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This diary tests your knowledge of current technology.

There is no magic involved. Nothing we can't buy right now. This option also has a near-zero carbon footprint.

The main alternative is importing oil at $84-a-42-gallon-barrel. Double that price for gasoline at the pump. But we don't have to.

Thing is, people seem not to understand how energy policy hits them in the wallet.

MBTF :::

Really, there is no mystery. Let me start with a brief explanation why reducing our import cost is important.

Balance of Payments

The two principal divisions on the Balance of Payments bookkeeping are the current account and the capital account. The current account shows the net amount a country is earning if it is in surplus, or spending if it is in deficit.

We are running deficits -- rolling with the last two decades -- at $113 billion in the fourth quarter of 2010.

This deficit has to be financed in international capital markets, similar to financing the Federal debt.

The single largest component of this I/X deficit is imported petroleum. Total crude oil imports averaged 9,069,000 barrels per day in January, 2011, from U.S. Energy Information Administration, Dept. of Energy.

Oil imports

9,000,000 times $85 times 365 = $ 280-billion import cost a year

If that doesn't impress you right off, look at it as $2.8-trillion a decade -- doing nothing but going up. A trillion here, a trillion there... it adds up.

Reducing or eliminating this financial hemorrhage is certainly doable. We can do it dirty with coal. We can do it clean. Cleaner is also cheaper when you figure everything.

Here is what the Chinese are doing.

That is a Westinghouse AP1000. 3d Gen power plant.

This is a pressurized water reactor. The passive safety system is designed for 72 hours minimum. China has four AP1000s in construction with site plans for another forty. The AP1000 has a maximum core damage frequency of 2.41 × 10−7 per plant per year from engineering analysis. This is about a thousand times better than the 1970s designs seen at Fukushima.

---------------------

One basic project, here, is to see what it takes to run electric cars.

-- U.S. electricity production = 4,000 million megawatt-hours

-- Nuclear power = 20% = 800 million megawatt-hours


Consider the arithmetic of the load on these power plants going over to electric cars:
-- One electric vehicle consumes about 15 kilowatt-hours per day. Times 365 days that multiplies to 5.4 megawatt-hours per year

-- Powering 1,000,000 electric cars sounds great. This adds 5.4 million megawatt-hours/year as a drain on the total power system.

-- Powering 10,000,000 electric cars adds 54 million megawatts-hours/year to the power demand.

-- Powering 100,000,000 electric cars adds 540 million megawatt-hours/year to demand.

.

A battery powered electric car converts kilowatt-hours from the power grid into mechanical energy at an efficiency of over 80%.

Electrics are efficient. Gas engines, not in the same class.

-- 32.91 kilowatt-hours of electrical energy equals the energy  in one gallon of gas.

-- The market cost consumers pay for kilowatt-hours is about $ 0.10 which means you pay $3.29 to drive 96 miles in a one-gallon-equivalent-charged Tesla.

-- That makes it a $3.46 electric bill to drive a Tesla 100 miles.

Driving 100 miles in an average gasoline car uses up 5 gallons of gas. Make that $20.

For consumers the end cost is $3.46 vs. $20 for the one 100 mile trip.

Annually the difference is $415 vs. 2,400. Make that 17%  of the cost of gas.

----------------------------

At port of entry, impacting the country's balance of payments, the difference for importing the basic fuel materials is even sharper.

-- Processed uranium UO2 fuel for a year of driving a car costs $50.

-- The crude oil used to refine a year of gasoline costs $1,200.

Uranium imports at $50 vs. crude oil at $1,200. UO2 processed fuel costs 4% of the oil for the same distance driven.

Plainly, running a power plant and maintaining a massive electrical distribution system are costly propositions. The $50 fuel cost is bumped back up to $415.20. This is no where near what it takes to import, refine, and deliver gasoline.

The uranium power plants are also less expensive overall than coal plants. This is true even in China, where labor costs are a tenth what they are in America.

------------------------------

The catastrophe at Fukushima put a severe test to a 1970's design for nuclear power plants.

That 50-foot tsunami was right at the limit of what the engineers had anticipated. Then in the week after March 11th, emergency efforts had to include dumping 7.5-ton slugs of water on fuel rods from helicopters. This was quite a mess.

