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Nuclear Power Discussion  
User currently offlineconnies4ever From Canada, joined Feb 2006, 4066 posts, RR: 13
Posted (4 years 2 months 3 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 3006 times:

I would like to start a thread discussing nuclear power in as many aspects as can reasonably be encompassed, including, but not limited to:

- is it safe ?
- is it affordable ?
- does it inevitably lead to nuclear weapons ?
- what about the used fuel ?
- where do they get sited ?
- what about earthquakes ?
- is there enough uranium to supply future demand ?

and so on.

Note: I am doing this somewhat reluctantly (I work in the nuclear power business, so may be seen to be biased) but my good friend Baroque has been asking me to lead, or at least initiate, a discussion on this important topic for a while.

I think there should be some reasonable ground rules for this thread:

- fact-based submissions, hopefully with a link (media is OK if not a polemic, but technical would be better);
- links to organisations such as Greenpeace are IMHO OK, they have a lot of smart people there;
- no mere opinion pieces

Whether you're for it or against it, it's not my intention to "win you over", but as I look into retirement (soon), I would like to get a sense of whether or not essentially my whole professional life is seen to have value in the eyes of our larger society. Also, whether you're for it or against it, nuclear power is here, it's real, and new units are under construction around the world, so what do we do with it ?

Per my guidelines above, I will supply a link to the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (this is not who I work for). They are the regulators in the Canadian nuclear industry (similar to the NRC in the US). The link is intended to address some basic questions people have about nuclear energy, particularly those coming from a non-technical background. Parts of the CNSC site are open to the public, so explore it and learn:

http://www.nuclearsafety.gc.ca/eng/readingroom/mythbusters/index.cfm

I am involved in what's called thermalhydraulics, the behaviour of water under heat and pressure, water being the coolant in nuclear reactors. Over a long period of time, we've developed a simulation code called CATHENA which models reactor systems (cooling, fuel, control systems, both primary and secondary sides). It was originally intended solely for CANDU-type reactor,s but has been extended to model research reactors, other power reactor types (old Soviet RBMK, for example), and non-nuclear test facilities. We have our own website:

www.cathena.aecl.ca

Most of it is password access only, but there is a public area, so please take a look.

So, there we go: off the platform into the deep end of the pool. My intent is that this thread be a civil discussion and that at the end of the day we can still be friends, so to speak.

Baroque, this is what you asked for, so I expect you to be an early contributor !


Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
70 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineflanker From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 1658 posts, RR: 2
Reply 1, posted (4 years 2 months 3 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 2995 times:

Nuclear power is the way forward. The increasing demand for energy around the world will require that we use more and more nuclear power. Which is great IMHO.

Yes its safe and it gets safer and BETTER as technology progresses. I am all for it.(even though I got blasted by Chernobyl in 86) Not to mention that technology will sufficiently advance to the point where even waste is taken care of and disposed properly.

Power from the atom should be embraced because its the only thing that I see providing all the power we need.

Not corn, coal, solar, thermal or wind.. etc. Those are political fronts that are not efficient and are just a joke.



Calling an illegal alien an 'undocumented immigrant' is like calling a drug dealer an unlicensed pharmacist
User currently offlineBaroque From Australia, joined Apr 2006, 15380 posts, RR: 59
Reply 2, posted (4 years 2 months 3 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 2990 times:

Quoting connies4ever (Thread starter):
this is what you asked for, so I expect you to be an early contributor !

Great connies, and thank you for starting this off. If a.net had not "hung" on double click I would have been here a minute or so earlier.

Super OP, it mostly shows up what I don't know but would like to know so that is about how I like it. Now to go and read your links after I go and check some coal analyses - for that other way of generating base load power, but usually with a greater release of radioactivity. Most coal ash is more radioactive than the emissions from nuke power stations.

I was thinking of our correspondence on the general subject yesterday when Bushehr was being reported as a source of plutonium for nuclear weapons. So one topic you might like to lead off on would be which nuclear reactor types are suitable for producing bomb grade plutonium and which are not and why they are or are not - in basic terms.

