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View Diary: Biggest Blunders in Technology History (76 comments)

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  •  The public marketing case for Nuclear Fission (4+ / 0-)
    The lowest-cost electricity of any source, with zero toxic or greenhouse gas pollution.
    More precisely, lowest operating cost of electricity, with zero toxic or greenhouse gas pollution in direct operation mode. The costs of reactor facility construction, supporting systems, security, maintenance, waste/byproduct management are almost always downplayed by nuclear proponents. And it is always one or more of those "non-production systems" that compromises the system. When I worked at Newport News Shipbuilding most of the inspectors repeated a version of this theme whenever they declared a component failed inspection:
    On a nuclear vessel, the entire ship is part of the reactor system.
    I've never forgotten that dictum, and I proudly admit the bias it colors of my views on Nuclear Power.

    When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative. --Martin Luther King Jr.

    by Egalitare on Mon Apr 22, 2013 at 04:57:54 PM PDT

    •  Nuclear fission is terminally conceptually flawed (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Egalitare

      as a routine, large-scale source of energy for society - at least on Earth.  It would be worth it in space though, at least beyond Earth orbit where accidents wouldn't have any consequences.  More advanced versions of reactors just add still more layers of complexity to the control systems, and there's no end to how far you'd have to take it for it to be truly safe and realiable.  This is why fusion is really the only way we're going to get safe power from the atomic level.

      Democracy is a habit, not a circumstance.

      by Troubadour on Mon Apr 22, 2013 at 08:44:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Here's why we won't see Fusion... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Troubadour

        ...in our lifetimes, if ever.

        Because the Fissionists can't hide any and all they desire to behind the weaponized veil of National Security with a Fusion reactor. I honestly have no idea of the viability of Thorium Reactors, but from what little I do know, it is probably doomed for the foreseeable future for the very same reason.

        When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative. --Martin Luther King Jr.

        by Egalitare on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 05:21:19 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thermonuclear weapons are fusion. (0+ / 0-)

          And having fusion reactor technology means you could ultimately build very small, cheap thermonukes with laser arrays and microscopic pellets of fuel.  Centuries from now, it'll probably be easier to build a nuclear weapon the size of a grain of dust than to build a chemical grenade.

          Democracy is a habit, not a circumstance.

          by Troubadour on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 08:53:14 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

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