Perhaps we should reconsider and Revisit Nuclear Power Plants to Meet our Energy Needs ?

Robert Zwilling

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The green technology needs to be made immediately available to the average income or less person, as this percentage of the population is the biggest number. This would result in faster reductions in whatever we are trying to reduce. China has already started down this road with an array of inexpensive electric vehicles. Western countries are helping to produce these vehicles but show no sign of doing the same thing back in the home country. One problem might be the sturdiness of the less expensive electric vehicles as they go shoulder to shoulder to older, heavier, combustion vehicles.

For most locations the original centralized power grids are old, and no matter how you look at it, in need of replacing, rebuilding, and updating. The wind technology will undergo changes as it evolves but it is only at the starting line and many designs and concepts will radically change over time. The smaller wind machines sound like a big step forward, pushing forward the original concept of decentralized power. Interesting to see if the wind pushes the utility lines underground as it turns the wind turbines and continues to blow down the old wooden poles and now even the steel transmission towers.
 

BAYLOR

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The green technology needs to be made immediately available to the average income or less person, as this percentage of the population is the biggest number. This would result in faster reductions in whatever we are trying to reduce. China has already started down this road with an array of inexpensive electric vehicles. Western countries are helping to produce these vehicles but show no sign of doing the same thing back in the home country. One problem might be the sturdiness of the less expensive electric vehicles as they go shoulder to shoulder to older, heavier, combustion vehicles.

For most locations the original centralized power grids are old, and no matter how you look at it, in need of replacing, rebuilding, and updating. The wind technology will undergo changes as it evolves but it is only at the starting line and many designs and concepts will radically change over time. The smaller wind machines sound like a big step forward, pushing forward the original concept of decentralized power. Interesting to see if the wind pushes the utility lines underground as it turns the wind turbines and continues to blow down the old wooden poles and now even the steel transmission towers.

The Texas Power grid this past winter?
 

psikeyhackr

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I think I saw a YouTube video where someone said he went to college and got a degree in nuclear engineering and never heard of thorium reactors.

I worked for IBM who hired John von Neumann as a consultant in 1951 but I never saw the term von Neumann architecture though all of the machines I was trained on used it.

There is too much knowledge control to keep the peons running in the approved ruts.
 

Vertigo

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I consider it a colossal waste of money to invest in green energy and batteries right now. Let other countries shoulder that expense then pick up the tech once it's matured and dropped in price.
I'm sorry but this leaves me literally speechless. But as @Parson says that's probably best as I don't want to get into a political row.
 

.matthew.

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Fair enough, but considering that no response dealt with the financial (other than spend whatever, which is irresponsible) or logistical, I'm going to take it that there is nothing more than ideological dogma behind it. Especially if you consider climate change to be a political subject.

To be clear, I'm not a climate denier, I don't think it'll be as bad as the media makes it out to be, but I do foresee a lot of problems arising from it. From a purely non-partisan viewpoint, every single promised action in the west won't make a lick of difference to a problem arising from global emissions.

For this reason alone, it does in fact make more sense to push these technologies on the countries that are expanding their energy demands rather than more stable or declining use nations.

Nuclear is a valid solution at least in regards to power generation though. It's proven safe and provides a reliable, responsive, and adjustable means of generating electricity that can supplement various forms of green power that will exist in the future. It should, however, require governments to properly dispose of the waste, which is currently the main issue people talk about.

Things like electric cars/battery storage/etc aren't a viable long term solution either, with the rare earth minerals required for current battery technology being massively environmentally destructive, along with the rarity. For example, 500 million electric vehicles would see us run out of platinum within 15 years (including recycling, assuming currently known mining sites). The continued push in this direction is likely to leave us with a lot of useless scrap at the end of the day.
 
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Dave

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To be clear, I'm not a climate denier, I don't think it'll be as bad as the media makes it out to be, but I do foresee a lot of problems arising from it. From a purely non-partisan viewpoint, every single promised action in the west won't make a lick of difference to a problem arising from global emissions.
Matthew, we can't reply to you because it is against the forum rules. Just stop please!
 