I suppose there must be no limit on how technical it has to get so in a perverse masochistic way I hope for stacks of physics that leave me scrabbling for help. At a relatively simple level it does appear that while U isotopes and requirements seem well enough understood, the restrictions on plutonium do not seem to be similarly appreciated? After that I start to get into Rummie's unknown unknowns!!

[Edited 2010-09-04 10:44:27]

User currently offlineMattRB From Canada, joined Apr 2005, 1624 posts, RR: 9
Reply 3, posted (4 years 2 months 3 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 2968 times:

Quoting connies4ever (Thread starter):
- is there enough uranium to supply future demand ?

Does it have to have uranium as the fuel source? I was reading an article recently about the development of a thorium reactor (which is, apparently, more abundant than uranium).



Aviation is proof that given, the will, we have the capacity to achieve the impossible.
User currently offlineconnies4ever From Canada, joined Feb 2006, 4066 posts, RR: 13
Reply 4, posted (4 years 2 months 3 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 2952 times:

Quoting MattRB (Reply 3):
Quoting connies4ever (Thread starter):
- is there enough uranium to supply future demand ?

Does it have to have uranium as the fuel source? I was reading an article recently about the development of a thorium reactor (which is, apparently, more abundant than uranium).

You're quire right. Th is one of the most abundant elements on earth. India has an active program right now evaluating Th fuel (in a CANDU-style reactor). There are issues around Th fuel, particularly decay products (U-233 has some nasty daughters) and the control system. CANDU was designed to have a Th fuel load, at least in theory.

In the 'it doesn't have to be U fuel' arena, one could always look to plutonium. This would be VERY controversial due to the inherent link to weapons. Also, so-called 'fast' reactors (Phenix, Super-Phenix, in France) have proved to be problematic. There is also the issue of using very hot sodium or lead as a coolant.

I'll try to dig out some info for you on Th fuel.



Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
User currently offlineDreadnought From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 8922 posts, RR: 24
Reply 5, posted (4 years 2 months 3 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 2945 times:

Quoting connies4ever (Thread starter):
- is it safe ?

Yes. Modern reactors all have containment domes that would have avoided the disaster at Chernobyl, had it been equiped with one. In addition, Chernobyl happened because of a poorly conceived test, and deliberate ignoring of warning signs, not normal operations.

Quoting connies4ever (Thread starter):
- is it affordable ?

By using standardized designs (like the French did), yes. Much of the high cost comes from building individual designs everywhere.

Quoting connies4ever (Thread starter):
- does it inevitably lead to nuclear weapons ?

No. Certain types of reactors create fuel suitable for bombs as a byproduct, however.

Quoting connies4ever (Thread starter):
- what about the used fuel ?

A few months ago I visited a nuclear plant in northern Switzerland, where they have a cool display of how permanent storage would work. Basically you tunnel deep into a geologically stable rock formation and then deposit the waste while backfilling the tunnel. By the time nature might uncover the tunnel in 100 million years or so, the waste will have as much residual radioactivity as the dirt in your back yard.

The biggest problem is the environmentalist movement who is somehow convinced that the laws of physics are wrong and that the stuff stays poisonous forever, and will irradiate whatever alien races have occupied the Earth at that time.

Quoting connies4ever (Thread starter):
- where do they get sited ?

Preferably not on a fault line.

Quoting connies4ever (Thread starter):
- what about earthquakes ?

See the reply above.

Quoting connies4ever (Thread starter):
- is there enough uranium to supply future demand ?

Enough for a hell of a long time.



Veni Vidi Castratavi Illegitimos
User currently offlineconnies4ever From Canada, joined Feb 2006, 4066 posts, RR: 13
Reply 6, posted (4 years 2 months 3 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 2927 times:

Quoting flanker (Reply 1):
Nuclear power is the way forward. The increasing demand for energy around the world will require that we use more and more nuclear power. Which is great IMHO.

Yes its safe and it gets safer and BETTER as technology progresses. I am all for it.(even though I got blasted by Chernobyl in 86) Not to mention that technology will sufficiently advance to the point where even waste is taken care of and disposed properly.