At the end, however, there were two deaths from drowning. Japanese television has interviewed workers from the plant and their families along with the usual talking-head experts. In the main, precautions held up. The most severe issue, today, is cesium concentration in rain run-off areas.

Radioactive water has moved out into the Pacific. Tests of seafood are mainly negative for radiation. That's going to be watched carefully..

Damage from the earthquakes didn't affect the plant in unexpected ways. Cracks appeared in the concrete. The design had been tested at an 8. Basically, that part of it held up.

Japan -- outside the evacuation zone -- is back under 300 nanoGrays/hour for maximum aerial radiation. That reading from SPEEDI is directly south of Fukushima Prefecture in Ibaraki. Average rad dose in Ibaraki is under 200 nanoGrays/hour.

Tokyo is back to normal readings, about the same as Kyoto on the far west coast. 79 nGy/hr.

---------------------------------

Replacing coal plants with nukes is also feasible. This is the only feasible route to prevent major climate change within this century.

We can save close to $300-billion a year off the balance of payments deficit -- directly from going with modern nukes.

Solar, wind, and geothermal cannot deliver the gigawatts of power that we see coming into the demand pool. Each of these AP1000 systems delivers more than a gigawatt.

America has 104 nuclear plants. We need to plan for another 100 to 200 plants to meet demand and possibly reduce our carbon footprint moving forward. These plants are even better than the old ones for cooling -- they take much smaller cooling towers.

Risks ? Sure thing. But nothing that cannot be managed. On the whole the power companies are sensible and honest. With standardized equipment and tight operating standards, this is a technology that is not particularly difficult to apply safely.

Nuclear power as an industry is far more trustworthy than Big Oil or Big Coal. In large part because uranium is plentiful -- about the same as tin -- we are not going to see wars fought over it. We're also not going to hear Big Lie propaganda pushing it, such as the "Clean Coal" ad campaign. Coal kills about 30 miners a year in America over recent decades and far more overseas.

Once in a century a tsunami will hit a nuclear plant. Or a meteor will hit. Or a plane will crash. We have to plan for that. But the alternative right now is that we are sending trillions of dollars overseas for oil, plus trashing earth's atmosphere burning more and more coal.

Apart from nuclear power, represented by this AP1000 system, there is no large-scale power source that is cheap and environmentally clean and immediately doable for the existing power grid.

Why not ? Or what else ?

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Comment Preferences

  •  Time heals a lot. (15+ / 0-)

    Pouring water in to cool the fuel rods down caused a half-dozen clouds of radioactive steam. Some low level rads are getting into the Pacific.

    But finally, the maximum readings in cities outside the evac zone have fallen below 300 nanoGrays/hour:

