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modestobulldog

The answer is nuclear, not renewables

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We definitely need more nuclear plants. They produce a ton of energy, are clean, and owing to significant improvements in technology and design since the great disasters of nuclear power (Three Mile Island, Chernobyl) and the safety of building them (where they are allowed to be built) has improved so we would probably avoid a Fukushima-type disaster. Not to mention that the US has huge reserves of Uranium and that would be a good use for it, especially opposed to building bombs or something with it. 

I'm not opposed to green energy sources....I think on a small level, they do a lot of good, but they, as currently construed, aren't enough to provide for our electrical needs in whole. They have detrimental effects too; the windmills kill birds, for example.  I'm sure that technologies and efficiencies in that area will improve too, but given the time needed to do such a thing, nuclear power plants, right now, are our best option for ensuring our energy independence. 

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8 minutes ago, I am Ram said:

What negative effects do solar farms have other than the space they use?

They harm species, things like the desert tortoises of the Mojave, for example, and birds who will land on the panels and get their wings burned off. It destroys habitats and kills animals really. 

Not to mention that the components of panels require hazardous materials such as rare earth elements that involve very dirty processes. 

In addition, seeing as we get most of our rare earth minerals from China, it arguably could create a national security issue. That being said, we have plenty of rare earth deposits in the US (big notable, albeit largely undeveloped reserves exist in Utah and California), but given the dirty process by which they are obtained, the mines are unfeasible. It would probably make a great deal of sense then to, if one is serious about solar power, to push for relaxing mining standards in the US for that purpose. It would make sense beyond that idea too, given how much of our technology we currently use involves rare earth minerals. 

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My understanding is that water cooled designs can have a runaway reaction.  You can't really use the kill switch to shut the thing off.  You are constantly keeping control rods and water in the chain reaction to keep the thing from blowing up.  

In a meltdown, all the fuel melts and evaporates and turns the water into hydrogen bubbles that can explode which is why they need that huge containment structure that Chernobyl didn't have.  

My understanding from liquid salt reactors is that to function the fuel is already melted down and it has to be in a certain proximity to other fuel to have a chain reaction.  If the reaction overheats a plug melts at the bottom of the reactor and the liquid fuel gets disbursed into a reservoir where the laws of physics prevent an out of control situation.  

Thorium reactors, as I understand, cannot produce energy without having an additional source of energy bombarding them with particles.  So if the power goes out on that additional energy source the reaction stops by the laws of physics.  

These things need to be passively safe where you can walk away from them and they will shut themselves down.  The problem with current technology is that it is basically a dirty bomb that we are trying to keep from exploding all of the time.  That makes it expensive and dangerous and that is one big reason why Nuclear is so expensive.

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43 minutes ago, I am Ram said:

What negative effects do solar farms have other than the space they use?

 

29 minutes ago, Joe from WY said:

They harm species, things like the desert tortoises of the Mojave, for example, and birds who will land on the panels and get their wings burned off. It destroys habitats and kills animals really. 

Not to mention that the components of panels require hazardous materials such as rare earth elements that involve very dirty processes. 

In addition, seeing as we get most of our rare earth minerals from China, it arguably could create a national security issue. That being said, we have plenty of rare earth deposits in the US (big notable, albeit largely undeveloped reserves exist in Utah and California), but given the dirty process by which they are obtained, the mines are unfeasible. It would probably make a great deal of sense then to, if one is serious about solar power, to push for relaxing mining standards in the US for that purpose. It would make sense beyond that idea too, given how much of our technology we currently use involves rare earth minerals. 

It is covered in the video.  In addition to Joe's comments, disposal becomes a concern in 25 years.

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13 minutes ago, modestobulldog said:

 

It is covered in the video.  In addition to Joe's comments, disposal becomes a concern in 25 years.

That too. That's the same issue they're going to start facing on a grand scale with the batteries to these electric cars. 

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3 minutes ago, Joe from WY said:

That too. That's the same issue they're going to start facing on a grand scale with the batteries to these electric cars. 

Since when has this been a problem? Dump in Africa or Impoverished Asian countries.  

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28 minutes ago, modestobulldog said:

Since when has this been a problem? Dump in Africa or Impoverished Asian countries.  

I honestly think they should just shoot it into space. They should do the same with spent nuclear rods. 

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1 hour ago, I am Ram said:

What negative effects do solar farms have other than the space they use?

