connies4ever
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Nuclear Power Discussion

Sat Sep 04, 2010 5:25 pm

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 !
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flanker
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RE: Nuclear Power Discussion

Sat Sep 04, 2010 5:39 pm

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
 
baroque
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RE: Nuclear Power Discussion

Sat Sep 04, 2010 5:42 pm

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]
 
MattRB
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RE: Nuclear Power Discussion

Sat Sep 04, 2010 5:51 pm

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).
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connies4ever
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RE: Nuclear Power Discussion

Sat Sep 04, 2010 6:21 pm

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.
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Dreadnought
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RE: Nuclear Power Discussion

Sat Sep 04, 2010 6:27 pm

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.
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connies4ever
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RE: Nuclear Power Discussion

Sat Sep 04, 2010 7:15 pm

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
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Ken777
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RE: Nuclear Power Discussion

Sat Sep 04, 2010 7:24 pm

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.
 
racko
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RE: Nuclear Power Discussion

Sat Sep 04, 2010 8:15 pm

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.
 
Glom
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RE: Nuclear Power Discussion

Sat Sep 04, 2010 8:38 pm

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.
 
comorin
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RE: Nuclear Power Discussion

Sat Sep 04, 2010 9:40 pm

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.
 
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Dreadnought
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RE: Nuclear Power Discussion

Sat Sep 04, 2010 10:10 pm

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.
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golfradio
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RE: Nuclear Power Discussion

Sat Sep 04, 2010 10:59 pm

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.
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andaman
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RE: Nuclear Power Discussion

Sat Sep 04, 2010 11:14 pm

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.
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aloges
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RE: Nuclear Power Discussion

Sun Sep 05, 2010 12:05 am

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]
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photopilot
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RE: Nuclear Power Discussion

Sun Sep 05, 2010 12:46 am

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.
 
andaman
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RE: Nuclear Power Discussion

Sun Sep 05, 2010 12:59 am

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.
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mham001
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RE: Nuclear Power Discussion

Sun Sep 05, 2010 1:30 am

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.
 
Springbok747
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RE: Nuclear Power Discussion

Sun Sep 05, 2010 3:34 am

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
 
ltbewr
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RE: Nuclear Power Discussion

Sun Sep 05, 2010 4:02 am

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.
 
BMI727
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RE: Nuclear Power Discussion

Sun Sep 05, 2010 4:10 am

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?
 
racko
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RE: Nuclear Power Discussion

Sun Sep 05, 2010 9:30 am

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.
 
L410Turbolet
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RE: Nuclear Power Discussion

Sun Sep 05, 2010 9:42 am

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.
 
baroque
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RE: Nuclear Power Discussion

Sun Sep 05, 2010 10:14 am

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.
 
aloges
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RE: Nuclear Power Discussion

Sun Sep 05, 2010 10:14 am

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.
Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.
 
racko
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RE: Nuclear Power Discussion

Sun Sep 05, 2010 10:31 am

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 11):
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!

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 figure out what a nuclear disaster in the middle of a geographically tiny country like Germany would do.

Just not worth it.

Quoting Baroque (Reply 23):
but is it not now possible to design systems that are effectively fail-safe.

Full steam ahead, our ship is unsinkable.

Quoting L410Turbolet (Reply 22):
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?

Both pumped-storage hydroelectricity as well as compressed-air energy storage are two forms of storage that work today.

Look, I'm not saying that we could go 100% renewable energies in 10 years or that it will be easy - but eventually we'll have to do it anyway, why not do it now instead of deferring it to the next generation?

And we have to keep in mind that we'll have to find solutions that will work for the world, not just for G20 and the closest friends. And if one worries about nuclear proliferation today, imagine what kind of mess it will be if all countries in the world are heavily involved in it. I doubt they'll all be happy with "You have to buy all of it from us".
 
baroque
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RE: Nuclear Power Discussion

Sun Sep 05, 2010 10:46 am

Quoting racko (Reply 25):
Quoting Baroque (Reply 23):
but is it not now possible to design systems that are effectively fail-safe.

