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Old 05-03-2011, 08:12 AM
 
Location: Londonderry, NH
41,505 posts, read 51,274,872 times
Reputation: 24611

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I agree with jimboburnsy - We should use the remaining cheap fossil fuel resources to build a nuclear power supply large enough to eliminate fossil fuel derived electricity. The nuclear power system should include fuel breeding and reprocessing that would result in a nearly perpetual energy supply. A properly designed nuclear system like the one powering France can last forever.

The problem in Japan was apparently created by not having the fuel tanks for the emergency generators properly protected from the tsunami. The nuclear generation part of the plant survived the 9.3 earthquake but was damaged by the failure of the backup generators needed to keep the cooling water flowing though the reactors. This was undoubtedly a result of some management decision to listen to the accountant instead of the engineer.

I am really annoyed by people that pine for the Good Old Days when whale oil fueled lamps nearly made several species of whales extinct as well as created literally thousands of house and factory fires with huge losses of human life. How would these Luddites like to suffer through medical procedures without X-rays, MRI’s, CAT scans or Heart monitors?

I have heard Greens calling for High Speed electrically powered trains. Although I support this technology where do the Greens expect the power to come from? Windmills and solar panels do not collect the gigawatts needed to drive a modern civilization. I really object to having our civilization’s fate in the hands of ignorant fearful fools.
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Old 05-03-2011, 09:10 AM
 
Location: central Indiana
220 posts, read 386,637 times
Reputation: 162
Quote:
Originally Posted by GregW View Post
I am really annoyed by people that pine for the Good Old Days when whale oil fueled lamps nearly made several species of whales extinct as well as created literally thousands of house and factory fires with huge losses of human life. How would these Luddites like to suffer through medical procedures without X-rays, MRIís, CAT scans or Heart monitors?

I have heard Greens calling for High Speed electrically powered trains. Although I support this technology where do the Greens expect the power to come from? Windmills and solar panels do not collect the gigawatts needed to drive a modern civilization. I really object to having our civilizationís fate in the hands of ignorant fearful fools.
I have totally missed seeing any group wanting a return to whale oil lamps. Where have I been? Oh yeah! I've been advocating wind and solar, just like so many other folks who know that once the petroleum runs out it will be too late to start thinking about our options.

Of course I realize that for some people, advocating anything less than total greed is considered heresy. I suppose they are the same folks that would have been eating arsenic for the pale complexion it gave users.
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Old 05-06-2011, 12:42 PM
 
5,090 posts, read 9,834,071 times
Reputation: 3955
Quote:
Originally Posted by jimboburnsy View Post
If you're all done mumbling to yourself, you may want to consider that every technology we have on hand, on deck or in the batter's box is woefully inadequate to even begin to replace fossil fuels for power generation with the very notable exception of fission reactor power.
You do not actually know much about the energy field, huh? That's ok, let's get you up to speed.

Let's start with some base knowledge and education, here. First, there is no electricity production or electricity production fuel shortage. The real world energy shortage we tend towards is Oil, and very little electricity is made from Oil.

On year-to-year growth, we typical build for about a 1% growth or so in Electricity use in the US. Instead of growth, over the last 3 years of the Great Recession, Electricity use has declined about 5%.

Quote:

About 100 reactors, most of which operate on outdated technology, provide about 20% of our power. Are you aware of something else (that doesn't require living in fantasy land, I mean) that could feasibly provide 100% of America's power? Hmm? Well, I'm not surprised.
Not surprised? ummm, I would say you are clueless.

Let's work from your numbers.

But btw, I agree the existing Nukes are outdated. But even any new designs look like the products of some rather limited minds. Let's face it, the "best and brightest" of Engineering Land are not exactly drawn to Happy Nuke Land. Probably not as bad as the dim bulbs of Hazardous Waste, but we are not talking about the Talented and Gifted crew, right?

But back to your numbers. 100 (or so) reactors = 20% of the power. Sounds about right. And overall Electricity use is down 5% . . . . . so that means [cipher, cipher, naught X naught, carry the one, goesina] we could outright shutdown and scrap 25 of those existing Nukes tomorrow and not even miss them. Let alone find cause to build any new ones.

So yes, we are already in surplus production capacity and surplus waste land as far as Nukes. Was that your point?

As far as replacement and the future, of course we could just build growth and replacement plants from various renewable -- Solar Thermal, Solar PV, Wind and others -- for the next 25 to 40 years -- and totally replace All Nukes and All Coal, and pick up most the ground transportation load (now Oil based) while doing so.

