RichardPrice
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Nuclear Power - Your Views

Wed Nov 23, 2005 11:06 pm

The UK Government has recently refused to rule out building more nuclear powerstations inorder to stop a decline in the electricity generating capabilities of the UK and also as a means to combat CO2 production inline with various treaties.

With alternatives such as wind farms having their own problems, is nuclear power a viable alternative to fossil fuel burning powerstations?
 
jwenting
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RE: Nuclear Power - Your Views

Wed Nov 23, 2005 11:37 pm

Nuclear is not just a viable alternative, it's THE alternative.

So-called "green energy" isn't. The environmental cost of for example a solar power station are higher than the benefits it might yield over its expected lifespan.
You need to put in so much energy and raw materials to build and maintain the thing that you put in more energy than you ever get out again and pollute more than you ever save over more traditional forms of energy generation.
Wind is somewhat better, but you can still only hope to break even.

And both are notoriously unreliable, as was shown during the 2003 and 2004 summers when extremely hot summers coincided with a total lack of wind for several weeks and thus a serious shortfall in energy production capability.

Nuclear is clean, safe, and can be almost free of waste materials if you build not just regular plants but breeder plants as well.
And if regulations are changed to allow for separation of the waste materials that do get created the volume of longterm waste can be reduced to almost nothing (and that only low-radioactive, the high radioactive waste decaying over a few weeks or months in short term storage to harmless materials).
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gr325
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RE: Nuclear Power - Your Views

Thu Nov 24, 2005 12:36 am

I could write a whole reply but I totally agree with Jwenting. Sometimes it does piss me off that so many protest against it because of the "what if something happends" issue. Of course if something bad happends we do not what what is goign to happen. But if we produce energy another way that you get the issue about the stuff that vapours away int he atmosphere. One thing of the other it is never a good thing in the eyes off greenpeace and that kind of organisations.

Anyway we should not think about what can happen. Cause it is more likely something else worse will happen sooner that a blown up Nuclear Plant. As long as we keep maintaining them of course. Well I suppose you get my point.

GR325
"You should have gone to specsavers"
 
NoUFO
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RE: Nuclear Power - Your Views

Thu Nov 24, 2005 12:37 am

Quoting Jwenting (Reply 1):
You need to put in so much energy and raw materials to build and maintain the thing that you put in more energy than you ever get out again and pollute more than you ever save over more traditional forms of energy generation.

Nonsense. The average energetic amortisation - that is the the time span that a solar system requires to produce as much energy as was needed for production of the system - is three to four years, while solar systems have a life expectancy of 25 or more years.

Quoting Jwenting (Reply 1):
Wind is somewhat better, but you can still only hope to break even.

Amortisation time is indeed even shorter. But have you heard of one nuclear power plant in the western hemisphere that actually produced more power then it was needed to build and maintain that thing?
You know why energy companies in Germany protested when the last government announced its intention to renounce nuclear energy? Because a lifespan of 32 years would barely cover the immense costs spent on building those things.

Quoting Jwenting (Reply 1):
Nuclear is clean, safe,

Debateable ...

Quoting Jwenting (Reply 1):
And if regulations are changed to allow for separation of the waste materials that do get created the volume of longterm waste can be reduced to almost nothing (and that only low-radioactive, the high radioactive waste decaying over a few weeks or months in short term storage to harmless materials).

Sorry? Half-life of radioactive waste is longer than a few weeks or months.
I support the right to arm bears
 
JGPH1A
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RE: Nuclear Power - Your Views

Thu Nov 24, 2005 12:42 am

A necessary evil, I reckon. Wind farms are a neat idea, but they just don't generate enough energy to be worth the bother. I'm perfectly OK with nuclear energy (provided they don't build a nuclear plant anywhere near where I live  Smile ). Better than fossil-fuel power anyway.
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yooyoo
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RE: Nuclear Power - Your Views

Thu Nov 24, 2005 12:49 am

Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 4):
don't build a nuclear plant anywhere near where I live

How close is too close ?

I have two plants within 30 miles from me (home). And as i type this (wirk), i have a plant within 1 km of me.

I no problems with nuclear power. In fact Canada makes a soilid reactor.
I am so smart, i am so smart... S-M-R-T... i mean S-M-A-R-T
 
FLVILLA
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RE: Nuclear Power - Your Views

Thu Nov 24, 2005 1:18 am

As an A-level Environmental Science Student we have debated the 'Nuclear Option' over the last two years many times, and once you get through the nitty gritty of it all and actually read the cost benefit analyses of it all Nuclear is the best option at this point in time !

At our current rate within 20 years there will only be one operational Nuclear reactor in the UK, Sizewell B which is just down the coast from me here in Suffolk. If the fast-track construction gets the go ahead expect a Sizewell C & D all PWR (Pressurized Water Reactor) type facilities as this is the most modern reactor type we have in the UK and is most likely going to be the benchmark type reactor for all new facilities in the UK.

I would disregard anyone mentioning Chernobyl when it comes to the building of new reactors in the UK, if they had any idea what they where talking about they would know about the completely different system design of our reactors and the fail safe systems which are incorporated which help to prevent a Chernobyl type incident.

Good for Suffolk in my mind !
I hope in life i can work to live, not live to work
 
dl021
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RE: Nuclear Power - Your Views

Thu Nov 24, 2005 1:21 am

Nuclear power is the best answer we have to the coming crisis in petroleum availability. We will need to find ways to reduce our dependence on oil for electricity and nuclear power is the cleanest way.

We can reprocess spent fuel until the final remnants need to be put into long term storage. This long term storage will require maintenance until we devise some means for actually rendering the remnants inert, but managed storage is not only possible but practical. We have already converted salt mines in the US southwest for the purpose, and the only thing now holding us up are the NIMBYs and the extreme enviromental crowd (that won't admit that it simply wants us to revert to the horse and buggy years and reduce the human population) which agitates and scares everyone else into preventing power plants from being built here.

Let me ask this.....what represents a greater threat to us...
a. Coal fired plants, as the US has tremendous coal reserves, which cannot ever be completely clean in their burning or the mining means.
or
b. Nuclear power plants which will require that we deposit the relatively small amount of waste in managed storage facilities that will become permanent fixtures where we maintain the storage containers until we devise a method for destroying or rendering inert the waste?

Quoting NoUFO (Reply 3):
while solar systems have a life expectancy of 25 or more years.

