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NNadir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-15-07 11:21 PM
Original message
Three Japanese nuclear reactors experience earthquake!!!!!!
Edited on Sun Jul-15-07 11:21 PM by NNadir
CNN is reporting an earthquake in Japan.

TOKYO, Japan (CNN) -- A magnitude-6.7 earthquake struck just off the northwestern Japanese coast Monday morning, knocking down several small buildings and resulting in at least 20 injuries, authorities reported.

The quake struck at 10:13 a.m. (0113 GMT), the Japanese Meteorological Agency reported, and caused minor shaking in Tokyo, about 240 kilometers (150 miles) south of its epicenter.

According to The Associated Press, the Meteorological Agency said small tsunamis as high as 20 inches were believed to have hit coasts in the area...

...The temblor triggered an automatic shutdown of the three reactors at a nuclear power plant outside Kashiwazaki, Tokyo Electric Power reported. A small fire broke out at the plant's electrical transmission facility shortly after the quake, sending a plume of black smoke over the plant, but there was no release of radiation, company spokesman Kaoru Yoshida reported...



http://www.cnn.com/2007/WORLD/asiapcf/07/15/japan.quake...

There was no word on whether any gas stations had leaks, whether any natural gas lines broke, or whether any flourescent bulbs broke releasing dangerous mercury.

It was also not reported if any electrical transformers broke anywhere or dangerous windows broke in high rises.

Presumably, though unreported by CNN, Japanese dangerous fossil fuel plants continue to produce dangerous fossil fuel waste which was released presumably in dangerous quantities. Of course, in Japan, as elsewhere, the release of dangerous quantities of dangerous fossil fuel waste happens whether there is an earthquake or not.

We can all be justly proud that CNN always feels compelled to report on the status of nuclear plants. Besides the damage to the transformer, we may find that dishes may have been broken in the nuclear plant's cafeteria and possibly that cracks have appeared in the parking lot.
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LeftyMom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-15-07 11:24 PM
Response to Original message
1. Well, you can't blame people for being a little nervous after the last time
when that monster came out of the sea and destroyed Tokyo.
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NMDemDist2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-15-07 11:36 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. and it was (the monster) a victim of radiation poisoning wasn't it?
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IDemo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-15-07 11:39 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. Beat me to it! n/t
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NNadir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-15-07 11:41 PM
Response to Reply #1
4. You have a point there.
Both superheros and Japanese monsters are an unintended plus for nuclear reactors.
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Art_from_Ark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-15-07 11:52 PM
Response to Original message
5. It's easy to joke about something so far away
But living a mere 125 miles away, I was quite unnerved at seeing the initial video footage of black smoke pouring from the nuclear reactor complex, with no information about its cause. And I'm sure for the people in the immediate vicinity, it was no laughing matter.
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Art_from_Ark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 05:35 AM
Response to Original message
6. One more thing
Niigata has had its share of killer quakes over the past few decades. One of the worst was in 1964. In that disaster, damage was compounded when a gas pipeline burst, starting a conflagration that eventually resulted in the deaths of hundreds of people.
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TheMadMonk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 07:46 AM
Response to Original message
7. So bloody what? They're designed to take it.
Oh and just to make you happy. The fire in the plant by the looks of it, was a transformer fire. Why is that the nuclear industry is the only one in which the proper functioning of safety systems, often despite Homeresque 'mishaps', is somehow newsworthy?

If this, this and this had failed, then that might have happened. The truth is that the vast majority of nuclear accidents are far less hazardous than a randomly selected Hazmat incident.

Japan builds all of its facilities to be as earthquake survivable. And you are probably right, the chemical plants and refineries almost certainly kept operating through the quake. Shutting them down is a complex operation, which would have simply added to the strains on the various pipes, valves and junctions. On the other hand a nuclear plant is at its heart simplicity itself. Shutting one down IS a matter of moments. (Unless of course you deliberately disconnect the off switches like Chernobyl.)

Since for the purpose of "nuclear safety" a nuclear plant has to survive the quake full stop, shutting it down does more to save peripheral systems from damage than it adds to our personal safety. And for exactly the same reason, refineries and chemical plants continue to operate through the initial shock and are shut down in an orderly fashion if it's deemed necessary.

Fossil fuel releases far more radiation into the environment than the nuclear industry and any effect from that, is on top of the thousands of annual deaths which can be pinned far more firmly on fossil fuel consumption.

The truth is, that we could replace every single fossil fuel fired plant with nuclear and come out ahead in the amount of radiation released into the environment.

Nuclear power's biggest shortcoming is that we are still operating first and second equipment, because pressure from the greens has been enough to prevent further development, but not enough to stop its use entirely. Pretty much playing into the hands of those operating existing plants, who are more or less indemnified from paying the real costs of rehabilitation so long as they keep operating and in the meantime are making plenty of paper profit, which is quickly turned into real equity elsewhere.

Abandoning nuclear power will result in exactly that. Its literal abandonment, with us left to pay the cost of cleaning up after. The potential exists to turn it into a consumer product. Safe, clean plants of a size to power small townships are easily feasible. Hell basement units are potentially on the cards. All it really needs is trusting people not to shit in their own food bowl deliberately, while making it acceptably difficult for them to do it accidentally.

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NNadir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 08:42 AM
Response to Reply #7
9. You need to understand I was being sarcastic.
I was making fun of the media's need to report along with every natural disaster some fact about the nuclear facilities.

It was the same with Hurricane Andrew (Tureky Point - directly hit) and Hurricane Rita (South Texas) and Hurricane Katrina (Waterford). All of these nuclear plants were shut as a precaution, and all operate today.

Then there was the dangerous fossil fuel based terrorism on 9/11. All you heard about was nuclear plants and nuclear terrorism.

You will not find a stronger proponent of nuclear energy than me.
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garybeck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 01:17 PM
Response to Reply #7
24. if they are designed to take it, I guess they failed
radioactive water leaked out.
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struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 08:09 PM
Response to Reply #7
46. Uh, actually, the reactor core ruptured
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DODI Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-17-07 05:17 PM
Response to Reply #46
84. Where did you hear this?
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struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-17-07 07:58 PM
Response to Reply #84
86. Link's been updated and no longer says this
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bananas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-17-07 02:09 PM
Response to Reply #7
82. Nope - this quake was stronger than they were designed for
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Eugene Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 08:34 AM
Response to Original message
8. Japan nuclear plant leaks radioactive water-TEPCO (Reuters)
Source: Reuters

Japan nuclear plant leaks radioactive water-TEPCO
16 Jul 2007 13:16:34 GMT
Source: Reuters

TOKYO, July 16 (Reuters) - Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s
<9501.T> Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant -- the
world's largest -- leaked water containing radioactive
materials from a reactor after a strong quake struck
northwest Japan on Monday, a company spokesman said.

No further details on damage to people or the environment
were immediately available.


Link: http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/T162789.htm
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NNadir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 09:24 AM
Response to Reply #8
10. OH MY GOD!!!!!!
Edited on Mon Jul-16-07 09:28 AM by NNadir
Now everyone in Japan will die!!!!

It was 1.5 liters.

The world will discuss this matter for decades now.

Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) said 1.5 litres of water containing radioactive materials had leaked from the No. 6 unit at its Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant -- the world's largest.




http://www.reuters.com/article/scienceNews/idUST1480172...


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closeupready Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 09:54 AM
Response to Reply #10
11. Pop quiz: how many people can a gram of plutonium kill?
??
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NNadir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 10:35 AM
Response to Reply #11
12. Is the quiz from Ralph Nader or someone who knows something about Plutonium?
Would you care to specify the chemical form of the plutonium, oxidation state, counter ions, mode of ingestion, etc, etc?

Probably not.

In any case, what does this have to do with anything?

Is it your contention that 1.5 liters of plutonium was released at TEPCO, or are you just engaged in specious fear mongering of the type in which other people who know zero about the subject of plutonium usually engage?

Nuclear weapons testing in Nevada alone released 4 metric tons of plutonium as a vaporized gas. Are you here to inform us that everyone in Las Vegas is dead?

http://www.lasvegassun.com/sunbin/stories/text/2000/oct...

There have been days in my life when I learned more about plutonium than you have learned in your entire life, I bet.

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closeupready Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 10:36 AM
Response to Reply #12
13. You imply that 1.5 liters of something leaked to the environment is nothing to be concerned about.
Edited on Mon Jul-16-07 10:37 AM by closeupready
I am disputing that irresponsible (IMO) claim.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 11:02 AM
Response to Reply #13
15. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 12:37 PM
Response to Reply #15
20. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
Dogmudgeon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 10:37 AM
Response to Reply #10
14. What, somebody dropped a chunk of coal into a 2-liter bottle of Pepsi?
Do you think we can get Santa declared to be a Nukular Terr'ist for bringing bad kids coal at Christmas?

Or maybe to switch over from coal to lutefisk?

--p!
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NNadir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 11:06 AM
Response to Reply #14
17. Lutefisk?
Hmmmm.

I recall reading something somewhere about lutefisk...
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struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 08:13 PM
Response to Reply #10
48. First, "no release." Then "1.5 liters." Then "350 gallons." Then "ruptured reactor"
Edited on Mon Jul-16-07 08:42 PM by struggle4progress
<edit: accuracy>
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NNadir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 11:05 AM
Response to Original message
16. NOW!!!! A MAJOR NEWS STATEMENT!!!!!!!
KASHIWAZAKI, Japan (AFP) - Water containing some radioactive materials leaked from a nuclear power plant in Japan after a strong earthquake Monday, a spokesman for the firm running the facility said.

"We have confirmed that water containing a slight amount of radioactive materials leaked out of the facility," said Shougo Fukuda, a spokesman for Tokyo Electric.


http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20070716/ts_afp/japanquakee...

All other matters concerned with the earthquake may now be ignored to focus on this international incident of extreme destruction, the leak of the soon to be infamous 1.5 liters!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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garybeck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 11:40 AM
Response to Original message
18. Just another of MANY reasons why nuclear power is BAD, BAD, BAD
1. Uranium mining
2. nuclear waste
3. danger of attack to nuclear power station
4. danger of natural disaster to nuclear power station
5. danger of human or computer error causing explosion or meltdown
6. We just don't need it considering we can use clean renewables to produce all our own power.


from http://www.sea-us.org.au /:
Nuclear Energy is not clean - All parts of the nuclear fuel cycle, from uranium mining to reprocessing, contribute to the creation of long-lived radioactive wastes.

Nuclear energy is not cheap - In many places renewable energy sources are as cheap or significantly cheaper than nuclear energy. When the electricity utilities were privatised in the United Kingdom the market refused to purchase or support nuclear utilities.

Nuclear energy is not the answer to global warming - Extensive studies have shown that each dollar invested in end-use energy efficiency displaces nearly seven times more carbon that a dollar invested in nuclear power.

Nuclear power is not safe - Nuclear reactors routinely release radiation into the surrounding environment. Incidents, accidents, releases and leaks plague the industry in every country where it operates.

Uranium mining is not safe - According to the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, uranium mining has been responsible for the largest collective exposure of workers to radiation. One estimate puts the number of workers who have died of lung cancer and silicosis due to mining and milling alone at 20,000. It is widely agreed that there is no safe level of radiation exposure.

The threat posed by nuclear weapons is not over - More than 40,000 nuclear warheads still exist. Nuclear proliferation continues and there is a growing global trade in nuclear smuggling.

The problems of nuclear waste have not been solved - Despite industry assurances, nuclear waste remains a very real and very potent danger. They need to be isolated from people and the wider environment for up to tens or even hundred of thousands of years.
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NNadir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 11:46 AM
Response to Reply #18
19. This is rich.
Reasons that nuclear power is fzr superior to dangerous fossil fuels.

1. Coal mining, oil field leaks, natural gas leaks.

2. Billions of metric tons of dangerous fossil fuel waste dumped each year into the environment where it is rapidly destroying the atmosphere, land and water.

3. Terrorist attacks like World Trade Center have actually killed people while the number of terrorist nuclear attacks has been zero.

4. Danger of unnatuarl disasters like the submersion of New York City because of dangerous fossil fuel waste.

5. Danger of human stupidity causing attacks on oil producing nations, gasoline explosions, fuel explosions.

6. Renewable energy is a dangerous pipe dream that has failed to produce even two exajoules of electricity.
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garybeck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 12:56 PM
Response to Reply #19
21. Someone pinch me.
Your first 5 points are just basically saying that fossil fuels are bad. We know that. Preaching to the choir. However I would make one comment, that just because a nuclar power plant has never been attacked by a terrorist doesn't mean it never will. I suppose the answer to all terrorism is just wait and see what they do first, and then build up a defense against it so that they don't do it again? Where is the logic with that?

But let's really take a look at your #6. That's a real doozy.

6. Renewable energy is a dangerous pipe dream that has failed to produce even two exajoules of electricity.


no, it is not a pipe dream. Renewable energy works. I have designed and sold thousands of solar energy systems that are in place all over this planet and I'm happy to say that many many people are living on solar energy today. The only thing standing in our way of taking it to the next level is politics.

If it's a dangerous pipe dream, what are these photos?








I guess a picture is worth a thousand solar panels. Or, is this just a pipe dream? Someone pinch me!

Your point that only a relatively small amount of energy has thus been produced by solar panels... What exactly is your point? With all due respect I don't understand your logic. Or maybe logic isn't part of the equation here? The fact is that when a new technology arises, usually it doesn't exist first, then there is a little of it, and then it grows and there is more, and then there is lots of it. That's usually the way it happens. So according to your logic, we could go back 30 years and say computers will never have an impact on society and they're a pipe dream because no one was using them 30 years ago? Or how about television, cars, radio? Anything you can think of, had to go through a process of first being an idea, then being developed, then being introduced into society and then growing and eventually taking over a fundamental part of our infrastructure. The comment that solar is a pipe dream just because only a certain amount of power has been generated by solar panels thus far is really quite silly.

The fact is that enough sun shines on the planet every few minutes to power the entire earth for a full year. I forget the exact number of minutes but Google it sometime and you'll find it. Even the DOE has it on their website. We only need to use a minisule portion of the potential energy in the sun's rays to power our needs. In fact, an area about 80 miles X 80 miles covered with PV panels could produce ALL THE ELECTRICITY OUR ENTIRE COUNTRY USES, just with today's current technology.