Full steam ahead, our ship is unsinkable.

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 version:

One relatively prevalent notion in discussions of nuclear safety is that of safety culture. The International Nuclear Safety Advisory Group, defines the term as “the personal dedication and accountability of all individuals engaged in any activity which has a bearing on the safety of nuclear power plants”.[17] The goal is “to design systems that use human capabilities in appropriate ways, that protect systems from human frailties, and that protect humans from hazards associated with the system”.[17]

At the same time, there is some evidence that operational practices are not easy to change. Operators almost never follow instructions and written procedures exactly, and “the violation of rules appears to be quite rational, given the actual workload and timing constraints under which the operators must do their job”. Many attempts to improve nuclear safety culture “were compensated by people adapting to the change in an unpredicted way”.[17] For this reason, training simulators are used.

An assessment conducted by the Commissariat a' l’E´ nergie Atomique (CEA) in France concluded that no amount of technical innovation can eliminate the risk of human-induced errors associated with the operation of nuclear power plants. Two types of mistakes were deemed most serious: errors committed during field operations, such as maintenance and testing, that can cause an accident; and human errors made during small accidents that cascade to complete failure.


An account of some approaches to having systems that will refuse to "sink" in your terms is at

http://www.anl.gov/Media_Center/logos20-1/passive01.htm

"We subjected the reactor," Planchon says, "to what are considered two of the most serious accident initiators for liquid-metal reactors: a loss of pumped coolant flow through the core and a loss of heat removal from the primary system. Both tests were performed at full reactor power with the automatic shutdown features intentionally disabled.

"Before the tests," he adds, "we had installed special systems to let us stop the reactor at any time. But they weren't needed, because the reactor performed exactly as we predicted."

In the first test, with the normal safety systems intentionally disabled and the reactor operating at full power, Planchon's team cut all electricity to the pumps that drive coolant through the core, the heart of the reactor where the nuclear chain reaction takes place. In the second test, they cut the power to the secondary coolant pump, so no heat was removed from the primary system.
Chart of reactor core temperature during 1986 passive safety tests.

Chart of reactor core temperature during 1986 loss-of-flow-without-scram test. {Diagram of temperatures}

"In both tests," Planchon says, "the temperature went up briefly, then the passive safety mechanisms kicked in, and it began to cool naturally. Within ten minutes, the temperature had stabilized near normal operating levels, and the reactor had shut itself down without intervention by human operators or emergency safety systems."
 
racko
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RE: Nuclear Power Discussion

Sun Sep 05, 2010 12:05 pm

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 industry has a safety culture that far exceeds that of many other industries, yet still, from time to time there are crashes. Technology fails in a way not foreseen, highly-trained professionals react in a way that seems highly irrational. It's human.
 
connies4ever
Topic Author
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RE: Nuclear Power Discussion

Sun Sep 05, 2010 1:27 pm

Quoting golfradio (Reply 12):
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.

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, contrary to popular opinion , there will still be a waste issue, as the containment will be activated by energetic neutrons escaping the plasma field.

D-T is the favoured pathway for fuel as it requires a much lower threshold temperature to initiate the reaction, about 100M Kelvin, H-H requires as you said around 150M Kelvin. H-H however does have the advantage of less energetic neutrons, which then reduces your waste generation significantly.

Canada was part of the ITER group until the late 1990s, and in fact lobbied hard to have the project sited at the Darlington Nuclear Station east of Toronto. However, austerity policies at the turn of the century forced us out.

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.

The nuclear decision in France was driven by the oil crises in the 1970s. The government decided they would never again be held hostage by the Middle Eastern oil exporters, so chose the nuclear route. France now derives about 80% of its' electricity from nuclear, and, not coincidentally, has the cleanest air in Europe.

The diesel decision helped enormously in that respect as well.

Quoting aloges (Reply 14):
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.

