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View Diary: Shocking drought data from NASA (382 comments)

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  •  Wouldn't nuclear energy be worth it? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JPax

    Best Scientist Ever Predicts Bacon Will Be Element 119 On The Periodic Table

    by dov12348 on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 01:33:57 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Personally, I think so, but nukes these days are (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      psnyder, Bluefin, JPax

      a hard sell. I don't think that the deployment of a large # of small pebble beds ( ya wanna have multiple facilities close to pop centers to avoid transport costs/impacts- water is heavy) is politically feasible within the foreseeable future.

      It's pointed out downthread that solar could be used- I never think of it, because I've seen very little industrial application of solar. I don't know enough to be able to say how practical that might be.

      •  Nuclear powered generating stations (11+ / 0-)

        would require a significant amount of fresh water (once through cooling using ocean water would be unacceptable). I honestly don't think that we will see another new nuclear plant constructed in the U.S.

        •  LFTR's and gravel/pebble reactors don't need (13+ / 0-)

          water. They're self contained units, basically a battery the size of a large refrigerator to a small semi trailer, that can generate power for a village, factory, etc. They're very different from the billion dollar boondoggles of existing nuke plants. They also can be made to run on the waste products of existing plants or thorium and their designs include features like shutting down when damaged rather than run-away meltdown. Also they can't be used to create weapons. But they've got the word "nuclear" in them so they must be bad and won't be a likely option for power.

          GOP 2014 strategy -- Hire clowns, elephants, and a ringmaster and say "a media circus" has emerged and blame Democrats for lack of progress. Have pundits agree that "both sides are to blame" and hope the public will stay home on election day.

          by ontheleftcoast on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 03:13:03 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  If Congress will allocate the funding, (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Bluefin

            we could have test reactors on line in 15 years and commercial reactors connected to the utility grid in 30.

            Is Congress allocating the funding?

            Tar sands, fracking and deep water drilling are expensive. Crude oil price exceeded $100/bbl in 2008 where it still hovers. NH₃ based fertilizer feeds an estimated ⅓ of the world with the Haber-Bosch process using natural gas as a feedstock.

            by FrY10cK on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 04:48:11 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Unfundable, and rightly so. (10+ / 0-)
              Is Congress allocating the funding?
              No way.

              Dead on Arrival.

              First, gridlock in Congress.

              Second, good reasons on both the left & the right ends of political spectrum for not funding it.

              Third, money. Wind and solar technology cost curves have come down so far that they've cut the legs out from under even the most optimistic nuclear revival /LFTR/gravel/pebble scenarios. Plus wind and solar will be benefitting from favorable cost curves for years and decades to come.

              Solar is the ultimate nuclear technology: 100% automated longterm sustainable fusion generator, optimally sited 93 million miles from earth -- photonic distribution to earth -- all with zero infrastructure CapEx or OpEx -- and then decentralized photoelectric transducers close to point of use. The ultimate in simplicity & efficiency & scalability.

              Fourth, time. 15 years to test reactors and 30 to grid-tie production? Best joke I've heard all day. Just extending current price & penetration curves, Solar & Li-Ion are on track to replace all fossil and all nuclear before 2044. Add in wind, other renewable innovations, and the radical energy efficiency breakthroughs that digital technology keeps on bringing -- in other words, abundant supply, intelligent timeshifting (storage technology), and peaking/leveling/shrinking demand -- and it's clear that nuclear is done: stick a fork in it.

              #3: ensure network neutrality; #2: ensure electoral integrity; #1: ensure ecosystemic sustainability.

              by ivote2004 on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 05:59:58 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  They aren't without their problems (0+ / 0-)

            The test plants that have been built have had their problems. In so far as there is money to test out things with such a long pay off horizon, they could be developed as a way to dispose of waste from old power plants, but there are more practical ways to generate energy at this point and that is where we should be focusing our funding. Also, no one is proposing building anything but old style reactors.

        •  Multiple coolant loops reduce fresh water need. (0+ / 0-)

          Pressurized light-water reactors use a multiple coolant loops and heat exchangers. The primary coolant is very clean fresh water. The same for the second loop. The third loop is open to the environment and might use sea water. In this setup, there's not really a high demand for fresh water.

