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Old 30-11-2019, 03:04   #541
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Re: Electric Car Economics

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Probably workers falling off the roofs while installing them.



https://asiancorrespondent.com/2011/...-solar-panels/
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Old 30-11-2019, 03:27   #542
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Re: Electric Car Economics


From the linked article:


"Because of our propensity to put panels on roofs, solar is in fact, far more dangerous than many forms of power generation, three times more dangerous than wind power and more than 10 times more dangerous than nuclear power, by comparison to the amount of power produced.
This study puts it in perspective, using figures from the United States:

"The fifty actual deaths from roof installation accidents for 1.5 million roof installations is equal to the actual deaths experienced so far from Chernobyl. If all 80 million residential roofs in the USA had solar power installed then one would expect 9 times the annual roofing deaths of 300 people or 2700 people (roofers to die). This would generate about 240 TWh of power each year. (30% of the power generated from nuclear power in the USA). 90 people per year over an optimistic life of 30 years for the panels not including maintenance or any electrical shock incidents."

A few people dying from installing or maintaining solar power doesn't bother us -- because we are reducing pollution and reducing carbon and solar power is just yummy and nice. What's a few deaths. We'll get better at protecting people as we gain experience and it will be OK. And I agree! We try hard and should try harder to make things safe, but the unattainable perfect is the enemy of the good.



But with respect to nuclear power, we've been subjected to decades of anti-factual propaganda about how horrifying and dangerous nuclear power is, that people even remember Three Mile Island as some kind of horrible disaster -- someone even in this thread referred to it as that. It's an emotional reaction with no tether at all to reality, to the actual numbers of deaths or health effects. It's just -- ick! It's just like -- I saw The China Syndrome! It fails in a spectacular and disastrous way! It's really dangerous, and although I haven't actually thought about it in any rational way, and don't know any actual facts, I know it's so because Jack Lemmon and Greenpeace told me so!
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Old 30-11-2019, 07:01   #543
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Re: Electric Car Economics



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Old 30-11-2019, 07:19   #544
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Electric Car Economics

Dock, I have to go get the Daughters car again, but yes civilian reactors can and do produce plutonium that with some further refining can become weapons grade.
In fact if you look, you will find all kinds of references to the reason we didnít go to Thorium decades ago was Admiral Rickover, the then head of the NRC at the time wanted to continue to have the source of plutonium that a Thorium reactor doesnít provide.

You like Wikipedia read this article. I canít cut and paste with the IPad but there are so many articles stating that we are still with Uranium reactors because of their Military potential, if no true then itís a HUGE conspiracy.
Read background and brief history.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thor..._nuclear_power
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Old 30-11-2019, 08:15   #545
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Re: Electric Car Economics

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And your point is?



Suppose you can measure it -- an entirely different question is whether it is harmful.



This kind of logic -- I can measure radiation -- eek -- we're all going to die. That is emotion. There is radiation all around us. How much of it is harmful is well known to science. Did your teacher quantify the radiation measured, and look it up against a table of harmful effects?



But another question is whether you actually measured anything from NE Alabama. I seriously doubt it. The prevailing winds in Northern Ukraine are W and SW. You couldn't measure any gamma rays from Chernobyl in NE Alabama -- the earth is in the way. The fallout blew E or NE -- the opposite direction from Alabama. None of it would land in Alabama. So what were you measuring? A heated fantasy, I guess.
My point is, the normal background radiation was significantly higher than *normal*. Using stepped graduations of the compass you could produce a graph showing elevated levels which outlined which direction on the globe the *source* was located. All measurements were within the *humans can survive this* range, so woohoo nuclear is safe!!! All were above the recorded *normal* background radiation levels, though, and while I didn't visit ground zero I have a pretty good idea as you got closer....
I never made any liberal drama claims that 'we are all going to die'. I never called anyone a liar for stating their firsthand experiences. I never ridiculed anyone or attempted to belittle their experience as fantasy emotional responses.
If you read any of my previous comments you see the number of rods being stored on site at the reactors. I sincerely hope that is no longer the case, but even if they are being transported off site again, storage and disposal has always been an issue.
There has never been an uncontrolled runaway with that many spent rods and new unused rods in such close proximity, we have no real clue what the outcome would be. It's like playing russian roulette
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Old 30-11-2019, 09:02   #546
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Re: Electric Car Economics