Source, please, for "lies and cover-ups" ? Or are you merely offering an opinion ? Remember, my OP asked that people refrain from exactly what you just did and supply a source or link to buttress any submission [note to all: this is true for everyone in this thread, and I won;t be shy about using"Suggest Deletion"].

Quoting aloges (Reply 14):
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.

Nonsense, and using Wikipedia as a source for technical information is laughable. I don't let my students get away with it.

Waste storage is not a technical problem, it's a political one. As well, why would one want to permanently get rid of spent fuel when there is still a large whack of energy left in it / Better to reprocess it. But, if you're stuck on disposal, here's something we actually built (and that I've been to the bottom of several times):

http://www.civil.engineering.utoront...ound_Research_Laboratory__URL_.htm

Note: error in the link: AECL is not a division of Ontario Hydro (a provincial utility), it is a federal Crown Corporation.

Quoting mham001 (Reply 17):
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.

  

Quoting racko (Reply 21):
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.

Again, nonsense. Known uranium reserves using current reactor technologies should give us nearly a century of assured supply given expected growth rates. More advanced reactors will use uranium far more efficiently. As well, going to so-called 'fast' reactors will vastly reduce uranium consumption, using plutonium for fuel. And of course there is Thorium -- something that Canada, India, and China are all working on.

http://www.cfr.org/publication/14705...bal_uranium_supply_and_demand.html

Quoting Baroque (Reply 23):
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.

  

Quoting aloges (Reply 24):

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

I could say the same thing.

Quoting racko (Reply 25):
Just not worth it.


Risk ? Heck yes there's risk with nuclear. But it is very low. Chernobyl was about as bad as it can be, and with a reactor design that never would have seen the light of day in the West. Just inherently flawed. And then basically put into a test mode that simply begged for the consequences. Again, something that would never happen in the West due to our safety culture.

Rather than subject the reactor to a test that might have really serious consequences, what we have done is actually build a full-height, full-scale test facility (RD-14M) to simulate what might happen in a reactor: loss of coolant, loss of flow, loss of heat sink, etc.

http://www-pub.iaea.org/MTCD/publications/PDF/te_1395_web.pdf

Big .pdf file, about 120 pages, but has a large section on RD-14M, also on our simulation software, and how the code modelled an actual test (large break loss of coolant accident). And a comparison with other codes.

We have modelled literally hundreds of tests, some with wildly different initial conditions, break sizes, pump trip times, emergency coolant available (or not) and so forth. We work at this every single day, in fact my chief activity is the validation of our simulation software against the mass of tests that we have performed, and also against tests performed elsewhere under non-CANDU conditions, just to make sure we haven't gotten tunnel vision in our understanding of the phenomena and problems.

...I can see there's going to be a lot of discussion here...and lots of typing !
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PPVRA
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RE: Nuclear Power Discussion

Sun Sep 05, 2010 1:43 pm

Quoting aloges (Reply 24):
Rather than bring out the hammer, you could try to provide information to support your claim.

We all know how shitty German cars are, right? And that must be because of the profit motive.
"If goods do not cross borders, soldiers will" - Frederic Bastiat
 
L410Turbolet
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RE: Nuclear Power Discussion

Sun Sep 05, 2010 2:08 pm

Quoting racko (Reply 25):
Could have something to do with the fact that we're still dealing with the aftermath of Chernobyl in Germany today.

You are far from alone in Europe.
Chernobyl was a result of gross negligence, typically Soviet absence of safety culture, playing silly wargames and intentional asking for trouble by getting the reactor into unstable operating mode which it was known to be risky.
I don't know whether it's just a coincidence but discussion and attitudes towads nuclear energy in German-speaking countries seem to have very little if anything to do with rational arguments and it's all about emotions.

Quoting racko (Reply 25):
Look, I'm not saying that we could go 100% renewable energies in 10 years or that it will be easy - but eventually we'll have to do it anyway, why not do it now instead of deferring it to the next generation?

