1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)
    Caluwe - Passion for Fire and Water ( Pellet and Wood Hydronic and Space Heating)

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. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2008
    Messages:
    3,625
    Loc:
    Eastern Central PA
    We probably achieved the equivalent of all the nations reactors in the past few years just through more efficient appliances.
    Huntindog1 likes this.

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. Huntindog1

    Huntindog1 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2011
    Messages:
    1,431
    Loc:
    South Central Indiana

    Excellent point, lets consider the size of China & India and that part of the world compared to our population in the USA. When they start to consume like we do. The world is gonna a be a whole different place. 1.2 billion for India and 1.3 billion for China with India expected to pass china in 2025. The energy demand for soon to be fully modernized populations like that are mind boggling.

    2.9 billion: The combined population of four neighboring countries: China, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. Together, they account for 41 percent of the world's population.
    jharkin and StihlHead like this.
  3. Frozen Canuck

    Frozen Canuck Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2009
    Messages:
    861
    Loc:
    North central Alberta, Canada
    Yep. If we don't find a way to get by/get along without using the joint as an oversized garbage can, well we are likely to have population control forced on us by old Ma Nature via some very nasty methods indeed.

    I don't think the developed world is willing to have a footprint like we had in the early 50's, likely the last time we could say we were living within the means of the planet. Going to be some very interesting times indeed for grandkids & generations beyond.
    jharkin, Grisu and StihlHead like this.
  4. StihlHead

    StihlHead Guest

    Agreed on most points. However, they were testing to determine how long the turbines would spin and supply power to the main circulating pumps following a loss of the main electrical supply. In order to do the tests, they had to purposely turn the automated shutdown systems and backup cooling system off and remove far more control rods than were allowed for safety. At that point the reactor had a power spike (not known exactly why, there are several theories), and it went open loop and kablooey. But the operators were purposely bypassing many safety protocols with a reactor that had serious design flaws. They did not understand these points and it rapidly got out of control. A series of human errors on top of a bad reactor design. A lot of people died, and the area is still a hot zone.

    Agreed. No way for them to plan for the events that caused the Fukushima accident. The earthquake caused a severe drop in land level that rendered the sea walls useless, and then the tidal wave washed them out and took out the reactor cooling pumps. That caused a rapid increase in heat and a meltdown, and the subsequent chain of reactions. A lot of people died there as well, but mainly from the earthquake and subsequent flooding. Many things were done after the fact in order to keep the reactor cool, including doing things that they knew would permanently destroy the power plant. The area is also a hot zone, though 'fallout' here on the US Pacific coast was completely overblown. The measured background radiation in the Portland, OR area hardly changed at all. But people bought tons of highly inflated iodine tablets and there as a panic.

    I am biased in the opposite. I have many years of experience of working at General Dynamics on many military programs and my experience is that defense spending is about as inefficient a way to spend money that there is. Yes, the stuff worked in the first Gulf War when everyone said it would not. But the price was really high and the waste was everywhere. Simply put, private industry cannot afford that kind of cost, and no one can afford a $30,000 military spec toaster oven. Which is why people had cheap Polaroids, when the military has high altitude high resolution cameras.

    However, a caveat to that is that after the military defense buildup and build-down, all kinds of companies spun off in the SF Bay Area and San Diego with military technology and available educated and trained defense industry technicians and engineers. One example is Qualcomm in San Diego using CDMA technology for cell phones (that was developed for the SINGARS military radio). Another is WD-40 was that was developed at General Dynamics for military launch vehicles (the Atlas-Centaur rocket).

    Also where nuclear energy is concerned, the case is actually the opposite of military spending. People simply cannot afford energy at 2x the rate of nuclear (or FF) to use alternatives. Until alternatives become cheaper, they will not become widely used (at least not enough to make a global impact). We live in the land of 'the have'. In poor countries they simply cannot afford to eat with energy at 2x the price. Which is what started the Arab spring revolts in North Africa and the Middle East; higher food costs (due to higher energy costs and drought). In Brazil they are rioting over the higher cost of transportation, due in part to higher energy costs.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 8, 2013
  5. StihlHead

    StihlHead Guest

    Wiki is actually not as good for the details of the Chernobyl reactor tests and events. Look at this site for better info:

    http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/S...-Appendix-1--Sequence-of-Events/#.UizkUVHn_IV
  6. btuser

    btuser Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2009
    Messages:
    2,024
    Loc:
    The island of Rhum Boogie
    Thanks for the link. I've seen two documenaries and read a dozen articles. The part I was quoting was the void coefficient. In my non-expert opinion they f'd up worse than a chimpanzee fire drill.
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2013
  7. StihlHead

    StihlHead Guest

    Well, yes. I am just pointing out a better and rather complete account of the whole ugly mess.