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My point is, the normal background radiation was significantly higher than *normal*. Using stepped graduations of the compass you could produce a graph showing elevated levels which outlined which direction on the globe the *source* was located. All measurements were within the *humans can survive this* range, so woohoo nuclear is safe!!! All were above the recorded *normal* background radiation levels, though, and while I didn't visit ground zero I have a pretty good idea as you got closer....
My limited understanding is that geiger counters measure radioactivity coming from the stuff in your immediate vicinity, including the air. It's not measuring some source that "beams" a long distance and just happens to also follow the curvature of the earth. So, "pointing at Chernobyl" would have no relevance to measurements made in Alabama. If you were measuring elevated levels there, it's either because there were elevated levels of radioactivity in that location, or the instrument was out of calibration.

The radioactivity from Chernobyl would have been spread the furthest by ash and smoke from the fire. I don't know if this resulted in detectable radiation increase on the ground in N. America.

Quote:
There has never been an uncontrolled runaway with that many spent rods and new unused rods in such close proximity, we have no real clue what the outcome would be. It's like playing russian roulette
The separation required to prevent runaway reactions is pretty well known, and if you mandate a multiple of that separation as a safety factor, you won't get a spontaneous reaction.

All the nuclear accidents that have occurred to date have come from what were design or human errors that violated known limits. We do have a real clue, in other words... the problems only come when we take risks, fail to respect those limits, or cut corners. Russian roulette is only dangerous when the gun points at someone as the trigger is pulled.
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Old 30-11-2019, 16:48   #547
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Re: Electric Car Economics

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Originally Posted by S/V Adeline View Post
My point is, the normal background radiation was significantly higher than *normal*. Using stepped graduations of the compass you could produce a graph showing elevated levels which outlined which direction on the globe the *source* was located.
Dockhead and Lake-Effect both nailed nailed it.


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Originally Posted by Lake-Effect View Post
My limited understanding is that geiger counters measure radioactivity coming from the stuff in your immediate vicinity, including the air. It's not measuring some source that "beams" a long distance and just happens to also follow the curvature of the earth. So, "pointing at Chernobyl" would have no relevance to measurements made in Alabama. If you were measuring elevated levels there, it's either because there were elevated levels of radioactivity in that location, or the instrument was out of calibration.
I guess the teacher should have spent more time explaining what a G-M tube "geiger counter" does and how it works rather than indulging in obvious anti-nuclear advocacy with impressionable schoolkids.
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Old 30-11-2019, 18:51   #548
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Electric Car Economics

There are different types of Geiger counters designed to measure different types of radiation.
Assuming itís a directional type, they can indeed measure radiation from a very far away place, if you pointed one at the sun it would show an increase for instance.

However Iím unaware of any type of ionizing radiation that would follow the Earths curvature, but then I am by no means any kind of Nuclear Physicist, I didnít even stay in a Motel last night either.
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Old 01-12-2019, 02:49   #549
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Re: Electric Car Economics

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
Dock, I have to go get the Daughters car again, but yes civilian reactors can and do produce plutonium that with some further refining can become weapons grade.
In fact if you look, you will find all kinds of references to the reason we didnít go to Thorium decades ago was Admiral Rickover, the then head of the NRC at the time wanted to continue to have the source of plutonium that a Thorium reactor doesnít provide.

You like Wikipedia read this article. I canít cut and paste with the IPad but there are so many articles stating that we are still with Uranium reactors because of their Military potential, if no true then itís a HUGE conspiracy.
Read background and brief history.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thor..._nuclear_power

Well, that is not indeed why thorium reactors have not been developed yet for commercial use. I know something about this as a close family member was directly involved in the project. Thorium reactors have some appealing theoretical advantages but have not been developed sufficiently for all the implications to be understood. It is controversial whether they would be better or worse than our LWR's from the point of view of proliferation. Thorium reactors are breeder reactors and produce U-233 in the primary reaction. There is some Internet mythology about Alvin Weinberg being thwarted from pursuing thorium reactors at Oak Ridge because of its supposed lack of weapons applications, but this is not true at all -- on the contrary, the thorium fuel cycle would be likely more easily adapatable to weapons production, if the operator of the plant took a mind to it. The truth is much more banal -- the development path to a practical fast breeder reactor was seen as more straightforward and resources were concentrated on that.