          -We need Healthcare Reform... but i'm selfish, I Need Healthcare reform-

          by JPax on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 10:05:06 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Or we could use that safe nuclear energy Bill Nye (0+ / 0-)

        talks about: fission reactor about 93 million miles offshore.

        LBJ, Van Cliburn, Ike, Wendy Davis, Lady Bird, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

        by BlackSheep1 on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 10:03:23 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I'm in favor. (0+ / 0-)

        Since having read the first EPA report on climate change in the early 80s.

        For desal:  Secondary cooling loop desalinizes seawater, some of the resulting freshwater is used in the primary loop, the rest goes to regional communities' water supplies.

        The only problem is, the West Coast is full of extremely dangerous earthquake faults.   But the reactors could be built inland, with water pipes extending to & from the ocean, and cooling ponds adjacent to the plants.  

        Thus the reactor is in a safe location and if a quake damages the to/from water pipes, the plant can run on locally stored cooling water, or at least for long enough to effect a safe shutdown.  The longer water pipes are an added cost, but the greatest expense is for trenching & installation, so running three pipes is only an incremental cost compared to one.  (Three pipes: seawater intake to reactor, freshwater output to coastal communities' water systems, and brine output to ocean.)

        We got the future back. Uh-oh.

        by G2geek on Sat Jul 26, 2014 at 06:21:21 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Nuclear waste can be easily turned into a... (5+ / 0-)

      ...radiogenic weapon. It doesn't have to explode at all. Just take a pound of it, grind it up into a very fine powder, then release it into the air or the air conditioning of a building.

      There simply won't be enough security to make sure that some of that poison will stay out of terrorist hands.

      A million Arcosantis.

      by Villabolo on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 02:12:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  How much water to make plastics? (14+ / 0-)
        Individual Bottled Water

        This irony shouldn't be lost on anyone: it takes 1.85 gallons of water to manufacture the plastic for the bottle in the average commercial bottle of water.

        Curious about other products that require using water and how much?  Read more here:
        http://www.treehugger.com/...
        Where to being to quote how we waste water making products that we end up tossing away in the trash....
        The Hidden Water in Everyday Products

        http://gracelinks.org/...

        And I just grabbed the first two links in google.  Plastic products drive me into a spin when I begin to think about how we really screwed up when we thought we were so smart producing plastic products.  Don't get me started on bottled water or my biggest gripe, plastic packaging.  Plastic products that require petroleum.  That makes the Koch Bros. very happy.  

        Anyhow, this news from NASA is very disturbing.

        I would rather spend my life searching for truth than live a single day within the comfort of a lie. ~ John Victor Ramses

        by KayCeSF on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 03:26:41 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I reuse one gallon water bottles... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          KayCeSF, Bluefin, greengemini

          ...and get my water from an over the counter kitchen filter which is good for a couple of thousand gallons. The filter is (of course) made of plastic but it more than pays off, in filtered water and plastic use, after a few months.

          A million Arcosantis.

          by Villabolo on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 03:58:53 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Good for you! I invested in an under-sink filter, (4+ / 0-)

            it's metal and was a bit over my budget, but like you it has saved money in the long run even though every 6-8 mos. I need to replace filters, and I have found I never need plastic bottles.  I use stainless steel travel mugs and thermoses.  There just isn't any excuse for using bottled water anymore.  I always carry a little thermos in my car or handbag in case I need water when out and about and I can always fill it up at a water fountain.

            I do have some plastic bottled water in my pantry for emergency.  

            I try very hard to buy anything and everything in glass containers, even for food storage.  

            [Thank you very much, Tupperware for starting it all way-back-when.]

            I would rather spend my life searching for truth than live a single day within the comfort of a lie. ~ John Victor Ramses

            by KayCeSF on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 04:18:19 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I put my plastic water containers, (4+ / 0-)

              filled with water in a freezer for emergency use. The freezing eliminates the need for rotating or sterilizing the water (It does get germy after a couple of months at room temperature). The freezer will also stay cold longer, if the power goes out, when it's half filled with frozen water.

