Nuclear Energy... pwned?

This is a discussion on Nuclear Energy... pwned? within the General Discussions forums, part of the Community Boards category; Originally Posted by Bubba The only reason we are seeing so much about wind power is that GE seea a ...

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bubba
    The only reason we are seeing so much about wind power is that GE seea a way to make more money with their turbines and one of the world's millionaires has invested heavily in it.
    There's far more financial incentive behind Nuclea Energy
    than there is in Wind. It's in everything from the mining of
    raw resources (by the way, mining uranium has led to a
    whole mess of human rights issues) to disposing of the
    waste.

    I live in Utah, where a lot of Nuclear Waste is, or will be
    placed. There's a company here, EnergySolutions, that
    pulls in a half-billion dollars / year in revenue disposing
    of Nuclear Waste. And there's not even a whole lot to
    dispose of right now. Imagine how much potential money
    could be made if the country were to embrace Nuclear
    Power as the de facto standard of energy production?

    Most advocates of Wind Power (and other renewables)
    have absolutely no vested, personal interest it them.
    They advocate it because it's the best solution.

    It certainly is not as bad as the news makes it sound b/c the state capital where I used to live also had a coal-fired power plant. The pollution is pure white and not the black sooty stuff you used to see in the old movies from the 50's.
    It's actually much, much worse that what the media is
    conveying. The "pure white" is Co2. That's the biggest
    problem we're facing. And the reason why it is a problem
    is because Co2 is transparent to visible light, but blocks
    infrared light (heat). So after the sunbeams have hit the
    Earth and reflect back as heat, that heat becomes
    trapped in the troposphere.

    People have some problem accepting Global Warming
    as a threat, when it's an extremely logical conclusion that
    requires only a basic knowledge of physics & chemistry.

    These people say that a100 years of documented
    temperatures aren't enough to infer that Global Warming
    is taking place. They will also say that the Earth has
    experienced periods of higher and lower average
    temperatures. Both of which are absolutely true.

    But when you put so much Co2 into the atmosphere, and
    when Co2 has been scientifically proven to absorb and
    emit infrared light (heat) the logical conclusion is that
    the more Co2 you put into the air, the less heat will be
    able to escape.

    Because of Co2, permafrost is melting. When permafrost
    melts, it releases methane (this is in addition to all the
    other sources of methane released) into the atmosphere.
    Methane, like Co2, also absorbs and emits infrared heat;
    only it's much more potent than Co2.

    Anyway, that creates positive feedback. Eventually we
    won't be able to do anything about it. It'll become a runaway
    greenhouse effect and Earth will turn into Venus. The
    situation is far worse than what the media is saying.

    The problem isn't even the temperatures themselves; it's the
    rate of change.

    I'm assuming most of the pollutants are caught by the scrubbers.
    The thing is, the dirty particles that have been emitted into
    the atmosphere have actually been masking the true effects
    of Global Warming. Each particle attracts water molecules, which,
    when in the atmosphere, reflect the sunlight away from the
    planet before it has a chance to become radiated heat
    Last edited by Cheeze-It; 06-12-2010 at 11:24 PM.
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  2. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mario F. View Post
    But we are talking here about real energy production to large cities. Not Kodak moments sponsored by governments to grab the votes of the environmentalists.
    As Neo1 says, Denmark (pop 6 million) gets 25%+ of it's electricity from WIND POWER and has for a long time.
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  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bubba View Post
    It is no longer convenient to call it global warming so they have called it climate change which is equally as absurd. But if you are referring to man made global warming that discussion is now called climate change. The term global warming now refers to other forces that could cause warming that are not necessarily man-made.
    Global Warming and Climate Change are both still used; and
    they're both accurate. Global Warming refers to the increase
    in average temperature due to rising levels of greenhouse
    gases; where as Climate Change is more broad and includes
    other effects of greenhouse gas emissions; such as changes
    in precipitation patterns, rising sea levels, etc.

    They're not in contradiction to each other at all; and one hasn't
    been replaced with another. It's really just semantics.
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  4. #19
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    Not to mention the lifespan of a Nuclear Power plant is
    only about 30 years before it needs to be decommissioned
    another another one needs to be built. That's expensive
    itself.
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  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mario F. View Post
    Right. That only serves to give a hard on to the type of environmentalist that gets them from such *cruel* images.

    But we are talking here about real energy production to large cities. Not Kodak moments sponsored by governments to grab the votes of the environmentalists.

    So, again how exactly do you plan to plant, say half a million of those on the sea? And how expensive will that become in Kw/h considering the no doubt very high installation, maintenance and energy transportation costs?
    Kodak Moments? Call it what you want.

    Installation costs are lower for offshore windmills than for regular onshore windmills. The parts can be transported on barges on the water which is way cheaper than transporting them on land. Offshore windmills are usually not installed on a depth of more than 15m so the concrete base doesn't need to be much larger than the onshore counterparts. Also, because water is inherently flat, windspeeds are usually double the windspeed on land at 50ms altitude. So there is much more energy to be harnessed.