.matthew.

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Matthew, we can't reply to you because it is against the forum rules. Just stop please!
I've not said a single thing that is political. Not one thing. I don't know why people treat climate change as a political issue as it's not. I also don't know what I've supposed to have said that you are considering as in any way attacking your political views.
 

Danny McG

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Didn't Jimmy Carr say that on an anniversary of Chernobyl?
Me and my school mates were saying it in 1965!

"It's been 20 years since they dropped the atom bombs, where are the mutants with superpowers? They'll be grown up by now"

We lost hope by the early 1970s
 

Montero

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I've not said a single thing that is political. Not one thing. I don't know why people treat climate change as a political issue as it's not. I also don't know what I've supposed to have said that you are considering as in any way attacking your political views.
It's not just politics on here - it's things that people feel so strongly about that they start having massive rows. We can and should discuss future energy supply - but in a polite and scientifically argued way. You are basically being a bit in your face about it. Apparently officers' messes used to have a ban on three topics - politics, religion and women - as it started too many rows. Don't know what their rules are these days, if any - and indeed what the list would be. From what I've seen, on here topics are monitored and if they start flaming rows they go on the moderators' "approach with extreme caution" list. And bear in mind moderators are other members who are doing extra, just to keep the forum running. If they have to keep stepping in on rows it is no fun for them. I've been on committees and volunteered for stuff down the years and it can be a really thankless job. Heck I've been a systems administrator as a paid job and that was utterly soul destroying. Everybody knew better, wanted it now, couldn't see why I wouldn't do it now because it would be just five minutes and if I'd done it instead of arguing I'd have saved time yada yada yada.

I support nuclear power though I can see the problems with waste and with eventually fissionable materials running out. I see both problems and opportunities in renewable power - and get fed up when there are simplistic arguments in favour that ignore the technical problems which need to be solved and the problems from mining the rare earth elements for the magnets and the other parts that are less green than you'd think. Above all I think we need to reduce usage a lot - but many people don't want to do that. We do a bit with running washing machine and dishwasher on overnight electricity. Bit hard to do cooking that way, even with a slow cooker.

For interest for all of you - Eigg Electric - the island of Eigg was on diesel generators and all the locals were fed up with that. With EU grants they built a local distribution network and powered it hydroelectric, wind and solar - and a diesel generator for when they all are not working. There are very strict supply limits both on how much you can use in total and how much you can use at a time - so they have low powered kettles for example and you can either run your washing machine, or you can boil a kettle, but not both at the same time. In times of low supply - like low water in the reservoir, they have warning signs around the place and introduce further restrictions. They also use public buildings as heat sinks - and heat them when there is energy surplus. All the islanders prefer it to the old days of the chugging diesel generators everywhere. Eigg Electric - The Isle of Eigg

Whatever generates the electricity, restricting usage does seem to me to be the way forward. I'd like a slightly higher bar than on Eigg..... at least be able to have two computers on at once plus a light, and ideally not have to shut a computer down before you can boil a kettle - but if it was shut down a computer before you can make a cup of tea, so be it. But I grew up with war generation parents who remembered rationing, and electricity before the National Grid. Between that and being very frugal as a student, I actually take pride in low cost work arounds and saving pennies. (I do also spend money on some things, but there is a lot of satisfaction in being ingenious.)
 

.matthew.

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It's not just politics on here - it's things that people feel so strongly about that they start having massive rows. We can and should discuss future energy supply - but in a polite and scientifically argued way. You are basically being a bit in your face about it.
Ahh, that makes sense and it is something I do feel strongly about so perhaps reacted a little harshly to the people who dismissed my points without giving their own. Part of it for me is that a lot of what is said (by all sides) never feels practical and is just about stirring the pot.