The fact is that political leadership is the only thing standing in the way. The technology is technology is here, now, and projects like The Appolo Alliance are going to make it happen.
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NickB79 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 01:06 PM
Response to Reply #21
22. So that solar array generates what, 1/100 the output of a single nuclear reactor?
"I guess a picture is worth a thousand solar panels. Or, is this just a pipe dream? Someone pinch me!"

Actions speak louder than words, and as NNadir pointed out, less than 2 exajoules, out of a world demand of 470, are supplied by solar power.
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garybeck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 01:16 PM
Response to Reply #22
23. I guess you didn't read my post.
I'll paste the response to this non-issue again for your convenience. thanks and have a nice day.

Your point that only a relatively small amount of energy has thus been produced by solar panels... What exactly is your point? With all due respect I don't understand your logic. Or maybe logic isn't part of the equation here? The fact is that when a new technology arises, usually it doesn't exist first, then there is a little of it, and then it grows and there is more, and then there is lots of it. That's usually the way it happens. So according to your logic, we could go back 30 years and say computers will never have an impact on society and they're a pipe dream because no one was using them 30 years ago? Or how about television, cars, radio? Anything you can think of, had to go through a process of first being an idea, then being developed, then being introduced into society and then growing and eventually taking over a fundamental part of our infrastructure. The comment that solar is a pipe dream just because only a certain amount of power has been generated by solar panels thus far is really quite silly.
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NickB79 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 01:45 PM
Response to Reply #23
28. Do we have decades to build solar infrastructure?
Climate change is happening NOW. How long do you propose we sit and wait while we build more solar panels?
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garybeck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 01:56 PM
Response to Reply #28
30. Funny how you
keep repeating yourself in parallel posts, and at the same time you don't read what is in my post, and you force me to repeat myself. Kind of like banging my head against the wall. I'm not going to waste my time anymore. I'd suggest you listen to Albert Einstein who said that the mind is like a parachute - it works best when it's open. Solar is not a pipe dream. Listen to the experts at the Department of Energy and look at what is happening. In the amount of time it takes to build on nuclear power plant, from my google research roughly 6-8 years, we will likely have several new solar manufacturing plants online. When that happens will you be standing there saying they're not real and everyone is just imagining them in their pipe dream? The only pipedreaming that's going on here is by those who say solar technology isn't feasible. Enough wasting my time with this.
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NNadir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 01:19 PM
Response to Reply #21
25. You do realize that solar power produces 0.01% of US energy.
People like you have been spouting this nonsense for 50 years.

Meanwhile, for 50 years, the rates of dumping of dangerous fossil fuel wastes increase.

With no respect, I do understand your logic, and frankly, it sucks.

The Rancho Seco stuff (top picture) produces 3 MW (peak) and less than 1 MW average.

The nuclear power plant had a capacity of 913 MW. It was capable of producing full power for years at a time without refueling day and night.

Come back and tell me all about it, when you learn the difference between 913 and 1.

The Rancho Seco plant was replaced by dangerous fossil fuels. The fact that the little display case in front of the plant - which was shut because of public ignorance - makes people think that solar energy is a rational alternative, shows just how pathetic the antinuclear conceit is.

http://www.eia.doe.gov/cneaf/electricity/epm/epmxlfile1...

http://www.eia.doe.gov/cneaf/electricity/epm/table1_1.h...

When you look at these numbers, and then recognize the size of the solar facilities pictured, you should be disturbed, not encouraged.

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garybeck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 01:33 PM
Response to Reply #25
26. Maybe you should read what the Department of Energy says.
Edited on Mon Jul-16-07 01:39 PM by garybeck
you said:

When you look at these numbers, and then recognize the size of the solar facilities pictured, you should be disturbed, not encouraged.


now read what the DOE says:


Myth 1: Solar electricity cannot serve any significant fraction of U.S. or world electricity needs.
PV technology can meet electricity demand on any scale. The solar energy resource in a 100-mile-square area of Nevada could supply the United States with all its electricity (about 800 gigawatts) using modestly efficient (10%) commercial PV modules.

A more realistic scenario involves distributing these same PV systems throughout the 50 states. Currently available sitessuch as vacant land, parking lots, and rooftopscould be used. The land requirement to produce 800 gigawatts would average out to be about 17 x 17 miles per state. Alternatively, PV systems built in the "brownfields"the estimated 5 million acres of abandoned industrial sites in our nation's citiescould supply 90% of America's current electricity.

http://www1.eere.energy.gov/solar/myths.html#1



So, when you say "people like you" to me, I guess you're talking about the folks at the Department of Energy too. I guess those guys are all a bunch of pipe dreaming hippie drug crazed lunatics who actually think solar panels work. Why don't you write a letter to them and tell them their website is wrong.


the point is not how much energy is produced by solar TODAY. The point is that it COULD, CAN, SHOULD, WOULD produce a significant portion of our energy needs if we just had more people in positions of power who are willing to do something about it.
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NickB79 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 01:43 PM
Response to Reply #26
27. Good thing we have a few decades to build all this solar infrastructure
"the point is not how much energy is produced by solar TODAY. The point is that it COULD, CAN, SHOULD, WOULD produce a significant portion of our energy needs if we just had more people in positions of power who are willing to do something about it."

Oh wait, climate change is happening RIGHT NOW. Hmmm, that might be a problem.
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garybeck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 01:50 PM
Response to Reply #27
29. I guess you just don't get it.
Solar power plants take LESS time to build than nuclear. You probably know that, but you're just trying to spin your agenda.

The only problem is the number of solar panels is greater than current production. It would not take decades to increase production, and it's already happening. NanoSolar is constructing the world's largest PV manufacturing plant, with major investments coming from Google ($100 mil) DOE grants, and even IBM. Oh, I guess those folks are all just pipe-dreamers too.
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phantom power Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 02:13 PM
Response to Reply #29
31. How would you or anybody else know? Nobody has ever built a 5GW solar facility.
Along with the enormous energy storage facility required to allow it to function as the equivalent of a 1GW base-load system.

To say nothing of cost to the consumer.
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Dogmudgeon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 02:32 PM
Response to Reply #29
33. The "pipe dream" is the scale and readiness
No one doubts that the sun can generate usable amounts of energy. Plants have been doing it for a couple of billion years. The problem is that the human-created amounts will contribute only a small fraction of the energy the human world will demand over the next few decades. That 470 EJ (exajoule) amount NNadir is teased about is a seriously enormous amount of energy -- I think it is up to 505 EJ now, and that number is growing faster as Asia enters its popular technological revolution. China, IIRC, is experiencing energy demand growth of 14% per year, a doubling time of 5 years. If anyone lectures them about switching to CFLs and simplifying their lifestyles to live richer lives, they will get laughed off the continent.

