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Reply #137: 200 km^3 a day. We probably do that now. [View All]

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Dogmudgeon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-24-07 01:04 PM
Response to Reply #135
137. 200 km^3 a day. We probably do that now.
There is a complete desalination industry that operates around the world. It is not a popular technology in North America, but California has debated using it for half a century. There is even a movie that gives an entertaining background on their water problems -- Chinatown. Israel also uses de-sal to irrigate a whole lot of desert.

It takes a lot of energy to move 200 km^3 of water each day. The tides and the sun do it every day -- to several more orders of magnitude of seawater than my small example. And efficient chemical extraction from million-to-one substance concentrations are performed routinely -- even by junior-high-school students.

There are hundreds of patents for extracting metals, including uranium, from seawater -- at natural concentration, as a concentrated slush, and as salt. Ion exchange resin is not required by many of them. However, most resins are re-usable for a long time. It may, indeed, be the best way to separate uranium.

Earths (e.g., zeolites) are also usable for the process. Several patents exist in this field, too, and they have uses for cleaning up spills of nuclear material -- even those which are more scary than dangerous.

Adding water to salt is a very simple technology. It has been around since before 1990. LONG before 1990.

Now, if you want to talk about "monumental environmental disaster(s)", you will have to consider this in some kind of context:
  • The damage to be done by one to ten million offshore windmills (vs onshore siting) (no concern shown for potential and real damage)
  • Existing desalination plants around the world (minimal scattered damage; some local ecological enhancement)
  • Burning of billions of tons of fossil fuel each year (major damage ongoing)
  • Oceanic die-off due to increased temperature (major damage ongoing)
The waste water is, indeed, altered. And it is either pumped inland for irrigation, or it goes right up into the atmosphere. Perhaps a case can be made that valuable desert ecology is being ruined, but the world's deserts are all expanding rapidly, and it is not being viewed as a sign of environmental health.

In addition, when we are done with the uranium and thorium, we can judiciously scatter it back into the ocean (dumping it in one place just won't do). It is chemically the same element, even though it will contain one millionth of the radioactivity.

Every time there's a press release that solar cells can be printed out on a cheap inkjet printer with a magic solar buckyball cartridge, the anti-nuclear world goes ga-ga. I describe existing technology, not particularly exotic, yet it can't be done, and it will be disastrous anyway.

But I do not think these are informed objections. They are rhetorical roadblocks designed to discourage people who are unaware that these things are not just possible, but proven over the last century. Desalination, solar and otherwise, is currently being done on a large scale. Industrial-scale materials separation is a thriving industry. Nuclear energy provides a 20% chunk of our electrical energy, and we built most of our nukes in a period of less than a decade.

The only things holding back large-scale nuclear energy use are fear and massively subsidized petroleum.