I thought our solar system was supposed to last billions if not trillions of years!! Should we all say our prayers now?  scared   Wink
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AeroWesty
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RE: Nuclear Power - Your Views

Thu Nov 24, 2005 1:27 am

I'm going to take a stab in the dark that most of the people who have/will claim that nuclear plants are "safe and clean" are too young to recall Three Mile Island or Chernobyl.
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NoUFO
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RE: Nuclear Power - Your Views

Thu Nov 24, 2005 1:28 am

Quoting DL021 (Reply 7):
I thought our solar system was supposed to last billions if not trillions of years!! Should we all say our prayers now?

*lol* got me. Solar power systems ...

Don't get me wrong; I think nuclear power is a "necessary evil" as JGP called it. I just wish we would spend more efforts on the development of "alternative" energy and use both in a mix.
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mt99
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RE: Nuclear Power - Your Views

Thu Nov 24, 2005 1:29 am

Windpower is actually not all that great. It sounds wonderfull, but people fail to realize that due to the unpredictable nature of wind, and the fact that large scale energy storage is not quiet yet possible. There must be enough "spinning reserve" in the grid to take over when there is no wind. Guess what type of generators provide this reserve: mostly fossil fuel plants. This bad reliability lowers the price of wind electricity, making it unprofitable without government intervention.

The solution: Pumped storage Hydroelectric plants! Use your water, when your done, pump it back up.. and resuse once more. Problem is.. expensive and quite long construction times  Sad

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pumped_storage

http://www.dukepower.com/community/l...pumpedstorage/pumpedstoragefaq.asp
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NoUFO
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RE: Nuclear Power - Your Views

Thu Nov 24, 2005 1:33 am

Quoting FLVILLA (Reply 6):
if they had any idea what they where talking about they would know about the completely different system design of our reactors and the fail safe systems

I know the systems are different, but there is no such thing like a fail safe system.
I support the right to arm bears
 
FLVILLA
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RE: Nuclear Power - Your Views

Thu Nov 24, 2005 1:48 am

Quoting NoUFO (Reply 11):
Quoting FLVILLA (Reply 6):
if they had any idea what they where talking about they would know about the completely different system design of our reactors and the fail safe systems



Quoting NoUFO (Reply 11):
I know the systems are different, but there is no such thing like a fail safe system.

Amazing how you cut off the rest of my post there on your quote right ! lol

I never said that our system was fail safe, but if you had read on I stated that there are fail safe systems which help to prevent chernobyl type incidents. There are actually many systems on PWR facilities by which if someone or something was trying to change the operation of the reactor but not doing it through the appropriate authorized channels to access the computer systems and then having the correct keys and codes the reactor would simply shut itself down at the first indication that something is up.

No form of energy production is safe, but I'd bet that Nuclear is one of the safest when operated correctly and is a lot more preferable over importing Gas from abroad.
I hope in life i can work to live, not live to work
 
ScarletHarlot
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RE: Nuclear Power - Your Views

Thu Nov 24, 2005 2:06 am

Quoting YooYoo (Reply 5):
And as i type this (wirk), i have a plant within 1 km of me.

In Darlington lies my darling one
She fills my thoughts each day
Half a mile from the cooling towers
I sure hope that she's okay!

 Smile
But that was when I ruled the world
 
yooyoo
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RE: Nuclear Power - Your Views

Thu Nov 24, 2005 2:09 am

Quoting ScarletHarlot (Reply 13):
In Darlington lies my darling one
She fills my thoughts each day
Half a mile from the cooling towers
I sure hope that she's okay!

 biggrin 

Very good!!

That's actually the letterhead on my municipal bills.  Wink
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vafi88
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RE: Nuclear Power - Your Views

Thu Nov 24, 2005 3:07 am

Having taken an advanced Physics class, our professor was talking to us about the advantages/risks of it, it went something like this:

Nuclear waste from a nuclear plant could fit in a dorm room. This stuff is deadly, but there haven't been reports of spills or accidents. This stuff will end up in Yukka (sp?) mountain in Nevada.

The power that we get from fossil fuels expells about 5 million pounds of ash, and CO2 and just general CRAP into our atmosphere EVERY DAY!


Needless to say, the USA has many more fossil fuel power plants than we do nuclear, and we are essentially killing ourselves because we ARE releasing 5mil pounds a day PER POWERPLANT... the nuclear waste will just sit there, and not infect our air, water, or earth if properly disposed of....


Why are we still 30 years behind????
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whitehatter
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RE: Nuclear Power - Your Views

Thu Nov 24, 2005 3:23 am

I'm in favour of it, plus the Bob Hawke suggestion about using Australia as a waste storage facility is a brilliant idea. If you want a substantial nuclear industry, why not use some of the oldest, most stable geology on the planet to store the waste in?

It could make Australia billions in foreign currency and utilise what is basically wasteland which isn't making any other contribution.

Strange that Britain has Sellafield to process waste but no plans to expand our own nuclear industry so far. I really am comfortable with the idea of building new capacity and taking coal fired power plants (or some of the gas ones) offline.

My own electricity supply is hydroelectric so my personal carbon footprint is lower than most. I'd also want to see more money and time put into the fusion projects as they are getting to the stage where the first energy-positive reactors are due to be tested. That's the longer term strategy we really need to se developed.
Lead me not into temptation, I can find my own way there...
 
GDB
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RE: Nuclear Power - Your Views

Thu Nov 24, 2005 3:34 am

It does seem likely that Blair will belatedly approve a new generation of nuclear plants.
I am old enough to remember both Three Mile Island and Chernobyl, but hopefully not swayed by the laughably technically illiterate media.
The RBMK design, aside from the faulty operation on the day, probably suffering from poor build quality (like everything in the USSR by the 70's), was a design rejected by the UK Atomic Authority in 1949!

Fact is, fossil fuels are polluting (and don't think that won't affect you), finite, worse is the rather disgusting attitude of many in the West who wail about nuclear dangers, largely imagined, don't they just campaign hard against it too.
Where is the concern then for the 8000 a year who die in coal mining accidents, oh I forgot, they are mostly in China or the 3rd world, that cheap coal we import is stained with their blood.
A poor Chinese miner, or anywhere else with poor safety (=cheap coal), is not on the radar of a Green politician, who are, in the final analysis, just NIMBYS.

The UK needs a mixed energy supply, renewables should play an increasing part, but don't kid yourself, nuclear is needed, now more than ever.
 