    Also why would the "energy transportation" be any more expensive? Power cables don't care whether they are on the bottom of the ocean or 30ms in the air over land? That is non-sense?

    The Canadians are building a 4400MW Offshore windmill park as we speak, is that insignificant? Is that a Kodak Moment? The British are planning an offshore park of around 1000MW with 341 millsl. The largest offshore park at this time is in Esbjerg, Denmark, at 209MW.

    This is not my opinion or some other subjective matter which is up for debate, large scale offshore windmill parks are not only feasible they are also real and very much in existence. As you mentioned yourself, it's simply a matter of getting to work. There is plenty of water, and there is plenty of wind, now we only need initiative. It seems to me most of you in here are lacking in that department.
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  6. #21
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    It's hard to argue with numbers. Not because they are always right. But because we tend to look at numbers and expect them to be proof of concept. They aren't.

    The thing is that wind power is not efficient enough. It's expensive and its presently serving one (let me repeat that, ONE) patent. My hat to Kuriant (if memory serves me right). It is more or less working for small countries with small populations. But, its disheartening to witness that these large and expensive wind farms go up to no more than 20% of these countries static electricity production. So what you have is large investments, an ugly scenery and no more power that your mid size dam. And that's when you have wind. Because when you don't, you might as well put your clothes to dry on those huge motionless fans.

    Portugal has 10 million inhabitants. Currently something like 15% of our homegrown production comes from the wind. But our own energy production is still only 40% of what we actually use. So, we have lots of windmills and no real gain. No wonder our government decided to start again building dams.

    So yeah. I'm pro nuclear power. It's comparatively much cheaper, incomparably less damaging to the environment if you don't make too many of those and start having problems disposing of the waste, and a lot more efficient.
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    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mario F. View Post
    It is more or less working for small countries with small populations. But, its disheartening to witness that these large and expensive wind farms go up to no more than 20% of these countries static electricity production. So what you have is large investments, an ugly scenery and no more power that your mid size dam. And that's when you have wind. Because when you don't, you might as well put your clothes to dry on those huge motionless fans.
    Until large scale power storage is feasible and possible, wind turbines will never fully replace any of the alternatives, for the very reason you mention. (And by that time, fusion or some other miracle has most likely obsoleted wind power entirely.)

    The 20% are on the way up, in 2001 it was 12%, in 2005 it was 18%, now it is 24%. The current government has promised that by 2020 it will be at least 30%, that is no guarantee whatsoever but right now i don't see any reason why the production of wind turbines would grind to a halt, so they will probably end up being right. In my eyes, the more of our power needs we can cover by harnessing the wind - the better!

    So yeah. I'm pro nuclear power. It's comparatively much cheaper, incomparably less damaging to the environment if you don't make too many of those and start having problems disposing of the waste, and a lot more efficient.
    I fail to understand how it is less damaging to the environment? The only real way to handle the nuclear waste is to make a concrete coffin or bury it deep underground, hardly a sustainable solution, and not very environmentally friendly either i'd say?

    How is a wind turbine damaging to the environment? There have been reports of bird population thinning out because they fly into the wings (of the mill), that's about the only real environmental hazard i can think of. There is no smoke, there is no waste.
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  8. #23
    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neo1 View Post
    How is a wind turbine damaging to the environment?
    Let's not forget for one moment that you completely change the landscape. The scenery is just awful. I don't know about you, but an array of those things has to me the exact same visual impact of electricity towers.

    As for the rest. Well, we had bush and trees cut down to make way to the turbines. We had an entire population of storks being displaced in southern Alentejo. The deforestation also dispersed animals and had an impact on the population of birds of prey in Algarve. Moving these things to the sea will be no less problematic. It may remove the direct impact on the ecosystem (not all countries have vast expanses of desert), but will make this energy source even more expensive.

    I fail to understand how it is less damaging to the environment? The only real way to handle the nuclear waste is to make a concrete coffin or bury it deep underground, hardly a sustainable solution, and not very environmentally friendly either i'd say?
    Yet it pollutes less than oil and coal, since you produce less waste per Kw. The problem some countries are facing with nuclear waste disposal has to do, IMHO, with them making too many nuclear plants.

    Nuclear its not without its problems. I don't dare say otherwise. But if done with moderation it can both increase a country energy production levels and cut down electricity bills without nuclear waste being a difficult problem to deal with. Too many plants... well, that's the other side of the coin. So don't do it. Get your remaining energy from other sources.
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    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

  9. #24
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    As for the rest. Well, we had bush and trees cut down to make way to the turbines. We had an entire population of storks being displaced in southern Alentejo. The deforestation also dispersed animals and had an impact on the population of birds of prey in Algarve. Moving these things to the sea will be no less problematic. It may remove the direct impact on the ecosystem (not all countries have vast expanses of desert), but will make this energy source even more expensive.
    Do you actually have a source about deforestation as a result
    of building wind turbines? I find that hard to believe as the
    entire purpose of wind turbines is to curtail co2 emissions.
    Removing natural co2 users seems counterproductive to that
    goal.
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  10. #25
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    No. I don't have a source. Nor I care to look for one.
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    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

  11. #26
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    Because it didn't happen and it's a ridiculous assertion that
    has no basis in fact or even logic. You should just delete that
    paragraph as it's bound to confuse folk. Actually, don't do that.
    I'll attempt to restore some balance by criticizing Nuclear Power
    through exaggeration:

    Nuclear Power plants will gave my uncle Jimmy 15 tumors
    in his face.
    Last edited by Cheeze-It; 06-12-2010 at 07:13 PM.
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  12. #27
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    Oh neat check out what I just read. Flying wind turbines, man!
    Screw Fusion. This is the future! The potential pretty much
    removes all the criticisms of the impacts on land (which aren't
    even that drastic in the first place).