       -- 296 nanoGrays/hour -- 9:30 PM local time on the 21st

        -- 318 nGy/h - 03:10 AM local time on the 20th

        -- 320 nGy/h -- 09:30 PM local time on the 19th

        -- 343 nGy/h -- 06:50 AM local time on the 18th

        -- 346 nGy/h -- 04:50 AM local time on the 17th

        -- 350 nGy/h-- 09:30 PM local time on the 16th

        -- 356 nGy/h -- 04:50 AM local time on the 15th

        -- 360 nGy/h -- 09:00 PM local time on the 14th

        -- 362 nGy/h -- 10:40 PM local time on the 13th

        -- 366 nGy/h - 11:10 PM local time on the 12th

        -- 379 nGy/h - 09:40 PM local time on the 11th

        -- 389 nGy/h - 07:30 AM local time on the 10th

        -- 404 nGy/h - 10:00 AM local time on the 9th

        -- 423 nGy/h - 09:00 AM local time on the 8th

        -- 437 nGy/h - 10:30 AM local time on the 7th

        -- 441 nGy/h - 10:30 PM local time on the 6th

        -- 464 nGy/h - 10:00 PM local time on the 5th

        -- 463 nGy/h - 9:00 PM local time on the 4th

        -- 480 nGy/h - 9:00 PM local time on the 3rd

        -- 499 nGy/h - 9:40 PM local time on the 2nd

        -- 536 nGy/h - 5:10 AM local time on the 1st of April

        -- 556 nGy/h - 9:40 AM local time on the 31st

        -- 575 nGy/h - 11:00 PM local time on the 30th

        -- 597 nGy/h - 4:40 AM local time on the 29th

        -- 646 nGy/h - 6:50 PM local time on the 28th

        -- 684 nGy/h - 10:20 PM local time on the 27th

        -- 786 nGy/h - 11.00 PM local time on the 25th

        -- 866 nGy/h - 8:20 PM local time on the 24th

        -- 957 nGy/h - 7:30 PM local time on the 23rd

        -- 1012 nGy/h - 1:10 AM local time on the 23rd

        -- 1221 nGy/h - 7:20 PM local time on the 22nd

        -- 1178 nGy/h - 9:20 PM local time on the 21st

        -- 1145 nGy/h - 6:10 PM local time on the 21st

        -- 1160 nGy/h - 4:30 PM local time on the 21st of March

    5,700 nanoGrays/hour = 5 REM/year. That is the IAEA safety limit.

    Americans designed and built the Wright Flier. I'm confident that we have solved the engineering issues related to modern reactors. Thousands of good engineers over decades tends to do that.

    China is building our American-designed reactors by the dozens.

    Financial criminals + Angry White Males + Personality Disorder dreamers + KKKwannabes + George Will =EQ= The GOPer Base (-4.38,-3.74)

    by vets74 on Thu Apr 21, 2011 at 07:44:24 PM PDT

    •  I'd like to see more (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      vets74, Onomastic

      of the smaller scale new design plants for solar, wind, and whatever else they can use besides coal.

    •  Cleaner? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      vets74, brasilaaron, Jim P

      For whom?

      Not for the people who mine it.

      Developed countries have turned Nigeris into an oil soaked radioative cesspool and the companies involved have gotten rich off the backs of the Nigerian people the younger of whom fae a bleak future living in a country who's land has been raped for profits.

      BTW, the AP1000 is a design used for inland sites where there is no large available source of water so what happens if there is an accident and the tank doesn't have enough water? Leaks happen.

      Right now all those AP1000 projects are on hold and I do expect them to proceed but the design basis assumptions are now being seriously reconsidered in light of Fukushime.

      I find it interesting that Westinghouse posted a web page about the Japanese earthquake and tsunami and never mentioned Fukishima ofr the word nuclear; guess that didn't happen in their world.

      What about my Daughter's future?

      by koNko on Thu Apr 21, 2011 at 08:45:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You may reconsider this (0+ / 0-)
        Nuclear power as an industry is far more trustworthy than Big Oil or Big Coal. In large part because uranium is plentiful -- about the same as tin -- we are not going to see wars fought over it. We're also not going to hear Big Lie propaganda pushing it, such as the "Clean Coal" ad campaign. Coal kills about 30 miners a year in America over recent decades and far more overseas.

        In light of the report I linked.

        Note Areva is one of the leading "trustworthy" companies of the Big Nuke industry.

        What about my Daughter's future?

        by koNko on Thu Apr 21, 2011 at 08:58:37 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Tipped for conversation. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      vets74, Onomastic

      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 Thu Apr 21, 2011 at 08:54:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Good luck! n/t (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    vets74, Mother Shipper

    Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

    by JeffW on Thu Apr 21, 2011 at 08:01:17 PM PDT

  •  Tipped & rec'd for courage and a solid point. (10+ / 0-)

    I think you should have waited a few more weeks before making it but ...   as bad as the situation in Japan is....

    Mercury from coal burning is contaminating fish and birds in the world's oceans. Mercury has an infinite half life.

    So... if you think nuclear is dangerous, let me introduce you to Mr. Coal.

    look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening. "It's the planet, stupid."

    by FishOutofWater on Thu Apr 21, 2011 at 08:09:26 PM PDT

    •  Exept that vet74 (3+ / 0-)

      Is astroturfing coal as a diversionary tactic to greenwash and avoid the difficult questions surrounding nuclear, including over the past 2 weaks of so a string of flippant, dismissive comments I find insulting to my intellegence.

      The day he answers in substance any of the questions I have raised is the day he get a tip from me and no sooner.

      You may refer to my comment to the trip jar and his response, if any.

      One simple question to answer, I look forward to his reply, in substance.

      Clean nukes are a myth, and everything wrong with coal does not change that.

      What about my Daughter's future?

      by koNko on Thu Apr 21, 2011 at 08:50:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's a choice of lesser evils (7+ / 0-)

        As, I believe, you so effectively pointed out, rare earth mining creates severe toxic pollution. Neodymium  magnets used in wind power was extracted from rare earth ores.

