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Old 19-06-2008, 11:30   #31
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How close did Three Mile Island come to slagging down?
Not very close at all.

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Aren't there just plain safer bets? As well as cheaper ones, for those of us who don't need to run silent and deep three months at a clip?
Sure there is, coal, which is why it makes up the bulk of electrical generation in this country. People seem to get upset about the gases that it lets off when burned, for some reason.
It's an expensive, bulky, obtrusive proposition just to power a small sailboat with solar and wind. We're a long way from powering the world that way. Nuclear or coal, pick your poison.

And while I'm ranting, Why are we using the same damn lead acid batteries that we were using 50 years ago? Sure, we've got gel cells and agm's, but every battery thread on this board comes to the same general conclusion: that the lead acid golf cart battery is still the best choice. Why is all the battery technology reserved for cell phones, laptops, and portable devices? How come in 50 years we can't come up with something better than the old lead plates and sulpheric acid? How are we ever going to advance 'green' technology like wind generators and solar panels if we can't come up with an affordable,better battery?
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Old 19-06-2008, 11:39   #32
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I'll confess:

I dream of having a small nuclear reactor aboard myself. Years of power, no issues with heating or cooling the boat, nearly infinite electrical power that could be used for propulsion via electric engines... I'm drooling just thinking about it...

Maybe one in each hull in case I had to take one offline for some reason...

A man can dream.... a man can dream.
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Old 19-06-2008, 12:17   #33
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I'll confess:

I dream of having a small nuclear reactor aboard myself. Years of power, no issues with heating or cooling the boat, nearly infinite electrical power that could be used for propulsion via electric engines... I'm drooling just thinking about it...

Maybe one in each hull in case I had to take one offline for some reason...

A man can dream.... a man can dream.
Maybe start a thread on how to design and build one?......and see how long before the Mods get orange jumpsuits
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Old 19-06-2008, 12:48   #34
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Maybe start a thread on how to design and build one?......and see how long before the Mods get orange jumpsuits
Yeah.. the only place you can really go cruising with one of those is Cuba. They have this fantastic bay to visit, from what I hear. I think it's called Guantanamo.
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Old 19-06-2008, 13:15   #35
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Nimby strikes home. People bitch about the cost of gasoline but don't want to do anything that will effect their precious 'playground'. We probably cannot drill ourselves out of some dependence on foreign oil but we can seriously effect the market for that oil. If ANWAR drilling not been vetoed by Clinton in the '90s and later defeated by McCain in a Senate vote, we'd be pumping oil there right now. Even Charlie Schumer estimates that oil would lower the price of gasoline by $.60 a gallon. BTW, Schumer says drilling oil in ANWAR would only lower the price of fuel by a few cents a gallon. In another statement, he says OPEC increasing production by the amount equivalent to ANWAR's production would lower prices by $.60 a gallon. Guess US oil production doesn't work while OPEC's does. HMMMMMM! Do liars do figure?

Drilling offshore is 15 times safer than delivering oil by ship. There have been no oil drilling accidents since the '70s. That includes two Cat 3 hurricanes that have blown through the gulf. Can you say Katrina, baby. Offshore drilling is safe, way safer than just sticking our head in the sand and doing nothing.

As has been previously mentioned, tar balls on the east coast were from the tankers cleaning out their tanks at sea. Something that is now illegal. On the lower California Coast, natural seepage has and will probably continue. Some estimates, say the annual, natural seepage more than exceeds the total oil well accidents that have ever happened. Drilling offshore may even reduce the natural seepage so the waters will be cleaner than they ever have been.

I'm not in favor of taxing oil unless it will be used to improve transportation. That doesn't mean just throwing billions into mass transit. The most efficient form of transport is two people in an automobile. As cars become more efficient, it might even be one person in a car. We need mass transit but not at the expense of totally abandoning improvements to our current road system.

We need a full frontal assault on the energy problem. Increasing our fuel production, in the short term is mandatory. It will help stabililze the price of fuel but will also not make us dependent on a bunch of wild eyed Imans and neo-Castros in very unstable parts of the world. We need to start building nuclear electricity generating plants on a massive scale. Not because I'm worried about green house gases, though. It's because coal fired plants are massively polluting, Mercury anyone. Also, the natural gas that supplies about 1/3rd of our electricity would be way better used in transportation than electrical generation. Sun powered energy is a shibai put forth by the starry eyed eco freaks. Current estimates are that it will only ever be able to produce 10% of our energy needs. Yes, some areas can immensely benefit from photo voltaics and wind but for the majority of the country, it's a pipe dream.

We do need to put more emphasis on conservation. Hopefully the cost of fuel will make that happen as I seriously distrust government intervention. When the government gets involved all that happens is the legislators become even bigger millionaires along with their buddies. The little guy, us and small business, gets it in the shorts.