Power from the atom should be embraced because its the only thing that I see providing all the power we need.

Not corn, coal, solar, thermal or wind.. etc. Those are political fronts that are not efficient and are just a joke.
Quoting flanker (Reply 1):
Nuclear power is the way forward. The increasing demand for energy around the world will require that we use more and more nuclear power. Which is great IMHO.

Yes its safe and it gets safer and BETTER as technology progresses. I am all for it.(even though I got blasted by Chernobyl in 86) Not to mention that technology will sufficiently advance to the point where even waste is taken care of and disposed properly.

Power from the atom should be embraced because its the only thing that I see providing all the power we need.

Not corn, coal, solar, thermal or wind.. etc. Those are political fronts that are not efficient and are just a joke.
Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 5):
Quoting connies4ever (Thread starter):
- is it safe ?

Yes. Modern reactors all have containment domes that would have avoided the disaster at Chernobyl, had it been equiped with one. In addition, Chernobyl happened because of a poorly conceived test, and deliberate ignoring of warning signs, not normal operations.

Quoting connies4ever (Thread starter):
- is it affordable ?

By using standardized designs (like the French did), yes. Much of the high cost comes from building individual designs everywhere.

Quoting connies4ever (Thread starter):
- does it inevitably lead to nuclear weapons ?

No. Certain types of reactors create fuel suitable for bombs as a byproduct, however.

Quoting connies4ever (Thread starter):
- what about the used fuel ?

A few months ago I visited a nuclear plant in northern Switzerland, where they have a cool display of how permanent storage would work. Basically you tunnel deep into a geologically stable rock formation and then deposit the waste while backfilling the tunnel. By the time nature might uncover the tunnel in 100 million years or so, the waste will have as much residual radioactivity as the dirt in your back yard.

The biggest problem is the environmentalist movement who is somehow convinced that the laws of physics are wrong and that the stuff stays poisonous forever, and will irradiate whatever alien races have occupied the Earth at that time.

Quoting connies4ever (Thread starter):
- where do they get sited ?

Preferably not on a fault line.

Quoting connies4ever (Thread starter):
- what about earthquakes ?

See the reply above.

Quoting connies4ever (Thread starter):
- is there enough uranium to supply future demand ?

Enough for a hell of a long time.

While I appreciate the contributions, guys, this is not what I intended. Flanker's piece is opinion, Dreadnought's is responding to my thought's about what this might be for. Don't tell me you're for it (or against it) but give me reasons why. Reasons you can back up.

Thanks



Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
User currently offlineKen777 From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 8435 posts, RR: 9
Reply 7, posted (4 years 2 months 3 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 2925 times:

It's easy for me to be supportive of nuclear power as I served on the USS Long Beach - one of the first nuclear powered surface ships - in the mid to late 60's. That does leave me with a high confidence level.

But I can also remember the high standards for anyone involved with the reactors. Continual training and re-qualifying at the various levels - with the qual cards continually in a pocket for review and improving.

Deployment, however, will always be a problem because of the rear some people have about the thought of reactors. Locations will probably end up in locations where the state residents understand it can be safe. That might increase the costs of the transmissions infrastructure, but it will be worth it,

In the meantime I can see other forms, like wind and solar, filling in until reactors can be built and brought on line.


User currently offlineracko From Germany, joined Nov 2001, 4857 posts, RR: 20
Reply 8, posted (4 years 2 months 3 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 2909 times:

My problem with nuclear power is: Everything humans build breaks one day.

No matter how many safety precautions you build into an aircraft, no matter how failsafe it seems on paper, it's going to crash one day. The same goes for a nuclear power plant.

And that's the difference between an aircraft and a nuclear power plant: While an aircraft crash is a tragedy, a nuclear power plant failing is catastrophic, especially in a densely-populated region.

Chernobyl was 24 years ago and even today, 1500km away here in Germany some boars are still radioactive.


User currently offlineGlom From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2005, 2821 posts, RR: 10
Reply 9, posted (4 years 2 months 3 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 2903 times:

Quoting connies4ever (Thread starter):
- links to organisations such as Greenpeace are IMHO OK, they have a lot of smart people there;

No it doesn't. It is a repository for mythomaniacs.