        Wind power is far less polluting than coal and nuclear, but it's not pollution free.

        My opinion is that coal is the worst polluter/killer and fracked gas is nearly as bad as coal.

        As you might have noticed, I am very aware of pollution problems associated with nuclear power. I think we are going to have to use everything but fossil fuels to avoid climate collapse.

        look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening. "It's the planet, stupid."

        by FishOutofWater on Thu Apr 21, 2011 at 09:04:40 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  If there was a way to avoid nukes (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          erush1345, PeterHug, Recall

          we'd be better off doing it.

          But there's not. We have no choice.

          Meanwhile coal is the killer for global warming. If we don't replace coal with nuclear, the population would have to fall to 3 or 4 billion to remain viable and keep the current climate patterns.

          How's that for Good Friday ???

          Financial criminals + Angry White Males + Personality Disorder dreamers + KKKwannabes + George Will =EQ= The GOPer Base (-4.38,-3.74)

          by vets74 on Thu Apr 21, 2011 at 09:15:23 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  We need to pour massive resources into solving (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            koNko

            the nuclear waste problem, and retrofitting any waste stockpiles at nuclear plants that do not have containment domes while we solve the waste problem.
            Dealing with the waste issue is a promise made by governments and the nuclear industry that is not close to being kept.
            In San Antonio, a Japanese nuclear company lied about the construction costs for their plant--and were found out, thankfully. Lies do not come from a reliable energy industry

            Nuclear industry must be seriously regulated--and I don't see who can do that in the U.S. at present, considering what is happening with oil companies, or previous and current nuclear plant regulation or oversight.

            Yes, we need to design a transition away from fossil fuels that includes nuclear plants--but it would be a mistake to "sell" nuclear while ignoring extremely important deficits in the current operation and implementation of nuclear plants.
            We need to redesign nuclear top to bottom, side to side--not just at the plant design level, or we will obliterate our cost savings with generations that are damaged genetically.

            Think of this: emerging research on autism is showing that genetic mutations seem to be a key to the autism epidemic.
            I'm not saying nuclear weapon tests in the past are responsible--in fact, there are better chemical suspects than isotopes: but if we build while minimizing the dangers we have built into our current nuclear energy approaches would only ensure a greater catastrophe.  You are assuming we will learn from the Japanese disaster, I bet: however, I don't see we have really learned all we should have from earlier disasters! Help us to get it right, vets74.

            It just seems we can't get anything done the way we should when big money is involved.

            But your general energy estimates, and the terrible costs of continuing our reliance on fossil fuels, are correct otherwise.
            We need to be serious about the current realities as well, however.
            You write well, and I wish you could be that impartial, knowledgeable voice we need: not quite there yet, vets74, but you CAN get there! I recommend your diary, with the reservations stated. If you want to, I can work with you through email to design a more balanced approach. Your optimism for nuclear power as a way to manage the challenges our world faces in near future is a valuable source of energy.
             Still, KoNko is offering you valuable information you have not integrated into your thinking about how to move forward with nuclear power.
            Personally, I would start by taking away key decision points away from private industry: regulating mining conditions world-wide would be a good start. . .

            The labor of a human being is not a commodity or article of commerce. Clayton Act, Section 6.

            by Ignacio Magaloni on Thu Apr 21, 2011 at 09:48:37 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Rad waste disposal (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              vets74

              Ignacio, not many people realize this, but the technical problems of rad waste transport and disposal were solved decades ago. The Yucca Mountain installation was not a research project -- it was designed as the repository for American rad waste, and the design was based on numerous previous studies. All the analyses showed that it would be very effective at isolation the rad waste for tens to hundreds of thousands of years.

              Yucca Mountain was killed by political reasons, not technical ones. To this day there is no convincing scientific or technical case against the Yucca Mountain facility. It's NIMBY politics, pure and simple.

              •  I read otherwise--and it does not make the (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Erasmussimo, koNko

                fact that tons of waste are scattered across the U.S in situations that do not resemble the transport containment you write about (not an issue that concerned me, exactly because of the containment designs. They can take a direct hit from a rocket. Still, can't someone with bad intentions intercept such a shipment?).