I think you are slightly contradicting yourself.
Also, nobody claims that nuclear is perfect solution, but it simply buys time. And it's easy to juggle with percentage points for dirty, evil fossilsand even more evil nuclear vs. "renewables" but in reality it represents hundreds and thousands of MW that we simply do not have replacement for.

Quoting racko (Reply 27):
Does the nuclear industry care about safety? Of course they do. But that doesn't make the technology failsafe.

No technology is failsafe. Does it mean we'll stop using it? Because "back to caves" is then the only alternative available.
 
ltbewr
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RE: Nuclear Power Discussion

Sun Sep 05, 2010 2:39 pm

Another group of problems for more Nuclear power plants includes funding, insurance, emergency evacuation measures and as terror targets.

In most places, and especially in the USA, most funding for any power plants has to come from investors in the stock of companies or bonds they or a government agency issue. Three Mile Island destroyed the ability to raise funds for new plants. One of the largest bond defaults occured in the 1980's in Washington State (WPPS ?, some then called 'woops') due to the collaspe of the ability to ever construct the nuke plants planned for the money, and thus the income to pay for the bonds. Even now you see investors wary as to nuclear power plants unless they get full backing of Governments to cover bonds and costs of development.

Insurance has also become a serious problem, most insurance as to liability damage is capped from private company sources, relying on governments for any unlimited coverage. Growing numbers of taxpayers and politicans are reluctant to give such guarantees, especialy now as in the USA with the near collaspe of our economy in part due to excessive government backing of loans, failing banks, etc. Even Lloyds of London names have their limits or demand so much in premiums, that it becomes impossibel to get the insurance needed and thus cannot open a plant.

Emergency Evacuation has killed off some planned or in the case in Long Island, a largly built nuke plant as due to geography, anti-nuke power plant hysteria and general realities. Even in tests, they have shown failures, no real cooperation and the testers realize that there would be mass panic if there were to be another Three Mile Island problem or another Chernobal.

Some also fear, perhaps with some level of irrationality that Nuclear power plants could be used by terrorists as targets, using somehow some high-tech missles, bombs, taking over the control of a facility then blackmailing governments and millions with making a plant blow up to get demands met or just to cause mass disaster in revenge against the 'west'.
 
connies4ever
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RE: Nuclear Power Discussion

Sun Sep 05, 2010 3:06 pm

Quoting ltbewr (Reply 31):
Another group of problems for more Nuclear power plants includes funding, insurance, emergency evacuation measures and as terror targets.

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 very low (usually stated in terms of frequency per 1M reactor hours) the perceived consequences are potentially very large.

Quoting ltbewr (Reply 31):
Emergency Evacuation has killed off some planned or in the case in Long Island, a largly built nuke plant as due to geography, anti-nuke power plant hysteria and general realities. Even in tests, they have shown failures, no real cooperation and the testers realize that there would be mass panic if there were to be another Three Mile Island problem or another Chernobal.

EP is a responsibility for any industrial facility, and basically that's what an NPP is. However, that did not stop Ontario Hydro from siting Pickering and Darlington NPPs (12 reactors total) in the outer suburbs of Toronto, an urban area of about 5M people. Pickering has been operating since the late 70s and to my knowledge the EP has never had to be used.

As for being a target for terrorists, the containment domes are steel-reinforced concrete, fairly strong, and should withstand a 757-sized impact pretty well on the side. The tops are thinner, but hitting a target nearly vertically is no small feat (one of the reasons the WH came through 9/11 untouched). Even if the dome is breached, every reactor has a biological shield that is lead & steel, and water, in some cases. How much of the impactor, and how much kinetic energy it retains after the dome impact, is open to speculation, I suppose.
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PPVRA
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RE: Nuclear Power Discussion

Sun Sep 05, 2010 4:11 pm

Quoting ltbewr (Reply 31):
most insurance as to liability damage is capped from private company sources, relying on governments for any unlimited coverage. Growing numbers of taxpayers and politicans are reluctant to give such guarantees

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 nuclear power. It's important to keep that risk internalized because that will drive the decisions the plant operator makes.
"If goods do not cross borders, soldiers will" - Frederic Bastiat
 
aloges
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RE: Nuclear Power Discussion

Sun Sep 05, 2010 11:52 pm

Quoting connies4ever (Reply 28):
Source, please, for "lies and cover-ups" ? Or are you merely offering an opinion ? Remember, my OP asked that people refrain from exactly what you just did and supply a source or link to buttress any submission

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 German.