And in doing so, provide power that is cheaper, cleaner, and quicker as the renewable plants typically only take a couple of years to go from paper to production whereas new Nukes take decades and costs are orders of magnitude higher.

Only thing slowing the present growth of renewables now is getting the old garbage Coal and Nukes off-line.

But you already knew, that, too, right?

Quote:
Worried about earthquakes? The Fukushima #1, for example, was almost exactly 40 years old when the largest earthquake (and it's associated "harbor wave") that humans have ever recorded managed to overwhelm the best redundant safety systems available in the late 1960's.
Not particularly worried about earthquakes. They happen.

From what I have seen Dumb People Mistakes are usually the real risks in most problems. Dumb People Mistakes happen, too.

But look at the difference in what happens next.

An "Opps" at the Nuke Plant, and we are blowing Radioactive Isotopes across the oceans and continents.

Dumb People Mistake at the Solar Thermal Plant and we are just replacing a broken mirror and laughing about 7 sevens of bad luck.

Add on to that the No-Long-Term-Plan feature for waste that comes with every Nuke -- as opposed to full end-of-life plans for most renewables.

Nukes simply = Dumb + Expensive + High Risk + Hazardous Waste to Dump on the future.

So what part of THAT do you find so attractive?

Quote:

Yes, I suppose we should be focused on a sustainable, clean, reliable, economic source of power for the entire nation to become energy independent. I wonder what that may be?
Clearly Not Nukes.
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Old 05-06-2011, 06:42 PM
 
Location: central Indiana
220 posts, read 386,637 times
Reputation: 162
Two thumbs up, Phillip T!
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Old 05-09-2011, 09:32 AM
 
Location: Brooklyn New York
15,574 posts, read 24,932,044 times
Reputation: 20811
Well if everyone got rid of their dryers and used a clothesline to dry their clothes for free, energy wouldn't be wasted, and if people just washed dishes and didn't have a dishwasher more energy would be served.

It amazes me that people want to be gree, they have these so called green houses, and yet there is never a clothesline in the bcak yeard.

remember, there is absolutely no such thing as an energy efficient dryer.
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Old 05-09-2011, 02:06 PM
 
Location: Visitation between Wal-Mart & Home Depot
8,309 posts, read 34,324,159 times
Reputation: 7077
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philip T View Post
You do not actually know much about the energy field, huh? That's ok, let's get you up to speed.

Let's start with some base knowledge and education, here. First, there is no electricity production or electricity production fuel shortage. The real world energy shortage we tend towards is Oil, and very little electricity is made from Oil.

On year-to-year growth, we typical build for about a 1% growth or so in Electricity use in the US. Instead of growth, over the last 3 years of the Great Recession, Electricity use has declined about 5%.



Not surprised? ummm, I would say you are clueless.

Let's work from your numbers.

But btw, I agree the existing Nukes are outdated. But even any new designs look like the products of some rather limited minds. Let's face it, the "best and brightest" of Engineering Land are not exactly drawn to Happy Nuke Land. Probably not as bad as the dim bulbs of Hazardous Waste, but we are not talking about the Talented and Gifted crew, right?

But back to your numbers. 100 (or so) reactors = 20% of the power. Sounds about right. And overall Electricity use is down 5% . . . . . so that means [cipher, cipher, naught X naught, carry the one, goesina] we could outright shutdown and scrap 25 of those existing Nukes tomorrow and not even miss them. Let alone find cause to build any new ones.

So yes, we are already in surplus production capacity and surplus waste land as far as Nukes. Was that your point?

As far as replacement and the future, of course we could just build growth and replacement plants from various renewable -- Solar Thermal, Solar PV, Wind and others -- for the next 25 to 40 years -- and totally replace All Nukes and All Coal, and pick up most the ground transportation load (now Oil based) while doing so.

And in doing so, provide power that is cheaper, cleaner, and quicker as the renewable plants typically only take a couple of years to go from paper to production whereas new Nukes take decades and costs are orders of magnitude higher.

Only thing slowing the present growth of renewables now is getting the old garbage Coal and Nukes off-line.

But you already knew, that, too, right?



Not particularly worried about earthquakes. They happen.

From what I have seen Dumb People Mistakes are usually the real risks in most problems. Dumb People Mistakes happen, too.

But look at the difference in what happens next.