The process of developing these theories into practical, buildable nuclear power plants is enormously costly and enormously complex. Now that we start to understand the implications of climate change and start to understand better the other undesirable implications of fossil fuel burning, there has been a huge increase in R&D work on commercial reactor designs beyond the LWR, and what is great is that there is now broad international cooperation on this, pooling of knowledge, through the Generation IV International Forum, which includes the Chinese, Russians, and Euroatom. See: https://www.gen-4.org/gif/jcms/c_404...energy-systems. If you read the papers of the GIF in that site, you'll learn more than you ever wanted to know about future types of nuclear power plants. The Chinese are leading the world at the moment in the development of molten salt, thorium-cycle reactors and expect to have the first ones in commercial operation within 15 or 20 years.





Concerning proliferation risks: These are inherent to all types of nuclear power without exception, and manging this is surely the greatest challenge to the large rollout of nuclear power which the world needs now. Gen IV reactors whether they will be liquid sodium or molten salt or whatever types, will not significantly reduce this challenge. The thorium fuel cycle is no kind of magic bullet (see: https://phys.org/news/2012-12-thoriu...nder-fuel.html), nor are the operational types of LWR's particularly bad. You do not, I say again, get "weapons grade plutonium" from a one-pass Gen I or II LWR operating normally. The waste from these reactors contains Pu (actually a considerable part of the power generated by a LWR is produced by fissioning off Pu produced in the primary reaction), which can be separated chemically from other waste products using the PUREX process, but Pu-240 (and some other Pu isotopes), which is not separated from Pu-239 in the chemical PUREX process, "poisons" Pu-239, and the two cannot be separated by any practical process other than allowing the Pu-240 to decay over a couple hundred years (Pu-240 has a shorter half-life). The proportion of Pu-239 to Pu-240 depends on the extent of fuel "burn-up", but the plutonium in typical spent fuel from LWR's today is only 50% to 60% Pu-239, so unusable for weapons (anything over 7% Pu-240 is not weapons-grade). That being said it is possible to INTENTIONALLY produce weapons-grade Pu by pulling the fuel out early and then separating the Pu out using the PUREX process, but you can do this with absolutely any kind of fission reactor.


The advantage of the thorium cycle from the proliferation point of view is that although the primary reaction produces U-233, which can be used in weapons, this is contaminated with highly radioactive U-232, which does not "poison" U-233 in the way that Pu-240 "poisons" Pu-239, but the mixture is extremely difficult to handle and so it is considered to be beyond the capabilities of low-tech bad actors. However, as discussed in the linked article, there are ways around that.
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Old 01-12-2019, 06:56   #550
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Re: Electric Car Economics

Thorium reactors can be built to consume the U-233
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thorium_fuel_cycle
As far as the 10 to 15 years, yes Iím sure following normal processes it would take that long, however if the desire were there money can Iím sure shorten it, thatís why I brought up the Manhattan project and the Apollo program, both enormously inefficient programs, but they did get it done quickly.

Then you have to wonder why the Chinese are chasing it, if itís not a superior fuel cycle. Surely cheaper and faster to just stay with the Uranium cycle.
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Old 01-12-2019, 07:52   #551
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Re: Electric Car Economics

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Thorium reactors ...
Then you have to wonder why the Chinese are chasing it, if itís not a superior fuel cycle. Surely cheaper and faster to just stay with the Uranium cycle.
The main reason China is developing thorium-based, molten-salt reactor technology, is that, while it has to import uranium to power its current reactors, it has large reserves of thorium, and would not need to rely on others for such crucial raw materials.
At present, China relies on nuclear technology from the United States and France (China has already built 45 uranium-powered reactors), but hopes their heavy investment will allow it to play a leading role in the Generation-IV realm. China wants to test all the fourth-generation concepts before moving forward, however, a major focus is developing thorium-based, molten-salt reactors.
This technology could prove to be cheaper and cleaner, while the use of thorium (which is less radioactive than uranium) should generate less waste.
Replacing water as a coolant, with liquid molten salt, could tap more of the energy available in radioactive materials, and reduce the risk of a meltdown, by slowing the nuclear reactions automatically, if they get too hot. Another advantage of developing molten-salt reactors is that, because they do not need so much water, China can build them in remote desert regions, away from its densely populated east coast.
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Old 01-12-2019, 11:03   #552
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Re: Electric Car Economics

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Thorium reactors can be built to consume the U-233

Not only CAN they be built to consume the U-233, that's the whole point of the thorium cycle. Thorium is not fissile in its natural state but is converted into U-233 through a series of conversions as it is bombarded by neutrons from a U-235 fission reaction.