Quoting connies4ever (Reply 28):
Nonsense, and using Wikipedia as a source for technical information is laughable. I don't let my students get away with it.

a) Wikipedia provides links to its sources.
b) I wasn't aware that this is a college paper.

Quoting connies4ever (Reply 28):
Waste storage is not a technical problem, it's a political one.

I wouldn't care if the reason for radioactive contamination of my drinking water was political or technical.

Quoting PPVRA (Reply 29):
We all know how shitty German cars are, right? And that must be because of the profit motive.

So you don't remember the trouble Mercedes-Benz got themselves into when they decided to cut corners in the early 2000s? What about VW's quality issues when they forced their suppliers into exorbitant cost reductions?
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baroque
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RE: Nuclear Power Discussion

Mon Sep 06, 2010 5:04 am

Quoting aloges (Reply 34):
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 German.

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 and unstable shale? Germany has plenty of dry granites around, why not do the bleeding obvious and dig a facility in one of them. With a dry granite you are not going to get any water up into an aquifer. The shale might be made to work, but it is a much less good solution.

Need I suggest where some of these granites exist? They were rather well known at one time.
 
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RE: Nuclear Power Discussion

Mon Sep 06, 2010 6:19 am

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 5):

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.

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 a crash and leak. It's a valid concern, but so many precautions are taken in these cases that the risk is really minimal.
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Glom
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RE: Nuclear Power Discussion

Mon Sep 06, 2010 6:34 am

Quoting golfradio (Reply 12):
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.

H-H is the most high yielding of reactions I believe. I'd have to check my nucleon energy table though.

Quoting ltbewr (Reply 19):
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.

Also they have higher thermodynamic efficiency meaning less waste heat. In some cases, the hot tertiary cooling water is used to supply warm water to the neighbourhood.

Quoting racko (Reply 21):
we don't have enough uranium to cover the needs of the world.
Yes we do. Even with open cycle uranium, we have several hundred years worth. Moving to the closed cycle, we're talking about many thousands of years. And I'd expect us to move to thorium before long. That way more than long enough.

Quoting connies4ever (Reply 28):
And, contrary to popular opinion , there will still be a waste issue, as the containment will be activated by energetic neutrons escaping the plasma field.

It's only medium level waste. I believe He3 fusion is supposed to get around that. We need to find some He3 though.

Quoting connies4ever (Reply 28):
France now derives about 80% of its' electricity from nuclear, and, not coincidentally, has the cleanest air in Europe.

It is also the largest exporter of electricity in Europe (possibly even the world).

Quoting ltbewr (Reply 31):
Emergency Evacuation has killed off some planned or in the case in Long Island, a largly built nuke plant as due to geography, anti-nuke power plant hysteria and general realities.

The problem is that because people get all pussy faced about nuclear power, authorities insist on things like emergency evacuations and distribution of iodine pills to the neighbours. By doing this, people then get all pussy faced. It's a vicious circle.
 
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DocLightning
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RE: Nuclear Power Discussion

Mon Sep 06, 2010 7:33 am

Quoting ltbewr (Reply 19):
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.