Banco
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RE: Nuclear Power - Your Views

Thu Nov 24, 2005 3:36 am

The problem for the UK is this:

Gas and oil supplies in the North Sea are beginning to decline, and we need to have something to replace it with.

Renewables aren't going to do the job, short of putting windfarms across the whole of Scotland (actually....hmmm Big grin ), although they should be researched a damn sight more than they are now.

So, we either come up with something new, or import all our gas from overseas. That's just a non-starter. Being at the mercy of overseas companies and countries four our gas supply would be sheer madness, both from the commercial ("We're going to double your prices. What you going to do about it?") and strategic ("We're going to cut you off") perspectives.

So,we could re-open the coal mines, but that's not going to be acceptable from an environmental perspective.

If those options are ruled out, quite simply there is nothing else that can provide mass electricity supply on the scale that nuclear can.

Nuclear power currently contributes something like 20% of UK energy needs. But in the next 20 years, the 2nd generation stations are going to start to close down. One way or another we're going to need to replace those stations AND the gas, coal and oil fired ones. Renewables are intended to make up 10% of the total supply by 2012. 90% needs to be obtained elsewhere. Given that one nuclear plant generates the equivalent of 900 wind turbines, there really isn't much else of an option in the medium term.
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Klaus
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RE: Nuclear Power - Your Views

Fri Nov 25, 2005 9:39 am

Here we go again...  Yeah sure

Nuclear power only looks like an effective solution as long as you're carrying the actual cost through a nuclear weapons program in your defense budget (heavily subsidized) and as long as you're ignoring the long-term cost and risks.

If you actually have to pay for all the costs and risks through the actual energy bill, things look quite differently. But nobody does that nowaday - the costs of millenia of waste storage, reprocessing and maintenance alone would be staggering. The total energetic balance could very well be negative as well (you'd have to spend more energy in total than you get out of it in the rather short usage interval).

Some people hope that it's a way of getting around the need to conserve power and to develop more efficient energy technologies. But there is no free lunch.
 
Aviation
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RE: Nuclear Power - Your Views

Fri Nov 25, 2005 10:59 am

I can write alot on this topic also, but...

Anyway, I say that nuclear power is very efficient and 'Safe' source of energy. It produces very little waste it is clean the whole 'mutant' lake theory is total bs and furthermore the world has alot of uramium especially here in australia. It produces alot of power for its mass and useage of materials and when we look back at chernobyl reactor 4 the reason for disaster then was poor practices bad training and a badly designed RBMK style which has been known to have problems. So to summerise tho I think that nuclear power needs to be used more in modern times as it can produce clean and efficient power for years to come.

As for risks anything has a potential risk of disaster but I think that the use of nuclear power is of small risk the technoligies of todays modern world has now a far broader knowledge of containing and controlling nuclear power.


Cheers,
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ltbewr
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RE: Nuclear Power - Your Views

Fri Nov 25, 2005 11:28 am

Nuclear sourced electricity production is about 20% in the USA, the UK and something well over 60% in France. The view of considering expansion of Nuclear is generally very negative for a variety of well established reasons:
1) Costs and risks as to the processing and security of used waste fuel including creating it's own enviromental risks;
2) Operational and engineering risks as with Chrenobal and Three Mile Island - humans design, make and run them, so plenty of room for disasterous error; 3) If something goes wrong, it can kill or sicken millions short and long term;
4) Nucelar has it's own problems to the local envirorment, including the use of water from rivers, heating it to produce steam, cooling it and returning it perhaps much warmer than at the intake, causing local enviormental problems in the water; you also have the visual and other issues of the cooling towers;
4) The exteme costs to develop and build a nuclear reaction today, perhaps well beyond that of traditional sources;
5) Difficulties in getting insurance for such facilities;
6) Public NIMBY pressures due to fears many of the above issues.

Alternatives to nuclear have their problems too, some of which were well noted above.
Oil often has to be imported, is increasing in cost, long term supplies are reaching their peaks and CO2 pollution.
Coal is plentyful in supply, but has considerable risk in it's access and highly polluting with current technologies.
Natural Gas while very clean is also in limited long term availability, difficult to transport (either by long pipelines from sources to power plants or LNG ships with their many potential risks)
Hydroelectric has significant enviorment and operational issues, especially as to fish movements, droughts, floods, disturbing of natural silting and drinking water supplies.
Wind is erratic, has visual issues, may interfere with bird migration and life in general.
Solar still needs the big breakthrough as to efficiency, variations of sun availability, as well as visual issues.
Conservation isn't enough to get us through for as long as humans are around. We need to see the breakthroughs that made Nuclear possible but without the terrible issues it presents.
 
whitehatter
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RE: Nuclear Power - Your Views

Fri Nov 25, 2005 12:05 pm

Quoting Klaus (Reply 19):
If you actually have to pay for all the costs and risks through the actual energy bill, things look quite differently. But nobody does that nowaday - the costs of millenia of waste storage, reprocessing and maintenance alone would be staggering.

we already have the infrastructure. BNFL happily reprocesses waste from other countries and we have the nuclear fuels readily available together with much of the support side.

The ramp-up to new power stations would not be as expensive as starting from scratch.

France is 80% nuclear and it's not hurting them. In fact they export surplus power. So somewhere along the line they are getting the numbers right.
Lead me not into temptation, I can find my own way there...
 
tbar220
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RE: Nuclear Power - Your Views

Fri Nov 25, 2005 1:00 pm

One thing not mentioned is the transition from nuclear power to nuclear arsenal.

I have no problem with nuclear power in nations like the United States, France, England, etc. Debate aside on the effects of nuclear power, I would oppose the use of nuclear power in countries with questionable governments. As we have seen in the last decade, it is a nuclear power plant that eventually develops into a nuclear weapons program. This has happened in Pakistan, North Korea, and possibly in Iran. And in a world where we desperately need to stop the spread of nuclear weapons, nuclear power programs offer a dangerous door towards starting one up.
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TheRedBaron
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RE: Nuclear Power - Your Views

Fri Nov 25, 2005 2:29 pm

Quoting Klaus (Reply 19):
Here we go again...  

Nuclear power only looks like an effective solution as long as you're carrying the actual cost through a nuclear weapons program in your defense budget (heavily subsidized) and as long as you're ignoring the long-term cost and risks.