    As for fire drills, many of them paid the ultimate price for their mistakes and left a legacy for eternity regarding nuclear power.
  8. btuser

    btuser Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2009
    Messages:
    2,024
    Loc:
    The island of Rhum Boogie
    There's a thriving tourist trade. I'm trying convince my wife we don't need another trip to Disneyland this year.
    Frozen Canuck likes this.
  9. DBoon

    DBoon Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2009
    Messages:
    777
    Loc:
    Central NY
    I don't love the idea of nuclear power. At the same time, wind, solar, hydro, and other clean generating technologies cannot meet 100% of our needs, and can't stabilize the electrical grid by providing the baseline need. Leaving aside the fact that our electric utilities want to run the grid with a 1970's mindset and are very resistant to change, we do need some percentage of baseline generation, likely in the 30-40% range (this is far less than a utility would tell you).

    Essentially, we have a massive problem (too much CO2 production) that requires a 30 year or less solution. The 30 year or less solution can only be met with technologies that can be deployed today, and nuclear is one of them. If you don't want to deploy nuclear for baseline loads, then you have, by default, chosen a fossil fuel strategy with all the problems that brings (i.e. too much CO2 production), and then there is no solution. If you don't believe in global warming being caused by fossil fuel burning, then this is a non-issue and nuclear could be "discontinued".

    Today, nuclear accounts for about 20% of US electrical generation. In 30 years, we will be very lucky if solar+wind can reach this level of generated electricity (not capacity). To get CO2 down to 20% of today's levels requires something on the order of doubling nuclear generation (40% of today's total generation), shutting every coal-fired plant, limiting natural gas to 20% of electrical generation), continuing massive investments in wind and solar (to reach 20% of today's total generation), and massive conservation to drop demand 20% in-spite of population increases and any shift in transportation or heating from fossil fuel to electricity. This is the "do everything" strategy.

    You simply can't solve the problem without nuclear energy, hate to say it....
    StihlHead likes this.
  10. woodgeek

    woodgeek Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2008
    Messages:
    2,506
    Loc:
    SE PA
    Don't agree DB. There are multiple viable low carbon scenarios with nuclear and without. Wind can provide near 'baseload' power if you overbuild (nearly 100%), average over a large area, and are willing to shed excess. Put in some demand shedding and the baseload concept is not needed. The question in whether 2X cost of wind is more expensive than new nukes. Right now looks like 2X onshore wind is cheaper than new nukes, but 2X offshore is more. Jury is out.
  11. btuser

    btuser Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2009
    Messages:
    2,024
    Loc:
    The island of Rhum Boogie
    2x wind is a lot more concrete and steel. It would take a lot longer just to break even on CO2. It's also a question of 2x as long to build it, although I will concede wind is easier, especially from a social point of view.

    For a country that can coordinate happy meal prizes with this week's hit movie I wouldn't think this level of coordination would be so much trouble.
  12. woodgeek

    woodgeek Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2008
    Messages:
    2,506
    Loc:
    SE PA
    energy payback for wind is ~8 mos. Double that, 16 mos. If it runs for 32 years, still a 20X excess energy. Using energy as a proxy for carbon, still consistent with a big reduction.
  13. StihlHead

    StihlHead Guest

    While wind is now the largest single growing sector for energy production in the US and currently accounts for 43% of all new electric generation plants in the US, even at this current rapid growth rate it is only expected to double by 2020. Currently wind accounts for 4% of total electrical generation in the US (as of 2012). So in 2020 we get to 8%. Also politics are getting in the way and slowing wind down. Look at the large wind farm that is being planned in the Columbia River gorge. It is all tied up in the courts now. Off-shore wind will be even more difficult. And you still need a power supply for non-windy days, or storage, and batteries are just not there in size, scale and cost yet. The larger the grid and father you are from users, the more electricity you lose in line losses (up to 50%).