The solar industry still has no plans to ramp its production up by a factor of 1000 or more, which would be required for it to be a "player". The wind industry is further along, but it still has major problems to solve. These aren't problems of scientific impossibility, but the day-to-day problems of siting, energy storage, grid connectivity, and financing. The Danish wind farms are an example of excellent technology encumbered by what will someday be understood to be dumb-ass problems. Nevertheless, they will have to be met and learned from. There is no way around a learning curve for an entire industry with ambitions to provide 20% or more of the world's grid electricity. It won't be done on OUR schedule, but its own. Just like with nuclear energy.

IOW, wind and solar are still working the bugs out. They passed the proof-of-concept point long ago. What remains is a whole lot of micro-engineering and that learning curve.

Of the many things in favor of nuclear energy production, fifty years of operation has led to a number of well-tested models, three generations of engineers and scientists who know reactor operations inside and out -- and we have also had the industry under a microscope for thirty years. That is one of the main reasons why nuclear energy is such a good choice -- it is a "mature" technology. It is ready NOW.

In 1970, we had more choices. But it's 2007, and we have 37 more years of delays to account for with few deals left to be made with Fate. Many of us, myself included, see nuclear power as the logical method of energy production for at least the next century. If and when better choices arrive, that may well change. But here-and-now, nuclear energy looks more promising than too-early technology and a philosophy of economic contraction that no one wants, aside from a smallish number of affluent people living the life of the Euro-American inteligentsiya.

--p!
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NNadir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 03:22 PM
Response to Reply #26
38. Oh geeze...
How long are we supposed to wait for this to happen?

One zillion years. How many billions of tons of carbon dioxide need to be released before you get these few simple facts: 1) Solar energy is diffuse. 2) Solar electrical energy has failed to produce a single exajoule of energy in spite of 50 years of cheering and optimistic statements. 3) Solar energy is only available for the wealthiest citizens on earth.

If I only cared about rich people and their concerns, I would become a Republican.

By the way. What do you think the Department of Energy was saying in 2000? 1990? 1980?

There are published papers showing that in 1979 the US Department of Energy predicted the world would be 20% solar by 2000.

Guess what? It didn't happen.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 02:32 PM
Response to Reply #25
32. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
phantom power Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 02:42 PM
Response to Reply #32
34. Do you think that engaging in happy-talk is going to get *anything* built?
We're all in big trouble. Not in 50 years. More like 5. How much energy-producing infrastructure can we deploy to replace disappearing oil/gas and eliminate CO2 emissions in 5-10 years, with whatever "money" we have left before our hyper-inflated economy pops like a soap bubble?

We cannot afford to waste our remaining resources on building energy that costs 16 times as much as nuclear. We'll have little enough as it is.
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motocicleta Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 03:12 PM
Response to Reply #34
36. The bubble is going to pop.
Being a dickhead isn't going to keep that genie in the bottle, and no amount of arrogance is going to convince people to do anything of which they aren't already convinced.

So, yeah, I think happy talk is more likely to get absolutely anything built than treating humans like shit.
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garybeck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 03:53 PM
Response to Reply #34
40. costs "16 times as much as nuclear" ... Oh really?
Edited on Mon Jul-16-07 03:56 PM by garybeck
Now I get it. You're all disinformation. You must work for the nuclear industry. If you're going to throw out garbage like that why don't you tell everyone how much they really cost, when you factor in the huge subsidies that we are all paying with our tax dollars?



Despite initial claims of "too cheap to meter," nuclear power in the United States has become too expensive to afford. The nuclear industry has received over the years, 60 percent of all federal energy research and development dollars. Yet customers of nuclear utilities still pay far higher prices than their conventionally supplied counterparts.

A 1993 Energy Information Agency study found the average bill from a nuclear utility was more than two dollars per kilowatt hour higher and nearly $17 per month than from a conventional utility.

...

One of the primary problems with nuclear power is its inability to perform without substantial federal and state subsidies. According to the Congressional Research Service, the nuclear industry has received more than $66 billion in taxpayer research and development subsidies since its inception.

http://www.commondreams.org/views01/0519-04.htm



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phantom power Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 04:16 PM
Response to Reply #40
41. Well, I can explain my numbers easily enough:
PV costs about $4/watt. Nuclear power costs about 1$/watt. So there's one factor of four. Now, a nuclear plant runs base-load, but PV runs at about 25% base load. So, there's my other factor of four. For example, if you wanted to displace one gigawatt nuclear plant with PV, then you would have to install 4 gigawatts worth of panels, at about 4x the cost per watt. 16X.

Notice that I'm not even including the additional cost of energy storage that would be required to store up that 4x PV energy for later release when the sun wasn't shining. And I'm taking the higher 25% loading, as opposed to the 20% figure I've also seen quoted. That obviously varies with lattitude and climate.
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jpak Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-18-07 11:59 AM
Response to Reply #41
89. Reality check
The last nuclear plant actually built in the US cost $6 per watt - and that does not include the costs of decommissioning (~$500 million) and spent fuel disposal ($$ untold millions $$).

The 18 MW PV array at Nellis AFB cost $5.5 per watt

The 42 MW Mars Hill wind farm in Maine cost $2 per watt

If nuclear plants cost $1 per watt, US utilities would be building them...(but they are not).
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Dogmudgeon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 08:57 PM
Response to Reply #40
51. "You're all disinformation. You must work for the nuclear industry."
Hey, I've heard that before.

Every. Single. Fucking. Day.

Isn't it time for some new clichs?

--p!
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NNadir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 03:08 PM
Response to Reply #32
35. Yes.
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motocicleta Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 03:14 PM
Response to Reply #35
37. Well then, I don't mind saying it
you're not very bright.
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NNadir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 03:32 PM
Response to Reply #37
39. Thank you for offering your opinion.
I'm sure you're a relative genius.

I have always gone by the assumption that confronting myths agressively is a good idea.

I'm sorry that you think that this nastiness is associated with stupidity.

This may surprise you, but there are many people who have changed their minds about some things because of my writings. How do I know? They tell me so.

This is an interesting thesis you have though about intellect and grace and his born out by the history of science. In fact, to learn neutron diffusion theory, one must pass a personality test to see if one can object politely to say, the claim that evolution is a lie. Newton, Archimedes and Einstein were all exceedingly pleasant men who were gracious to a fault under all circumstances.

What is happening today with this leak is an orgy of ignorance. There is no nice way to put it.

Tough shit.
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Kolesar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 04:48 PM
Response to Reply #39
42. The "tough shit" here is that you have only a pathetic life of flaming people on DU and Daily Kos
I reckon that you garner an audience of at most 20 people with your hot headed posts and irrelevant threads that you launch on this web forum.

"Confronting myths aggressively"--some life's work
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motocicleta Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 08:02 PM
Response to Reply #42
45. 20 seems generous.
It looks like 2 acolytes on DU from my perspective. And the religious reference is without a doubt intentional.
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phantom power Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 09:01 PM
Response to Reply #45
52. You could post a poll and find out.
I did a while back. You might be surprised.
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Dead_Parrot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 08:32 PM
Response to Reply #42
49. Hey, here's a wild idea
Edited on Mon Jul-16-07 08:32 PM by Dead_Parrot
Why don't you tell us how to ditch fossil fuels without using nuclear power. The only rules are:

a) Everyone gets a decent standard of living (including the poor people Jpak keeps pretending don't exist);
b) It's workable in the next 10 years or so (The planet is dying, in case you hadn't noticed); and
c) It doesn't involve non-existent technology - so no "Let's invent fusion!", "Let's invent a superconducting grid!" or "Let's invent a TWh storage device that's made from pixie dust!".

