.

YES - the LFTR runs on U-233; but there is no U-233 that we can mine from Mother Nature.

ALL the plans for LFTRs include the process of starting up the LFTR on U-235 or some other fissile material to get it going; and then breed the U-233 for long term operation.

Starting up on U-235 was always in the plan.

PamW

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Response to PamW (Reply #19)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 03:44 PM

20. Then why does the thorium community want U233?

They make it a huge part of their argument for LFTR and demand that they not destroy the U233.

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #20)

Sun Dec 23, 2012, 02:10 PM

27. Having a hard time understanding?

Josh,

You really do seem to have a difficult time understanding this fuel cycle. Let me spoon feed you the understanding via an analogy.

Suppose you wanted to go into business making sourdough bread. However, you need a sourdough "starter" to make a batch of sourdough bread. Companies that are already in the business have "starter" left over from their previous batch of bread in order to start the next batch.

However, you haven't been making sourdough, so you have no left overs. Therefore, you have to get your "starter" some other way. Perhaps you could buy some starter from an already established firm.

However, once you've gotten your first "starter", you use that to make more "starter". You never use up all the "starter" making bread, you always hold some in reserve because that goes toward making the next batch.

Same thing with U-233. You need to keep the U-233 because that is the fuel for the next cycle. You carry over U-233 to the next cycle just as you carry over sourdough "starter" from one batch of bread to the next.

However, for your first batch when you don't have anything to carry over; you get the ingredients for your first batch some other way. In the case of the LFTR; you start up on U-235, and subsequent cycles you burn U-233. For sourdough bread, you get your "starter" from some other means besides carry over to get started, but once started, you carry over.

I never understand why people will oppose something or argue, when they have such a shallow understanding of that which they are opposing or arguing about. In order to have a meaningful discussion and discourse; one should take the time to educate one's self about what one is discussing.

How can one be intellectually honest, but say, "I oppose it just because it's nuclear, and I don't understand it".

PamW

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Response to PamW (Reply #27)

Sun Dec 23, 2012, 06:43 PM

31. God, you didn't even read my original fucking post here.

I was saying not using the "starter" is the "round about way."

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #8)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 10:13 AM

18. Evidently you don't understand how it works...

Evidently you don't understand how it works.

What do you mean there won't be any U233? You MAKE the U233.

You start the reactor up fueled with U-235 with Thorium-232 blankets that will turn into U-233 under neutron bombardment.

That's not going to "drag it out longer".

The National Academy of Sciences and the national labs all tell us that nuclear power has a much better chance at averting climate change than do renewables or any other alternatives.

We should be building more nuclear power plants of all types, rather than wishing and hoping renewables will be able to shoulder the load, since they can't do so reliably.

PamW

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Response to PamW (Reply #18)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 05:25 PM

24. I was not aware that the thorium community wanted to start it with U235.

I was under the impression that U233 was how they preferred to start it up.

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #24)

Sun Dec 23, 2012, 02:15 PM

28. What U-233?

The Uranium in the ground is 99.3% U-238 and 0.7% U-235.

There is no U-233 that you can go out and dig up so that you can "start" with U-233.

You start with what you have available, which is U-235.

However, once started you will be making U-233 and subsequent refuelings will be with U-233.

It's as simple as that.

You can't "start up" on something that doesn't exist before you make it.

PamW

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Response to PamW (Reply #28)

Sun Dec 23, 2012, 06:48 PM

32. We have roughly 450 kg of U233 from the nuclear program.

The LFTR community wants to use that U233 that we already have to start the LFTR. Thus starting with U233.

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #32)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 05:49 PM

34. Order of magnitude shy...

Do you know how much fissile material there is in a typical power reactor?

It's about 4 or 5 metric tonnes; which means that your 450 kg is about 10X too little.

Honestly; try doing some homework first!!!

Save the self-righteous indignation for the times when you are correct. This time you are not.

PamW

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Response to PamW (Reply #34)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 08:37 PM

37. They want to start with a small reactor.

I don't know why you're being so rude.

http://energyfromthorium.com/2009/08/08/save-the-uranium-233/

That's what they're saying.