We need a serious program developing reltatively clean liquefied coal. The internal combustion engine is going to be with us for the forseeable future and we're going to have to fuel them. The US has massive amounts of coal reserves that could make us totally independent of foreign energy sources. The problem is getting it into a usable form that is no dirtier than gasoline.

Research into all the things that have a potential to replace the IC engine is necessary. I don't hold my breath on that point as there just isn't any that are remotely ready for prime time. Not necessarily because engines aren't there but their fuel sources aren't. An all electric car California, as one example, would require building something like 20 massive new electric generating plants to charge the batteries. If they aren't nuclear, you are just displacing, not replacing, polluting/non renewable energy sources. Without a massive breakthrough in fusion, hydrogen is not the answer. It costs more in energy and money to produce hydrogen than the energy it contains. Hydrogen is more than just displacing fossil fuel burning engines, it's also wasting additional energy. With our current technology, the only way hydrogen will be a viable fuel resource is TA DA!!! NUCLEAR ELECTRICAL GENERATION. A nuclear plant could use it's off peak hour generating capacity to produce hydrogen. It's not 'efficient' but the electrical generating source to break the Hydrogen off of Oxygen in water is non polluting and virtually inexhaustible.

Drilling is not the answer but it must be done. We have to exploit our own resources or be ever more dependant on foreign oil. We also have to be more efficient in our use of our energy resources. We need to replace our polluting energy plants with relatively non-polluting energy sources. Lastly, we need to doing more research into new technology that will revolutionize how we generate our energy.

Aloha
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Old 19-06-2008, 13:19   #36
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Hey, Sully, let's go to Ruskie and see about buying two of those two thousand (literally) strontium reactors that they seem to have mislaid before the collapse. I'll betcha we could get a better price for a gross, and import them!

Fishsp-
" People seem to get upset about the gases that [coal] lets off when burned, for some reason." Well, the gasses are the least part of it. Not that I'm FOR global warming, but I side with the community that says we really should and would be in an ice age now without it. Personally, I like cold better than heat, but think we need to investigate a bit before going too far back in the "let's make the world colder" direction. On the geological scale/record, there's all sorts of "normal" and no matter which one who prefers--this isn't a static dead planet.

"...expensive, bulky, obtrusive... pick your poison." Yup.

"Why are we using the same damn lead acid batteries " Well, a lot of money actually HAS been spent chasing better batteries. We stick with lead acid because it is cheap and reliable. NiMh and LiOn technologies have been, and still are, problematic. LiOn seems to keep catching fire (oopsie) and depending on the exact type, may set itself on fire in your phone or computer and are banned from commercial airline baggage and shipped only as hazmat now. The damned things are expensive as all getout, too. If you wanted to pay 4x-5x as much for your ships' battery, and post a fire marshal in the engine spaces all the time...great way to go! NiMh is more reliable, provided you don't buy Chinese old-tech cells made with lousy qc, but doesn't have the power density of lead. And, has a higher price too.

But there are billions spent every year researching batteries. This year I think the lead announcement was that someone has finagled a way to use nanotechnology (buzz! overused word of the year?!) to vastly increase the surface area in some component, promising yada yada we'll see down the line.

You wanna come to Ruskya with Sully and me, and see if we can't split TWO gross of strontium piles?<G>
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Old 19-06-2008, 14:05   #37
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Nimby strikes home. People bitch about the cost of gasoline but don't want to do anything that will effect their precious 'playground'.
................
The most efficient form of transport is two people in an automobile. As cars become more efficient, it might even be one person in a car. We need mass transit but not at the expense of totally abandoning improvements to our current road system.
..............
Sun powered energy is a shibai put forth by the starry eyed eco freaks. Current estimates are that it will only ever be able to produce 10% of our energy needs. Yes, some areas can immensely benefit from photo voltaics and wind but for the majority of the country, it's a pipe dream.

Peter, I tend to agree with a lot of what you said. But, I have a few things to add/ponder:

1) I've never complained about fuel costs. I just don't want all that crap in my playground.

2) The most efficient form of transportation is a bicycle or walking. Our country was designed to run by morons (Leavitt-style) who thought oil would last forever. Cheap gas, let's center our lives around highways and commuting! Absolutely idiotic thinking they had. One should not have a "house", and "office" and a "commute." It should not be necessary to have a car to earn a living. This is where all of our energy (and a good deal of our GDP) is wasted. Personally, I will never take a job where I have to be in the office again in my life, I feel so strongly about this. It remains though, that automobiles are not the most efficient transportation. Getting off the crack cocaine that is our highway system is the most efficient means of transportation. Ride a bike or walk. Stop commuting. Leave the highways for weekend trips or for commerce. This is our answer. Clustered communities where you can live, work, walk and exercise. These clustered areas are the most environmentally friendly. Per person, New York City is one of the "greenest" places in the country. Why? Nobody has a car.