The sun isn’t always shinning.  They kill a lot of wildlife.  What are we going to do with the old solar panels once they’re broken/obsolete?  Export them to some poor African country?  You need 100s of acres of solar farms to get the same power generation you get from a nuke plant. 

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1 hour ago, I am Ram said:

What negative effects do solar farms have other than the space they use?

ETA: NM, dead horse dont need kickin

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Some of these new nuke plants are also designed to not produce as much nuclear waste and to not have half lives of billions of years.  This is a major problem with current technology.  Some of these new plants are supposed to be able to use old spent nuclear fuel and eat it up.

That beats having to store it for a billion years in Yucca mountain.  If we are talking about the warts of other types of energy you can't deny the ones on nuclear.  Nuclear, solar, wind, and other energies should bet part of the mix and we should be researching how to make them better.

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I'm a little biased, as I am a nuclear engineer. If you want proof that nuclear power can be done safely, look no further than the US Navy, which has been operating nuclear reactors operated by 18-25 year olds for 60 years without a single major nuclear accident. Admiral Hyman Rickover, an eccentric engineer with a talent for pissing everyone off, foresaw the potential of nuclear power in the Navy and used his political connections to get the Navy to develop a nuclear submarine under his direction. The Nautilus was the first submarine to be powered by a reactor, and also the first submarine to travel from the Pacific to the Atlantic under the Arctic ice sheet. He would only choose officers to run the reactors who displayed the ability to make decisions under extreme pressure. US President Jimmy Carter was one of the first Naval nuclear watch officers chosen personally by Admiral Rickover, and was a supporter of nuclear power throughout his life. Rickover demanded a lot from his operators, and was known for his conservatism(not politics). If the civilian industry had a certain standard, he would take that same standard and make it even higher. He didn't want to have any chances of there being accidents with his reactors. Naval reactors are overflowing with redundancy and protection systems. The operators are highly trained and have high expectations placed on them. Civilian plants have a lot of retired Navy Nucs running them. 

Nuclear power can be done right, you just need to put the right people in front of the right technology, which we already have both.

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2 hours ago, Akkula said:

Am I a climate change alarmist?

No idea, but not like I really defined the term.  In my mind the alarmists are the the ones crying breathlessly that we are all going to die (usually in the next decade...but it always is the next decade regardless of what decade we are in).  Then in the next sentence blame it 100% on humans, blame 200% on the U.S., ignore China and India, and tell me the only solution is solar and wind.  They no longer include hydro because they don't like us hurting any fish or submerging rocks.  They don't like nuclear, because I guess something worse than us all dying might happen.  The only time they take a breath is when they have to correct their climate data (curiously always in the same direction).

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23 minutes ago, BYUcougfan said:

No idea, but not like I really defined the term.  In my mind the alarmists are the the ones crying breathlessly that we are all going to die (usually in the next decade...but it always is the next decade regardless of what decade we are in).  Then in the next sentence blame it 100% on humans, blame 200% on the U.S., ignore China and India, and tell me the only solution is solar and wind.  They no longer include hydro because they don't like us hurting any fish or submerging rocks.  They don't like nuclear, because I guess something worse than us all dying might happen.  The only time they take a breath is when they have to correct their climate data (curiously always in the same direction).

As the idiom goes, you are cutting off your nose to spite your face.  You are turning down something useful, something that could bring us so much prosperity just because the "libruls" are hypocrites.  Ignore the Al Gores, ignore the Pelosis, ignore the SJWs, and listen to freaking common sense. You are letting the morons dictate your views. Ignore them. 

I remember listening to Glenn Beck about a decade ago and he said he was going to go out and buy a huge Suburban just to spite "the libruls" and their electric cars.  It was at that moment that I realized at that moment that he and Sean "HE PUTS DIJON ON HIS BURGER" Hannity and Rush are nothing but idiots just trying to entertain instead of giving actual meaningful policy advice.  It is all about sticking it to "the libruls" just so you can feel superior.  There are things that we could be doing to greatly improve the quality of life for everyone but everybody is to focused on sticking it to the other team.  That needs to end, and it starts with everybody ignoring the morons saying obviously moronic stuff.

I've always thought that Environmentalists letting Al Gore be their spokesman was one of the worst moves they could have made.  They could have the cure for all the world's diseases but the moment the put someone with such a big political name like Al Gore on in, you instantly lose the support of people from one half of the spectrum just because of tribalism.  It is stupid.