If you actually have to pay for all the costs and risks through the actual energy bill, things look quite differently. But nobody does that nowaday - the costs of millenia of waste storage, reprocessing and maintenance alone would be staggering. The total energetic balance could very well be negative as well (you'd have to spend more energy in total than you get out of it in the rather short usage interval).

Some people hope that it's a way of getting around the need to conserve power and to develop more efficient energy technologies. But there is no free lunch.

Great post !!!

Now lets add this "itsy bitsy" ecuation to the mix:

Can you calculate how much will it be for storing, handling, keeping safe from earthquakes, spills and leaks the highly contaminated water and decayed material for 8 thousand years? and in some reactors for 24 thousand years?

The same stupid thinking of "lets burn this now and let future generations handle our mistakes"

Anyone for geothermal.....?
The best seat in a Plane is the Jumpseat.
 
jwenting
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RE: Nuclear Power - Your Views

Fri Nov 25, 2005 5:04 pm

NoUFO, I worked in the energy industry in research towards energy sources.
That's the result of studies we did at the time.

Where do you get your data, except from Greenpeace propaganda?

The most dangerous elements in nuclear waste have extremely short halflifes. That's what actually makes them dangerous.
If those are separated out the rest can be pretty much ignored or reused as fuel.
It's the kind of you that have caused laws and regulations to be put in place that make such separation processes illegal.

Quoting Mt99 (Reply 10):
Windpower is actually not all that great. It sounds wonderfull

Unless you live near the darn things.

Quoting Vafi88 (Reply 15):
Why are we still 30 years behind????

Because of environmental nutcases deciding energy policy. Those nutcases (like NoUFO) don't WANT cheap reliable and clean energy, because their entire strategy exists of making energy so scarce people will have to revert back to cowering in caves for the wild animals.

Quoting Klaus (Reply 19):
Nuclear power only looks like an effective solution as long as you're carrying the actual cost through a nuclear weapons program in your defense budget (heavily subsidized) and as long as you're ignoring the long-term cost and risks.

Wrong. That might have been true in the 1950s, but with the current level of technology and knowledge it no longer is.
Of course the greens (where you get your knowledge, they control your press, government, and educational institutions after all) don't want you to know the truth.

Quoting Tbar220 (Reply 23):
And in a world where we desperately need to stop the spread of nuclear weapons, nuclear power programs offer a dangerous door towards starting one up.

Bullshit. Nuclear weapons are a political issue only because people make them so.
They're just big bombs, and actually rather inefficient because of their complex construction.
It was the way they were introduced that made them political weapons rather than military ones, had they been created at a different time they'd have been just like any other bomb.

Quoting LTBEWR (Reply 21):
4) Nucelar has it's own problems to the local envirorment, including the use of water from rivers, heating it to produce steam, cooling it and returning it perhaps much warmer than at the intake, causing local enviormental problems in the water; you also have the visual and other issues of the cooling towers;

The exact same problems are associated with any other form of energy production.
Coal mines are massive scars in the landscape, wind generators look terrible (believe me, I live in the middle of an area that's so full of them you can't look anywhere without seeing dozens of them) and are death on flocks of migratory birds, they also change local wind patterns, causing local climate change (another thing the greens don't want you to know).
exhaust pipes and cooling towers from conventional power plants look the same as those from nuclear plants, and they too pump out warm water.
Hydroplants cause massive changes in the landscape around them, sometimes destroying millions of acres of pristine landscape.
etc. etc. etc.

Quoting LTBEWR (Reply 21):
Solar still needs the big breakthrough as to efficiency, variations of sun availability, as well as visual issues.

Correct, though the solution to that is known : Build in orbit.
Of course that means an efficient and cheap to run space program, which needs nuclear power.
I wish I were flying
 
cfalk
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RE: Nuclear Power - Your Views

Fri Nov 25, 2005 5:33 pm

First of all, let's redefine "nuclear" power.

There are two forms of nuclear energy. The first is fission (splitting heavy atoms) for which we have had the technology for some 60 years. The second is fusion (fusing together of light atoms), for which the technology does not exist yet, although the mathematical theory all works.

The true, final solution for the world's energy needs is fusion. The fuel is found in inexaustable quantities in seawater, and the waste is completely harmless. The problem is that we need a manhatten project to get us from the mathematical theory to the actual hardware.

Fission is much simpler, we have it now, fuel is plentiful and the waste, while in itself quite dangerous, has the advantage of being in a concentrated form, rather than farted across the atmosphere. In this form, with a little organization, it can be dealt with safely and at reasonable cost.

And in spite of what Klaus said, fission reactors are far cheaper to operate over the long term than most other solutions. Sure, they are expensive to build, because of the safety measures to put in place, but once it is there the cost is very low, in terms of cost per kWh.

If the world's governments can agree on a concentrated effort for a fully-funded manhatten project with the goal of achieving the necessary technology by 2050, say, fission reactors built today will be able to make up the gap without depleting our supply of fossil fuels, which where most of our power comes from today. Building fission reactors now to hold us over for the next 50 years until fusion is realized can help prevent a catastrophic economic meltdown which will happen if oil stocks fall so low that its use will be limited to essential uses only, and things like personal automobiles will be an extravegant luxury.
The only thing you should feel when shooting a terrorist: Recoil.
 
tbar220
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RE: Nuclear Power - Your Views

Fri Nov 25, 2005 5:58 pm

Quoting Jwenting (Reply 25):
Bullshit. Nuclear weapons are a political issue only because people make them so.
They're just big bombs, and actually rather inefficient because of their complex construction.
It was the way they were introduced that made them political weapons rather than military ones, had they been created at a different time they'd have been just like any other bomb.

Are you serious? How comfortable do you feel with N. Korea and/or Iran having nuclear weapons? And you know how that started? You guessed it, nuclear power programs. Ask India how comfortable they feel with Pakistan having nuclear weapons. Ask Russia where half their nuclear stockpile went after the Soviet Union broke apart.

"Political" or not, you cannot deny that nuclear weapons are extremely dangerous in the wrong hands and are themselves the most destructive weapons on the planet.
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NoUFO
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RE: Nuclear Power - Your Views

Fri Nov 25, 2005 6:20 pm

Quoting Jwenting (Reply 25):
Where do you get your data, except from Greenpeace propaganda?

What Greenpeace says is often to a lesser extend "propaganda" than the high-glossy publications issued by the industry.
To answer your question: I quoted the results of a recent research project of the Ruhr University.