Quoting racko (Reply 8):
And that's the difference between an aircraft and a nuclear power plant: While an aircraft crash is a tragedy, a nuclear power plant failing is catastrophic, especially in a densely-populated region.

Depends on the kind of failure. Risk must be considered as the product of probability and consequence. Even if we assume a nuclear reactor will go haywire around once a century and kill a thousand people, then that really puts in on par with say gas power, which may have an accident each year that will kill ten people. The difference is that the latter will be considered par for the course, whereas as the former is sensational.

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 5):
By the time nature might uncover the tunnel in 100 million years or so, the waste will have as much residual radioactivity as the dirt in your back yard.

We needn't worry about that far in the future. Spent fuel from a typical LWR decays to the activity of the original uranium ore in around 10,000 years. For vitrified fission products, which really should be all that's left as we should be recycling the actinides in the spent fuel, does so in around half a century. I believe the fission products from a thorium reactor does so in half the time.

See the chart here.

When you consider that a lot of toxic chemical waste does not decay (but merely dilutes), then once the stuff of fission has long since become an irrelevance, a lot of our waste that isn't nuclear will still be just as deadly as the day we buried it.

Also high level nuclear waste is really small in quantity.


User currently offlinecomorin From United States of America, joined May 2005, 4903 posts, RR: 16
Reply 10, posted (4 years 2 months 3 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 2881 times:

As an EE in a past life, I'm a big believer. I believe that more people die due to fossil based energy, and wind /solar have their own scale and environmental issues.

I also believe that ongoing investment in Nuclear Engineering will make it even safer than it is today.

I would like to learn more about the newer technologies coming into play, and about waste disposal. Thanks Glom and Dreadnought for some answers.

My big question is why a modern country like Germany has a no-nuclear goal whereas its neighbor France is betting heavily on it.

Conspiracy Theory #1: Both Baroque and Connies4ever are from Yellowcake countries!  


Apologies to the OP for format deviation.


User currently offlineDreadnought From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 8922 posts, RR: 24
Reply 11, posted (4 years 2 months 3 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 2871 times:

Quoting comorin (Reply 10):
My big question is why a modern country like Germany has a no-nuclear goal whereas its neighbor France is betting heavily on it.

Environmentalists in Germany became very powerful in Germany over the past 3 or 4 decades. The decision to abandon nuclear energy in Germany is purely an eoional one, and not at all based in logic - pretty surprising for Germany!

France's energy policy over the past half-century has been exemplary. They successfully pushed the auto industry to diesel, and by using standardized designs - which allows standardized training and operation procedures, they have about the most cost-effective and safest nuclear programs in the world.



Veni Vidi Castratavi Illegitimos
User currently offlinegolfradio From Canada, joined Jun 2009, 814 posts, RR: 2
Reply 12, posted (4 years 2 months 3 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 2852 times:

Sorry Connies, except for studying basic nuclear physics at the university, I am not techincally qualified to provide reasons for why I think nuclear power is the future.

I would love to get your opinion on Fusion power though. The D-T fusion which seems to be the preferred path as opposed to H-H would require about 150,000,000C temperature to start the reaction. How viable is it to produce that kind of temperature? And how does the efficiency compare to fission reactors?

The ITER construction is about to start in France and I am looking forward to see results. I am also curious as to why Canada is not part of ITER.


User currently offlineandaman From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (4 years 2 months 3 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 2845 times:

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 11):
France's energy policy over the past half-century has been exemplary. They successfully pushed the auto industry to diesel, and by using standardized designs - which allows standardized training and operation procedures, they have about the most cost-effective and safest nuclear programs in the world.

Right now in Finland the French company Areva is building the first new Generation III+ reactor, the most powerful nuclear reactor so far. Olkiluoto-3 was the first nuclear plant ordered in Western Europe since the 1986 Chernobyl disaster.

The project is badly delayed, there have been a lot more problems than expected but of course French want to sell more of these new generation reactors and now show the pioneering project in Finland is successful. Despite all the problems with Olkiluoto-3 Finland will get more nuclear power, the government just showed green light for two more reactors. The current nuclear plants produce around 25% of Finland's electricity.


