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    Re: Interesting nuclear energy article

    I think all fanatical groups operate this way (quote from the article):

    I could see that my fellow directors, none of whom had any science education, were starting to deal with issues around chemicals and biology and genetics, which they had no formal training in, and they were taking the organization into what I call "pop environmentalism," which uses sensationalism, misinformation, fear tactics, etc., to deal with people on an emotional level rather than an intellectual level.


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    Re: Interesting nuclear energy article

    Not much to say except the guy is right. Everyone thinks because of what happened at chernobyl( I probably butchered that spelling) that nuclear energy is not safe. IMHO if you lump something that happened in former soviet russia with what is going on today it is not comparing apples to apples.

    Just think where this country might be today if we had never stopped building new plants. And while the capital required to build these plants is excessive, something around 15-20 billion per plant. I think it will be worth it over time.



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    Re: Interesting nuclear energy article

    Quote Originally Posted by CyinCo View Post
    I think all fanatical groups operate this way (quote from the article):

    I could see that my fellow directors, none of whom had any science education, were starting to deal with issues around chemicals and biology and genetics, which they had no formal training in, and they were taking the organization into what I call "pop environmentalism," which uses sensationalism, misinformation, fear tactics, etc., to deal with people on an emotional level rather than an intellectual level.
    War on drugs anyone.......



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    Re: Interesting nuclear energy article

    Quote Originally Posted by cytech View Post
    Not much to say except the guy is right. Everyone thinks because of what happened at chernobyl( I probably butchered that spelling) that nuclear energy is not safe. IMHO if you lump something that happened in former soviet russia with what is going on today it is not comparing apples to apples.

    Just think where this country might be today if we had never stopped building new plants. And while the capital required to build these plants is excessive, something around 15-20 billion per plant. I think it will be worth it over time.
    In all fairness, 3 mile island wasn't a picnic either, and bad things could EASILY have happened there. Obviously we've addressed those problems since then, but it's a bit disingenuous to say that nuclear power is completely safe.

    I'm a huge fan, however, and the risks are entirely manageable.

    Now if the US would stop it's stupid ban on breeder reactor development, nuclear could make huge strides.


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    Re: Interesting nuclear energy article

    I'll take nuclear energy over coal any day of the week. IMO, the coal plant that is being debated for the state is a waste of time, we should be figuring out how to have a second nuke plant in Iowa.

    -keep


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    Re: Interesting nuclear energy article

    In my opinion, he's absolutely right. Continued reliance on domestic coal and middle-eastern oil are narrow-sighted energy and foreign relations policies at best. It'll run out eventually, and when it does, it ain't gonna be pretty.

    The Japanese have developed third and fourth generation reactors that have some pretty amazing properties. First, they fail safe, meaning that when they overheat, they don't go supercritical like the first generation reactors. They just shut off. The shut-off relies on some physics principle (I don't understand it completely) which means that it isn't a mechanical switch that's apt to fail. Second, the new reactors actually convert depleted uranium into plutonium, which can then be used as a fuel source. They're called breeder reactors, because they actually create a new fuel source as their waste. The end-result is increased energy output with decreased waste. The half-life of the waste is also much much lower than the half-life of other nuclear waste. We're talking like 500 years versus 100,000 years.

    For all the negative publicity from the 70's til today, nuclear energy still accounts for 20% of the U.S.'s electrical power, and a new plant hasn't been commissioned since the late 70's. As China becomes more and more energy hungry, the cost of oil is just going to increase. At some point, I think nuclear energy will actually be a cheaper option, prompting the construction of more plants.



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    Re: Interesting nuclear energy article

    Quote Originally Posted by cytech View Post
    Just think where this country might be today if we had never stopped building new plants. And while the capital required to build these plants is excessive, something around 15-20 billion per plant. I think it will be worth it over time.
    This is one area I would really like to see the government take the lead on and either subsidize a handful of nuclear plants like we've seen with wind farms, or just create an energy farm from tax dollars that then sells energy at cost (including the capital). The thing is, they're never going to get cheaper to build, and with a 50 year commission, it just makes financial sense to start building now. Hell, for the cost of one war in Iraq, we could have built a ****-ton of new nuclear reactors. Generally, I prefer limited government involvement in most things, but I think we need a catalyst to start the ball rolling before the market conditions become favorable enough to build them with venture capital. By the time it makes good financial sense to build them, we'll already need them. Might as well get a head-start on it.



