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Poll - are you still for nuke power?

Post in 'The Green Room' started by webbie, Sep 4, 2013.

?

Are you still interested in building up the US and world Nuclear generating capacity?

Poll closed Sep 14, 2013.
  1. Yes

    33 vote(s)
    73.3%
  2. No

    12 vote(s)
    26.7%
  1. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    A response would require reading about the situation in Japan now and where it's likely to go from here.

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  2. bmblank

    bmblank Minister of Fire

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    No poll access on tapatalk, but yes.
    Just watch a modern Marvels episode on the subject. I mean, they test the pod that they transport fuel (or waste, i forget which) by hitting it with a train at about 70mph... Done right there's no problems with it whatsoever. Look at the plants we already have. I'd say we're already successful at it.
  3. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    No mention that they have nowhere to put that waste? It's all still stored at the plants, even though we (tax and rate payers) are going to have to pay the eventual bill.
  4. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    It's already here. Those aircraft carriers over near Syria ready to fight, all nuclear. So are the cruisers and submarines beneath them. If the technology is safe enough to travel through rough seas and be shot at then why not use the power to run our homes? Waste schmaste, this planet is vast.
    MasterMech, Lewiston, btuser and 2 others like this.
  5. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

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    Now if the poll were "do you think nuclear power is a good fit for japan" the results may be different. Too close to the ocean,too many earthquakes and lots of volcanos.
    Wildo likes this.
  6. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Does this include fusion reactors? If so, yes.
    jharkin likes this.
  7. Circus

    Circus Member

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    [​IMG]
    Where can I buy a geiger counter?
    WeldrDave and DevilsBrew like this.
  8. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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    Carriers & submarines, yes...all nuclear powered. That's it. No other surface combatant is nuclear powered.
  9. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    False. Fast attack cruisers are powered by two vertical reactors. I've cut them up and sent them to Hanford for "burial". Not a navy guy myself but a naval architect in the civil service for awhile.

    When I say vertical, I mean the reactor package that gets taken away is tall and skinny vs. a submarine that is, well, the shape of a submarine and horizontal. Not sure why they need two reactors for a single ship but they do.
  10. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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    None of them are left in the active inventory.
  11. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    Perhaps so, there were at least 9 cruisers right?

    Then the russians have, oh, half a dozen active betwen cruisers and ice breakers.
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2013
  12. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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    There were 9. 3 of them were the only ships of their class, then there were 2 California class, then 4 Virginia class. The last nuclear powered cruiser was decommissioned in 1999.
  13. Huntindog1

    Huntindog1 Minister of Fire

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    These days the hand writing is on the wall we need more for generating electricity for the USA. We should be able to build good ones these days. We are going to have all those electric vehicles that need charged. LoL

    But after everyone converts to high tech wood burning stoves we may be able to cut a few of them out of the plan.
    Joful and BoilerMan like this.
  14. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    I suspect most of us will be singing a different tune when the Japanese radiation fills our fish stock and air (milk, crops, etc.)...

    The folks in the industry don't seem to think of the waste problem like you do.....luckily, I guess!
  15. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Free market will not support them. Without government assistance and lack of liability (they cannot be insured), they cannot match the prices of other methods. So being for them means you want all taxpayers and ratepayers, now and for thousands of years, to pay for them and the waste.

    I'm sure we can build better ones today - but being as the promised solutions to the waste are 40+ years behind, it's amazing that we could trust it will be solved. Then there is the little problem of nuclear proliferation, which the technology seems to lead to.
  16. Huntindog1

    Huntindog1 Minister of Fire

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    Well nuclear or burning fossil fuels something is going to catch up with us.

    But energy costs is bringing every one down. Most of my money goes into the gas tank. I have a family of 5 and 4 of us drive soon to be 5. Lets see when all 5 of us are driving that will have me at $1000 a month in gasoline costs.

    I just figure that if we want to take the load off fossil fuels nuclear is the going to have to do some of it. Worlds not getting any smaller.

    In my life time the weather patterns is about as weird as I have ever seen it , I am beginning to think its man made, from all the energy production from fossil fuels.

    As you point out Webbie the USA might not be building anymore but other countries are the ones that will be building them and I dont really trust them to do a good job.

    I hear what your saying but dont know what the answer for energy needs of the future will be.
  17. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

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    They did a lot of things wrong at Fukushima, the bad choice of location being only the start.

    Do I want to see more bad implementations like that? - certainly not. But I also don't see a billion windmills saving the day when fossil fuels run out. We will need nuclear in some form or another, maybe LFTRs if they can be perfected or deally Fusion if we can ever make that 50 year breakthrough.

    To point to Fukushima and say all nuclear is bad is a bit like the crowd who want to shut all of us down because of the smoke belching OWB folks.
    Joful, BrianK, NortheastAl and 2 others like this.
  18. georgepds

    georgepds Member

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    Why not? Spain sometimes gets a third of their power from windmills. Last time I was there.. I liked the look of all the ridges with windmills on them. They are pretty advanced using market based approach to predicting wind power for load balancing. Predict it right and you get paid get it wrong, and you loose. They have a small sector doing the predictions for the electric companies

    Windmills alone won't do it, but distributed energy production just might. Power variability is the issue, perhaps advances in local battery storage might someday complement local wind/sun production. I see better batteries a more likely development than practical fusion

    Well Chernobyl comes to mind, so it's not just Fukushima.. but that is not what bothers me. The problem as I see it is the degree of destruction that happens if something goes wrong. A windmill falls over, and you may kill a very unlucky sheep. Fukushima cracks, and you loose a good portion of Japan. Chernobyl blows, and you contaminate eastern Europe