Easy, no?
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Kolesar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 09:24 PM
Response to Reply #49
55. That has nothing to do with my post...eom
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Dead_Parrot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 10:09 PM
Response to Reply #55
59. At least you recognise...
...that your posts are irrelevant. That's a start.
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NNadir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 08:37 PM
Response to Reply #42
50. I reckon you reckon so.
Edited on Mon Jul-16-07 08:56 PM by NNadir
I also reckon that you reckon that what you reckon about me is the issue here.

I don't know how many times I have been told that the issue is me.

I note that you are often inclined to read my hotheaded posts and to comment on them, not necessarily about the topic - whether the release of 1.5 liters of slightly radioactive water is a world shaking event, say, in comparison to daily release of millions of tons of dangerous fossil fuel waste in Japan - but about whether or not I am an asshole.

Some people think I'm an asshole. They say as much frequently. Good enough.

So be it.

In all of the time you've been musing about me, you have been unable to show one annual exajoule of solar energy or for that matter, wind energy. Neither have you been able to produce one case of a person being injured by the storage of so called "dangerous nuclear waste." Neither have you been able to produce an example of one case of a person who has been killed by a dangerous "nuclear accident" in commercial nuclear operations in this country. You cannot show me a permanent repository for annual tens of billion ton quantities for dangerous fossil fuel waste. You cannot demonstrate an example of a twenty year old optimistic prediction about renewable energy that has proved to be true. You cannot show me an example of a third world country that has entered the first or second world by use of renewable energy. You cannot demonstrate an example of an impoverished country where deforestation has been halted and poverty reduced using renewable energy.

You cannot show a program now under way to phase out any fossil fuel with renewable energy.

If I were you, and were unable to produce any support for my position, I might be inclined to discuss something that distracts from the fact that my position is insupportable. I'd start saying, "NNadir is an asshole," or "Look, there goes a rabbit!" or "Don't you just love peach ice cream!"

I write about energy and exajoules, almost always with respect to nuclear energy, the most unjustly maligned form of energy there is, our only real hope, if a small hope. In my writings around the web, I have worked to examine in great detail various aspects of nuclear energy, and have compared them public perceptions. I have in this context, discussed everything from the chemistry of technetium to the molecular structure of soot to the curious biochemistry of iodine. My work has not been easy and I have often been greeted with vituperation and criticism. I can do no more than bear it. Still I soldier on, as difficult as it all is.

Why?

Many people have written me over the years to tell me that I have changed their minds on this subject I most frequently raise. I don't care whether or not you believe it, and in any case, I'm not really very impressed by your system of beliefs. I am perfectly content to think in a completely different way.

You call yourself the "Boreal Avenger," but as far as I can tell, no forests have been avenged by you. Around the world they are being burned, sometimes in cook stoves, as "renewable" energy - as in Cameroon - and sometimes in out of control blazes, as in the United States, Australia and other places. Some people, not you maybe, think that the issue involved here is something called <em>climate change</em>. While you are "avenging forests" by focusing on a harmless leak of 1.5 kg of water, the forests are still burning.

Here is what is happening while you are outraged by me and my position on 1.5 liters of water leaking after a major earthquake that killed hundreds of people, zero of them at the nuclear power plant:

The annual national totals for forest-fire burns has topped 8 million acres only three times since 1960: in 2004, 2005 and 2006. The early 2007 fire toll1.6 million acres so faris already running well ahead of last year, when a record 9.9 million acres burned. And the season is just getting underway in the West; drought in the region has primed the Southwest, California and the northern Rockies to be torched. In California, record-low rainfall in Los Angeles and an unusually low snow pack in the Sierra Nevada range have already led to an unusual number of fires. Weve been very busy for this early, marvels Linda Naill, a dispatcher at the air-tanker base in Minden, Nev., which services 10 million acres in Nevada and California. We had 180 fires before June 1, which is sort of the start of our fire season. Its usually just a handful.


http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19487117/site/newsweek /

Think something just might, maybe, sort of, after a fashion, in some way, kind of like be wrong?.

No?

Oh I see, your real problem is that I'm not nice.

Maybe you think I am supposed to be "nice" about my opinion of your priorities. I disagree. I'm not inclined to put on a happy face.

In the last 30 years, I have seen untold destruction to the atmosphere and a lot of other things because people were willing to ignore ignorance to avoid being rude. I decided to try a different strategy. I have no idea if my approach is popular. I do know that people write me privately and publicly to say I have changed their thinking. If I have changed ten minds on the subject, that's pretty damn good. It's a big and difficult subject that requires considerable sophistication to apprehend.

It's not like I can drive to a solar energy festival in Ohio and dance around with my co-religionists, saying how wonderful things will be in 2050. I am more serious than that.

It's pretty funny. A lot of people are really upset when Democrats like say, Nancy Pelosi, are not aggressive. They get real furious about it, jump up and down and throw really loud tantrums. On the other hand when they actually encounter a Democrat who is forceful, unyielding and aggressive - and who happens to disagree with them - suddenly they're whining "You're not polite!"

Guess what? This is one Democrat who takes climate change seriously, so seriously that I am not going to lay down for a bunch of namby pamby wishful thinking in the face of what may be the greatest tragedy in human history - a tragedy resulting from the production of considerably more than 430 exajoules of primary energy from burning dangerous fossil fuels.

I hope you feel that you have "avenged" yourself by giving an estimation of my readership. It may be that only 28 people who read my writings - and lately my detractors are quite obsessed with who my readers are - but on the other hand, the number of reactors in process is now 280, about 20 annual exajoules worth, more than half of the current fleet in numbers of reactors, and about 2/3 of the current annual output of primary nuclear energy that we now enjoy. These reactors will not stop climate change - not even close - but on the other hand, they will do more in that direction than a brazillion people driving around to solar shows and starting solar websites. I have learned much from my readers - the rational ones anyway -

Four years ago, when I first started writing here, my opponents were confidently predicting that nuclear power would whither away, much as Karl Marx predicted government would whither away. I will not claim any responsibility for the happy turn of events under which nuclear energy has become the most powerful tool both in current use and on the drawing boards to fight climate change, but on the other hand, it would seem that my ideas have gained currency nonetheless.

I have nothing against cute little solar energy shows and websites, even though the websites probably consume more energy than solar energy produces, just as people driving to contemplate the Maine Solar House consume more energy that the Maine Solar House will ever produce. I only note, with more sadness than you can possibly know, that solar PV energy would need to expand by a factor of 500 to reach 50 exajoules. Even if it did so, it would barely represent 10% of world energy demand. But it won't. In ten years it will still be mostly talk, much as it was mostly talk ten years ago.

Not so long ago, even though solar has not reached one exajoule, a huge shortage of solar materials cropped up.

http://www.siliconvalleywatcher.com/mt/archives/2006/09...

Some reports have it taking more than 5 years to be relieved.

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/e50784ea-78cb-11db-8743-0000779...