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 fusion will eventually power civilization, if we survive that long. I don't think it will be the ideal solution in every application and I am sure that in some settings, various other options will still be used. But it has a fantastic property: the reaction instantly quenches if containment is lost. The laws of physics make it absolutely impossible to cause an unintentional fusion explosion. The reaction products are tiny in quantity and harmless; they can be released into the air without causing any ill-effects. The only radioactive waste is from used reactor parts. The radioactivity is low and fades to background levels after a few years. The safety of fusion is what makes it so beautiful. But like any other form of energy, it will have its costs. Reactors will be expensive to maintain, requiring massive, precision-engineered parts made out of exotic and expensive materials. It will need to be reliable and able to respond to variations in demand, since an unscheduled shut-down will take a very long time to reverse. The people required to run them have big, expensive science degrees. Ph.D.'s and MSE's out the wazoo. And you need to pay them (well) to do their jobs. So once you factor that all in, per KWH, it may not be THAT much better than existing systems.

Oh, and it doesn't exist just yet.

Thorium fission has similar properties, although for different underlying reasons. If the reactor overheats, the coolant expands and quenches the reaction, making an explosion/meltdown impossible. It's not perfect. A spill would make an area uninhabitable for decades, which is certainly better than kiloyears, but still hardly the sort of thing you want in your back yard. I think it is the way forward.

Fossil fuels change the climate of this planet. This much is science. Deny it if you want, but that doesn't change the fact that fossil fuels are finite in quantity. Even if the entire planet were made out of oil and coal, we'd eventually run out. We'll get a lot more bang for our buck with nuclear power. It's the closest thing to getting something for nothing you can find in the physical world.
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baroque
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RE: Nuclear Power Discussion

Mon Sep 06, 2010 7:38 am

Quoting Glom (Reply 37):
Quoting connies4ever (Reply 28):
And, contrary to popular opinion , there will still be a waste issue, as the containment will be activated by energetic neutrons escaping the plasma field.

It's only medium level waste. I believe He3 fusion is supposed to get around that. We need to find some He3 though.

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 the same box as "power too cheap" to monitor from fission box.

Quoting Glom (Reply 37):
By doing this, people then get all pussy faced. It's a vicious circle.

Are Brazil nuts safe to eat yet?

http://www.llrc.org/health/subtopic/compendium2.htm
 
connies4ever
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RE: Nuclear Power Discussion

Mon Sep 06, 2010 12:20 pm

Quoting aloges (Reply 34):
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 German.

My sister-in-law is Schwabisch, if that helps.  
Quoting aloges (Reply 34):

a) Wikipedia provides links to its sources.
b) I wasn't aware that this is a college paper.


a) Wikipedia is easily (and frequently) hacked. You can't trust it as a reliable source;
b) If you reread my OP, you will note I requested posters to supply references and/or links. So, yeah, you can treat this as a college paper.

Quoting aloges (Reply 34):

I wouldn't care if the reason for radioactive contamination of my drinking water was political or technical.


Almost all geologic storage facilities plan to put spent fuel WELL below ground water levels. If you look at the diagram of the Underground Research Lab that I supplied, you'll see that the bottom level is at a depth of 420m, and, stored in a batholith (essentially a single piece of rock going straight down).

b.t.w., almost all drinking water drawn from rocky formations has some radioactive contamination, from the Th & U naturally present in the rock.

Quoting Baroque (Reply 35):
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 and unstable shale? Germany has plenty of dry granites around, why not do the bleeding obvious and dig a facility in one of them. With a dry granite you are not going to get any water up into an aquifer. The shale might be made to work, but it is a much less good solution.


Or, as France has done, bury the spent fuel in clay, which is self-sealing. But perhaps French concepts are still anathema to the Germans.

Quoting Glom (Reply 37):

It's only medium level waste. I believe He3 fusion is supposed to get around that. We need to find some He3 though.



Yes, medium-level, but medium-level tends to be what gives us the most trouble in the nuclear industry, as much of it is quite bulky. The spent fuel (for Candu, anyway) is high-level only for a few years. For example, with exit fuel standing about a metre away you'd get a lethal dose in about a minute. After 1 year, that time goes to about an hour. After a century, the radiation levels are essentially back to where the uranium was when it was originally mined.

http://www.nucleartourist.com/basics/sfdecay1.htm

Good luck with finding the He-3, though.