                In particular, there was a scientific study regarding water tables that was supposed to have been ignored in the Yucca Mountain deliberations. If that was also taken care of, I yield the site repository: still, I believe it was letting us off the hook, as some of that waste was supposed to remain inaccessible for ten thousand years--and at the rate we are going, it will be a miracle if civilization manages to communicate any kind of warning to any future generations.

                Crystallization technologies were nearing a breakthrough a few years ago--that sounded encouraging, but adopting these developing technologies to the waste problem is part of what I mean when I say new standards have to be brought to bear on the industry. Why not deal with the waste we have, Yucca or not, if we have the technology already? But I believe you mean older technologies destined for Yucca would be acceptable to you. I admit I have to read the latest specs, though, in deference to your assertion.

                Finally, the U.S. can't go at it alone: for example, this diary speaks of uranium imports: from which regulated mines? Would the cost go up after proper regulation?

                And, simply, do not trust the industry as it is: I know of violations from a U.S (though this was in the early 80's) and the Japanese industries (as I mentioned)--and that is simply regional operations! I don't expect the rap sheet to look pretty as you go national and international with these companies--and the latest crisis in Japan is a third company that simply can't handle the responsibility. Let alone talk of costs of retrofitting plants today--will these companies pay it?
                We need rational, international governance of any nuclear transitional plan. Another idea: a heavy tax on profits from new nuclear power infrastructure that goes to solar technology infrastructure: that should tame the self-perpetuating corporation types. We can't let this nuclear beast live forever, however much we may need it for the transition away from fossil fuels.

                The labor of a human being is not a commodity or article of commerce. Clayton Act, Section 6.

                by Ignacio Magaloni on Fri Apr 22, 2011 at 10:48:35 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  I generally agree. (0+ / 0-)

          But for the nuclear industrey to go forward from here requires deep reforms and solving many pent-up probelms; facts suggest no basis for public confidence and a continuation of the status quo.

          A rational nuclear advocate would recognize and deal with that not present lame arguements and suggest we have only 2 choices.

          This diary is an excercise in shooting one's toes off.

          Greenwashing doesnt cut it. If the nuclear industry hopes to regain support from enviromentalists it has much work to do and needs to get to it of it will die, perhaps at a high cost to the world.

          Regarding Rare Earths: since my diary, much has changed. Seems the sky did not fall, recycling has suddenly become possible, alternatives are in the works for many applications and China is starting to get a handle on illegal mines that are the worst part of the problem.

          And, it seems, it does not take 20 years to develop multiple sources.

          Human are great at living in dennial. We can also solve problems if we face them.

          What about my Daughter's future?

          by koNko on Fri Apr 22, 2011 at 10:35:58 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  It's a false choice, radioactivity vs fossil. (0+ / 0-)

          Renewables, prioritized, can do the job quicker and cleaner. There's downsides to the renewables, as one would expect in anything whatsoever. No downside is vaguely comparable to the quite-still-ungoing Fukushima, Chernobyl, etc diasters. And who here will guarantee we'll not see the like or worse in the lifetime of our children? Even guarantee we'll not see 2, 3 or more?

          If you are worried about climate collapse, you'll not see enough nukes built in time to forestall that in any case. Why not just cut to the chase, and spend that time and money to do the thing that actually changes the entire energy game.

          World wide renewable exceeds nuclear energy production world-wide.
          ...In 2010, for the first time, worldwide cumulated installed capacity of wind turbines, biomass and waste-to-energy plants, and solar power reached 381 gigawatts, outpacing the installed nuclear capacity of 375 gigawatts,’’ the report, ‘‘The World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2010-2011,’’ issued by Worldwatch Institute, noted. report NOTE PDF

          The sane choice is not between killer-fuels. The nukes will never be built in time to get us largely off fossils. The renewables, with the will, could go a long way, and quicker. The sane choice is between going with killer fuels or doing something which will actually benefit us.


          Until we break the corporate virtual monopoly on what we hear and see, we keep losing, don't matter what we do.

          by Jim P on Mon Apr 25, 2011 at 06:25:51 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Myths (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        vets74, Recall

        "Clean nukes are a myth, and everything wrong with coal does not change that."

        That depends upon your definition of "clean". A better way to discuss the issue is to talk about the magnitude of environmental impact, not the black-and-white issue of "clean" versus "dirty", which is entirely dependent upon subjective definitions.