Let me tell you what five years is: It's almost 120 billion tons of carbon dioxide.

I have shown elsewhere recently - and I wasn't nice about it - that while we've been talking solar about half a trillion tons of dangerous fossil fuel waste, chiefly carbon dioxide, have been indiscriminately dumped in the atmosphere. And when did we start talking solar? Here's a 1982 paper entitled: Solar Energy: When, How When?

http://pdf.aiaa.org/jaPreview/JE/1982/PVJAPRE62596.pdf

That's right big guy, 25 years ago, 500 billion metric tons of dangerous fossil fuel waste dumping ago.

Actually the topic was being discussed long before that, since the first solar satellite was launched in 1958.

I suspect, though, you couldn't care less. You'd rather talk about my personality and oh yes, let's not forget, the 1.5 liters of slightly radioactive water.

Excuse me if I feel inclined to express contempt.



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Kolesar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 09:01 PM
Response to Reply #50
53. It took you four hours to write that disconnected defense?
It is not so much that you "express contempt" but that you fly off the handle like a lunatic whenever somebody criticizes your nuclear industry or promotes some sort of alternative energy. You have no sense of humor, but what is worse is that you don't even read the posts that you are attacking. It is obvious that you don't get the point of them.

Again, you probably only have twenty sets of eyes reading anything you write. Most of it so boring and disconnected that it is not worth reading past the third paragraph. You are only influential in your imagination.
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NNadir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-17-07 05:39 AM
Response to Reply #53
69. Hmmmm, you and what other 19 people?
Since you are an expert on all of my writings, so expert so as to be able to write "that you fly off the handle like a lunatic whenever somebody criticizes your nuclear industry or promotes some sort of alternative energy. You have no sense of humor..." only one of two things can be possible:

1. You are one of the constant readers you claim to number 20, leaving another 19 somewhere else.

2. You don't know what you are talking about.

From what I know, I think I'll guess it's number 2. It's consistent.

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lakeguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-17-07 10:33 PM
Response to Reply #53
88. make that 21 sets of eyes...
you should read more from people who don't agree with your viewpoint, maybe you would begin to understand that we don't have another 50 years to waste while you cover the planet with solar panels. you've had 50, and nuclear has worked just fine (lets not get into a comparison of fossil fuel and nuclear deaths) during that time. what about solar? we dont have the time to ignore the use of nuclear, although i wish we did. we've put it off long enough, probably too long now for myself and my children.
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Kolesar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-18-07 12:55 PM
Response to Reply #88
90. Camp follower
You don't even know what my "point of view" is.
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motocicleta Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-17-07 10:09 PM
Response to Reply #39
87. I do not care about the leak.
I'm trying to get you to harness your power for good, while you angrily strive for insignificance. If you are right (my imagination, while large, is certainly swayed by nihilism and as such perhaps fatally drawn to the negative), humanity needs more from you than arrogance - we need another Newton, Einstein, or Galileo.
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Bread and Circus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 10:29 PM
Response to Reply #25
63. Bullshit. Hydroelectric is solar energy stored as potential kinetic energy in water and equals
Nuclear output 30 exajoules per year. Add wind and straight solar and you beat nuclear power, by your standards.



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Kolesar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 09:13 PM
Response to Reply #21
54. Your analogy of PVs being a new industry like the PCs of 30 years ago is a good one
And PVs and wind turbines are not an industry that has to bootstrap itself and grow as an arithmetic progression. We could be building a thousand times the amount of PVs and wind turbines in short years if we wanted to. If there is capital, we could tool up for it.

We built 15,000 of each of the P-51, P-40, B-17, P-38 during WW2, larger numbers of B-24s and 2,000 B-29s, all in short years. Add to that all the other airplane models, dozens of carriers and hundreds of Liberty ships.
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TheMadMonk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 10:31 PM
Response to Reply #21
64. It takes a few square centimetres of silicon and a few kilios of lead...
..Among other lesser nasties. To make that silicon requires some of the nastiest, most toxic substances we know of.

It takes about THREE SQUARE METERS of off the shelf silicon to power that computer reliably 24/7 and about 200 kilos of lead (or cadmium).

THAT is the unfortunate reality of photovoltaics as they stand. There are improvements still to be made, but the boffins are already close to the limits of what is physically possible. Solar thermal has greater potential, but a sizable proportion of the world's population is poorly situated to take advantage of it.

On the other hand, the cost of nuclear power is set to plummet. The potential fuel supply is thousands of times larger than classical estimates. It is now possible to make tabletop nuclear reactors, that contain far too little fuel for them to ever explode. The same techniques also makes it possible to completely "incinerate" nuclear waste.


Not cheap: No fucking kidding. Ever look at the price of early computing? The nuclear industry has been stalled in it's second generation of development for decades. If political considerations hadn't made the exploration of the "breeder" reactor avenue of inquiry, strictly taboo, we would have been "incinerating" nuclear waste twenty odd years ago and manufacturing all the fuel we need from existing stockpiles of depleted uranium.

Since then, advances in other fields (mainly particle accelerators) now make all of the above possible on the aforementioned tabletop.

Danger of attack: Not to worry though. Yes it is possible to manufacture "bad stuff", but only in tiny quantities. Any attempt to amass enough to be dangerous, would stand out like dogs balls. Regular (quarterly or annual) inspections and tamper resistance of installations are taken as givens. Small installations scattered across the landscape counter-intuitively improve overall security even as they significantly reduce the security of the individual installations. If you have the means to coordinate enough attacks to garner a worthwhile return, then you should also have the means to sever every single human connection (transport, communications, power, water, waste) between the island of Manhattan and the mainland by conventional means.

One gives you a holocaust which pisses off virtually everyone around, including a few putative allies, since they're taking the flack. The other is a blatant lifting of the kilt and a challenge to match "these balls".

Big plants, where we are currently stuck, do offer the opportunity for attack or significant diversion. They need to go. Obsolescence is the surest path i know to killing a technology.

Uranium mining:- Any form of mining is inherently dangerous. That said. the track record of uranium mining is far far better than that of virtually any other substance we pull from the ground, for both worker safety and environmental damage done. I'm not saying that there isn't room for improvement, particularly on the last, but comparatively speaking, Uranium is a shining humanitarian and environmental responsibility.

Safety:- Actually, coal fired power is less safe: Per megawatt hour generated, coal and other fossil fuels release more units of radiation into the environment than uranium does; Per megawatt hour generated, there is a far higher injury and fatality rate in the coal mining industry; Per megawatt hour generated there is far more direct environmental damage done through extracting coal and other fossil fuels from the ground; Per megawatt hour generated the number of indirect deaths due to nuclear power generation barely registers, even with the cowboy on steroids attitude of the former Soviet Union. The same can not be said for fossil fuels. The "demon" at it's worst outperforms the contemporary norm at its best, and yet you insist on keeping that "demon" label firmly pinned where it, by all parameters, most assuredly does not deserve to be.

In any new plant constructed today the chance of meltdown/explosion would range from virtually nil downwards. FFS forty plus year old piles built almost on the suck it an see principle remain safe for all practical purposes absent a concerted effort to MAKE them explode.