--p!
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  -Weigh in... with the nuclear power straw poll! phantom power  Jul-17-07 09:36 AM   #0 
  - The only thing I have against nuclear power  rocknation   Jul-17-07 09:39 AM   #1 
  - Sorry, but on an international level nuclear power has killed less people  HonorTheConstitution   Jul-17-07 09:46 AM   #3 
  - It's safer than everything else. Everything.  Pigwidgeon   Jul-17-07 09:51 AM   #4 
  - unsafe: uranium mining, energy production, nuclear waste storage  garybeck   Jul-22-07 01:20 AM   #52 
     - Nonsense. All of those things are done safely every day. NT  TheWraith   Jul-22-07 02:46 AM   #60 
        - Please tell us all about the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act  jpak   Jul-23-07 03:44 PM   #113 
           - Wasn't as safe in the PAST.  VTMechEngr   Jul-23-07 04:37 PM   #116 
              - Is uranium mining, milling, transport, conversion and enrichment "safe" today???  jpak   Jul-23-07 05:23 PM   #120 
                 - You realize Uranium is weakly radioactive right?  VTMechEngr   Jul-23-07 06:58 PM   #123 
                    - unless they are in your lungs  app_farmer_rb   Jul-23-07 07:33 PM   #124 
                    - And there are processes to mitigate that hazard. n/t  VTMechEngr   Jul-23-07 08:39 PM   #130 
                    - Please tell us about the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act and the thousands  jpak   Jul-24-07 11:23 AM   #134 
  - We need a new National Mandate for  smiley_glad_hands   Jul-17-07 09:44 AM   #2 
  - One unwritten assumption of my poll is: technologies that are mature today.  phantom power   Jul-17-07 09:53 AM   #5 
  - Oh think of the potential  texastoast   Jul-17-07 09:55 AM   #6 
  - I am much more concerned with *actual* devastation.  phantom power   Jul-17-07 10:12 AM   #7 
  - I know, what a huge mystery!!!  Bread and Circus   Jul-17-07 10:52 AM   #10 
  - Do you know how many people coal-based power has killed today? 26 just today in the US.  TheWraith   Jul-22-07 02:49 AM   #61 
  - We are lucky that the First Energy plants never poured radioactive water into Lake Erie  TheBorealAvenger   Jul-17-07 01:30 PM   #13 
  - The Palo Verde nuclear plant, near here, uses treated sewage for coolant.  phantom power   Jul-17-07 01:53 PM   #14 
     - The condenser water is an isolated system from the radioactive water in the reactor  TheBorealAvenger   Jul-17-07 04:29 PM   #19 
  - Too late to worry about drug testing those welders  texastoast   Jul-17-07 02:55 PM   #16 
  - I think it's a knee-jerk reaction to the word "nuclear."  TheWraith   Jul-22-07 02:56 AM   #63 
  - Mandatory drug testing?  Pigwidgeon   Jul-17-07 10:22 AM   #8 
     - Just think  texastoast   Jul-17-07 02:48 PM   #15 
        - yes, yes, all those damned dirty hippies, high as shit. back in the day.  phantom power   Jul-17-07 03:19 PM   #17 
        - What about kids living within 2 metres of sea-level?  Dead_Parrot   Jul-18-07 06:16 AM   #20 
           - Conservation will do them good  Pigwidgeon   Jul-18-07 11:27 AM   #23 
  - Does it matter?  NoMoreMyths   Jul-17-07 10:33 AM   #9 
  - A vote with a caveat  GliderGuider   Jul-17-07 11:13 AM   #11 
  - speaking of that, I had secretly hoped that you would have something to say about...  phantom power   Jul-17-07 03:27 PM   #18 
  - a kick for straw  phantom power   Jul-17-07 12:54 PM   #12 
  - Its too late for peak oil  4dsc   Jul-18-07 06:34 AM   #21 
  - Yes, PO is a much more urgent problem than GW  GliderGuider   Jul-18-07 08:42 AM   #22 