Quoting Jwenting (Reply 25):
Of course the greens (where you get your knowledge, they control your press, government, and educational institutions after all) don't want you to know the truth.

Is this supposed to be funny?

Quoting Jwenting (Reply 25):
Bullshit. Nuclear weapons are a political issue only because people make them so.
They're just big bombs,

No, they are not "just big bombs". They are at least "big bombs" with a deadly radioactive fallout, and non-proliferation is not on the agenda of intelligence services because otherwise they'd feel bored.
I support the right to arm bears
 
Bikergirl
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RE: Nuclear Power - Your Views

Fri Nov 25, 2005 7:33 pm

I know that I'm only a student at university (2nd year engineering) and probably some of you know way more than me about this but it happens to be a favorite topic of mine.
first: Nuclear power is indeed clean when talking about exhaust gases because there are basically none but there is offcourse always the danger of an accident, even in the best of systems.
Contrary to popular believe it is not an endless energy source but at current use there is for about 200 years materials left.
Don't forget that what you need for nuclear fission is the isotope U235 which makes for only 0.7% of the volume. this actually starts the fission process and bombards the U238 with neutrons which makes it jump to U239 and after the loss of an electron you get PU239 and so on and so on.
Also I have to say that it is complete nonsense to dismantle the reactors that are currently working, it is far better to use their full life expectancy because cleaning them up now won't make them any less polluting than dismanteling them after their full life expectancy (30-45 yrs)


As for fast breeder reactors, to my knowledge that is only theory, the problems going with it are up until now not economically solvable.
The cooling of the primary circuit alone will create some big problems as you have to use Natrium (= metal) to get any kind of decent cooling.
The project in Kalkar was deemed a miserable failure.

Alternative energy sources are good if used in a limited scale, the wind energy project before the Danish coast is not a success up until now, they used more nuclear generated energy ever since they started using wind energy on a large scale (imported mainly from Germany and France).
The problem with these energy sources is not really the making of but rather the storing of the rest energy.
Best way to use these are on a personal level , like the roofs of some houses in Germany that have solar tiles or villages that use wind energy to provide for a small portion of their energy.

Water energy projects are even worse than nuclear energy on the longrun, they have proved time upon time that they destroy complete eco systems.
Examples, look at the big projects in the Amazone delta or the damming in of the Colorado river and lets not even talk about the monstrous project currently taking form on the Yangtzee river.

Quoting Cfalk (Reply 26):
There are two forms of nuclear energy. The first is fission (splitting heavy atoms) for which we have had the technology for some 60 years. The second is fusion (fusing together of light atoms), for which the technology does not exist yet, although the mathematical theory all works.

Fusion is indeed the second and by far the best form af nuclear power.
It has a higher efficiency level, you get only low radioactive waste and the natural resources are pretty much endless (deuterium from water and lithium IIRC).
It has already past the theoretical stage and the point of efficiency (more power out than put in) has already been reached a couple of years ago.
As we speak they are building the first tokomak reactor that should work as an efficient powerplant prototype in the French pyrenees (BTW director general is a Japanese professor).
It is a big project with the main players being the EU, Russia, Japan and China and recently Canada has reentered the project again.
If all works out, and things are looking very bright to say the least, in 2035-2050 the world will see the first plants constructed and than the era of fossil fuels and nuclear fission will have past.
 
teva
Posts: 1764
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RE: Nuclear Power - Your Views

Fri Nov 25, 2005 8:07 pm

One thing people forget about nuclear energy, is the cost to dismantle big plants at the end of their lifes.
I was a big fan of this energy, because in the 70s and 80s, it helped us a lot (in France) to deal with energy crisis.
However, since the 90s, more and more scientists are expressing their concerns. Only experimental and small reactors have been dismantled. And they discovered how difficult and expensive it is. And, in the country that has the biggest concentration of plants, what are we going to do with the huge quantity of waste produced by this destruction?
TOday, the nuclear lobby claims their electricity is the cheapest and the cleanest. That is easy to say as long as you don't include in the price of the kW/H the cost of dismanteling the plants, an as long as you don't talk about the waste.
French pride will once again suffer a lot when the big bill arrives in 15/20 years.
That's why as long as we don't provision the cost and no long term solution for the waste is found, I will oppose any new construction in France.
Teva
PS: Jwenting, did the climate change in Netherlands because of the mills used during the last centuries? Or is it more with all the carbon dioxide?
Ecoute les orgues, Elles jouent pour toi...C'est le requiem pour un con
 
jwenting
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RE: Nuclear Power - Your Views

Fri Nov 25, 2005 9:09 pm

Quoting Bikergirl (Reply 29):
The project in Kalkar was deemed a miserable failure.

Kalkar was NOT a technological failure. It was closed purely (and before construction was even complete) because of political pressure by environmentalists who portrayed all kinds of doomsday scenarios based on their scare tactics of all nuclear powerstations being large atomic bombs just waiting to go off.
The fact that breeders run in part of Plutonium didn't make it any easier, as the material had been quite successfully villified by the anti-nuclear lobby as the stuff of atom bombs.

Teva, there is no reliable data from localised climate change around windmills from previous centuries.
There IS reliable data about climate change from CO2 output, and that data shows no change at all.
There is also data about climate change from modern windfarms generating electricity, and those show a marked decrease in precipitation (rainfall) and a slight change in temperature in the wind shadow of the installations (up to several hundred meters away in some cases).
As many of these installations are in farmland, that means additional irrigation is needed, costing electricity (doh!) and draining surface water supplies.
I wish I were flying
 
Klaus
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RE: Nuclear Power - Your Views

Fri Nov 25, 2005 9:48 pm

Quoting Cfalk (Reply 26):
And in spite of what Klaus said, fission reactors are far cheaper to operate over the long term than most other solutions. Sure, they are expensive to build, because of the safety measures to put in place, but once it is there the cost is very low, in terms of cost per kWh.

You've just delivered a prime example of the problem: People thinking that "long term" meant mere decades - when in fact with nuclear energy it means millenia of continuous and uninterrupted maintenance and care for nuclear waste storage and processing. Proponents of nuclear power are generally betting on leaving the problem to future generations for a very short-term gain.