User currently offlinealoges From Germany, joined Jan 2006, 8735 posts, RR: 42
Reply 14, posted (4 years 2 months 3 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 2834 times:

Considering all the lies and cover-ups and the political and economical influence on all decisions concerning this technology, it will go haywire at some point. In theory, we may be able to operate nuclear power plants that are the safest machines we've ever built, but real life never follows theory.

Take Olkiluoto 3. It was supposed to be a showcase for affordable, safe and ready-for-the-future nuclear power. Instead, it has become a showcase of massive cost overruns, the fact that too many subcontractors on one site will create chaos and yet another example of how profit maximisation will lead to substandard build quality.

Waste: just read the Wikipedia entry on the German final storage facilities "Asse", look for a bit of info on Gorleben and give the security of those storages some thought. Gorleben was never originally considered safe by any scientists involved in the studies, but chosen for purely political reasons (one of them its proximity to the former GDR) and shoehorned into study results to fit the political agenda. Remember that security of these facilities will be paid for with public money, not the billions in profits the energy companies make. Since that's the way this works, the only conclusion can be that there's no way for the safest final storage option to be used and that the safekeeping of nuclear waste will be a heavy burden on future generations.

[Edited 2010-09-04 17:06:37]


Walk together, talk together all ye peoples of the earth. Then, and only then, shall ye have peace.
User currently offlinephotopilot From Canada, joined Jul 2002, 2810 posts, RR: 18
Reply 15, posted (4 years 2 months 3 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 2816 times:

Look, I'm in favour of Nuclear Energy for many reasons.

When hydrocarbon fuels are exhausted, what will heat our homes, power our cars, etc? The only answer to that is Electricity.

The trouble with electricity is that it is not easily stored. For broad-based use it must be a rolling-reserve, able to spool up to meet demand at all times. Solar and wind simply can't do that. Hydroelectric can, but there aren't enough viable rivers to build dams on to meet the full demand of the human race.

Nuclear is clean, reliable (multiple units per site allows redundancy) and relatively cheap in the long-term.

As to storage of spent fuel, I have no trouble with deep underground storage in stable geological formations.

Nuclear.... I'm all for it.


User currently offlineandaman From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (4 years 2 months 3 weeks 4 days ago) and read 2810 times:

Quoting aloges (Reply 14):
Take Olkiluoto 3. It was supposed to be a showcase for affordable, safe and ready-for-the-future nuclear power. Instead, it has become a showcase of massive cost overruns, the fact that too many subcontractors on one site will create chaos and yet another example of how profit maximisation will lead to substandard build quality.

For sure Olkiluoto-3 has become expensive for the French especially but extreamly hard to believe Finnish authorities would accept "substandard build quality" when building a nuclear plant... The project is delayed, but it seems Finns arent that worried, earlier this year Olkiluoto-4 got green light.

I'm not the biggest fan of nuclear power, but I understand why Finland has chosen that road. One reason is without building more nuclear power we should export a lot more electricity from Russia, produced mainly by local nuclear plants.


User currently offlinemham001 From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 3695 posts, RR: 3
Reply 17, posted (4 years 2 months 3 weeks 4 days ago) and read 2799 times:

Quoting aloges (Reply 14):
Take Olkiluoto 3. It was supposed to be a showcase for affordable, safe and ready-for-the-future nuclear power. Instead, it has become a showcase of massive cost overruns, the fact that too many subcontractors on one site will create chaos and yet another example of how profit maximisation will lead to substandard build quality.

Those problems have everything to do with project management and nothing to do with nuclear energy. Your last statement is pure conjecture and has no bearing in fact.


User currently offlineSpringbok747 From Australia, joined Nov 2004, 4387 posts, RR: 10
Reply 18, posted (4 years 2 months 3 weeks 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 2771 times:

I'm all for nuclear power. Sadly, most people in this country seem to be influenced by anti-nuclear kooks (the biggest one being Dr. Helen Caldicott). I recently went to a "lecture" given by her..suffice to say she is totally nuts..