I was genuinely wanting to give a purely practical approach to the problem, and I suppose my 'damn the ideologues' angle gets people's hackles up. It's just that without feasible expectations and solutions, nothing done will actually help.

Consider this a blanket apology to anyone I've offended here, and I'll steer away from this thread. Of course, if anyone actually wants to have a discussion on it, I'm happy to have one privately.
 

Parson

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@Montero .... Thanks for the reasoned response. I agree that with our present technology the way forward is going to have to include reduced demand. But in much of the world demand is not likely to go down, especially with a warming planet.

Another thing that bothers me is NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard) politics. Both wind and solar, and to a lesser degree nuclear, spoil people's precious views. In a notorious case, a wind farm off the coast of Martha's Vineyard was held up for decades by the rich and powerful people who live/vacation there, and did not want to see the blades turning in the distance. It seems petty, but a bit less so today because I know a bit of that frustration. As I look out my office window my view of the golf course is now 95% obstructed by a huge duplex planted between our condo and the golf course. I always knew it could/would happen, but I'm surprised about how frustrated I am by it. Doubly so right now because the construction workers are congesting our cul-de-sac with their vehicles.
 

Montero

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To me part of the problem is the lack of central planning at least in the UK - it is down to the individual company to pick somewhere to build something. I am not an advocate of the government being heavy handed (hope this doesn't take this thread into contentious waters) but looking at the Eigg Electric example, the community chose their own mix of generators - so they had hydropower and solar and wind - so on clear days with no wind you would have solar and on windy rainy days you have wind and water. Even so they can run out. However the point I am making is that they got to choose the mix, and they got to choose the siting and they got to benefit from it. This all worked because they have a local distribution grid which they control. Having renewables integrated into the National Grid means there is no local control on power generation.
At present in the UK the system is that the landowner, or a company approaching a landowner, says "hey how would you like to make some money from wind/solar" and it is a lottery where it lands. There is also no law that says the site should be rated to generate a minimum amount or that it should be near existing power lines (there was a bit of a scandal some years back with a lot of wind turbines being built in the Highlands of Scotland, years before the new pylon line was built, so the turbines sat there generating nothing, but ageing anyway).
The way the subsidies have been set, means that you can more than make your money back from a site which isn't all that suitable - for example there is a wind turbine just off Junction 11 of the M4 at Green Park in Reading - in amongst the office buildings in an area that is not that windy to start with. Sigh. And unlike the Island of Eigg, the local community in which the renewable electricity generator is sited, may see no additional benefit at all. There are a big variety of companies installing renewable energy and some are genuine greens who will set up community benefits and are championing renewable energy and others are just in it for the money and over-ride community interests and don't deliver on promised benefits - most of which cannot be enforced under UK law. Hence people are hacked off by them. Solar panels are less contentious, but even so, they can turn a green hillside into a grey shiny hillside and it is nicer to look at grass than something that looks like a parking lot. As ever with development it is cheaper to use a green field site than work on a brown field site or attach items to buildings. Mentioning parking lots, why not build scaffolding over every parking lot and mount solar panels on them. It would shade the cars and double up use of the land - but I've never seen it done.
And wandering back to the title of the thread - nuclear power - and @Parson 's point - nuclear power station buildings are shorter than modern industrial wind turbines and you need far, far fewer of them compared to wind turbines. So arguing regarding aesthetics, and people not wanting their view spoilt (which I sympathise with) you are better off with nuclear. I know some people like looking at wind turbines, but there are also a lot of people who don't - and however much each says to the other they are wrong, no-one is going to change their minds. :)
 

BAYLOR

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It's a shame really, all that radiation for all these years but still no superheroes

At least ,not since the mighty Radio Active Man .:confused:

And where is Mr Neutron ? I do wish he'd stop playing games with super spy Ted Salad . The world needs him. :mad:
 

.matthew.

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At least ,not since the mighty Radio Active Man .
man-listening-intently-to-portable-radio-carefully-broadcast-news-sports-31103062.jpg

"Sounds active to me."
 

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