Meltdown/explosion or even minor nuclear excursion, it takes fucking talent to cause "accidents" to happen. The same sort of talent which results in the release of a thousand liters of benzene into the waterways.

Modern designs raise the required level of "talent" to cause an "accident" to pure genius.

20,000 deaths directly attributable to the mining, refining and machining of uranium? What is your source? Over what time period? How does it stack up against coal miner deaths? Annually?
What about motor vehicle deaths? Do you know what percentage of a "worthless South African Black" it cost to put that rock on your (girlfriend's) finger?

Human activity has a human cost. That is a fact of life. Nuclear's human cost is negligible. The potential might very well be catastrophically high, but it takes a government sized organisation to realise that potential, and in case you haven't noticed governments are already there.


Another simple truth is that the use of "nuclear" weaponry won't win anyone any friends and it's almost always easier to achieve a greater effect (and a good deal more sympathy) through conventional means.


The problem with clean/renewables is that with few exceptions, they suffer from periodic or random periods of zero or reduced power output. The one major exception, wave/tidal power has literally trashed virtually every installation created to harness it.

The problems with nuclear waste have been solved, albeit quite recently. However, the means to solve it could have existed a good thirty years ago, but politics, driven by both aggressive and the pacifistic elements, stalled its development forty odd years ago. Just in time to limit its application to "top secret" militaristic purposes. Way to go Greenpeace.

A quick summary of a modern theoretical "breeder" reactor.

  • Can burn thorium, enriched and depleted uranium and plutonium for energy.
  • Can "incinerate" ANY nuclear waste.
  • Will not explode by mischance and can not be made to explode except through prohibitive effort in a climate of essentially zero oversight.
  • Extraction of weapon suitable materials remains a non-trivial matter, beyond the capacity of less than national or mega-corporate entities.

That's the one that we should already have through the simple incremental improvement of cold war era technology.

The 21st Century version gives us all the above benefits in something which is fully scalable from tabletop to industrial. AND do it efficiently enough that even "incinerating" the "nuclear garbage" generates surplus energy. AND requires such a small quantity of fuel at any given time that it is literally impossible to create a catastrophic event.

What argument stands in the way of moving the nuclear industry forward in this way? From the Greens and the pacifists it seems to boil down to "But someone could..." EXCUSE ME, in case you haven't noticed, there's a bunch of certifiable lunatics running the asylum, who are laughing up their sleeves at you, because right now they are the only ones who fucking well CAN.

Rogue nations in possession of nuclear weapons will never be a credible threat. The conventional arsenals of the world are more than enough to obliterate small time operators with on the order of ten warheads AND the means to deliver them.


Renewable alternatives will most certainly have their place. However, in the final reckoning, I believe that it will be nuclear power which takes up the slack and smooths out the irregularities inherent in wind and solar generators.

Lacking a viable alternative "on demand" supply, why not take future development of nuclear power as a given and put your efforts towards ensuring that the safest and not the most profitable path is taken.
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Bread and Circus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 10:42 PM
Response to Reply #64
65. You go through all that and you don't mention stirling engines?
I think you have a bit to learn about solar energy and what's on the horizon.
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Bread and Circus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 10:00 PM
Response to Reply #19
57. The solar exajoules are produced and delivered every day...
they are just not captured.
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Bread and Circus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 10:04 PM
Response to Reply #19
58. One more thing hydroelectric is a form of solar power and it rivals nuclear
in terms of current exajoules per year, thirty. You get another 4 from solar and other renewables. So that means we currently get more from solar based energy (all water and wind energy is solar driven) than we do from nuclear.

So can you please quit yapping on about how "inconsequential" non-nuclear alternative power is. I've checked the numbers, you don't have a leg to stand on.
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Nihil Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-17-07 07:25 AM
Response to Reply #58
71. Stop talking bollocks.
> hydroelectric is a form of solar power

By that "reasoning", coal, oil & gas are also "forms of solar power" ...
just ones that have been in storage for several Ma.

You could even say that nuclear energy itself is "a form of solar power"
as the radioactive source elements were created by a star (though not our
one) and distributed far & wide before this planet formed.

Same logic as you use pal!

See? Anyone can pervert the term "solar power" if they are prepared to
leave their brains outside!

:P
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Bread and Circus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-17-07 08:23 AM
Response to Reply #71
72. Coil, oil and gas are forms of solar power, stored as biomass
Edited on Tue Jul-17-07 08:25 AM by Bread and Circus
Sorry if reality offends you.

And yes solar power is the result of nuclear fusion.

However, nuclear power derived from nuclear fission that occurs on the surface of the earth does not come from the sun. Ergo, it is not a form of solar power. Sol is another name for the sun.

And yes, hydroelectric power comes from the stored kinetic energy in water. That energy was obtained through the action of the sun on the oceans mainly. We capture the energy when the water falls, which drives turbines. Hydroelectric power has external costs, however it is still a renewable resource of energy that comes from the sun.

Like I've said elsewhere, the sun delivers 1 exajoule of energy to the earth every minute, meanwhile the whole earth human energy use is about 471 exajoules per year. That means it takes the earth 8 hours to deliver that amount of energy. In order to match that energy, we would need to build 33,000,000 500 MW nuclear power plants or more.



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Dogmudgeon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-17-07 10:00 AM
Response to Reply #72
74. In order to match that energy ...
... we would also have to cover every square inch of the Earth's surface with solar panels operating at 100% efficiency.

Or 33 million nuclear reactors. (The standard these days is 1000 MW, which cuts the number to 16.5 million.)

Or, you could adjust your figures to deal with 500 to 2000 EJ of energy, the amounts we will be demanding in this century.

--p!
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Bread and Circus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-17-07 10:36 AM
Response to Reply #74
78. The point being this: the sun (a nuclear reactor) delivers a massive
amount of energy. The issue is the will and know-how in capturing it.

Have you ever stopped and considered the magnitude of how much energy it takes just create a bright day or to warm your air from morning until night? Think of how many light bulbs it would take (using coal and nuclear power) just to simulate anything even a shred similar to sunshine?

The big problem I have with the people who promote nuclear power is that they act like solar energy is some trivial thing using misleading information.

I'm not calling for a shutdown to nuclear research and plants. They may always have a role. However, who wants to be downwind of a plant if it ever leaks radiation? Have you ever seen how widespread nuclear fallout was from Chernobyl? How can anyone honestly assure we will never have another disaster like Chernobyl?

I had hoped this part of DU would be for intelligent discussion but I became disheartened when folks are claiming other people are stupid and have no right to talk just because they don't know what an exajoule is.

But the main thing is this, mother nature gives us everything we need, if we only have the wisdom to use it.
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Nihil Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-17-07 10:05 AM
Response to Reply #72
75. As I said, you're talking bollocks.
For the purposes of energy discussions, no sensible person will
classify coal, oil, gas, hydroelectric, geothermal, GSEL or nuclear
as "solar" even though they all ultimately involve a star in their
origin. Hence my comments.