              A million Arcosantis.

              by Villabolo on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 05:27:29 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  OH! I never thought of doing that! (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                BlackSheep1

                Thank you!  I have a deep freeze in the garage that's empty.  What better place to put them!  Good advice, thanks again!

                I would rather spend my life searching for truth than live a single day within the comfort of a lie. ~ John Victor Ramses

                by KayCeSF on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 07:57:39 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  I reuse those 64oz juice bottles (cran-whatever), (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            BlackSheep1

            fill with tap water (no filter), put 'em in the icebox for cold drinking water (and mixing other drinks); and keep a bunch in the freezer for use in the travel coolers, they also extend the 'cold' in case of power outages. Just the right size containers too.
            One or two juice brands use a quality, strong bottle (some are way too flimsy to resuse and have to handle).
            Trouble is I've built up a surplus of them filling a shelf in the pantry.

            "The church of life is not in a building, it is the open sky, the surrounding ocean, the beautiful soil"...George Helm, 1/1977

            by Bluefin on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 08:40:55 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  whatever happened to glass soda bottles (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Superpole

          you could pick up out of the barditches and turn in for a refund at the store? I used to double/triple my allowance during summers with an evening stroll along the highway...

          LBJ, Van Cliburn, Ike, Wendy Davis, Lady Bird, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

          by BlackSheep1 on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 10:05:46 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Wind turbine blades can be used as battering rams (0+ / 0-)

        Easily too, when you have access to cranes, trucks, flatbeds...

        What makes you think there won't be enough security? And what makes you think turning some unspecified type of nuclear waste could be easily turned into anything. If the radioactivity is low, then it's just a scare bomb, if it's highly deadly, then there's nothing easy about it.

        -We need Healthcare Reform... but i'm selfish, I Need Healthcare reform-

        by JPax on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 10:17:50 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Scare bombs are the best kind. (0+ / 0-)

          No particular danger to the perp, extensive hysteria for the pop.

          "...we live in the best most expensive third world country." "If only the NEA could figure out all they have to do is define the ignorance of the next generation as a WMD..." ---Stolen from posts on Daily Kos

          by jestbill on Sat Jul 26, 2014 at 10:44:20 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Unless the populace understands science... (0+ / 0-)

            and progressives believe in science and would understand that a scare bomb isn't that dangerous. Right?

            If it's republicans who are apoplectic and running around like chickens with their head cut off... well, it might be fun to watch.

            -We need Healthcare Reform... but i'm selfish, I Need Healthcare reform-

            by JPax on Sat Jul 26, 2014 at 11:57:59 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  far simpler to make bioweapons. (0+ / 0-)

        Getting hold of nuclear material is very difficult, even lower-grade material for a radiological dispersal device (RDD), aka "dirty bomb."

        Getting a used gene-sequencing machine is easy and cheap.

        Genetic blueprints are widely available for a range of fatal contagious diseasess.

        And, from the terrorist perspective, the best thing about germs is that they can do something that radioactive material can't:  multiply.   Bioweapons are "the gift that keeps on giving," after you initially release them.

        We got the future back. Uh-oh.

        by G2geek on Sat Jul 26, 2014 at 06:24:52 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Every water-to-steam power plant uses LOTS (10+ / 0-)

        of water. If you are boiling water to generate steam to spin a turbine, and then sending water to cooling towers, you are using a ton of water. That includes natural gas plants, coal plants, and nuclear plants.  It also includes, to a lesser extent, the concentrated solar plants.

        The only way to get away from the high water consumption demands of power generation is with wind or photovoltaics. Oh, and ironically, hydro.

        Yet another reason to go with wind and solar; water shortages.

        Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room!

        by bigtimecynic on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 03:19:10 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's right - nukes use the most, (0+ / 0-)

          but coal is a close 2nd.  That is THE reason we're going to get off nuke and fossil fuels whether Big Whatever likes it or not.  We don't have the water.  Right now we're mining fossil water and pretending we have enough water to run these plants, but it's fossil water and the more we waste it on power plants the sooner we won't have it for food and sanitation.

    •  cooling is a problem (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ivote2004

      with both severe drought and tsunami risks, as well as being in a very seismically active location.