Some quotes by Helen Caldicott (remember, this woman is highly respected here..even though she is bat-shit crazy):

“Scientists who work for nuclear power or nuclear energy have sold their soul to the devil. They are either dumb, stupid, or highly compromised.”

“Cuba is a wonderful country. What Castro’s done is superb.”

“Every time you turn on an electric light, you are making another brainless baby.”

  



אני תומך בישראל
User currently offlineltbewr From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 13170 posts, RR: 15
Reply 19, posted (4 years 2 months 3 weeks 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 2765 times:

Nuclear power provides about 20% of our electrical power in the USA, we can't live without it but it has it 's own serious enviromental issues other than those based on the fuel.

Almost all USA nuke power reactors use cooling water from rivers or bays. Despite the use of the signature cooling towers connected with such facilites, in many cases the water is well above the natural tempatures causing some long-term envriromental issues. Droughts of water can also cause serious conflicts. About 2 year ago, parts of Georgia and adjacent states had a seroius draught, yet a certain minimum flow of water had to be maintained for the safe operation of those nuke power plants. Coal, Natural gas, Oil and other 'fossil' fuel plants also use water, as do nuke plants, to be made into steam. Some newer design nuclear power plants use non-water cooling systems so may limit that envriromental issue adding one more advantage of Nuke vs. other forms.


User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15812 posts, RR: 27
Reply 20, posted (4 years 2 months 3 weeks 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 2763 times:

Quoting ltbewr (Reply 19):
Coal, Natural gas, Oil and other 'fossil' fuel plants also use water, as do nuke plants, to be made into steam.

Won't pretty much any powerplant (steam ones anyway) need a heatsink of some sort?

Quoting ltbewr (Reply 19):
in many cases the water is well above the natural tempatures causing some long-term envriromental issues.

On the other hand, it can also create a pleasant lake for locals.

Quoting Springbok747 (Reply 18):
I'm all for nuclear power.

  



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlineracko From Germany, joined Nov 2001, 4857 posts, RR: 20
Reply 21, posted (4 years 2 months 3 weeks 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 2725 times:

The nuclear power discussion is a discussion under false pretenses anyway - we don't have enough uranium to cover the needs of the world. Right now nuclear power doesn't even cover 10% of the world's energy consumption, yet we already can't cover that need by mining and have to rely on dismantled nuclear weapons. Where is the uranium for a 10 times higher consumption going to come from? In the short term, we'll be able to cover it by intensifying mining, but that's not sustainable.

All nuclear power does is delay the transition to renewable energy sources. Unfortunately, there a huge corporate interests in nuclear power with massive lobbying power. Screw what's happening in 30 years, the next quarter's profits are what's important.


User currently offlineL410Turbolet From Czech Republic, joined May 2004, 5741 posts, RR: 19
Reply 22, posted (4 years 2 months 3 weeks 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 2717 times:

Quoting racko (Reply 21):
All nuclear power does is delay the transition to renewable energy sources.

As if it was that simple.... Can you please provide an examples within the context of Europe of a widely available, tested and proven "renewable energy source" which allows you to generate baseload?
Hydro is one such example.


User currently offlineBaroque From Australia, joined Apr 2006, 15380 posts, RR: 59
Reply 23, posted (4 years 2 months 3 weeks 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 2708 times:

Quoting Glom (Reply 9):
For vitrified fission products, which really should be all that's left as we should be recycling the actinides in the spent fuel, does so in around half a century. I believe the fission products from a thorium reactor does so in half the time.

Oh please, no vitrification. The radiation causes the glasses to devitrify releasing most of the radio nucleides. There are better ways. Synrock is expensive but probably the best. Work from there but please not glasses, and no disposal in salt either.  
Quoting golfradio (Reply 12):
I would love to get your opinion on Fusion power though. The D-T fusion which seems to be the preferred path as opposed to H-H would require about 150,000,000C temperature to start the reaction. How viable is it to produce that kind of temperature? And how does the efficiency compare to fission reactors?

