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OT: Hippies for Nukes!

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  • OT: Hippies for Nukes!

    Well, sort of. James Lovelock who came up with the Gaia Theory is now saying that the dangers of global warming are so great that we can no longer afford to wait around for technologies like solar and wind to come on line, but must immediately launch a massive effort to convert to nuclear power. http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/env...p?story=524313

    <font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">He writes today: "I am a Green, and I entreat my friends in the movement to drop their wrongheaded objection to nuclear energy."</font>

  • #2
    Nuclear engery is one of cleanest, most efficient sources of energy.
    Too bad we were set back 30 years by illogical greens and ignorant politicians.

    Comment


    • #3
      <font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by BillH:
      Nuclear engery is one of cleanest, most efficient sources of energy.
      Too bad we were set back 30 years by illogical greens and ignorant politicians.
      </font>
      Nope, they were 100% right on.

      Not the way you think. Not because nuc energy is so terrible. How could it be? Everything runs on it anyhow, even your car.

      Nothing could be more natural than nuc energy. Nope, the problem is the nuc industry was done wrong.

      Every stinkin utility had to do it their way, so each plant is different. Each with a different set of failure modes. Each with a different control room, and different this that and the other. Every one must be individually qualified and approved as a stand-alone special construction.

      Make them all the same, dang it. Make THAT construction as fail safe as possible. If you have a problem, fix it on all of them.

      Sure, you run the chance of system-wide problems. But you don't have unknown hidden problems in each installation. You don't have an open-ended approval process, because each one is done the same. Approve one, and the rest are approved, you can look at the siting, etc, but the design and dimensions are set.

      And there would be much more time to be sure the design is acceptable. Only one design must be checked.

      Then each one can be qualified for conformance to the known design standards.

      As a last feature, it could be cheaper, since the manufacture of parts would be standardized and done as an assembly-line. One-offs are always higher in price than even 2 or 3 units, for most "custom" things (there are exceptions, of course).

      1601

      Keep eye on ball.
      Hashim Khan

      Comment


      • #4
        J, You are right about standardized formats for the nuk industry.
        years ago , you had Babcock and Wilcox, Westinghouse, and GE.
        Today, only GE is left, so it should be easier to do..The French are 95 % Nuclear as well as the Japanese (Thats right !)
        and both have standard plant formats ..
        Wake up America !
        Only when we have Nationwide Brownouts, will something be done, and of course there will have to be a "Commisson" appointed to find out why we waited so long

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        • #5
          I have to admit this is one of the few things I find to admire in France (hey i had a Renault, I'm entitled to my opinion). It is one aspect of the nuclear industry I have never been able to understand. With the new Pebble Bed designs (which DOE has wanted to build a test reactor in the US but Congress has stalled IIRC) a lot of the safety issues of the pressurized water reactors just go away.
          Forty plus years and I still have ten toes, ten fingers and both eyes. I must be doing something right.

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          • #6
            France, the UK and Russia have had the worst nuc accidents. TMI is an also ran.

            Windscale, Chyrnobyl, and an accident in 1958 or so, I forget the French one.

            Japan has not had much of one yet. Figures.
            1601

            Keep eye on ball.
            Hashim Khan

            Comment


            • #7
              Canada has a Standard nuke design called the Candu reactor. It is inherently "safe" as it cannot melt down in a loss of coolant condition. If the heavy water moderator is lost the core goes subcritical and shuts down on its own. Also, the design includes a system to prevent any possibility of venting radioactive material in the event of some unforseen catasphropic failure. Next to the reactor is a very large structure, a building that is heavily re-enforced. It is connected to the reactor containment by a giant gate valve. This building is kept under a mild vacuum inside and if needed the valve is opened and the containment structure is suddenly under negative pressure.

              We also have another standard design called the Slowpoke. It is a research reactor but is very suitable for small scale power generation at remote locations. It can be hauled around on a truck.

              I have never understood the US approach to nuclear power. It just doesn't make any sense. The Candu design doesn't even need weapons grade uranium and the fuel is only lightly enriched. It cannot be used to make a bomb.

              [This message has been edited by Evan (edited 05-25-2004).]
              Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

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              • #8
                Evan,

                The American approach to nuclear reactors is not a good, it's been year since the last one was built. AEP (or it's for runners) was building a nuke generator down by the Ohio river and it suddenly was changed to a coal burner. I think cost over runs were the factors. Another plant was closed because of corrosion problems, that should have been caught a long time before the actual discovery.

                I think nuclear energy does have it's place, but with most Americans, they don't want it in their backyard. I do not share that feeling.

                Jerry

                Comment


                • #9
                  Safe or dangerous, clean or messy? One thing for sure, it is an expensive way to boil water.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    You know though, 2/3rds of the worlds Nuclear Reactors are in the United States Navy. What ever designs they use in the ships so far seam to be good ones, havent heard of a meltdown yet.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Expensive? In the long run, it is very cheap. If you got US Navy ships going for 20 years straight before needing to be refueled, I'm sure the costs of oil would be much higher, not to mention much worse performance.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Nuclear power can be a safe and reliable energy source. As has been discussed here before what is needed is a coherent plan for disposal of spent fuel and other high level waste products. Yucca Mtn isn't coming on line any time soon and the thought of train loads of glow in the dark waste running through city centers is something that no politician even wants to think about, never mind do something about it.

                        We (the human race) need to do something fast or we will miss the window of opportunity provided by increasingly scarcer resources. We are rapidly getting to the point of eating our seed grain.

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                        • #13
                          <font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Evan:
                          Nuclear power can be a safe and reliable energy source. As has been discussed here before what is needed is a coherent plan for disposal of spent fuel and other high level waste products. Yucca Mtn isn't coming on line any time soon
                          </font>
                          The answer is to use it....the only sensible reactor is a breeder. There is only so much easily used fissionable stuff, but there is a lot of stuff that will "breed" to be usable.

                          And those products are still often a useful heats ource for low-grade heat. Otherwise why do the ponds boil off?

                          Nuclear fuel is just as "fossil" as oil....gotta be smart about how to use it.

                          1601

                          Keep eye on ball.
                          Hashim Khan

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Breeder reactors pose significant risks not present in other types. Here is a pretty good overview:

                            http://www.chemcases.com/2003version/nuclear/nc-10.htm
                            Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

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                            • #15
                              A big part of the problem in convincing the public of anything is the sheer number of lies and "secrecy" that has followed Nuclear around.

                              In the referenced site, Cheney says....

                              "The latter was the worst reactor accident in history, with 31 people dying of direct radiation poisoning and thousands more exposed to high doses of radiation. "

                              This, as virtually everyone knows, an extremly low number. Reported low for political reasons at the time and knowingly repeated here.

                              People think about "public" nuclear power, but, as the man points out, most of nuclear power is military, secret, or research. Terrible things were covered up in these categories. Rocky Flats, Hanford, and Kerr-McGee sites come to mind.

                              So where so much "secrecy" and "lies" are repeated by a government, even today, small wonder most people are dubious and *know* that they may not be dealing with all the facts or just outright fabrications told by ignorant politcians.

                              All here make good points, but the points are only about roughtly 1/3 of what is actually happening.

                              There is no reason for most of the screcy, anyway. The 1940s are 60+ years ago now, and nuclear stuff is just high school material now.....

                              --jerry
                              dvideo

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