  - It does raise an interesting question: what does an economy look like...  phantom power   Jul-18-07 01:43 PM   #24 
  - It's an intersting thought experiment, but has low real-world value  GliderGuider   Jul-18-07 01:49 PM   #25 
     - I'm not completely sure.  phantom power   Jul-18-07 02:01 PM   #26 
        - That's a fundamental difference in our outlook  GliderGuider   Jul-18-07 02:28 PM   #27 
           - I wouldn't call myself a gradualist....  phantom power   Jul-18-07 02:52 PM   #28 
  - Electric Cars. The technology is there.  VTMechEngr   Jul-23-07 12:50 PM   #106 
  - Sure, I'll have a helping of nuclear dust with my veggies.  chiggerbit   Jul-19-07 12:12 PM   #29 
  - European study concludes more than 66 million dead from nukes since 1945  chiggerbit   Jul-21-07 05:15 PM   #30 
  - Or, maybe I sould say...  chiggerbit   Jul-21-07 05:30 PM   #31 
  - Well, if you don't know what you're talking about, make stuff up.  NNadir   Jul-21-07 08:26 PM   #32 
  - Ooh -- it sounds ever so official and scientific!  Pigwidgeon   Jul-21-07 08:48 PM   #34 
  - That is the single most stupid thing that I've ever read.  TheWraith   Jul-22-07 03:16 AM   #68 
  - Wikipedia says about Nevada as a testing ground.....  chiggerbit   Jul-21-07 08:45 PM   #33 
  - That's the only source of nuclear fallout?  Pigwidgeon   Jul-21-07 09:17 PM   #36 
  - Simple Question to you: Where do you logically put waste?  VTMechEngr   Jul-23-07 04:40 PM   #117 
  - Pigwidgeon said...  chiggerbit   Jul-21-07 09:04 PM   #35 
  - It decays to background in about 300-1000 years  Pigwidgeon   Jul-21-07 09:25 PM   #37 
     - Pigwidgeon says...  chiggerbit   Jul-21-07 10:33 PM   #38 
     - Chiggerbit is interested in recycling  Pigwidgeon   Jul-21-07 11:06 PM   #41 
     - And by "recycle"...  chiggerbit   Jul-21-07 10:52 PM   #40 
     - That's where most DU comes from.  Pigwidgeon   Jul-21-07 11:30 PM   #43 
     - Nonsense. The two have nothing to do with each other.  TheWraith   Jul-22-07 03:02 AM   #65 
     - Horseshit. The National Academy of Science suggested maybe a million years.  struggle4progress   Jul-22-07 12:44 AM   #47 
        - The NAS is mistaken.  TheWraith   Jul-22-07 03:05 AM   #66 
        - How convincing! You repeat your canard and add "The NAS is mistaken"  struggle4progress   Jul-22-07 06:37 AM   #80 
           - The most highly radioactive isotopes decay the quickest.  VTMechEngr   Jul-23-07 02:37 AM   #93 
           - And so different scenarios give the maximum exposure at different time scales  struggle4progress   Jul-23-07 08:25 PM   #127 
           - If you bothered to actually look at the data, you'd see that I'm right.  TheWraith   Jul-23-07 12:00 PM   #101 
              - You'll wait a long time  Pigwidgeon   Jul-23-07 12:38 PM   #105 
              - Most Anti's don't have a clue about Nuclear Reactors.  VTMechEngr   Jul-23-07 02:02 PM   #107 
              - The Ocean changed my mind  Pigwidgeon   Jul-23-07 03:22 PM   #110 
              - Talk about a nicely mixed metaphor. NT  TheWraith   Jul-23-07 02:52 PM   #108 
              - It's not a matter of my information being bad, but of your failure to understand what the NAS  struggle4progress   Jul-23-07 08:23 PM   #126 
        - The horse is all yours  Pigwidgeon   Jul-22-07 03:18 AM   #69 
           - No, I quoted "Physics Today" reporting on a court case  struggle4progress   Jul-22-07 06:10 AM   #78 
  - Again, Pigwidgeon says...  chiggerbit   Jul-21-07 10:48 PM   #39 