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #37)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 05:13 PM

46. Where does it say that?

I perused your link; and it doesn't say anything about building a small reactor that can operate on 450 kg of U-233 for the purpose of making U-233 for a larger power reactor.

All the proposals I've seen propose something much simpler; just startup on U-235 and make the U-233 for latter reloads. Why would one go through the trouble of starting up using a smaller reactor?

I'm just pointing out what reasonable scientists are saying.

The fact that your ill-informed conceptions are not consistent with what real scientists are saying doesn't mean that I'm being rude.

PamW

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Response to PamW (Reply #46)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 05:35 PM

47. "So a LFTR, started on U-233..." Read the article?

A smaller reactor would be more affordable as far as a testbed for the technology. The guys behind that site started up their own business called Flibe Energy.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flibe_Energy

Flibe Energy is a company that intends to design, construct and operate small modular reactors based on liquid fluoride thorium reactor (acronym LFTR; spoken as lifter) technology.


My original comment in this thread was with regards to those who are actively developing thorium technology seriously. Advocates. Not governments. Advocates. Norway's approach is a test reactor, and test reactors can be canceled, even if they're on the right track (look at IFR, which, had it not been canceled, would've been solving a lot of our nuclear waste issues by now).

This is the problem with capitalism and governments. If a technology is not seen as lucrative to the representatives, they can cancel it. If a technology hurts one side more than the other or less, they will chose to go one way or another. Look at how Nixon put a huge hit to the MSR approach just so some of his buddies would get their processing plants built!

If you're going to achieve something it must come outside of the confines of the capitalist-fossil-fuel-complex.

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #47)


Response to PamW (Reply #52)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 03:55 PM

53. Politics played the biggest role, I admit.

And I should've included base politics in my comment, but there was a tiny bit of lucrative political gamemanship to be had. Clinton justified it's cancellation in the whole "we must reduce the deficit" jargon. For him it was just another line item that he could pick at to reduce the deficit which pandered to the anti-nukers, a "compromise." And of course, the pressure from the top made it a really easy decision for him. "SHUT IT DOWN." "Cool, I can do that easily, and say it's reducing the budget."

IFR remains the #1 reactor design to date that we could build, probably in a few years, probably quicker than LFTR. I'm a big supporter of both (though I think LFTR is less complicated).

The point is that governments can and will cancel new technology projects for any reason they deem fit, really. So our only hope is going at it from a business model sort of way, with stringent advocates. Look at SpaceX for a really good example. They've succeeded where no one else has. And while the government did give them a hand up they're doing OK now. The government regularly cancels space program stuff.

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Response to GliderGuider (Reply #4)

Sun Dec 23, 2012, 03:05 PM

29. For a guy who doesn't approve of energy, you certainly spend a lot of time on the internet.

That of course, is none of my business, but just saying...

It would also seem that you're recommending poverty as an environmental policy.

Good luck with that.

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Response to NNadir (Reply #29)

Sun Dec 23, 2012, 06:14 PM

30. Why not? Arguing on the internet is a great way to pass the time till dinner.

I'm not recommending anything as policy. We won't choose to become poorer, so there's no point in recommending it as a policy. I do think that nothing but impoverishment and a serious reduction in human numbers will ever reduce the impact humanity has on "the environment". The reason it seems to you like I'm recommending that as policy is because you're stuck - mired in your "shoulds".

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Response to GliderGuider (Reply #30)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 10:11 AM

57. I'm just noting that many of the advocates of killing off humanity in an orgy of primitivism...

...never seem to include themselves in this happy outcome.

Usually they're bourgeois brats engaged in an orgy of consumption who care not a whit for human dignity, said dignity being an archaic concept at best.

There are those who argued that humanity has a purpose but obviously armchair intellectuals on backwater websites would pooh pooh this sort of thing, and undoubtedly be right, since armchair intellectuals on backwater websites are always right.

However, if it fills you with untrammeled joy, I would agree that ignorance, fear and superstition have won the day.

We can certainly substitute and weak kneed "shoulds" with neo-Calvinistic attitudes about inevitability.

Congratulations. You must be happy about and proud of your prescience.

Enjoy the unsustainable pre-apocalyptic dinner.