        There is no question that nuclear power plants are much cleaner than coal-burning power plants. Ergo, a rational environmentalist would support every effort to replace coal-burning power plants with nuclear plants, and once the stock of coal-burning plants has been brought down, turn to the question of how to improve upon the existing stock of nuclear plants.

        •  You are missing the point. (0+ / 0-)

          If the problems with the nuclear industry are insolvable then we do have to make that value judgement.

          If the problems are seriously examined and solved we do not.

          Is this diary a contribution to solving the problems or a greewash of them using coal as the bad guy?

          The first step is recognition of the problems.

          What about my Daughter's future?

          by koNko on Fri Apr 22, 2011 at 10:39:41 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  No (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            vets74

            I am not missing your point. I have now directly addressed the central point you make regarding "greenwashing". I have offered the counterargument that your boolean approach misapprehends the problem. You have not replied to my counterargument.

            This diary is definitely a contribution to the discussion of nuclear power policy.

            •  Authoritarian + ignorant = par for the course. (0+ / 0-)

              There is no way to get through to someone where they come in committed to a debating position.

              One example, here, is complaining about nuclear waste and insisting on not discussing the Yucca Mountain site. There is nothing wrong with Yucca. So the anti-nuke crowd can't even say the name.

              It's similar to seeing the shill accounts turn up. Very knowledgeable, sorta. They crap out lies faster than Google can track 'em.

              Financial criminals + Angry White Males + Personality Disorder dreamers + KKKwannabes + George Will =EQ= The GOPer Base (-4.38,-3.74)

              by vets74 on Fri Apr 22, 2011 at 01:49:35 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Are you calling me that? (0+ / 0-)

                I believe someone else mentioned Yucca Mountian and I cannot recall commenting either way about it.

                Suggest you read and reply in substance diretly to what I have actually posted.

                Your insults are not likely to win over any skeptics to your side but if you want to take that approach have at it.

                What about my Daughter's future?

                by koNko on Sun Apr 24, 2011 at 08:30:27 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

  •  Uranium is also a finite resource. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    vets74, koNko

    "Intolerance is something which belongs to the religions we have rejected." - J.J. Rousseau -6.38, -4.15

    by James Allen on Thu Apr 21, 2011 at 08:18:30 PM PDT

    •  The "yellowcake" form is limited. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      PeterHug, bryfry

      But that is no where near being the only useful mineral source.

      It's like tin.There is a huge amount in the earth's crust. Today we are using 50,000 tons of uranium a year. That's equivalent to less than one tanker load of oil.

      Running out of uranium is similar to "Clean Coal."

      Financial criminals + Angry White Males + Personality Disorder dreamers + KKKwannabes + George Will =EQ= The GOPer Base (-4.38,-3.74)

      by vets74 on Thu Apr 21, 2011 at 08:49:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  THat's very misleading. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        koNko

        I'm not opposed to nuclear necessarily, but its certainly not that clean and has plenty of its own problems.

        "Intolerance is something which belongs to the religions we have rejected." - J.J. Rousseau -6.38, -4.15

        by James Allen on Thu Apr 21, 2011 at 09:33:54 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  And a dirty resource. (0+ / 0-)

      And pointing the finger at coal does not change that.

      What about my Daughter's future?

      by koNko on Thu Apr 21, 2011 at 08:51:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Coal is the main alternative. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Recall

        In fact, the major proposal at DoE has been to convert from coal to nuclear. Move 20% of U.S. electricity prodcution from coal to nuclear -- another 800 million megawatt-hours.

        Global warming is the big issue, the one and only planet killer.

        We need game changers to avoid heat-driven collapse.

        Financial criminals + Angry White Males + Personality Disorder dreamers + KKKwannabes + George Will =EQ= The GOPer Base (-4.38,-3.74)

        by vets74 on Thu Apr 21, 2011 at 09:00:17 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  We need "game changers" (0+ / 0-)

          To make the nuclear industry safe for the earth.\

          I'm hoping Fukushima prompts that but the content of this diary is not encouraging.

          Greenwashing nukes does not solve any of the problems.

          And no one here should live in dennial of the facts:

          :: The world is full of aging nukes that will not magically dissapear overnight.

          :: The world is full of spent nuclear fuel stored in tanks of water

          :: The risks and costs of the above will continue persist for at least decades

          :: Most of the promising nuclear technologies have not been proven at commercial acale and the bar to do so just got raised.