Quoting Glom (Reply 37):
It is also the largest exporter of electricity in Europe (possibly even the world).


Certainly the biggest in Europe. It's ironic that the import of nuclear electricity from France allows Germany to exceed it's CO2 emissions targets, and therefore claim to be 'green'.  Wow!

Canada exports a pile of electricity to the US, principally from Quebec, but France may indeed lead the world.
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NoUFO
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RE: Nuclear Power Discussion

Mon Sep 06, 2010 2:25 pm

Quoting connies4ever (Reply 40):
Certainly the biggest in Europe. It's ironic that the import of nuclear electricity from France allows Germany to exceed it's CO2 emissions targets, and therefore claim to be 'green'.

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 energy than it IMports, and according to the law, energy from renewable sources have priority before all other sources.
The fact that Germany exeeds its CO2 emission targets are manifold and have little to nothing to do with the import of electricity from the French.

Quoting connies4ever (Reply 28):
Waste storage is not a technical problem, it's a political one.

If it is, than it's a huge one, as we still do not have found a final repository - after 50+ years of using nuclear power. Not even in countries like Russia or China where political problems have a much shorter half-life as they have in western democracies.

Quoting connies4ever (Reply 40):
My sister-in-law is Schwabisch, if that helps.

Then google for ASSE + Atommüll. Or Gorleben + Atommüll. What Aloges wrote is correct.
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baroque
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RE: Nuclear Power Discussion

Mon Sep 06, 2010 2:54 pm

Quoting NoUFO (Reply 41):
Then google for ASSE + Atommüll. Or Gorleben + Atommüll. What Aloges wrote is correct.

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 Staff

Germany's environment minister made himself out to be a crisis manager in the scandal surrounding the Asse nuclear waste storage facility. But the problem has not been solved -- and the issue threatens to derail the CDU’s plans to postpone Germany's nuclear phaseout.


Or
http://newmdb.iaea.org/GetLibraryFile.aspx?RRoomID=478
But contains a remarkable absence of helpful suggestions.

Or
http://www.thebulletin.org/web-editi...waste-repository-case-studies-germ
But oh god it is salt domes - again!!!

http://www.aapg.org/explorer/2009/11nov/shale1109.cfm

Suggests that Brian Horsfeld at least has moved to shales, but by the emphasis of that project did not get far for storing nuclear waste.

http://books.google.com.au/books?id=...ed=0CBYQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q&f=false
That is on shales.

I really must ask some colleagues why the perfectly good granites of Germany have not received any more attention.

The shale proposals are less bad, but some of the shales proposed seem fairly mobile and without a detailed geology, I would think the case for dry granites would be infinitely better.

Last time I looked for the shale proposals I found a much better paper than any of these. I suppose if I could even vaguely remember the topic, the archives of a.net would tell me what I found.  
 
NoUFO
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RE: Nuclear Power Discussion

Mon Sep 06, 2010 8:32 pm

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.

Quoting Baroque (Reply 42):
I really must ask some colleagues why the perfectly good granites of Germany have not received any more attention.

Because it is too ragged.

Edit: link.

[Edited 2010-09-06 13:33:44]
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NoUFO
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RE: Nuclear Power Discussion

Mon Sep 06, 2010 8:43 pm

Quoting connies4ever (Reply 40):
Almost all geologic storage facilities plan to put spent fuel WELL below ground water levels. If you look at the diagram of the Underground Research Lab that I supplied, you'll see that the bottom level is at a depth of 420m, and, stored in a batholith (essentially a single piece of rock going straight down).

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 up-movement, and that heated water will tend to move up.