    Scale matters

    All that is a bit to the side, cheap gas is tolling the bell for nukes
  19. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Yes. But not in the current form using old tech. Part of our waste issue is that the rods still contain a fair amount of hot fuel. Fuel that can ultimately be consumed by the new tech nuke plants. At least in the short term, we could actually reduce nuke waste by burning up the old rods in the new reactors.
    Joful and NortheastAl like this.
  20. woodgeek

    woodgeek Minister of Fire

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    The nuclear tech of 20th century vintage was not the best, but has already saved countless lives (relative to projected deaths from avoided FF emissions). A 21st century reboot, with modern material and material understanding and siting would be, yes, as safe as safe can be. (E.g. compare jet air travel in 2013 versus 1973, both are v complex machines with materials limitations, and the safety is far better now)

    The big issue is COST. Period. And that is an open question. If new modern nukes can compete with renewable with a reasonable amortization, round up some private investment. The lack of said investors suggests that the smart money says it doesn't pay. Period.

    Personally, I think thorium tech is 'immature'. Would require a couple decades to work the kinks out of and prove prototypes. Can't build a fleet tomorrow, sorry.

    And, no offense to PDF, but fusion is a pipedream. Again, purely on a COST basis it is no-brainer impossible.

    And this from a guy that thinks we could build a whole mars colony out of boiler plate, mass of an aircraft carrier, and send it there in one piece Orion-style. F--k NASA, give Elon Musk a couple hundred compact nukes and half of NASA's current budget. Permanent Mars colony in 10 years. :cool:
    Joful likes this.
  21. StihlHead

    StihlHead Guest

    Pipe dream...

    Fusion is so complicated and difficult that it will likely never happen. Yes, we can fuse atoms, but garnering any net energy from the process is likely more than 100 year into the future IMO (as an electrical engineer with some experience in developing cogeneration electric plants). I do not think that thorium or breeder reactors will be commercially feasible anytime soon either. I was once a fan of those technologies, but was convinced otherwise by a lot of scientists and engineers about 12 years ago. A lot of new technology will have to be developed/invented to get them working.

    We are between a rock and a hard place as humans needing energy though, with a population of over 7 billion. FF is causing problems with GW, and we simply cannot keep burning stored carbon based energy sources w/o suffering massive global consequences. Alternatives are all the rage and sound great, but they account for only a tiny fraction of global energy, and they are expensive to develop and produce. Which leaves nuclear as the only real existing, available and scalable alternative in the near future. It has its faults, for sure. Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, and Fukushima are a testament to that. We also have to move the spent nuclear waste someplace where it is safer. I have been to Yucca Mountain, and I believe that is where it should be moved myself. However, it has been abandoned and the politics involved in doing that may not be possible. Germany is also scrapping nuclear energy long term, and the Japanese population is leery of it after Fukushima. Though I doubt that they will ever be able to scrap nuclear energy in Japan. Here in Oregon they demolished the Trojan plant, which in my opinion was a big mistake. But its a big political thing here that is likely not going to change.

    We are staring to build more nuke plants in the US now though. I think 2 are being built and 9 are in the works. Several others have been offline for a while now, like the one in San Onofre just north of San Diego and one in Florida. The existing nuclear power plants are aging and more will go offline in the near future. Meanwhile the PNW is all gearing up for FF energy exports to Asia. 3 coal terminals are in planning on the Columbia River downstream from Portland, and one oil terminal was just approved in Vancouver, WA. They are going to run oil and coal down the RR lines through the Columbia Gorse and offload it to ships destined for Asia. They are also planning large NG pipelines to Pacific port terminals in Oregon and/or Washington for shipping to Asia. We are going to be the next Saudi Arabia of FF exports to the globe. The scale is massive. Can we afford to do this as a species and hope to survive the consequences of burning all this FF? I doubt that we can, but I also doubt that anything will stop this process from happening. Even if we Americans radically reduce the burning of FF as we have in the last several years, they will not likely reduce the demand in Asia any time soon.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 5, 2013
    Joful likes this.
  22. save$

    save$ Minister of Fire

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    So many horror stories with nuclear power. But just as we don't drive model t's, we have the capacity to build them better and safer. There again, there are other options. I.e. harnessing the power of the tides for hydro power. No dams! More efficient capturing the wind and solar energy so that it is cost effective and competitive. Problem still persist. Too many NIMBY's.
  23. semipro

    semipro Minister of Fire

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    In a better world without greed and hubris nuclear might be a viable option.
    Talk about fusion being a pipe dream...(less greed and hubris -- hah!)

    IMO our best options for energy sustainability lie in:
    1. controlled societal growth,
    2. less waste (higher efficiency), and
    3. heavy expansion of renewable energy use.
    Efficiency improvements are a no-brainer and yet I'm amazed how untapped this "source of energy" is.
    This is especially true when you consider the end results of inefficiencies are (more) heat and pollution.
    I'd hazard a guess that humans could do what we need to do with half or less of the energy we presently use.
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2013
    StihlHead likes this.
  24. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

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    Part of the problem is that energy prices are not really going up, for decades they have stayed the same adjusted for inflation. When they do eventually go up people will adjust and more alternatives will become cost effective.
    StihlHead likes this.
  25. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

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    This is true and is also why so few people go after efficiency. Consumers are lazy. Some may talk about the environment but when it comes to action its just that - talk - for a lot of folks. So long as its cheaper and easier to just pay the electric bill / gas bill or gas up the car people wont bother with insulating or buying a smaller car.

    Cheap frac gas is probably doing more damage to efficiency efforts than anything else....
    StihlHead and Huntindog1 like this.

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