          :: The nuclear industry is full of endemic problems that have gone unsolved for decades and is just as bad as the oil and coal industries including indaequate regulation cover-ups and lack of publi accountability while living on the public dole.

          :: The world will keep building nukes, most of which are more of the same.

          And onstray to your asertion, we do have other options it is not a choie between only nukes and coal.

          In fact, nuclear energy is in global decline against renewables oil and coal.

          We don't need more of the latter and don;t bother trying to suggest I advocate that because I don't; strawman agruments don;t solve problems.

          What about my Daughter's future?

          by koNko on Fri Apr 22, 2011 at 10:17:52 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Fundamental error (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            vets74, ebohlman, Recall

            The core of your argument is based on a fundamental logical error: the reduction of numeric values to boolean values. You argue that nuclear power has environmental problems, and therefore is just as bad as coal power. But you ignore the fact that the environmental problems arising from nuclear power are less than those arising from coal power. This is a profound error and it underlies your entire argument. Correct this error and your argument collapses.

            •  No I did not (0+ / 0-)

              Quite clearly I think coal is worse as I have commented elsewhere.

              I sugggest you read all of my comments here objectively.

              And if you can find anywhere I have stated I am against nukes please point that out to me becuase I can not recall sayijg so anywhere.

              What I am raising is the problems with the technology and more specifically, with the industry.

              This diary and your comments  attenpt to greenwash nukes by pointing a finger at coal and oil; all have problems and if you cannot deal with those facts you cannot present a credible or convincing argument for nukes.

              What about my Daughter's future?

              by koNko on Sun Apr 24, 2011 at 08:40:30 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  It is cleaner than coal... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Erasmussimo, vets74, Recall

        certainly from an overall lifecycle standpoint.

        You're absolutely right in the points you make regarding the potential downside to accdidents, as well as the need to revisit the worst-case scenarios used for designing in light of what has happened in Japan.

        However, coal mining does far more environmental damage than uranium mining does; coal combustion products kill far more people every year than nuclear waste; and from a climate change perspective we urgently need to shut down as many coal-fired power plants as possible, as quickly as possible - and nuclear is the only technology we have currently available to us that can do that.

        I will admit to preferring a combined electric-hydraulic hybrid powered by a 15 kW or so microturbine burning renewably sourced diesel to a purely electric car, mostly because it could be built with current technology, but that is in essence a quibble.

        •  Please show me (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          PeterHug

          Where, here or anywhere I have advocated coal or suggested we have no nukes.

          Maybe I have done so and don't remember, but as an environmentalist for more than 20 years I cannot quite remember ever having done so.

          What I am addressing here are real problems with nukes and the nuclear industry to counter the misleading arguements and attempt to greenwash nukes in this diary.

          Do you want more nukes?

          Address and solve the problems first, otherwise, do not expect public support.

          The party is over. Time to get real.

          What about my Daughter's future?

          by koNko on Fri Apr 22, 2011 at 10:23:09 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm not suggesting that you have advocated (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            vets74, koNko

            for coal or suggested that we shouldn't have nukes.  If that is the impression my comment gave, it was completely inadvertent and I apologize.

            I am agreeing with you that the definition of "acceptably safe nuclear plant" needs to be revisited...and also that any standards going forward need to be completely reality-based and aggressively enforced.  I would also hope that everyone reading and commenting on this subject here feels the same way.

            Do I want more nukes?  Not particularly.  The potential consequences of an accident are always going to be large enough that they will remain a significant risk, no matter how safe they are.  But I cannot see any way to replace the coal-fired power plants on a timescale that is relevant to mitigating (no longer preventing-we're too late for that) runaway global warming.

            I would hope that the nuclear build-out I advocate is a temporary solution that gets us through to a future built mostly on solar and wind, with nearly all movement of people and goods done on electrified rail, and the remainder (and what air transport is left) using biogenic diesel.

            The problem is that we really have NO time left to make that switch if we are going to avoid a climate-change catastrophe (I would imagine you feel about the same); and the truly green alternatives are not yet ready for that switchover.  So I think we're going to need to accept an imperfect but workable solution for a few years...

            OK, that was a bit longer than I planned.  But let me reiterate that I certainly didn't mean to suggest or imply that you're pushing coal as a solution.