3) Current estimates are that the sun provides a whopping 90+% of my personal energy needs. Yes, in the few months I've lived aboard this new boat full time, I have had to run the generator a total of maybe 8 hours. Granted, I burnt up a ton of diesel moving it... but to live? Sun is providing it all. No problem.

Those few points made, I actually agree with most of what you say, including nuclear. I'd love to go to Ruskie and grab a couple reactors to augment my solar. It's the heating I like about the reactors. Free heat.

I especially agree about coal. HATE THE STUFF. I want to eat fish from my playground and not have to worry. It should be banned.

Aw... crap. Looking back, I just fell down the slipper slope of this thread. Honestly, I wanted to point out the navigation problems and how much it would ruin the sunset/sunrise for the beautiful horizon to be filled with oil rigs and other industrial waste. All I can see is a Waterworld-style horizon filled with fithy industrial equipment. I feel like that old Native American guy from the commercials about littering. I could shed a tear if they ruin the oceans on top of everything else on land they already ruined.
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Old 19-06-2008, 14:11   #38
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I love quoting the New York Times as a reliable source of information. The newspaper that covered up the slaughter of 10s of millions in Russia because it didn't sit well with it's preconcieved notion of the Soviet paradise.

Nuclear and the Navy. Nuclear is not as cheap to build initially. It's way cheaper to run, once built, however. The nuc ships have way more storage for other things as they don't have to have massive oil bunkers for the ship's powerplant. An aircraft carrier in full wartime operations runs through fuel for the airplanes and weapons in extremely short order. Heard it was something like a week in Viet Nam for a nuclear boat and only a couple of days for an oil fired boat. The additional storage for consumables of the air wing is as much a factor for nuclear carriers as the cost of fuel or construction.

The navy does have nuclear auxillary ships for the carrier task forces. Because of the cost of construction, they don't have nearly as many as they would like, however. That has more to do with the way the congress funds the military than the actual cost, however. It's harder to get the money to build a ship than to get the money to run it, after it's built.

That's the trade off with nuclear energy. It's expensive to build but way cheaper to run. That's cheaper in fuel costs and immensely cheaper in cost to the environment. It's real simple, if you are against nuclear energy, you are for massive chemical and greenhouse gas pollution. Nuclear waste is a political problem. With recycling of fuel, there is very little waste that needs to be disposed of. It's not a mssive problem. It's a matter of where it's put, not whether it's safe to put Nuclear waste there.

Three Mile Island had a China Syndrome melt down. The safety measures contained the uncontrolled reaction and it fizzled out. There was virtually no leakage of nuclear radiation, no more than flying from LA to NYC. Unlike the soviets, our 50 year old nuclear technology had the containment technology to take care of an accident. Soviet theory was build a dangerous reactor wait till after the melt down to build the containment vessel. Todays reactors are even safer than Three Mile Island era ones. Anything man made can screw up, but nuclear power generation is as near 100% reliable as it's possible to get. Actually I don't know why the anti-Nuc crowd is so uptight. The human free downwind contaminated zone from Chernobyl seems to be what the greenies are after. After all, man is screwing up the planet so doing away with us would solve all the worlds problems.

Aloha
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Old 19-06-2008, 14:47   #39
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We have a big french Nuclear power plant up the coast......and it doesn't seem to have affected me

Plus we are plugged into the French National grid so do use Nuclear power.


I am all for it. Only reason that Oil is so popular is so many vested interests in it, but that will change. I quite like solar, wind and tidal - but will never be more than a low percentage. Biofuels = sticking a poor persons lunch in your SUV ....doesn't bother me in principle , but IMO dumb as donuts long term from storing up trouble......probably catch on

I do smile on hearing stuff like "Not relying on foreign oil from Imans and Castroheads" - as a large part of the reason for these folk being in place is part of the long term* cost of the oil.

To be honest I am all in favour of butt f#cking folk in the 3rd world to make them carry on selling their main (and finite) resource at cheap prices (Compared to what someone like Microsoft would sell oil at, USD200 is cheap!......in a true and free capitalist market place it would be like selling Crack - price or long term sustainability not the issues).



*Long Term = somewhat after end of next quarter's results
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Old 19-06-2008, 15:06   #40
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We have a big french Nuclear power plant up the coast......and it doesn't seem to have affected me

Absolutely hilarious!

I can't believe someone found a use for the octopus emoticon!