Over to Connies as to how you get the energy out. In MHD, the plasmas were under 3000 K but they never found any electrodes that permitted reliable power extraction. I cannot see how it is going to work with higher plasma temperatures.

Quoting racko (Reply 21):
Where is the uranium for a 10 times higher consumption going to come from? In the short term, we'll be able to cover it by intensifying mining, but that's not sustainable.

Uranium orebodies have a distribution that means if you reduce grade (increase cost of recovery) resources increase disproportionatly. This is unlike lead and zinc where most orebodies have sharp cut-offs with country rock having extremely low grades.
http://books.google.com.au/books?id=...%20Chattanooga%20shale&f=false
Gives some non-conventional ores that could be used. Some like the Chattanooga shale are interesting in that you could run a uranium (and probably thorium too) with oil as a byproduct. Of course you would have monster mines across some of the US's most revered landscapes. Depends on your priorities I guess.

Good questions about safety, but is it not now possible to design systems that are effectively fail-safe. Connies knows a great deal about this so I will leave it to him.


User currently offlinealoges From Germany, joined Jan 2006, 8735 posts, RR: 42
Reply 24, posted (4 years 2 months 3 weeks 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 2708 times:

Quoting mham001 (Reply 17):
Those problems have everything to do with project management and nothing to do with nuclear energy.

If even the showcase project of a billion-Euro industry is plagued by poor project management, can we not ask the question if the problem is systemic?

Quoting mham001 (Reply 17):
Your last statement is pure conjecture and has no bearing in fact.

Rather than bring out the hammer, you could try to provide information to support your claim.