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As far as the 10 to 15 years, yes I’m sure following normal processes it would take that long, however if the desire were there money can I’m sure shorten it, that’s why I brought up the Manhattan project and the Apollo program, both enormously inefficient programs, but they did get it done quickly.

Yes, agree completely, however, query whether spending vast amounts of wealth "enormously inefficiently", is good policy in an age where we need 1000's of new technologies to be developed faster. We have Gen III+ reactors which are fully developed and ready for commercial rollout, and which are orders of magnitude safer than the already extremely safe Gen II reactors. We are not in such a hurry as to need to develop them in an inefficient crash program, which besides being inefficient, increase the risks involved (remember Apollo 1).

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Then you have to wonder why the Chinese are chasing it, if it’s not a superior fuel cycle. Surely cheaper and faster to just stay with the Uranium cycle.
The Chinese are chasing several Gen IV reactor types; molten salt/thorium is only one of them. Read the paper I linked above; it's fascinating even if you are only slightly interested in nuclear power. Gen I - III is all refinements of the basic light water reactors we already got working in the 1940's; Gen IV is the breakout into very different technologies.



Meanwhile the Chinese are also "staying with", that is rolling out, normal light water reactors on a massive scale -- they are building massive quantities of Gen III and Gen III+ pressurized water reactors, including one of the pilot EPR plants, and including their own Hualong One pressurised water reactor, which is an impressive design being exported to other countries including the UK. The Chinese presently have 15 (!) Gen III and III+ nuclear power plants actually under construction and will continue completing them at a rate of about one every three months for the next few years. The Chinese will very quickly become the world leader in nuclear power; they are already the world leader in new nuclear power construction.


We should also not forget the Russians, who after brought the first practical nuclear power plant on line in 1954, and who continuing carrying out massive amounts of development work on nuclear power. Uniquely, Russia now has the most capitalist nuclear power sector in the world with Rosatom having been cut off from government funds in 2017 and forced to support themselves. Which they are doing very well with the world's largest order book of new nuclear power plants, fully 33 orders for export, over $300 billion. The Russians have the most mature Gen III+ reactor design, the VVER-1200, 4 of which are being built in China. This is the type of reactor which Siemens was supposed to be rolling out in Germany through its joint venture with Rosatom, until the unfortunate political turn of events in Germany which will perpetuate coal burning there through possibly the end of the century . Rosatom is presently the largest electrical power generator in Russia and will increase its share as fossil fuels are phased out in Russia, with nuclear power expected to account for 90% of electrical power generation in Russia by the end of the century. Rosatom is also investing billions into wind and other renewable power; the Russians are serious about eliminating fossil fuels.



Gen III reactors are finally a really mature development of the original light water reactor -- safety systems are a great leap forward, with fully passive emergency cooling systems which require no electrical power to operate, many other passive safety features, facilities to catch and contain melted core in case of a meltdown, modularization and higher degree of standardization for economy of construction, they are much more compact and use much less land but have much stronger containment buildings designed to withstand an airliner crash; and they are more efficient and carry out more thorough "fuel burn up", which produces less waste and much less Pu-239. While we are perfecting Gen IV designs (and while we are waiting to see WHICH Gen IV design is the best one -- there are about 6 candidates and thorium is not an obvious leader), Gen III reactors are worth building on a massive scale, like the Chinese are doing, and eliminate coal burning as quickly as possible. This will have multiple and massively beneficial effects of which mitigating climate change is only one.
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Old 01-12-2019, 11:26   #553
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Re: Electric Car Economics

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The quoted article usefully underlines how deadly fossil fuel burning is. Putting aside climate change, there are several other good reasons to transition away from fossil fuels as soon as reasonably practical.


Nuclear power is incredibly safe compared to coal, oil, or even natural gas. Nuclear power -- even with Chernobyl and Fukushima -- is almost twice as safe as even wind power, and 5 times safer than solar.



We have to continue improving the safety of it, particularly dealing with the waste, and we have to be awfully careful not to let nuclear material fall into the hands of bad actors, but every coal or oil or natural gas powerplant replaced with a nuclear one is a vast boon in terms of safety, health, and climate. The world needs more of it, as enlightened countries like Finland and Sweden have figured out in a big way.
Nuclear should definitely be part of the energy mix. There is no other , low carbon , high density energy source

Solar and wind are nice , but they can never de carbonize the economy
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