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    Re: Interesting nuclear energy article

    Quote Originally Posted by Seth View Post
    In my opinion, he's absolutely right. Continued reliance on domestic coal and middle-eastern oil are narrow-sighted energy and foreign relations policies at best. It'll run out eventually, and when it does, it ain't gonna be pretty.

    The Japanese have developed third and fourth generation reactors that have some pretty amazing properties. First, they fail safe, meaning that when they overheat, they don't go supercritical like the first generation reactors. They just shut off. The shut-off relies on some physics principle (I don't understand it completely) which means that it isn't a mechanical switch that's apt to fail. Second, the new reactors actually convert depleted uranium into plutonium, which can then be used as a fuel source. They're called breeder reactors, because they actually create a new fuel source as their waste. The end-result is increased energy output with decreased waste. The half-life of the waste is also much much lower than the half-life of other nuclear waste. We're talking like 500 years versus 100,000 years.

    For all the negative publicity from the 70's til today, nuclear energy still accounts for 20% of the U.S.'s electrical power, and a new plant hasn't been commissioned since the late 70's. As China becomes more and more energy hungry, the cost of oil is just going to increase. At some point, I think nuclear energy will actually be a cheaper option, prompting the construction of more plants.
    Uranium doesn't grow on trees either and will very likely run out sooner than coal. The supply of uranium isn't huge whereas just in the US coal supplies are immense. I'm not opposed to nuclear power but it definitely has limitations.



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    Re: Interesting nuclear energy article

    I recently talked to a friend of mine who works in the local NRC office. The number of nuke plant applications in this region is up sharply. The local NRC is moving to a bigger office so that they can acommodate all the new construction applications. Unfortunately, there is a shortage of nuclear engineers, since many schools have eliminated their nuclear engineering programs.

    The Generation 5 plants are much more compact than the old TMI and Chernobyl designs, and much safer, as has been previously mentioned. The French company Areva is going to be building some of the plants in Texas.

    There is also a company or two pushing the "neighborhood nuke" concept. The plants are about the size of a convenience store gas station, and designed to serve a localized area. The goal is to put the electric power where it is needed and eliminate transmission costs.


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    Re: Interesting nuclear energy article

    Quote Originally Posted by Iastfan112 View Post
    Uranium doesn't grow on trees either and will very likely run out sooner than coal. The supply of uranium isn't huge whereas just in the US coal supplies are immense. I'm not opposed to nuclear power but it definitely has limitations.
    It does live in the ocean, though, with an estimated 4.7 million tons of it economically viable.

    Peak Oil Debunked: 207. URANIUM FROM SEAWATER (PART 1)


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  12. #12
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    Re: Interesting nuclear energy article

    Quote Originally Posted by Iastfan112 View Post
    Uranium doesn't grow on trees either and will very likely run out sooner than coal. The supply of uranium isn't huge whereas just in the US coal supplies are immense. I'm not opposed to nuclear power but it definitely has limitations.
    Correct, uranium is also a limited resource. However, there are domestic uranium deposits, as well as large deposits overseas. This is one of the benefits of the breeder-reactors, they would get substantially more fuel from the same amount of uranium. I read an article a few years back about a sea-water uranium extraction device that the Japanese were working on. They were trying to recover uranium that had washed out of deposits in the mountains and been washed out into the sea. I know at one point they had proof of concept and were able to recover the uranium, but I don't know if they ever managed to get it to work on a large scale. However, if they were ever able to, it would mean that the oceans would conceivably be a potential source of uranium.



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    Re: Interesting nuclear energy article

    Quote Originally Posted by jumbopackage View Post
    It does live in the ocean, though, with an estimated 4.7 million tons of it economically viable.

    Peak Oil Debunked: 207. URANIUM FROM SEAWATER (PART 1)
    So it does work! Sweet!



  14. #14
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    Re: Interesting nuclear energy article

    I'm all for it. Because:

    1) It is power that doesn't rely on the middle east.
    2) I believe the earth is getting warmer and carbon emissions MAY be the cause. The debate will go on and on but in the meantime, this seems like a nice compromise to generating large amounts of power in a "green" manner.
    3) With nuclear technology advancements as mentioned in previous posts, plants are better, safer, and more efficient than ever.

    With all that said, I still woudn't want one in my back yard.


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