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3 minutes ago, Naggsty Butler said:

As the idiom goes, you are cutting off your nose to spite your face.  You are turning down something useful, something that could bring us so much prosperity just because the "libruls" are hypocrites.  Ignore the Al Gores, ignore the Pelosis, ignore the SJWs, and listen to freaking common sense. You are letting the morons dictate your views. Ignore them. 

I remember listening to Glenn Beck about a decade ago and he said he was going to go out and buy a huge Suburban just to spite "the libruls" and their electric cars.  It was at that moment that I realized at that moment that he and Sean "HE PUTS DIJON ON HIS BURGER" Hannity and Rush are nothing but idiots just trying to entertain instead of giving actual meaningful policy advice.  It is all about sticking it to "the libruls" just so you can feel superior.  There are things that we could be doing to greatly improve the quality of life for everyone but everybody is to focused on sticking it to the other team.  That needs to end, and it starts with everybody ignoring the morons saying obviously moronic stuff.

I agree with everything you just said. 

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14 minutes ago, mugtang said:

I agree with everything you just said. 

Reasonable people for practical solutions unite!!!

tenor.gif?itemid=11255530

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1 minute ago, Naggsty Butler said:

Reasonable people for practical solutions unite!!!

tenor.gif?itemid=11255530

I hope those aren’t the SJSU Spartans. Otherwise nothing will get accomplished :ph34r:

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https://www.forbes.com/sites/michaelshellenberger/2019/03/11/it-sounds-crazy-but-fukushima-chernobyl-and-three-mile-island-show-why-nuclear-is-inherently-safe/#268488251688

Quote

“By now close to one million people have died of causes linked to the Chernobyl disaster,” wrote Helen Caldicott, an Australian medical doctor, in The New York Times. Fukushima could “far exceed Chernobyl in terms of the effects on public health.”

Many pro-nuclear people came to believe that the accident was proof that the dominant form of nuclear reactor, which is cooled by water, is fatally flawed. They called for radically different kinds of reactors to make the technology “inherently safe.”

But now, eight years after Fukushima, the best-available science clearly shows that Caldicott’s estimate of the number of people killed by nuclear accidents was off by one million. Radiation from Chernobyl will kill, at most, 200 people, while the radiation from Fukushima and Three Mile Island will kill zero people.

In other words, the main lesson that should be drawn from the worst nuclear accidents is that nuclear energy has always been inherently safe.

Quote

Nuclear’s worst accidents show that the technology has always been safe for the same, inherent reason that it has always had such a small environmental impact: the high energy density of its fuel.

Splitting atoms to create heat, rather than than splitting chemical bonds through fire, requires tiny amounts of fuel. A single Coke can of uranium can provide enough energy for an entire high-energy life.

When the worst occurs, and the fuel melts, the amount of particulate matter that escapes from the plant is insignificant in contrast to both the fiery explosions of fossil fuels and the daily emission of particulate matter from fossil- and biomass-burning homes, cars, and power plants, which kill seven million people a year.

Thanks to nuclear’s inherent safety, the best-available science shows that nuclear has saved at least two million lives to date by preventing the burning of biomass and fossil fuels. Replacing, or not building, nuclear plants, thus results in more death.

In that sense, Fukushima did result in a public health catastrophe. Only it wasn't one created by the tiny amounts of radiation that escaped from the plant.

Quote

The problem started with an over-evacuation. Sixty-thousand people were evacuated but only 30,000 have returned. While some amount of temporary evacuation might have been justified, there was simply never any reason for such a large, and long-term, evacuation.

About 2,000 people died from the evacuation, while others who were displaced suffered from loneliness, depression, suicide, bullying at school, and anxiety.

“With hindsight, we can say the evacuation was a mistake,” said Philip Thomas, a professor of risk management at the University of Bristol and leader of a recent research project on nuclear accidents. “We would have recommended that nobody be evacuated.”

Beyond the evacuation was the government’s massively exaggerated clean-up of the soil. To give you a sense of how exaggerated the clean-up was, consider that the Colorado plateau was and is more (naturally) radioactive than most of Fukushima after the accident.