Besides, the chemicals used for shale gas production (i.e. in New Jersey) have been found in wells even though the shale was well below ground water levels.
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connies4ever
Topic Author
Posts: 3393
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RE: Nuclear Power Discussion

Mon Sep 06, 2010 9:38 pm

Quoting NoUFO (Reply 41):
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 energy than it IMports, and according to the law, energy from renewable sources have priority before all other sources.
The fact that Germany exeeds its CO2 emission targets are manifold and have little to nothing to do with the import of electricity from the French.

A fair enough point. It might take a day or two but I'll find you a reference.

Quoting NoUFO (Reply 41):
If it is, than it's a huge one, as we still do not have found a final repository - after 50+ years of using nuclear power. Not even in countries like Russia or China where political problems have a much shorter half-life as they have in western democracies.
[/quote

http://www.foratom.org/e-bulletin-to...w-final-repository-in-europe-.html

http://spectrum.ieee.org/energy/nucl...ar/finlands-nuclear-waste-solution

http://www.nature.com/news/2010/100810/full/466804a.html

Apparently these governments can make a decision. And they are "western democracies".

[quote=NoUFO,reply=41]
Then google for ASSE + Atommüll. Or Gorleben + Atommüll. What Aloges wrote is correct.

Zu befehl, mein herr. I can always use Babelfish if I have problems.

Quoting Baroque (Reply 42):
I really must ask some colleagues why the perfectly good granites of Germany have not received any more attention.
Quoting NoUFO (Reply 43):
Because it is too ragged.

I am not familiar with the geology of Germany, more the topography. And I'm not a rock hound in any event. But I can't think it is vastly different than the Bure area in NE France - which is exactly where the French intend to put their waste. Question: do batholiths exist in the German geologic environment ? (These are large igneous formations that extend over quite considerable areas and to significant depths. Thought to be formed by magma pools they essentially form a single rock structure. Water flow to/from any such structure will be extremely slow as the porosity of the structure will be quite low.)

Quoting NoUFO (Reply 44):
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 up-movement, and that heated water will tend to move up.

Per the supplied links above, Finland, Sweden, and France (as well as Canada) intend to locate the high-level waster in large granitic structures (batholiths, sometimes called plutons). There is no salt dome or structure present, hence no chance for uplift of radionuclides.

I suppose if Germany insists on locating HLW in a salt dome, well, that's their choice, but they will have to deal with the consequences. Perhaps checking up on what other "western democracies"are doing might be time well spent.
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aloges
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RE: Nuclear Power Discussion

Mon Sep 06, 2010 9:52 pm

Quoting connies4ever (Reply 45):
Zu befehl, mein herr.

You expect people to treat this thread like a college paper and then you post this kind of sneer?

Quoting connies4ever (Reply 45):
Water flow to/from any such structure will be extremely slow as the porosity of the structure will be quite low.

That's exactly the same as they said about our flooding "experimental" storage.
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racko
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RE: Nuclear Power Discussion

Tue Sep 07, 2010 3:01 pm

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 and cost of the nuclear waste including final storage?
 
PPVRA
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RE: Nuclear Power Discussion

Tue Sep 07, 2010 3:17 pm

Quoting aloges (Reply 34):
So you don't remember the trouble Mercedes-Benz got themselves into when they decided to cut corners in the early 2000s? What about VW's quality issues when they forced their suppliers into exorbitant cost reductions?

Boohoo, everybody makes mistakes. Being short sighted isn't good for the bottom line and sometimes people need to be reminded of that.
"If goods do not cross borders, soldiers will" - Frederic Bastiat
 
aloges
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RE: Nuclear Power Discussion

Tue Sep 07, 2010 3:25 pm

Quoting PPVRA (Reply 48):
Boohoo

That really helps.

Quoting PPVRA (Reply 48):
everybody makes mistakes.

There can be no such mistakes in a nuclear power plant or waste storage.

Quoting PPVRA (Reply 48):
Being short sighted isn't good for the bottom line and sometimes people need to be reminded of that.

Quite - and they're quite short-sighted as far as nuclear wste is concerned. The problem is that what's at stake is far more than the bottom Line.
Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.

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