    In contrast, US nuclear generating capacity is expected to only grow by about 10% by 2030 (taking into account new plants expected to come on line and closure of nuke plants that have been in operation for their expected lifespan). That is less than 2% of today's total electric production. The US electric demand is expected to increase by 35% by the year 2030. So the shortfall to fill by alternatives just to account for growth not produced by nukes is a whopping 33% of today's production, and even if wind were to re-double again by 2030 that would leave a 21% void to fill with other far slower growing alternatives. And that would still leave the existing fossil fuel electric production exactly where it is today. In the end, even with nukes *and* wind, we will fall short of demand. If we want to cut down on FF, we have to start building up alternatives, and starting about 35 years ago. If you want to replace nuke plants and account for the expected increase in electric demand, you would need to increase alternative energy 10 fold over today's production, and you still do not replace any electricity made by FF.

    So I just do not see it happening w/o nukes, and everything else we can come up with in the meantime. Jury or no jury, as much as the anti-nuke lobby and greenies want think that there will be a wonderful rosy future. And that does not account for a rapidly emerging middle class in Asia that will be demanding a whole lot more energy, likely to come from the US of A in the form of coal, oil and NG. We have this massive debt to pay off, you know...
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 9, 2013
  14. StihlHead

    StihlHead Guest

    Well, going to Chernobyl, or anywhere in the Ukraine is not on my bucket list.

    But in a statement made in April, 2 scientists from Nasa's Goddard institute have calculated that nuclear power has prevented 1.84 million deaths as compared to the use of Fossil Fuel (even accounting for fallout from Fukushima):

    Using historical production data, we calculate that global nuclear power has prevented about 1.84 million air pollution-related deaths and 64 gigatonnes (Gt) CO2-equivalent greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that would have resulted from fossil fuel burning. Based on global projection data that take into account the effects of Fukushima, we find that by mid-century, nuclear power could prevent an additional 420,000 to 7.04 million deaths and 80 to 240 GtCO2-eq emissions due to fossil fuels, depending on which fuel it replaces.
    Huntindog1 and woodgeek like this.
  15. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    45,834
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    Thanks to Chernobyl there is now a part of the earth that is inhabitable for 20000 years. We can't afford to have more of these.
  16. woodgeek

    woodgeek Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2008
    Messages:
    2,506
    Loc:
    SE PA
    Didn't say that we were on a path to a low carbon electric fleet, just that it there are multiple feasible paths. Since half of the current wind fleet was built in the last 2 years, this implies we **could** double it in 4 more years, or triple it in 8, just by building at the most recent historical rate.

    Currently, though, the number of wind farms under construction in the US is near zero.

    The current wind/solar experience in Germany is fascinating....its a Rorschach test for energy geeks, with one side pointing out that wind is driving down prices by displacing the most expensive generation, while the other side is saying the effect is apocalyptic for utilities (that buried their head in the sand and did not plan for it). Who is right? We'll watch and learn.
  17. btuser

    btuser Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2009
    Messages:
    2,024
    Loc:
    The island of Rhum Boogie
    Have you been within 100 yards of a 1MW wind turbine?

    I'll take the nuke plant. The poor baby birds and bats!
    StihlHead likes this.
  18. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    45,834
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    Well, within 1000 yds yes, we saw lots of them in eastern WA. How do you think bats and birds like flying through this?
    coal_fired_power_plant.jpg Oil-Refinery-Flare-005.jpg