It should also be noted that decay is specified by the half-life of the respective materials, which means that only half of the material will have decayed at that point - you then have a mixture of materials which is stil highly dangerous and will still pose a major hazard during the inevitable re-packaging and re-processing every few decades, with equally inevitable spillage and contamination of additional material (processing plants etc.).

Teva has brought up another very valid point:

De-constructing the contaminated reactors and processing plants after use takes enormous efforts and is extremely expensive. We are currently conducting the worldwide first dismantling of a "commercial" nuclear reactor in Germany in Greifswald. The former GDR used a Chernobyl-type reactor for several years which was deemed unsafe on re-unification. You can rest assured that the experience gained during this decostruction will become another major export technology - be prepared for some major bills coming your way when your "cheap" nuclear reactors will have to be dismantled.

Forthermore, the implications regarding the proliferation of nuclear weapons capabilities and the attraction for terrorists should be obvious.

Short-term wishful thinking has never been helpful in the long run.
 
Stoney
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RE: Nuclear Power - Your Views

Fri Nov 25, 2005 9:53 pm

At the current rate of increasing energy consumption, we need more energy, and we'll need it soon. The questions shouldn't be how to replace the energy producers now, but how to add new ones. The principle of saving Energy is good and we should all think in this direction, but that will be just a really small reduction of our energy needs.

The big problem in this whole discussion is that we have to plan now to get new energy sources ready for the future (If you start with a project now, you'll get it finished in 10-15 years soonest. (And here in Switzerland one could add at least 10 more years). ) The people themselves don't see the need to pay more for their electricity to subsidise the clean technology, but they also don't want to build new nuclear powerplants because they are against this "dangerous" objects. Once they'll notice the rising electricity prices (caused by a shortage of electricity), it'll be much too late to build nuclear or "green" power plants, and the only way to bridge the gap will be to buy the "dirty energy" from other producers (like coal and oil and gas power plants)

If you look at the situation in Switzerland, you're gonna see something like this:
40 % Nuclear power
60 % hydroplants
a really small part newer technology.
Now if you take away these 40 % of nuclear energy (these plants won't run forever(the first ones are due pretty soon), you'll have a huge lack of energy which you can't fill with hydroplants (you'd destroy the environment if you built more) and the newer really clean technologies will not be able to produce enough. Only way out: Build new nuclear plants, and build them now!

Quoting Vafi88 (Reply 15):
This stuff will end up in Yukka (sp?) mountain in Nevada.

Well, you've got a place, but I hate to inform you that Yukka mountain is one of the worst places to store nuclear waste(according to research done by i don't know who...). The water only needs a few weeks from raining 'till it'll come to the surface some place else. So your waste will be washed out into the environment pretty soon.
The main reason why this place was chosen was that nobody lives there, so nobody really cares.....

Here in Switzerland we're kinda blessed that we have great grounds. NAGRA (the people searching for an endsolution here in Switzerland) found places where there's water that has been there like 10'000 years already, meaning the stones around there are waterproof (no nuclear waste will ever be washed out of there)
So you even have the places which would be safe, the only thing keeping them from building such a waste site are politics (local politics). And it's also politicians which say that there can't be any new power plants if they don't have a functional waste site.
So in the end it's all politics, and (almost) no reason behind any decision (be it energy or something else)

Greetz
Stoney
BAZL - Bundesamt gegen Zivilluftfahrt - royally screwing around with swiss aviation
 
astuteman
Posts: 6340
Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2005 7:50 pm

RE: Nuclear Power - Your Views

Fri Nov 25, 2005 10:57 pm

Quoting Jwenting (Reply 1):
Nuclear is not just a viable alternative, it's THE alternative.

The ultimate truth.

Quoting YooYoo (Reply 5):
I no problems with nuclear power. In fact Canada makes a soilid reactor.

And a great piece of kit it is! Like a big "battery" with 2 wires coming out. We nearly put one in an Upholder class submarine for sale to Canada before the Berlin wall came down.

Quoting FLVILLA (Reply 6):
I would disregard anyone mentioning Chernobyl when it comes to the building of new reactors in the UK, if they had any idea what they where talking about they would know about the completely different system design of our reactors and the fail safe systems which are incorporated which help to prevent a Chernobyl type incident

Spent the last 10 years assembling PWR reactors inside Nuclear submarines. What you say is absolutely correct. In fact the "fail safety" of the latest PWR's is awesome. They basically don't want to react, and the hotter they get, the less they want to, until they shut down of their own accord. Simple + elegant...

Quoting GDB (Reply 17):
I am old enough to remember both Three Mile Island and Chernobyl, but hopefully not swayed by the laughably technically illiterate media.

Fortunately people do remember, which is why new reactor paradigms have been developed - see above.

Quoting Teva (Reply 30):
One thing people forget about nuclear energy, is the cost to dismantle big plants at the end of their lifes.

.

Hardly - all of that has to have been proceduralised and approved these days before any Nucear plant can obtain design certification

I can look out of my bedroom window and see Heysham A+B the other side of Morecambe Bay. No probs - it's a damn site easier on the eye than those forests of bloody windmills they've covered the BEAUTIFUL Lake district in, that make a ferocious noise, and screw the local wildlife up something rotten. (and now they want to make lines of bigger ones off the coast)  Yeah sure

Heysham produces the same power as 6000 of those things, and all it is is a box with wires coming out (big ones, mind you..).
 
jwenting
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RE: Nuclear Power - Your Views

Fri Nov 25, 2005 11:15 pm

Quoting Klaus (Reply 32):
You've just delivered a prime example of the problem: People thinking that "long term" meant mere decades - when in fact with nuclear energy it means millenia of continuous and uninterrupted maintenance and care for nuclear waste storage and processing. Proponents of nuclear power are generally betting on leaving the problem to future generations for a very short-term gain.

You've obviously no clue what you're talking about. Using current technology which has existed for decades (which the likes of you and your enviroweeny friends have prevented being used so far) the volume can be greatly reduced and the high energy components filtered out.
Those are dangerous for a very short period of time, years at most.
The great bulk is completely harmless, being no more radioactive than any piece of rock or dirt.
Most can even be reused for other purposes quickly. Medical tracers, industrial markers, etc. etc., more things your enviroweenies have prevented with their ill advised idiocy aimed at pushing humanity back into the stone age.

Quoting Klaus (Reply 32):
It should also be noted that decay is specified by the half-life of the respective materials, which means that only half of the material will have decayed at that point - you then have a mixture of materials which is stil highly dangerous and will still pose a major hazard during the inevitable re-packaging and re-processing every few decades, with equally inevitable spillage and contamination of additional material (processing plants etc.).