I always saw that thing and thought to myself, "now how would I use him in a sentence?"
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Old 19-06-2008, 15:08   #41
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LOL, my wife is a Nuclear Engineer working as an Engineering Manager at our local glowing pile of rubble. Gotta love Marcy (D) NE Ohio, every year she tries to get it shut down. 700 high paying jobs, 1,000 Mwatts.

I know, lets put wind farms up!
The greenies continue to do all the damage they can.

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i have spent pretty much all my working life as an engineer in the offshore oil industry. i can tell you that times have seldom been better for us in terms of employment and rates of pay - it's a bonanza.

i wake up every day and thank god for the greenies and their luddite fellow travellers in the media and politics.

if it wasn't for them nuclear power would be producing most of our energy needs (clean, safe and effectively limitless - look at france) and oil would be $5/bbl.

GO GREEN!!
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Old 19-06-2008, 15:20   #42
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Absolutely hilarious!

I can't believe someone found a use for the octopus emoticon!

I always saw that thing and thought to myself, "now how would I use him in a sentence?"
The secret is wayyyyyyy too much time on my hands
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Old 20-06-2008, 03:12   #43
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Interesting....
one.....does the per KW price that YOU are being charged include the cost of a permanent solution to the waste issue.
Two....It is still a mineral resource that will run out.....it uses far more uranium than people realise.
Three...there is no safe repository on the planet at the moment.
Four...there is no possibility of "the big rocket solution" because the successes to failure rate is to high. (challenger)
Five...disposal sites will remain a permanent political and geophysical risk until the "safe " levels are reached.
Six...Why would you spend the money and resources to simply allow us to continue on as we are, whilst handing the yet unsolved practical and financial burden to future generations ?
Seven...To except that the only way we will ever meet our energy needs is through FINITE resources is to except that we will A. have to change our ways "big time" when they run out and hand this to another generation or B. Except that we are doomed.
Eight...Caring about other people (including future generations) may mean being willing to take up the slack from past generations. We have no excuse this time.

cheers
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Old 20-06-2008, 07:11   #44
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That's some good logic, but I got a couple of points.



Interesting....
one.....does the per KW price that YOU are being charged include the cost of a permanent solution to the waste issue. Good question
Two....It is still a mineral resource that will run out.....it uses far more uranium than people realize. Has anyone seen predictions about how long our supply of uranium could last?
Three...there is no safe repository on the planet at the moment. Yeah, but we have much safer places to put the nuclear waste than we have to put the carbon fuel waste - it's just going into our atmosphere and lungs.
Four...there is no possibility of "the big rocket solution" because the successes to failure rate is to high. (challenger) Actually a previous poster mentioned that a rocket solution would require containment so it could survive a re-entry. Not saying that makes it viable, it's just a point.
Five...disposal sites will remain a permanent political and geophysical risk until the "safe " levels are reached. Here, combine my answers from three and four, above.
Six...Why would you spend the money and resources to simply allow us to continue on as we are, whilst handing the yet unsolved practical and financial burden to future generations ? Not quite just like we are. WAY less pollution. And it frees up our finite supply if oil to be used in other ways, like plastics, lubricants, etc.
Seven...To except that the only way we will ever meet our energy needs is through FINITE resources is to except that we will A. have to change our ways "big time" when they run out and hand this to another generation or B. Except that we are doomed.But we don't have to wait for a permanent solution to improve what we are doing here. We can change out finite solution WHILE working on a permanent one.
Eight...Caring about other people (including future generations) may mean being willing to take up the slack from past generations. We have no excuse this time.Absolutely

cheers

So, overall I agree with you. I just don't think we can wait for a permanent solution and I think nuclear power may be a good interim solution. It is about the only thing we have that is currently viable (Cost/quantity/technology) and implementation could begin on a large scale immediately. Using it, we'd reduce the natural gas and coal consumption and pollution sooner. There is currently technology available to get 100+ mile range on electric cars. That could slowly come into play as that technology improves. And the power would be there for hydrogen and various gassification methods under development. But I totally agree with you that in the midst of all the, we need to be furiously working on developing a permanent sustainable solution.

So, you have good points, but I still think nuclear power needs to be exploited at least in the short term (50 years or so?) while we develop what it takes to move on from there.

In another thread someone posted a catch phrase but I can't find it right now (late leaving for work!) and I don't remember it, but I'll paraphrase it here. Poorly.

Give more funding to the smart guys.

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Old 20-06-2008, 07:32   #45
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...Has anyone seen predictions about how long our supply of uranium could last?...
Anywhere from 40 to 100 years, depending upon who you ask, and the parameters* underlying the question.

* At what cost & consumption levels. Which reserves; Proven, Reasonably Assured , Inferred, and/or Unconventional resources?
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