    •  Risk Reward for Nuke does not compute (5+ / 0-)

      My husband was a nuke in the Navy, and I also used to know someone who worked as a safety trainer in the industry, and nuclear energy is just a mess. Right now, the after math of Fukushima is quietly making the main population center of Japan uninhabitable. This is largely because of the contamination of the ground water. Also, the situation isn't really under control and there is no knowing how it will really end.

      There are so many threats to our water supply, what with climate change and fracking, it is just time to change how we think about water. Desalinization has not been undertaken for a nation with a big population and would make no sense for our nation.

      •  Fukushima is just beginning (0+ / 0-)

        It's going to be a problem for the next million years, along with (eventually) every other nuke plant in the world.

        They tell me I'm pretty amusing from time to time working with 140 characters or less.

        by CharlieHipHop on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 08:10:51 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The longer the risk, the safer it is. (0+ / 0-)

          The science is settled and there is consensus. Radioactive decay is logarithmic. This means that the longer the half-life of a radionuclide, the less energy it emits per unit time.

          Look at this way, which is more dangerous: an item that emits all its energy in a brief flash or one that emits it over centuries? Better yet, look at a lit match for several seconds and then look at a camera flash and tell me which hurts your eyes more.

          -We need Healthcare Reform... but i'm selfish, I Need Healthcare reform-

          by JPax on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 10:24:44 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  OK, (0+ / 0-)

            so you test that theory by inhaling some plutonium.

            High-level waste is not safe in any amount.

            They tell me I'm pretty amusing from time to time working with 140 characters or less.

            by CharlieHipHop on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 05:06:29 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  They've done tests (0+ / 0-)

              Plutonium's not the problem, short half-life radioisotopes are.

              -We need Healthcare Reform... but i'm selfish, I Need Healthcare reform-

              by JPax on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 02:25:32 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  What tests of what? (0+ / 0-)

                Since a nuclear power plant is like both the match and the flash bulb, your analogy seems a little... irrelevant? And people working in the nuclear power industry must be mistaken, because they think plutonium is quite a big problem. The risk of any particular bit of nuclear waste may decrease over the years, but a large reservoir of low level nuclear waste in a forgotten salt mine could turn out to be a very big problem a few thousand years from now.

                •  Waste should be reprocessed. (0+ / 0-)

                  That would keep it out of the salt mine and contribute to the energy paradigm that keeps CO2 out of the atmosphere. More advanced reactor designs, like LFTR could make use of it without a need for long term storage in Nevada. As long as they don't build it in an obvious disaster zone, it should be okay.

                  CO2 and methane are worse threats to the global environment than the radioactivity releases from properly operating nuclear plants.

                  It probably doesn't matter. By the time we could get new nuclear plants up and running, we'd have pumped so much CO2 and Methane into the atmosphere, that civilization will collapse within a century from climate change. Miami is already lost, they just won't notice it for a few decades yet.

                  -We need Healthcare Reform... but i'm selfish, I Need Healthcare reform-

                  by JPax on Tue Jul 29, 2014 at 04:04:24 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I substantially agree with you (0+ / 0-)

                    As a long term response to nuclear waste, LFTR is certainly worth pursuing, over the long term, on a smaller scale than usually undertaken by the energy industry. Isn't there some suitable staffed and funded university that could make a small scale experimental plant? In the mean time, solar, wind, conservation, lifestyle adjustments, etc., etc., are better positioned for short term solutions of how to make it to the second half of this century, assuming we don't just kill each other over something stupid.

                    Plus, the graphite balls still have to be disposed of.

    •  Nope. Aside from risk, real or perceived, lack (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ivote2004, CharlieHipHop, YucatanMan

      of a waste facility and protocol and cost... NOPE.

      The only hawk I like is the kind that has feathers. My birding blogs: http://thisskysings.wordpress.com/ and canyonbirds.net

      by cany on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 04:46:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  No hell NO (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bear83, DocGonzo, kurt

      Leaving behind a million-year problem for the mistakes of your generation (being gluttonous wasters of all that matters) is NOT. COOL. IN. ANY. WAY.

      They tell me I'm pretty amusing from time to time working with 140 characters or less.

      by CharlieHipHop on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 08:07:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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