And you again show you have no clue about how nature works.
I wish I were flying
 
teva
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RE: Nuclear Power - Your Views

Fri Nov 25, 2005 11:26 pm

I am sorry, Astuteman, but I insist on the fact that EDF doesn't provision this money.
At the begining, it was maybe planned. But abandonned a long time ago.
The reason? Keep electricity bills very low, to explain people that it was due to the atom, and that nobody should be affraid to have in front of his house such a marvel, that produces "cheap and clean" energy.
It also allowed France to sell cheap elctricity to other European countries.
And because of the illusion of the "cheap" energy, we didn't invest enough in research for other sources of energy.Sun, wind and don't forget geothermal energy. Or, for countries close to the seas, the energy of the sea (can be the enrgy of the waves, or the difference of temperature between the surface and the deep sea)
Teva
Ecoute les orgues, Elles jouent pour toi...C'est le requiem pour un con
 
RichardPrice
Topic Author
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RE: Nuclear Power - Your Views

Fri Nov 25, 2005 11:26 pm

Also nuclear waste that cant be reprocessed can be totally destroyed in a solar furnace, radiation and all. But again, this option hasnt been persued because any efforts to make nuclear power attractive are derided by greenies.

When Greenpeace et al talk about radioactive waste taking millions of years to become safe, they mean TOTALLY safe and not radioactive at all. THis is stuff that by and large started out as radioactive, and the time period needed for radioactive waste to drop back down to the same levels it started at is much MUCH shorter (decades to hundreds of years, not thousands or millions).

Radiation isnt anything special, it can be dealt with.
 
astuteman
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RE: Nuclear Power - Your Views

Sat Nov 26, 2005 2:08 am

Quoting RichardPrice (Reply 37):
Radiation isnt anything special, it can be dealt with.

98% of the background radiation in South Cumbria is from natural sources, despite having Heysham power station, Sellafield reprocessing plant, and a nuclear submarine facility within the area (in the space of about 40 miles).
BTW, most of the other 2% is residual fallout from Chernobyl.

Quoting Teva (Reply 36):
I am sorry, Astuteman, but I insist on the fact that EDF doesn't provision this money.

Possibly true for EDF, possibly true in UK once upon a time, but not today.
 
pelican
Posts: 2429
Joined: Mon Apr 05, 2004 9:51 pm

RE: Nuclear Power - Your Views

Sat Nov 26, 2005 2:28 am

I think also it's a necessary evil. Sure we should invest more in eco-energy sources. But they can't replace fossil fuels fast and efficient enough during the next two decades. Another advantage of nuclear energy is, that it would decrease the dependency on all those nasty oil producing dictatorships.

Quoting Klaus (Reply 19):
Nuclear power only looks like an effective solution as long as you're carrying the actual cost through a nuclear weapons program in your defense budget (heavily subsidized) and as long as you're ignoring the long-term cost and risks.

You're probably right. The only problem is, the negative long term effect of fossil fuels are even worse. Therefore I think nuclear energy is a viable stop-gap measure.


BTW everyone who is talking about chernobyl should read the following report:
http://www.iaea.org/NewsCenter/Focus/Chernobyl/pdfs/EGE_Report.pdf

As bad as the disaster was, the consequences are much overrated.

pelican
 
cfalk
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RE: Nuclear Power - Your Views

Sat Nov 26, 2005 2:30 am

Quoting Teva (Reply 36):
I am sorry, Astuteman, but I insist on the fact that EDF doesn't provision this money.

What do you expect of the French? Foresight?  Silly  Silly  Silly  Silly  Silly






Sorry, that was a cheap shot. But the French are such easy targets...
The only thing you should feel when shooting a terrorist: Recoil.
 
tbar220
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RE: Nuclear Power - Your Views

Sat Nov 26, 2005 4:18 am

Quoting Bikergirl (Reply 29):
Best way to use these are on a personal level , like the roofs of some houses in Germany that have solar tiles or villages that use wind energy to provide for a small portion of their energy.

This is a very good point. When you go to Israel, you will notice that almost all apartment buildings or private residences have solar tiles and solar heaters on their roofs that are used to heat up water. Clearly this can work in a middle eastern type climate, but is not a viable alternative in Finland.

In terms of alternative, renewable energy, each area of the world can work on its environmental strenghts, be it wind or solar, or other forms I don't know about.
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alberchico
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RE: Nuclear Power - Your Views

Sat Nov 26, 2005 4:36 am

Quoting Pelican (Reply 39):
As bad as the disaster was, the consequences are much overrated.

What many critics fail to realize is that the quality of nuclear plants in the West is far superior to anything the Soviets had in terms of quality and safeguards.
short summary of every jewish holiday: they tried to kill us ,we won , lets eat !
 
RichardPrice
Topic Author
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RE: Nuclear Power - Your Views

Sat Nov 26, 2005 6:06 am

Quoting Klaus (Reply 19):
Nuclear power only looks like an effective solution as long as you're carrying the actual cost through a nuclear weapons program in your defense budget (heavily subsidized) and as long as you're ignoring the long-term cost and risks.

THe problem with this view is this:

Number of countries with nuclear weapons programs: 8

Number of countries with nuclear power programs: 56

Lithuania produces 80% of its needs with nuclear power. France a close second with over 70%.

16% of the worlds energy needs are met by nuclear power, the US is 18th on the list of nuclear power producing countries with less than 20%. Slovenia, Armenia, Czech Republic and Slovakia all have the distinction of deriving more power as a percentage than the US.

How can all those countries sustain an ongoing nuclear power program without a nuclear weapons program? Or do they all have one secretly.

The problem today is that noone invested in decommissioning, so the bill is coming in now. France and other countries started an investment fund for their reactors when they were built, so the decommissioning costs would not wipe out the gain from nuclear power over the generating period.
 
ANCFlyer
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RE: Nuclear Power - Your Views

Sat Nov 26, 2005 6:32 am

Quoting RichardPrice (Thread starter):
With alternatives such as wind farms having their own problems, is nuclear power a viable alternative to fossil fuel burning powerstations?



