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View Diary: This May Be The BIG ONE: Gas From Grass (237 comments)

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  •  So where's the nuclear power support? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Quicklund, HeyMikey, gzodik

    Not to drag this thread off topic, but there is a huge disconnect in the American energy sector when you can say that nuclear war has less of an envrionmental impact than climate change, but no we can't have new nuclear power plants.

    How does anyone still justify this?  Because I can also say that the Fukushima impact is much less than climage change, and that impact is much, much less than nuclear war.

    •  Pretty simple, actually (4+ / 0-)

      It's a calculation that of the non-fossil fuel sources, nuclear is the worst option by a large margin.  So, those who oppose nuclear must be calculating that our needs can be met with purely renewable sources.

      For my part, given that the health effects and environmental effects of coal (including radioactive materials in the world) are much worse than nuclear, not even considering climate change as an issue.  That's just my view.

      Of course, it is also my view that nuclear power needs to be made very carefully because it is inherently dangerous.  The idea, for example, that nuclear plants anywhere are not built to withstand large earthquakes is purely foohardy.  The nuclear power industry hasn't done itself a lot of favors (although god knows that from an engineering standpoint, they make the oil and coal industries look about as sophisticated as visigoths, not to insult the visigoths).

      Still, I think you are generally right that it is a much less bad option than any of the other facilities we are looking at.  I'd certainly strongly favor nuclear as a transitional power source in the coming decades.

      •  Simple 2-step process. (4+ / 0-)

        1. Expand both renewables and nuclear until we're no longer burning fossil fuels.

        2. THEN we can START to argue about whether to replace nuclear with renewables.

        By then both nuclear and various renewables will have evolved to be safer and more efficient, and we can make a better-informed decision.

        Who knows, maybe by then fusion (cold or hot) will be working.

        "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

        by HeyMikey on Mon Feb 27, 2012 at 09:09:23 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Polywell fusion is my leading candidate (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          FarWestGirl

          Proton-Boron11 fuel, anuetronic, no waste, direct conversion to electricty.

          Mars in 38 days, Saturns Moon Titan in 76 days.

          FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

          by Roger Fox on Mon Feb 27, 2012 at 12:59:30 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Pretty straightforward. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Norm in Chicago, FarWestGirl

      We can't trust the private sector to do it.  Any new nuclear plants must be explicitly government run.

      -7.75 -4.67

      "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose."

      There are no Christians in foxholes.

      by Odysseus on Mon Feb 27, 2012 at 08:03:40 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  But gov't needs to address their problems too (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Odysseus

        One of the big reasons why there was so much spent fuel at the Fukushima plants is that gov't has absolutely refused to settle on a waste storage strategy.

        You can say that gov't should run the plants, but how can you say that an organization that's been arguing for 20 years about Yucca Mountain has any clue how to run an industry?

    •  It's the "half-life" pollution potential that so (0+ / 0-)

      damned scary.

      Romney - his fingernails have never been anything but manicured.

      by Pescadero Bill on Mon Feb 27, 2012 at 10:11:38 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Large scale nuclear is dead. The new portable (0+ / 0-)

      units that only have to be refuelled every 7 years and support 20K homes might be useful, but the years and billions to get a new large scale plant online is better spent on small, modular renewables that come online in sequence over a much shorter time span.

      Information is abundant, wisdom is scarce. The Druid

      by FarWestGirl on Mon Feb 27, 2012 at 04:52:07 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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