"Reality" doesn't offend me but your stupidity comes close.
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Bread and Circus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-17-07 10:20 AM
Response to Reply #75
76. I'm sorry you can't handle that you are wrong in a constructive manner.
Either way, hydroelectric power is a renewable form of energy that is derived from the sun. It doesn't spew CO2 into the atmosphere in the same way that fossil fuel does nor does it provide a radioactive leak risk in the same way nuclear power does (just ask the folks downwind of Chernobyl).

For the purposes of this or any other intelligent discussion, hydroelectric power is a renewable as long as we have rivers, waves, and ocean currents.

Together, hydroelectric, solar, and wind beat out current nuclear energy production despite the massive amount of money put into nuclear lobbying.

As for my intelligence, you have about a 3% chance of beating me there but we'll probably never know for sure. But on this point, it doesn't matter, I'm right and you are wrong.
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Dogmudgeon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-17-07 10:28 AM
Response to Reply #76
77. 3%, right and wrong
I'm sorry you can't handle that you are wrong in a constructive manner. ... As for my intelligence, you have about a 3% chance of beating me there but we'll probably never know for sure. But on this point, it doesn't matter, I'm right and you are wrong.

:rofl:

When do you get to the part where you brag about how big your penis is?

:rofl:

This is great material!

:rofl:

--p!
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Bread and Circus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-17-07 10:37 AM
Response to Reply #77
79. My penis is fairly average to be honest.
Edited on Tue Jul-17-07 10:39 AM by Bread and Circus
Thanks for asking :hi:
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NickB79 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-17-07 01:30 PM
Response to Reply #58
81. Unfortunately there is little room for expansion of hydro generation
Most of the good sites for building dams have already been built in the 20th century, and that is the major problem. We need to build facilities that can offset current coal and natural gas facilities, since these are major causes of global warming. Hydro can't grow much beyond what it is at today, while nuclear plants can be built across the globe.
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Bread and Circus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-17-07 07:12 PM
Response to Reply #81
85. don't discount wave, tidal, and ocean current power - they are also hydroelectric
and have yet to be tapped
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4bh0r53n Donating Member (20 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-19-07 06:30 AM
Response to Reply #58
91. renewable is not the same as solar
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struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 06:00 PM
Response to Original message
43. Fire but no radiation leak. Wait, we meant small radiation leak. 315 gallons. Oops, make that 350
gallons. Did I forget to mention the reactor core ruptured? Okay, nothing to see here. Move along.
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Help me help Earth Donating Member (217 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 07:20 PM
Response to Original message
44. Yet Dick Cheney still wants us to build more.
We need people before profit, not the other way around!
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Dogmudgeon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 08:10 PM
Response to Reply #44
47. Dick Cheney? He's pro-petroleum.
He's been in a position to boost nuclear energy for thirty years. He has done nothing beyond hedge his own bets.

After the OPEC embargo of 1973, the market for new energy collapsed -- nuclear, solar, wind, etc. were ALL shut out. Petroleum became the only game in town until the late 1990s. Who do you think was one of the big winners in that market? Cheney himself.

When nuclear power plant construction came to a halt, neo-Conservatism profited -- big time. So when people invoke the infernal name of Dick Cheney, it just sounds absurd.

I hear "DICK CHENEY! DICK CHENEY!" often. It's a talking point, like blaming everything bad on Bill Clinton or George McGovern. Why the anti-nuclearists continue to use it is a puzzle. Opposition to nuclear energy makes Deadeye Dick big money. He laughs all the way to the bank.

--p!
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struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 10:09 PM
Response to Reply #47
60. Cheney's tied to Halliburton, a company not adverse to nuclear profits

Halliburton Milks British Nuclear Submarines for Millions
by Solomon Hughes, Special to CorpWatch
July 25th, 2003

Just outside of Plymouth on Britain's south coast are the Devonport royal dockyards, which have maintained ships for the British navy for hundreds of years. For the last three decades these docks have been the home for four nuclear powered "Trident" submarines, each carrying 48 atomic warheads that roam the world's oceans.

In 1997 Tony Blair's Labour government sold the docks to Devonport Management Ltd. (DML) -- a consortium led by Brown and Root, a division of Halliburton , the Texas-based energy services, engineering and construction multinational -- and contracted the new owners to refuel and refit the nuclear engines, which involves stripping and replacing their radioactive parts once a decade.

Halliburton chief executive officer Dick Cheney took a tour of the dockyards in April 2000, following which he met up with Labour ministers and military officials at a conference on military privatisation in Oxford. ~snip~

http://www.corpwatch.org/article.php?id=7729

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Dogmudgeon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 11:07 PM
Response to Reply #60
66. So he's "tied to Halliburton", So what?
These people want to consolidate power, both real and abstract.

They also control solar and wind power. Just because wind and solar energy are advertised with clip art of trees and meadows and clouds doesn't mean a thing. As recently as last summer, most of us had high hopes for ethanol and other bio-fuels. Even as there was a massive take-over of ethanol production. The Green movement is going to be co-optated lock, stock, and barrel. Already in Europe, the Green parties are heavily dominated by conservative politicians. The environmentalist posing the Nazis did should keep us all on guard.

There are two issues here: The first is where we are going to get enough power to keep our entire civilization from collapsing, and the second is regaining control over our lives and fortunes and fates. They are not linked by a series of simple ideological equations. Democracy will not be perfected by the proper choice of cultural signals and artifacts. Energy issues are sui generis, and HalliburtonBushCheneyPNACBlairDLC will make a grab for everything.

--p!
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struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 11:30 PM
Response to Reply #66
67. I was replying to a post that apparently claimed Cheney was not pro-nuclear but pro-petro
I merely cited a link making the point that Cheney's corporate connections and past behavior did not suggest he would turn up his nose at nuclear dollars.

Of course, I completely agree with you that Cheney and his circle are interested in consolidating political and economic power. And so perhaps decentralization is a feature that would be highly desirable in an ideal generation scheme.
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Bread and Circus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 09:32 PM
Response to Original message
56. You are on the losing side of an argument, and it took mother nature...
to remind us of just why.

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phantom power Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 10:14 PM
Response to Reply #56
61. That's odd. The planet *I* live on reminds me every day why we *need* nuclear.
It's hard for me to fathom how so many people can read the headlines in this forum every day and not see that.
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Bread and Circus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 10:20 PM
Response to Reply #61
62. What I see is a bunch of zealots that misrepresent the facts.
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Nihil Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-17-07 07:22 AM
Response to Reply #62
70. Well look at the screen instead of the mirror!
:P
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NickB79 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-17-07 05:07 AM
Response to Original message
68. It's ironic that China right next door releases more radiation every minute
Of every hour, of every day, from the soot and ash that is emitted from their coal-fired plants (three new coal plants built PER WEEK).
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Systematic Chaos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-17-07 09:08 AM
Response to Reply #68
73. I heard it was one per week.
But that's okay, it's still a LOT of filthy coal plants being built per year. And when you're talking about that much radioactive ash, the difference between one and three per week hardly matters anymore. :grr:
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NickB79 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-17-07 01:23 PM
Response to Reply #73
80. My newest copy of Popular Science stated that the rate has risen
To 3 per week from 1 per week only two years ago. Scary stuff indeed.
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Systematic Chaos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-17-07 04:21 PM
Response to Reply #80
83. I'm - er - speechless....
:wow:
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