Quoting Jwenting (Reply 1):
Nuclear is not just a viable alternative, it's THE alternative.

 checkmark 

Quoting DL021 (Reply 7):
Nuclear power is the best answer we have to the coming crisis in petroleum availability.

 checkmark 

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 8):
I'm going to take a stab in the dark that most of the people who have/will claim that nuclear plants are "safe and clean" are too young to recall Three Mile Island or Chernobyl.

Remember both.

Three Mile Island was an accident - it happens. Not attempting to minimize the scope at all, but it was an accident. Poor Management and maintenance led to this.

Chernobyl was an accident. Poor Management and maintenance led to this.

Quoting NoUFO (Reply 11):
there is no such thing like a fail safe system

 checkmark 

Quoting Vafi88 (Reply 15):
Why are we still 30 years behind????

Many reasons . . .

But a few:
Greenpeace-type idiots.
NIMBY Effect.
Construction Cost.

Nuclear power is safe, clean, efficient. The reliance on fossil fuels to produce power would all but be eliminated should countries undertake nuclear power plant building. The elimination of a lot of hydro power plants would benefit the fish and other wildlife (that alone should give the Greepeace idiots an orgasm).

As small commented above, the waste from a reactor could fit in a small room . . . where it could stay for decades until technology produces a way to defuse it's hazards.

It's unfortunate this country - and indeed the world - will wait until there is no longer enough fossil fuel to produce electricity and other products before anyone acts on the problem.
FOR THOSE THAT FOUGHT FOR IT, FREEDOM HAS A FLAVOR THE PROTECTED WILL NEVER KNOW OR UNDERSTAND
 
RichardPrice
Topic Author
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RE: Nuclear Power - Your Views

Sat Nov 26, 2005 6:59 am

Oh, and burning coal actually releases more radioactivity into the atmosphere than ALL the nuclear power accidents ever.

Since 1937, the worlds coal burning power stations have released:

Uranium: 828,632 tons (containing 5883 tons of uranium-235)

Thorium: 2,039,709 tons

In 1982, worldwide releases from 2800 million tons of coal totaled 3640 tons of uranium (containing 51,700 pounds of uranium-235) and 8960 tons of thorium.

And thats only from stations that were measured and coal usage known.

Scary.
 
slider
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RE: Nuclear Power - Your Views

Sat Nov 26, 2005 7:41 am

Quoting Jwenting (Reply 1):
Nuclear is not just a viable alternative, it's THE alternative.

Amen.

Quoting Jwenting (Reply 1):
So-called "green energy" isn't.

I agree- not only is it not effective, it is grossly inefficient.

Quoting Cfalk (Reply 26):
Fission is much simpler, we have it now, fuel is plentiful and the waste, while in itself quite dangerous, has the advantage of being in a concentrated form, rather than farted across the atmosphere. In this form, with a little organization, it can be dealt with safely and at reasonable cost.

And in spite of what Klaus said, fission reactors are far cheaper to operate over the long term than most other solutions. Sure, they are expensive to build, because of the safety measures to put in place, but once it is there the cost is very low, in terms of cost per kWh.

If the world's governments can agree on a concentrated effort for a fully-funded manhatten project with the goal of achieving the necessary technology by 2050, say, fission reactors built today will be able to make up the gap without depleting our supply of fossil fuels, which where most of our power comes from today. Building fission reactors now to hold us over for the next 50 years until fusion is realized can help prevent a catastrophic economic meltdown which will happen if oil stocks fall so low that its use will be limited to essential uses only, and things like personal automobiles will be an extravegant luxury.

Great freaking post man.

Quoting RichardPrice (Reply 45):
Oh, and burning coal actually releases more radioactivity into the atmosphere than ALL the nuclear power accidents ever.

Since 1937, the worlds coal burning power stations have released:

Uranium: 828,632 tons (containing 5883 tons of uranium-235)

Thorium: 2,039,709 tons

In 1982, worldwide releases from 2800 million tons of coal totaled 3640 tons of uranium (containing 51,700 pounds of uranium-235) and 8960 tons of thorium.

And thats only from stations that were measured and coal usage known.

Scary.

Not to mention it's dirty as hell, laborious to extract, and polluting in burning, even some of the higher butuminous coals. that is to say, it's dirtier than nuclear.

We ought to be exlpoiting the technology now for the future generations. It's insanity that we haven't had a global initiative and standards for reactors and energy creation in this regard.
 
astuteman
Posts: 6340
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RE: Nuclear Power - Your Views

Sat Nov 26, 2005 7:52 am

Quoting Alberchico (Reply 42):
What many critics fail to realize is that the quality of nuclear plants in the West is far superior to anything the Soviets had in terms of quality and safeguards.

Slight aside - I'd put the word "early" in there. After the Chernobyl incident, the Soviets very sensibly concentrated their nuclear engineering in the Czech Republic (as it is now).
I was fortunate to be able to visit the Skoda Engineering site in Pilsen in 1993 (not a car plant - a Heavy Engineering works), where ALL latterday Soviet reactors were built. The quality of their Engineering was uniformly excellent.
Even luckier, our group also contained a number of Nuclear Electric management. They concurred.
BTW the scale of their work was AWESOME - 500tonne 1-piece castings for RPV, machined on the biggest goddam centre-lathe I've ever seen.

Back to the plot.....
 
planesarecool
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RE: Nuclear Power - Your Views

Sat Nov 26, 2005 3:16 pm

Like said before, it is the alternative. Nuclear power stations are safer than gas, oil and coal fired power stations, in that they have had less incidents to number of them, than oil, coal and gas stations. Very little of the fuel is used and will last a very long time. Waste can also be recycled. Nuclear energy would last for many centuries to come.

If you're worried that there will be a big accident in a nuclear power station, then you might aswell be worried about walking out the front door this morning, in fear of getting hit by a car. Sure, if there is an accident in a nuclear power station, it could be very dangerous, but what's the chances?

On the downside, nuclear cannot provide an alternative to oil, and unless the world (and mainly the Americans) start buying more fuel efficient cars, or electric/hybrid/hydrogen powered cars, then oil will be gone in 60 years which would mean no more cars, aircraft, plastics, medicine, and a lot more. But unfortunately some people insist on having the biggest, gas guzzling cars, because they are "luxurious."
 
astuteman
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RE: Nuclear Power - Your Views

Sat Nov 26, 2005 5:24 pm

Quoting Planesarecool (Reply 48):
nuclear cannot provide an alternative to oil,

Except insofar as it can readily provide ample quantities of hydrogen (and oxygen too, for that matter).....

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