Walk together, talk together all ye peoples of the earth. Then, and only then, shall ye have peace.
25 racko : Could have something to do with the fact that we're still dealing with the aftermath of Chernobyl in Germany today. You don't have to be a genius to
26 Post contains links Baroque : I would have thought quite the opposite in effect. Speed related to risks. But never assumed that there are no risks. Wiki has a more considered vers
27 racko : Does the nuclear industry care about safety? Of course they do. But that doesn't make the technology failsafe. Nobody would dispute that the aviation
28 Post contains links and images connies4ever : Fusion was 25 years away when I started in this business. It's still 25 years away, at least. There are lots of technical obstacles to overcome. And,
29 PPVRA : We all know how shitty German cars are, right? And that must be because of the profit motive.
30 L410Turbolet : You are far from alone in Europe. Chernobyl was a result of gross negligence, typically Soviet absence of safety culture, playing silly wargames and
31 ltbewr : Another group of problems for more Nuclear power plants includes funding, insurance, emergency evacuation measures and as terror targets. In most plac
32 connies4ever : I quite agree that financing for NPPs is a very large problem. Insurance is a problem as well since,although the likelihood of a severe accident is v
33 PPVRA : And they are quite right in being reluctant to assume such risks. These caps should be repealed, even if they work against the goal of expanding nucl
34 aloges : Do you understand German? I'm asking because most of what I'll find in any search for material on a German storage facility will be in written in Ger
35 Baroque : Last time I looked, there was also plenty in English. But more to the point, why ever has Germany gone from totally dangerous salt to a rather wet an
36 DocLightning : Actually, the environmentalists are worried about the transportation process in which it must be sent by rail or truck or air and there is a risk of
37 Post contains links Glom : H-H is the most high yielding of reactions I believe. I'd have to check my nucleon energy table though. Also they have higher thermodynamic efficienc
38 DocLightning : Yes, but the coolants (liquid salts, sometimes salts with really nasty toxic ions in them) are not pleasant, either, eh? I do think that nuclear fusi
39 Post contains links Baroque : The containment vessel will have to be constructed of amazium to avoid it developing some unstabe isotopes. The clean fusion story deserves to go in
40 Post contains links and images connies4ever : My sister-in-law is Schwabisch, if that helps. a) Wikipedia is easily (and frequently) hacked. You can't trust it as a reliable source; b) If you rer
41 NoUFO : Could you please go ahead and provide a link? After all you wanted to apply the same rules on this thread as on college papers. Germany EXports more
42 Post contains links and images Baroque : You mean http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/0,1518,577018,00.html Dealing with Asse Where Should Germany Store Its Nuclear Waste? By SPIEGEL
43 Post contains links NoUFO : Baroque, you could try this link: http://www.zeit.de/2009/38/DOS-Asse?page=all It's in German, but there's Babelfish and Google Translate. Because it
44 NoUFO : The response to the first comment on the article mentioned in my previous post adresses this as well. It reads that saline tectonics always have an u
45 connies4ever : A fair enough point. It might take a day or two but I'll find you a reference. Zu befehl, mein herr. I can always use Babelfish if I have problems. I
46 aloges : You expect people to treat this thread like a college paper and then you post this kind of sneer? That's exactly the same as they said about our floo
47 racko : Is there actually one privately run nuclear power plant in the world? One where the company has to cover both full insurance for unlimited liability a
48 PPVRA : Boohoo, everybody makes mistakes. Being short sighted isn't good for the bottom line and sometimes people need to be reminded of that.
49 aloges : That really helps. There can be no such mistakes in a nuclear power plant or waste storage. Quite - and they're quite short-sighted as far as nuclear
50 Post contains links Baroque : Quite low is a bit of an understatement. Not sure what ragged means in the context of granites. It is true that those explored in Scandinavia turned
51 PPVRA : Airlines like Delta and Northwest have made plenty of strategic mistakes but that has never put their passengers in any more danger. It's not just th
52 Post contains links connies4ever : Not everyone appreciates my rather broad sense of humour. If you're one, my apologies. When I say slow, I mean on the order of mm (or less) / year. I
53 Post contains links connies4ever : Sorry, messed up the book recommendation and review. Apologies to all. Hopefully here it is in correct form: "Power Hungry: The Myths of 'Green' Energ
54 Post contains links connies4ever : Just to keep the stew pot hot, an article form the "Ottawa Citizen" on the foolhardiness (at a minimum in the financial sense) of adopting wind power
55 Post contains links Baroque : Something amiss with that but http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...le/2010/04/23/AR2010042302220.html Is similar????
56 racko : Yes, the profits go to the companies - but they're not responsible for taking care of the nuclear waste or for insuring all risks involved. The profi
57 connies4ever : Link worked originally but yours is on the mark.
58 Post contains links connies4ever : I think Article 17 para. 1 means the passenger has to be able to demonstrate that the injury resulted from the accident -- not a pre-existing conditi
59 racko : A fellow of a conservative think tank bankrolled by the fossil fuel industry stating that all that green stuff is a myth. Wow, render me surprised. Bu
60 aloges : The salt mine where nuclear waste was stored "for experimental purposes" was said to be safe from flooding by the proponents of its use as final stor
61 connies4ever : Conservatives are not necessarily unconcerned environmentally. They do however prefer to deal in facts. As ooposed to anything I've seen you or Aloge
62 Post contains links mt99 : Sure are http://www.exeloncorp.com/energy/generation/nuclear.aspx
63 Baroque : I thought Germany had abandoned salt - of course it should never have started. Must ask some German colleagues whose brilliant idea it was to use sal
64 Glom : It does sound weird. Salt is a fluid (albeit a very, very, very, very, very viscous one). It causes the oil industry no end of trouble.
65 Baroque : Gentle amendment Glom, salt is actually a rheid, but the same difference in terms of results. With salt solution and recryistallization are parts of
66 Post contains links and images aloges : The "experimental" storage supposedly used for only low and medium activity waste is a former salt mine. It was said to be safe and all the rest of i
67 racko : Price–Anderson Nuclear Industries Indemnity Act limits the liability of operators of nuclear power plants to $10 billion. Next. Whose bread I eat h
68 Post contains links Baroque : I thought there was German interest in the Opalinus shale http://www.bfe.admin.ch/radioaktivea...276/01296/01312/index.html?lang=en Still inferior (t
69 connies4ever : And your position is backed by ... ? I note that in none of your posts in this thread have you provided a link or reference to backstop what appears
70 Post contains links connies4ever : An interesting piece from "Der Spiegel" illustrating how wind power is actually doing nothing to reduce overall GHG emissions: http://www.spiegel.de/i
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