  - Please clarify that  Pigwidgeon   Jul-21-07 11:25 PM   #42 
  - Well, my math's not so good......  chiggerbit   Jul-21-07 11:43 PM   #44 
  - here's a use for that nuclear waste  garybeck   Jul-22-07 01:02 AM   #49 
     - I'm anti-war. If you are pro-war, you're on your own.  Pigwidgeon   Jul-22-07 01:58 AM   #54 
        - well it's already happening in case you didn't know  garybeck   Jul-22-07 02:30 AM   #58 
           - DU is not spent fuel from reactors  TheBorealAvenger   Jul-22-07 06:46 PM   #88 
              - I know that, read what I said. n/t  garybeck   Jul-22-07 10:43 PM   #90 
                 - Ooops, sorry, you are right  TheBorealAvenger   Jul-23-07 06:31 AM   #99 
  - Reports of blue flash studied..  chiggerbit   Jul-21-07 11:57 PM   #45 
  - Every hour, enough solar radiation hits the earth to power the entire planet for a year.  garybeck   Jul-22-07 12:14 AM   #46 
  - Waste disposal is the problem.  Like It Is   Jul-22-07 01:02 AM   #48 
  - And uranium mining too. n/t  garybeck   Jul-22-07 01:03 AM   #50 
  - Nuclear is too dangerous -- period. n/t  silverojo   Jul-22-07 01:09 AM   #51 
  - It's all about the OPTIONS.  garybeck   Jul-22-07 01:33 AM   #53 
  - This poll has been TROLLED  Pigwidgeon   Jul-22-07 02:24 AM   #55 
  - Thanks for the good links  hankthecrank   Jul-22-07 02:29 AM   #57 
  - It's a conspiracy to promote abortion  Pigwidgeon   Jul-22-07 02:45 AM   #59 
     - I like the board you gave me links too  hankthecrank   Jul-22-07 02:49 AM   #62 
        - Knock yourself out, Hank  Pigwidgeon   Jul-22-07 02:58 AM   #64 
           - Sorry used up all my electrons can't write them  hankthecrank   Jul-22-07 03:34 AM   #72 
  - Sweet fancy Moses, what a weird and crazy site.  TheWraith   Jul-22-07 03:09 AM   #67 
  - They only come out at night  Pigwidgeon   Jul-22-07 03:24 AM   #70 
     - Right,, sure, uh huh  chiggerbit   Jul-22-07 05:43 AM   #76 
        - So where DID the "66 million" come from?  Dead_Parrot   Jul-22-07 06:01 AM   #77 
           - Deleted message  Name removed   Jul-22-07 06:35 AM   #79 
           - Ahhh...  Dead_Parrot   Jul-22-07 07:45 AM   #81 
              - Deleted message  Name removed   Jul-22-07 08:44 AM   #82 
           - Deleted message  Name removed   Jul-22-07 09:56 AM   #84 
              - Cool  Dead_Parrot   Jul-22-07 04:17 PM   #86 
  - I expected this a lot sooner.  phantom power   Jul-22-07 09:47 AM   #83 
  - Even with polling-Hessians, they haven't quite cracked 50%.  phantom power   Jul-22-07 06:00 PM   #87 
  - Na,  garybeck   Jul-22-07 10:56 PM   #91 
  - Deleted message  Name removed   Jul-23-07 01:01 AM   #92 
  - Ick!  Nihil   Jul-23-07 04:03 AM   #96 
     - Aww, but they're cute  Dead_Parrot   Jul-23-07 05:02 AM   #98 
     - wrong reply  chiggerbit   Jul-23-07 12:01 PM   #102 
  - Interesting read on effects..  chiggerbit   Jul-22-07 02:28 AM   #56 
  - Solar All the way!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  farmboxer   Jul-22-07 03:28 AM   #71 
  - I voted "Convinced against..."  chknltl   Jul-22-07 03:40 AM   #73 
  - Show me your math for geothermal, solar, tidal, etc.  phantom power   Jul-22-07 11:38 AM   #85 
     - I answered your question fairly. You answer mine now:  chknltl   Jul-22-07 09:56 PM   #89 
        - Try here:  Dead_Parrot   Jul-23-07 02:49 AM   #94 
           - Gee, who here has the college PhD do unravel that math???  chknltl   Jul-23-07 03:51 AM   #95 
              - Deleted sub-thread  Name removed   Jul-23-07 04:49 AM   #97 