    Airborne Wind Turbines Lift Off : Discovery News

    At high altitudes, global winds have an estimated potential of 800 terawatts
    That's way, way more than what the entire planet's population
    uses (which is about 15 terawatts). Even if you're only able
    to harness, at max, 10% of the potential wind energy, it's still
    more than enough to satisfy the wants of the population.

    Renewable energy methods seem to be improving faster than
    other sources. The biggest problem with Nuclear is that it pulls
    attention and money away from cleaner, safer alternatives.

    Nuclear just isn't necessary and the only reason it's advocated
    so much is that bigger industry can be built around it and more
    revenue can be generated.
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  13. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by ethic View Post
    Because it didn't happen and it's a ridiculous assertion that
    has no basis in fact or even logic. You should just delete that
    paragraph as it's bound to confuse folk. Actually, don't do that.
    I'll attempt to restore some balance by criticizing Nuclear Power
    through exaggeration.
    I'm not even caring.
    The programmer’s wife tells him: “Run to the store and pick up a loaf of bread. If they have eggs, get a dozen.”
    The programmer comes home with 12 loaves of bread.


    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

  14. #29
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    The newer nuclear reactors can run around 100 years off the same nuclear fuel. How's that for efficiency? The future of nuclear is here. So yes, I'm all pro-nuclear and less renewable. They're just not so profitable at the moment. More research is needed for them to be a viable alternative.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mario F. View Post
    Let's not forget for one moment that you completely change the landscape. The scenery is just awful. I don't know about you, but an array of those things has to me the exact same visual impact of electricity towers.

    As for the rest. Well, we had bush and trees cut down to make way to the turbines. We had an entire population of storks being displaced in southern Alentejo. The deforestation also dispersed animals and had an impact on the population of birds of prey in Algarve. Moving these things to the sea will be no less problematic. It may remove the direct impact on the ecosystem (not all countries have vast expanses of desert), but will make this energy source even more expensive.
    Construction is less expensive than on land, unless they are built in very deep water. Energy transportation is the exact same cost as with land based turbines, so the only thing that will be more expensive is maintenance, since obviously you have to sail to get access to the mills, rather than drive. Siemens has worked out a solution for the upcoming british offshore park, by placing a maintenance station at the park site, which is manned 24/7, this cuts costs however it will still not be nearly as cheap as maintaining onshore wind turbines, i will give you that.

    However one of the advantages of wind turbines is that they are unmanned, they run on their own and require no attention unless they stop working (ie maintenance). A nuclear power plant employs a lot of people constantly. There is ofcourse a difference largely in favor of nuclear since you only require one plant to feed a small country with power, so in essence it boils down to higher maintenance costs vs. dealing with nuclear waste (and the problems inherent in that).

    Onshore turbines which are not placed in some kind of barren landscape can be problematic at times, that is correct, as i said they are bird killers. Also some have experienced _very_ large chunks of ice being thrown of the mill-wings at _very_ high speeds in the winter, not so fortunate if the turbine is close to humans, a 300 kilo chunk of ice moving at 160 kmh will completely wreck a house....or a face :P

    Then there is the NIMBY factor and the nuisance of living close to a wind turbine (flickering shadows and the noise among other things), these can be solved using the cooperative ownership model. On top of that it is just a matter of getting used to wind turbines being around, we got used to cars and streets and trains just as MK27 pointed out, also if we can get used to power lines that we have everywhere, why not turbines? What is the big difference? Do yo really want to choose the next type of worldwide power infrastructure based on aestethics?

    Imo the least troublesome placement for turbines is in the water or in the desert, most countries have plenty of either one or the other. A turbine in the water has no environmental impact, and i'm sure the fishes don't mind

    Edit:
    And i will not question that some wind turbines have been placed in forests, if you say it did then sure. But you must agree that this is ridiculous and counterproductive? It seems as if some politician was eager to get the green stamp of approval and just chose a spot on a map with a blindfold on? Are you sure this incident (plural?) is not the product of some stupid political spin or just bad descisions? I mean, you wouldn't place a nuclear power plant in the middle of a forest, and as you might have noticed, i didn't mention this in any of my posts either.
    Turbines being placed in forests is not an argument against wind power, just as nuclear plants being placed in forests is not an argument against nuclear energy, those are just stupidity and nothing more.
    Last edited by Neo1; 06-13-2010 at 10:30 AM.
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