    Or trying to land in this?
    candian-oil-sands-615.jpg

    FWIW, the major cause of bird deaths are tall buildings and cats, not large wind generators.
  19. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2007
    Messages:
    9,979
    Loc:
    Bend, OR
  20. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2012
    Messages:
    5,894
    Loc:
    Philadelphia
    Good point, with one correction. Only the Nimitz class carriers are Nuclear. All the rest of the carriers in our fleet are conventional power. The new Gerald Ford class carriers will be nuclear, but none of them are on the water... yet.
  21. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2012
    Messages:
    5,894
    Loc:
    Philadelphia
    Don't we have rockets? :p Space is vast, and the sun is hot.
    Frozen Canuck likes this.
  22. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2007
    Messages:
    9,979
    Loc:
    Bend, OR
    Nope, not even close. No conventionally powered aircraft carrier remains in the active inventory. Kitty Hawk (CV 63) was the last one, decommissioned in May 2009. Every US carrier commissioned since 1975 (Nimitz) is nuclear powered, 10 of which are currently active in the fleet. (Trust me, I spent 30+ years in a Navy uniform, and was, in fact, Chief Engineer of Kitty Hawk 1992 - 1995, then I did a tour in the Aircraft Carrier Program Office in the Pentagon.)
  23. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2012
    Messages:
    5,894
    Loc:
    Philadelphia
    Wikipedia can't be wrong! ;hm ;lol

    Their list of "active carriers, in service":


    [​IMG] USNimitz (CVN-68)333 m (1,093 ft)100,020 mtNimitzNuclearCATOBAR3 May 1975
    [​IMG] USDwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69)333 m (1,093 ft)103,200 mtNimitzNuclearCATOBAR18 October 1977
    [​IMG] USCarl Vinson (CVN-70)333 m (1,093 ft)102,900 mtNimitzNuclearCATOBAR13 March 1982
    [​IMG] USTheodore Roosevelt (CVN-71)333 m (1,093 ft)106,300 mtNimitzNuclearCATOBAR25 October 1986
    [​IMG] USAbraham Lincoln (CVN-72)333 m (1,093 ft)105,783 mtNimitzNuclearCATOBAR11 November 1989
    [​IMG] USGeorge Washington (CVN-73)333 m (1,093 ft)105,900 mtNimitzNuclearCATOBAR4 July 1992
    [​IMG] USJohn C. Stennis (CVN-74)333 m (1,093 ft)105,000 mtNimitzNuclearCATOBAR9 December 1995
    [​IMG] USHarry S. Truman (CVN-75)333 m (1,093 ft)105,600 mtNimitzNuclearCATOBAR25 July 1998
    [​IMG] USRonald Reagan (CVN-76)333 m (1,093 ft)103,000 mtNimitzNuclearCATOBAR12 July 2003
    [​IMG] USGeorge H.W. Bush (CVN-77)333 m (1,093 ft)104,000 mtNimitzNuclearCATOBAR10 January 2009
    [​IMG] USPeleliu (LHA-5)250 m (820 ft)39,438 mtTarawaConventionalSTOVL3 May 1980
    [​IMG] USWasp (LHD-1)257 m (843 ft)40,532 mtWaspConventionalSTOVL29 July 1989
    [​IMG] USEssex (LHD-2)257 m (843 ft)40,650 mtWaspConventionalSTOVL17 October 1992
    [​IMG] USKearsarge (LHD-3)257 m (843 ft)40,500 mtWaspConventionalSTOVL16 October 1993
    [​IMG] USBoxer (LHD-4)257 m (843 ft)40,722 mtWaspConventionalSTOVL11 February 1995
    [​IMG] USBataan (LHD-5)257 m (843 ft)40,358 mtWaspConventionalSTOVL20 September 1997
    [​IMG] USBonhomme Richard (LHD-6)257 m (843 ft)40,500 mtWaspConventionalSTOVL15 August 1998
    [​IMG] USIwo Jima (LHD-7)257 m (843 ft)40,530 mtWaspConventionalSTOVL30 June 2001
    [​IMG] USMakin Island (LHD-8)258 m (846 ft)41,649 mtWaspConventionalSTOVL24 October 2009
  24. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2007
    Messages:
    9,979
    Loc:
    Bend, OR
    The first ten ships on that list are Aircraft Carriers, and they are all nuclear powered. All the rest are smaller amphibious warfare support ships that are generally capable of operating helicopters and Harriers (VTOL fixed wing aircraft), as well as small craft in & out of a well deck. I guess Wikipedia can call them anything it wants to, but the Navy doesn't refer to those amphibs as Aircraft Carriers. Look up LHD and you'll see what they are. Look up CVN and you'll see what an Aircraft Carrier is.
    stoveguy2esw and Joful like this.
  25. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2006
    Messages:
    14,597
    Loc:
    Northern IL
    If you can't toss a fighter jet off the pointy end like a paper airplane - it ain't a Carrier.;)

Share This Page