An "Opps" at the Nuke Plant, and we are blowing Radioactive Isotopes across the oceans and continents.

Dumb People Mistake at the Solar Thermal Plant and we are just replacing a broken mirror and laughing about 7 sevens of bad luck.

Add on to that the No-Long-Term-Plan feature for waste that comes with every Nuke -- as opposed to full end-of-life plans for most renewables.

Nukes simply = Dumb + Expensive + High Risk + Hazardous Waste to Dump on the future.

So what part of THAT do you find so attractive?



Clearly Not Nukes.
Phillip,

Some your posts in the past lead me to believe that you are at least a reasonably intelligent fellow, which is why this is a bit puzzling to me.

It is true that the primary energy crunch is (and will be for the foreseeable future) associated with hydrocarbons for transportation, and it is true that coal and natural gas are abundant enough to make 1% growth feasible for more than 20 years - but I think you are misunderstanding or maybe misrepresenting the gist of what I'm getting at.

Concentrated solar can't replace current demands answered by coal and natural gas. Not even close. Not possible *-particularly if you would like to have direct current from a battery replace a substantial portion of the energy derived from oil for transportation-*. You need big acreage in an area with slim weather tolerances to get to 100 mw and you would need to add a few hundred gigawatts. The technology is great and could feasibly power a sizeable portion of some regions in the United States, but it will never be a feasible solution to an entire problem and will maximize its potential as a useful auxilliary. You can generate hundreds of times more electricity for a similar fiscal cost with a fraction of the land usage.

On the other hand, we could continue to build coal and gas fired plants to meet theoretical goals of 1% demand growth and continue to spend large amounts of money on dead-ends, but I don't really see the point.

What is so attractive about nuclear power to me is that it can be sized up to power a region, sized down to power a metro, it runs day or night, rain or shine without any output response to environmental factors beyond the operator's control in any geographic location where needed. Yes, nukes produce waste that is an environmental hazard of the highest order (and makes a fine large caliber, armor piercing slug) but the inability to sequester the hazard is, in my opinion, overstated and a political matter more than an engineering problem. Yes, a human "oops" moment is costly but there isn't much opportunity for human "oops" moments in a modern plant (much like flying an airliner - the pilot is basically paid for his ability to land the plane) like there was at 3 Mile Island (which was always 100% contained, I might add). By the way, how many more "oops" moments can you name?
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Old 05-09-2011, 02:07 PM
 
Location: Visitation between Wal-Mart & Home Depot
8,309 posts, read 34,324,159 times
Reputation: 7077
Quote:
Originally Posted by lollykoko View Post
Two thumbs up, Phillip T!
*generally a better policy to be thought a fool than to put those thumbs up to prove it*
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Old 05-09-2011, 06:35 PM
 
Location: central Indiana
220 posts, read 386,637 times
Reputation: 162
Thanks for the smile, jimboburnsy.
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Old 05-09-2011, 09:34 PM
 
Location: Visitation between Wal-Mart & Home Depot
8,309 posts, read 34,324,159 times
Reputation: 7077
Quote:
Originally Posted by lollykoko View Post
Thanks for the smile, jimboburnsy.
Likewise.
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Old 05-16-2011, 10:03 AM
 
5,090 posts, read 9,834,071 times
Reputation: 3955
Quote:
Originally Posted by jimboburnsy View Post
Phillip,

Some your posts in the past lead me to believe that you are at least a reasonably intelligent fellow, which is why this is a bit puzzling to me.
I figured you were some sort from the industry side, but now probably not? Either way, figured you were due back a real answer.

My background is on all sides of the industry – contractor, site engineer, consultant-engineer (engineer of record), and owner’s rep for all sorts of power generation and use. Hydro, Wind, Oil, Refinery, Gas, Coal, Solar – both PV and Thermal. Pretty much everything BUT Nukes. Background is in both the “trades” (Master Electrician) and formal Engineering (Advanced Degrees) in both the civie world and military.

But that is just empirical, measurable type stuff. It is maybe the philosophy portion and basic operating system that is puzzling?

After studying the whole mess, I sat back and did the numbers, and renewables look like The ONLY Long-Term path we have ahead. Sorry, but I mean ONLY.

Comes from:
Between Two (or more) Evils -- Choose Neither.
Between Two (or more) Goods -- Choose Both.

Ain't that simple? My Kindergarten Kid gets that. Just yesterday we were sitting in the playroom discussing how to apply it on the playground.