"There are areas of the world that are more radioactive than Colorado and the inhabitants there do not show increased rates of cancer," notes Dr. Thomas. And whereas radiation levels at Fukushima decline rapidly, "those areas stay high over a lifetime as the radiation is not the result of contamination but of natural background radiation."

Even residents living in the areas with the highest levels of soil contamination were unaffected by the radiation, according to a major study of nearly 8,000 residents in the two to three years since the accident.

In 2017, while visiting Fukushima for the second time, I lost my cool over this issue. Jet-lagged and hungry, and witnessing the ridiculous and expensive bull-dozing of the region’s fertile topsoil into green plastic bags, I started grilling a scientist with the ministry of the environment.

Why were they destroying Fukushima’s precious topsoil in order to reduce radiation levels that were already at levels far lower than posed a danger? Why was the government spending billions trying to do the same thing with water near the plant itself? Was nobody in Japan familiar with mainstream radiation health science?

At first the government scientist responded by simply repeating the official line — they were remediating the top soil to remove the radiation from the accident.

I decided to force the issue. I repeated my question. My translator told me that the expert didn’t understand my question. I started arguing with my translator.

Then, at that moment, the government scientist started talking again. I could tell by the tone of his voice that he was saying something different.

“Every scientist and radiation expert in the world who comes here says the same thing,” he said. “We know we don’t need to reduce radiation levels for public health. We’re doing it because the people want us to.”

The truth of the matter had been acknowledged, and the tension that had hung between us had finally broken. “Arigato gozaimasu!” I said, genuinely grateful for the man’s honesty.

The man’s face was sad when he explained the situation, but he was also calmer. The mania behind his insistence that the “contaminated” topsoil had required “cleaning” had evaporated.

And I wasn’t mad anymore either, just relieved. I understood his dilemma. He had only been the repeating official dogma because his job, and the larger culture and politics, required him to.

Such has been the treatment of radiation fears by scientists and government officials, not just in Japan, for over 60 years.

I have a lot more to say but I have to run to work. 

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I remember when the vaccines cause autism thing came out there was some honest rightful fear and discussion.  After some time it was proven that is just bunk as the scientists and doctors studied and weighted in.  Eventually it became that people were just doing an ostrich or were willfully ignorant conspiracy theorists.  Now is their a chance that vaccines really DO cause autism...yes, I suppose.   But most reasonable people have taken the scientific consensus and are using that for making decisions.  I would say that is just being pragmatic and isn't "alarmist."

I also think it is pragmatic to believe the scientists when they talk about climate change.  That doesn't mean we are going to live in caves tomorrow and there are give an take issues.  But just to dismiss out of hand any link between human activity and climate with absolutely nothing other than political commentators to back up your position seems as dumb as believing Jenny McCarthy about vaccines.  

Nuclear, however, should definitely be part of the discussion because replacing fossil fuels with renewables doesn't seem practical.

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1 hour ago, Naggsty Butler said:

As the idiom goes, you are cutting off your nose to spite your face.  You are turning down something useful, something that could bring us so much prosperity just because the "libruls" are hypocrites.  Ignore the Al Gores, ignore the Pelosis, ignore the SJWs, and listen to freaking common sense. You are letting the morons dictate your views. Ignore them. 

I remember listening to Glenn Beck about a decade ago and he said he was going to go out and buy a huge Suburban just to spite "the libruls" and their electric cars.  It was at that moment that I realized at that moment that he and Sean "HE PUTS DIJON ON HIS BURGER" Hannity and Rush are nothing but idiots just trying to entertain instead of giving actual meaningful policy advice.  It is all about sticking it to "the libruls" just so you can feel superior.  There are things that we could be doing to greatly improve the quality of life for everyone but everybody is to focused on sticking it to the other team.  That needs to end, and it starts with everybody ignoring the morons saying obviously moronic stuff.

I've always thought that Environmentalists letting Al Gore be their spokesman was one of the worst moves they could have made.  They could have the cure for all the world's diseases but the moment the put someone with such a big political name like Al Gore on in, you instantly lose the support of people from one half of the spectrum just because of tribalism.  It is stupid.

What are you talking about?  I am genuinely confused with what you think I am rejecting.  You took the opportunity to make some huge assumptions on how I think politically and who you think my heroes are, but other than that......what was your post about?

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2 hours ago, Joe from WY said:

I honestly think they should just shoot it into space. They should do the same with spent nuclear rods. 

I saw a Star Trek episode on that.

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