  - We have to address our energy profligacy. I am distressed when  Esra Star   Jul-22-07 04:48 AM   #74 
  - Uranium supply: almost forever  Pigwidgeon   Jul-22-07 05:15 AM   #75 
     - The US would have to process 7000+ cubic kilometers of seawater each year  jpak   Jul-23-07 03:29 PM   #111 
        - The beauty is that you can make new fuel. Plutonium.  VTMechEngr   Jul-23-07 04:42 PM   #118 
        - Breeder reactors do not work  jpak   Jul-23-07 05:16 PM   #119 
        - Compared to millions of windmills, it's small stuff  Pigwidgeon   Jul-23-07 06:08 PM   #121 
           - There are 3.5 grams/L of salt in seawater and only 3.3 micro-grams/L of uranium  jpak   Jul-24-07 11:31 AM   #135 
              - 200 km^3 a day. We probably do that now.  Pigwidgeon   Jul-24-07 01:04 PM   #137 
                 - 200 cubic kilometers per day??? You've got to be kidding  jpak   Jul-24-07 01:23 PM   #138 
                    - No pie, but blue skies for nuclear energy AND de-sal  Pigwidgeon   Jul-24-07 03:52 PM   #140 
  - This is the most popular post I ever did.  phantom power   Jul-23-07 10:12 AM   #100 
  - Nihil said...  chiggerbit   Jul-23-07 12:07 PM   #103 
  - I think that's a fair point.  phantom power   Jul-23-07 12:17 PM   #104 
  - I have no problem there  Pigwidgeon   Jul-23-07 02:52 PM   #109 
     - I thought what you found was very juicy. This poll provoked quite a reaction.  phantom power   Jul-23-07 04:23 PM   #115 
        - That's a good point  Pigwidgeon   Jul-23-07 06:39 PM   #122 
           - No...  losthills   Jul-23-07 07:59 PM   #125 
              - Err, no.  Dead_Parrot   Jul-23-07 08:30 PM   #128 
              - Now that is full of shit.  VTMechEngr   Jul-23-07 08:37 PM   #129 
  - ... but chiggerbit said ...  Nihil   Jul-24-07 04:05 AM   #133 
  - We're talking about two things here...  chiggerbit   Jul-24-07 11:38 AM   #136 
  - i think you meant...  lakeguy   Jul-28-07 12:05 PM   #147 
  - The key to this is going to be financing  depakid   Jul-23-07 03:35 PM   #112 
  - Actually,  chiggerbit   Jul-23-07 03:58 PM   #114 
  - Here, I'll let these guys speak for me why I am AGAINST  chknltl   Jul-23-07 09:35 PM   #131 
  - Your link is a hit piece  Pigwidgeon   Jul-23-07 11:37 PM   #132 
  - Kill the messenger....where have I heard that before  chknltl   Jul-24-07 07:49 PM   #141 
     - What was that?  Pigwidgeon   Jul-25-07 12:31 PM   #143 
        - Where to start...lets use your own words.  chknltl   Jul-25-07 11:46 PM   #144 
           - "My feeling is this thread is flamebait and little more."  Pigwidgeon   Jul-26-07 09:13 PM   #145 
              - .  chknltl   Jul-27-07 12:47 AM   #146 
                 - I thought it was funny, too  Pigwidgeon   Jul-28-07 01:01 PM   #148 
                    - Attention fish in barrel: meet stick o dynamite  chknltl   Jul-29-07 12:28 AM   #151 
                       - Your last post said it all  Pigwidgeon   Jul-30-07 06:23 AM   #152 
  - I like your links good info  hankthecrank   Jul-24-07 02:16 PM   #139 
     - Thanks for the support  chknltl   Jul-24-07 08:15 PM   #142 
  - I'm shocked that a board such as this has a poll with these results.  cui bono   Jul-28-07 07:10 PM   #149 
  - That's the whole point. Why is it *bad*?  Pigwidgeon   Jul-30-07 06:28 AM   #153 
  - Well scanning through this thread and reading what I could digest  cui bono   Jul-28-07 08:17 PM   #150 
     - Some responses. No flames, no rancor.  Pigwidgeon   Jul-30-07 09:29 AM   #154 
 

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