So let's try to apply in the real world energy playground we are talking about?

Between The Evils -- In this case: Coal, Oil and Nukes -- Choose Neither.

Between The Goods -- In this case: Various renewable, Hydro, Wind, Solar PV, Solar Thermal, and others -- Choose Both or All.

Now gimme a big Kumbaya Hug.

Btw, did you notice that NONE of Good List use fuels that have to be purchased?

Not a lot for a Corporation to love in that.

Quote:
It is true that the primary energy crunch is (and will be for the foreseeable future) associated with hydrocarbons for transportation,
Let's refine (ha, ha, ha) the point -- the problem is Oil. OIL. We are importing Oil, and then Burning It (how stupid is THAT?) and losing our ass because of it.

Quote:
and it is true that coal and natural gas are abundant enough to make 1% growth feasible for more than 20 years - but I think you are misunderstanding or maybe misrepresenting the gist of what I'm getting at.
I gits you like Nuke-ums. Is that fair enough?

Seriously, I work in this field and have for more than a couple of years, now.

I see all sorts of folks who are fans of this-or-that, and they think whatever they are into is great. Go Hockey! Yea, Dallas Cowboys! I sort of figure that kind of thinking is fairly retarded. But you are welcome to it.

Even sleazier are the marketing folks who are just selling ice cubes to Eskimos. Sort of like the folks who are selling Base Load Electric Power -- which the US is totally awash in -- to US in the form of Nukes, that are freeloaded from .gov money, and then charged to users of the Electricity -- whether they choose to buy Nuke sourced power or not -- All the while being exempted from liability of the actions of the idiot operators, and then dumping the entire clean-up mess on other innocents who come along after.

Know any dirtbags like that?

Soooo . . . Do I have the "gist" just about right?

Maybe we can catch the industry view of it all on Thursday?

https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/748666344

Quote:

Concentrated solar can't replace current demands answered by coal and natural gas.
Concentrated Solar itself can vastly exceed the energy use of All the present US Electricity loads + All expected US Electricity growth + take US off Oil for ground transportation.

You really do not know this? We can do the math, if you would like.

But I welcome PV, Wind, Hydro, and various other renewable, as well.

The way it is all growing by leaps and bounds it is hard to tell what we wind up with the most of.

A sample story >>>

Second solar plant on Carrizo Plain is approved | RenewablesBiz (http://www.renewablesbiz.com/article/11/05/second-solar-plant-carrizo-plain-approved - broken link)

Quote:
Not even close. Not possible *-particularly if you would like to have direct current from a battery replace a substantial portion of the energy derived from oil for transportation-*.
Always amused when folks try to throw the non-issue battery strawman.

Quote:
You need big acreage in an area with slim weather tolerances to get to 100 mw and you would need to add a few hundred gigawatts.
Sounds like you are wandering outside the talking points?

Let’s maybe do just a wee bit of math?

Power is measured in Watts (or Kilo, Mega, Giga, or TeraWatts).

Energy, on the other hand, is Power X Time. Energy is what we are dealing in.

But here is the basic information for Solar Thermal -- in rough numbers it produces about 250 kW per acre, or around 5 watts per square foot, or roughly 160 MW per square mile. But those are only base numbers and most systems produce at a higher rate. Multiply that Power output X the hours per day, and you can get a rough estimate of the Energy available.

High end Solar PV is about double that production level, and the cheaper "thin-film" PV produces about the same as Solar Thermal.

Quote:
The technology is great and could feasibly power a sizeable portion of some regions in the United States, but it will never be a feasible solution to an entire problem and will maximize its potential as a useful auxilliary.
I am kind of seeing the existing cobbled mass and mess of existing Coal, Gas and Nukes as the likely back-up/leaky, bald spare tire that we will keep around in the background.

After all, there is no practical way to clean up the existing mess quickly, so we might as well use it up on the way out. Just do not build ANY new, and clean up the mess as we shut the old stuff down.

Quote:
You can generate hundreds of times more electricity for a similar fiscal cost with a fraction of the land usage.
ummm, again we do not need hundreds of times more electricity.

We only need:

what we are presently using
+ some growth
+ pick up the ground transportation load, and that

= ALL we need.

But what is up with the "land usage" adder, now? Have you seen the US? Land use does not tend to be an issue. The roads cover millions of miles, the houses and buildings are in the hundreds of millions.