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Response to NNadir (Reply #57)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 11:47 AM

58. Fishing again? nt

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Response to NNadir (Reply #57)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 04:16 PM

59. There's a difference between advocacy and observation.

Though GG might privately advocate a mass die off I do not believe he has said so publicly.

What's ironic about your admonishment, of course, is that you have been one of the people here whose commentary on catastrophic climate change has consistently resembled that of an alarmist or doomer with your calls to transition to nuclear power. I'm fine with that, of course, but I think it's a double standard you have which you don't see.

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Response to NNadir (Reply #29)

Sun Dec 23, 2012, 11:02 PM

33. It's passive poverty.

We're not making people starve - we're letting them starve.

There's a difference (to everyone except the starver).

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Response to wtmusic (Reply #33)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 08:02 PM

35. Your lame attempt at moral bullying is duly noted.

It's all just words on the internet, you know. Electrons and liquid crystals, arranged into patterns of flaccid self-justifying outrage.

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Response to GliderGuider (Reply #35)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 08:23 PM

36. That's very profound, but in truth

I only attempt to point out hypocrisy where applicable.

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Response to wtmusic (Reply #36)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 08:51 PM

38. What aspects of my expressed positions do you feel are hypocritical?

If you'd like to engage in a reasonable, snark-free discussion of them, I'm actually open to the idea. My only ground rule would be that we both keep our personal likes and dislikes in our pockets, refrain from ad hominems, and discuss the hypocrisy directly.

Are you interested?

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Response to GliderGuider (Reply #38)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 09:08 PM

39. This is ground that we've already covered but it's best phrased as a question

Just what about approving the dieoff of entire populations (or even recommending it), while not offering your own life in the bargain, do you not find hypocritical?

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Response to wtmusic (Reply #39)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 09:27 PM

40. I don't approve or recommend dieoff.

I simply expect it, as I expect my own death. Both will happen in due course. Why do you feel I should kill myself?

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Response to GliderGuider (Reply #40)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 09:58 PM

41. Inaction is approving dieoff.

"Sure it's a debilitating message. So is a diagnosis of terminal cancer. They're both real. Why put this message out? Because truth trumps bullshit. Every time.

Let's not waste our time on fake treatments, and start putting our affairs in order. Miracles have been known to happen, but it's generally unwise to count on them."

http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1127&pid=30934

Between the lines:

Let's not waste our time on fake treatments, and start putting our affairs in order
because I'm well-off enough to live out a healthy life expectancy, and a "fake treatment" might, in the meantime, prolong the lives of millions in third-world countries whose experience I don't have the imagination/don't want to consider
Miracles have been known to happen, but it's generally unwise to count on them.
or work too hard at them when they don't affect me personally, even though I've been a larger-than-average contributor to global warming for my entire life until now.

By the way, my demand for this discussion is that you don't resort to strawmen like accusing me of wanting you to kill yourself.

Onedit: to extend your analogy, you're not of the person who has cancer but someone else - and you want to make the decision for them whether to fight it or not.

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Response to wtmusic (Reply #41)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 01:10 AM

44. Die off certainly isn't recommended.

But neither is denial.

The energy equation isn't working out and we're going to burn up all the fossil fuels.

I don't think that we're going to have a super massive die off, btw, I think that GG neglects to incorporate geoengineering (specifically sulphate aerosols) into his view, which can go 50/50 (we won't do it for 20+ years though).

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #44)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 09:46 PM

49. Why do you give geoengineering a 50/50 shot?

 

In 20 years, there will be significantly more damage done to the earth's ecosystems and oceans, and our current models probably can not account for all the feedback loops that will be in full force by then. Do you think man will be able to summon the perfect amount of science, production and political will required to counter-balance the ubiquitous effects of greenhouse gases, down to a 'T', while not over-correcting?

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Response to NoOneMan (Reply #49)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 02:32 AM

50. Sulphate aerosols are known to work (volcanos prove it).

They work immediately and quickly. And they precipitate out of the atmosphere in about a year or two, so their effects are not long lasting, they have a short half life. Unlike, say, GHGs or CFCs.

The possibility for failure is still there, however, which is why I give it a 50/50 shot. It either works, or it doesn't. If it does, then people would be saved, and global catastrophe would be averted. If it doesn't and civil war breaks out or world war breaks out as millions and millions of people rise up against their leaders, and the geoengineering technology can't be used because of the conflict, then we'd be fucked.