Ok, enough. Let’s do the math.

Just the roads at over 4 million miles, if we only allow 100 feet wide (on average) each comes out -- 4 E 6 X (100/5280) = (over) 75,000 square miles already covered with roads.

Add on the housing at maybe 30 million housing units (less than 1/2 of the existing) with say 2000 sf of roof = 30 E 6 X 2000 = 60 Billion Square Feet = over 2000 square miles.

Say double that for industrial, commercial, malls, and parking lots and lets add it up?

75,000 + 2000 + 4000 = 81,000 square miles already just sitting, being “used.” Means we already have A WHOLE Lot of available land in use, in play, at home and work, and on the road where real people are and where real energy is used.

[btw, NONE of that needs a Central Power Plant -- like a Nuke – Very Old School, you are there.]

Just co-using or re-using 1/10 of that already existing land use already would cover the entire existing Electricity load for ALL US housing, ALL US business, AND Ground Transportation. With ZERO Nukes, ZERO Coal, ZERO Oil and ZERO Natural Gas. (ain’t Math Wonderful? )

Quote:
On the other hand, we could continue to build coal and gas fired plants to meet theoretical goals of 1% demand growth and continue to spend large amounts of money on dead-ends, but I don't really see the point.
Sure. I get the "three bad choices" game. I watch the Industrial Designer folks do that. You start with an “ugly dog,” project that you want to sell to the customer. So you get two other ugly dogs on each side and compare the "less bad" features of the ugly dog you are trying to sell.

So here you line up Coal, Gas, and Nukes and tell us that Nukes suck less.

Again, we have all seen the "marketing" techniques. American polls are very clear. We do not want ANY of your fake choices. We especially do not want Nukes. We want renewables. You are going to have to bring a new pony to the circus.

Quote:
What is so attractive about nuclear power to me is that it can be sized up to power a region, sized down to power a metro, it runs day or night, rain or shine without any output response to environmental factors beyond the operator's control in any geographic location where needed.
And all THAT is working great for Japan, today.

While very little of this is being published in the US Corporate Press >>>

Nuclear meltdown at Fukushima plant - Telegraph


Quote:
Yes, nukes produce waste that is an environmental hazard of the highest order (and makes a fine large caliber, armor piercing slug)
Turns out even the Depleted Uranium (DU) weapons were a stupid idea. Some quick buck profits for the MIC – they could sell and bill US for using hazardous waste (gotta love that) -- but still stupid.

DU burns on impact (exposed to Oxygen) and make radioactive DU / and oxides blowing around the battlefield. Since DU shows up uniquely as U-236, the mess is pretty easy to figure out. Tons have been dumped and it is showing up in our troops and the civies we are there to "liberate." (yeah, I know, "exterminate" is the correct term).

Quote:
but the inability to sequester the hazard is, in my opinion, overstated and a political matter more than an engineering problem.
Sure, sure.

When the Engineers start telling you that there is no good plan and that it is grossly unethical to make MORE mess when you do not even have a way to begin to clean up the existing mess (as this engineer is telling you now) . . . . . Then It MUST be a "political" problem?

Do you really figure America is THIS stupid? Really?

Quote:
Yes, a human "oops" moment is costly but there isn't much opportunity for human "oops" moments in a modern plant (much like flying an airliner - the pilot is basically paid for his ability to land the plane)
Probably a bad comparison. Planes seem to crash every so often, if you may have noticed. But the plane crash only tends to kill the people on the plane and the unfortunates where they came down. But when the Nuke Guys do an oopsy, it tends to mess all over everyone else in a Very Bad way.

Quote:
like there was at 3 Mile Island (which was always 100% contained, I might add). By the way, how many more "oops" moments can you name?
ummm, now we are going way too favorable to my side. Are you trying to give this away to me? Folks will think you are being my proxy.

Aside from leaks into the land, air and water at the known sites around the US and world, such as Oak Ridge, Hanford, Savannah, TMI (it leaked), Vermont, as well as various sites in England, France, Dimona in Israel . . . suppose we could start a whole leak list, huh? Wiki has a fairly good ooopps! List, so I will not re-do that, here >>>

Nuclear and radiation accidents - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jimbo, after this too long post, if nothing else, let me leave you with this -- Come out of the dirt, that hole in the ground, and leave the filth, waste and poisons behind. Come up into the Breeze and the Sunshine. It is a bright new renewable world – and everyone is welcome in it.
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