The problem is you can't do it until you have something like CLARREO orbiting so that you know precisely how much you're affecting the temperature of the planet and its albedo. That won't be launched for a decade or so.

As another poster here said, a 10 year drought would be devastating to human population.

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #50)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 12:55 PM

51. Of course they "work"

 

The question is if mankind can mobilize the production, political will and scientific expertise on a global scale to produce the exact correct amount of them to combat warming effectively without releasing more detrimental environmental hazards in the process.

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Response to NoOneMan (Reply #51)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 04:01 PM

54. The results would be devestating either way.

Drier climates are one thing that is expected from doing it. You have to do it continuously. There's no "well we'll put X amount and we'll be good to go." It'll have to be regularly reinserted into the atmosphere. The planet would become toxic from sulphates distributed around the globe.

The effort required to do it, however, is minimal. You're talking a few million kg of sulphates per year, it's insignificant on the scheme of things. The only thing that's missing is a good sulphate sprayer and delivery mechanism, which they're working on.

This is really uncontroversial, I think if you get a 10 year drought it'll be done.

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #54)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 04:45 PM

55. Time will tell

 

Humans have put up little fight in becoming affluently malnourished and affluently subjugated. Why would they object to affluent toxicity without considering any combination of the alternatives could create a more favorable reality?

I wonder if this will just allow civilization to prop itself up while burning through the rest of the hydrocarbons and breeding another couple billion people worth. Who knows it there is any light at the end of the tunnel, as the long promise dictates.

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Response to NoOneMan (Reply #55)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 06:48 PM

56. Necessity mainly.

A 10 year drought isn't mitigated by magical covered greenhouses cheaply. You'd spend billions "fixing agriculture" so that it's able to survive in the extreme environment we're creating. Or you'd spend a few hundred million maybe a billion spraying sulphate aerosols. The cheaper method always wins out. Even if it doesn't work (that is, because it predicts a drier climate, it may not help equalize the environment so that agriculture can function again) it'd still be a cheaper thing to try.

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Response to wtmusic (Reply #41)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 02:00 AM

45. Only if one feels that action will prevent it.

All I can say is the words in your post that are in bold face are mine, and the words in italics are not mine.

It occurs to me that this sub-thread probably won't do either of us or the board much good, so I think we should find a way to gracefully disengage.

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Response to wtmusic (Reply #41)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 09:38 PM

48. Bad action is hastening dieoff

 

After thousands of years of "action", one would think that humans would learn not all actions have equal repercussions on the physical world, despite one's best intentions

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Response to jonthebru (Reply #1)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 10:56 AM

16. BALONEY!!!!

The above poster states:
Thorium was not considered for our power plants because there was not a weapons grade waste by product that could be used for bombs and stuff

This is 100% WRONG. ABSOLUTELY NONE of the special nuclear material in US weapons came from commercial nuclear power plants. ALL the nuclear material in US nuclear weapons came from US Government-run special production reactors located at Hanford, Washington and Savannah River, South Carolina.

It's a self-serving falsehood told by the anti-nukes that commercial power plants had to use Uranium because they needed weapons grade waste by products. Commercial reactors don't produce "weapons grade" material; they produce "reactor grade" material. Those special production reactors mentioned above are specially designed to produce "weapons grade"

Additionally, it is also false that there is no weapons usable component to the output of thorium reactors. I refer you to an article in the scientific journal "Nature" December 6, 2012 called "Thorium Fuel has Risks":

http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v492/n7427/full/492031a.html

Sorry, it's NOT the "Corporate Nuclear" culture that is standing in the way. At the behest of the anti-nukes, Congress has imposed legal obstacles to the use of thorium. Congress forbids the online reprocessing of the LFTR cycle since 1978.

PamW

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Response to wtmusic (Original post)

Mon Dec 17, 2012, 11:58 PM

11. The name "Thor Energy"

is slightly AWESOME. /shallow

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Response to XemaSab (Reply #11)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 10:31 PM

42. I noticed that, too!

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Response to wtmusic (Original post)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 10:31 PM

43. Yay for my fellow Norskies!

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