    •  Boolean versus arithmetic (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      vets74

      Yes, uranium is finite. But even the supply of sunlight is finite: the sun will burn out someday. The real issue is not the choice between finite and infinite, but the amount of supply. The supply of oil is right at its peak now and will soon begin to fall. The supply of uranium is large enough to supply all of humanity's energy needs for centuries.

      •  maybe two or three centuries. (0+ / 0-)

        "Intolerance is something which belongs to the religions we have rejected." - J.J. Rousseau -6.38, -4.15

        by James Allen on Fri Apr 22, 2011 at 11:37:02 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Much longer. (0+ / 0-)

          Relatively speaking, it takes a tiny amount of uranium to generate enormous amounts of power.

          Uranium is a common element. Plus, the high density makes it easy to separate. Millions of years is conservative.

          Financial criminals + Angry White Males + Personality Disorder dreamers + KKKwannabes + George Will =EQ= The GOPer Base (-4.38,-3.74)

          by vets74 on Fri Apr 22, 2011 at 02:27:11 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Only if you reprocess spent fuel (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            koNko

            will it last very long.  Look, I'm not against nuclear, I'm just against being unrealistic about it.

            "Intolerance is something which belongs to the religions we have rejected." - J.J. Rousseau -6.38, -4.15

            by James Allen on Fri Apr 22, 2011 at 02:42:55 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  You're confusing direct "yellowcake" (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Erasmussimo

              deposits with the vast mineral deposits that contain significant uranium. Now, $50 of processed uranium matches $1,200 of crude oil -- a year of driving a car. At $200 the amount of uranium available becomes near unlimited.

              Financial criminals + Angry White Males + Personality Disorder dreamers + KKKwannabes + George Will =EQ= The GOPer Base (-4.38,-3.74)

              by vets74 on Fri Apr 22, 2011 at 03:08:46 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  Are you suggesting (0+ / 0-)

        It is the best or only solution?

        Both are demonstrably false; note, for example, that the fraction of power from renewables passed that from nukes in 2010 and at the rate aging nukes come off line that is quite likely to continue to be the trend.

        The mere fact a sufficient supply of uranium, hydrogen, wind, solar or whatever you care to name does not mean it is practical for any of them to meet needs alone and that is simple, practical fact credible advocate of all acknowledge.

        What would be the time and cost and  involved with building enough nukes to supply the world with power including the grids to supply it from areas where they could be built to those where it cannot?  And the risks incolved?

        Frankly, the suggestion is laughably inpractical.

        Yes, uranium is finite. But even the supply of sunlight is finite: the sun will burn out someday.

        You just made the arguement for solar.

        What about my Daughter's future?

        by koNko on Sun Apr 24, 2011 at 08:52:09 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Nuclear Power is Essential (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    vets74, erush1345

    Just imagine how much surface area (for windmills or solar panels) you'd need to match the peak power generation of a major nuclear power plant.

    Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project. http://www1.hamiltonproject.org/es/hamilton/hamilton_hp.htm

    by PatriciaVa on Thu Apr 21, 2011 at 08:18:42 PM PDT

    •  Imangine (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FishOutofWater

      This in your backyard.

      Would you send your kids to work in a uranian mine so some greenwashing company could reap the profits while their little bodies soaked up radiation so affluant people half a world away culd heat their swimming pools and party?

      What about my Daughter's future?

      by koNko on Thu Apr 21, 2011 at 08:55:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  How many people die in coal mines a year ??? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        PatriciaVa, Recall

        Gee, you don't cite that figure ?

        Financial criminals + Angry White Males + Personality Disorder dreamers + KKKwannabes + George Will =EQ= The GOPer Base (-4.38,-3.74)

        by vets74 on Thu Apr 21, 2011 at 09:09:27 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Lots. (0+ / 0-)

          Which does not negate the hazards of mining uranium one bit.

          Let's be frank and open here: what is happening with the discussion from pro nuke advocates on Daily Kos since Fukushima is an attempt to gloss over the endemic problems in the nuclear industry by using coal to divert attention.

          This is dishonest rediculous and isn't going to work. If you really want to make a case to support nuclear you have to come clean on the problems of the industry and what the solutions are going forward or you are painting yourself into a corner - or simply living in dennial of the facts.

          Lest you think I am picking on nukes, read my diary here.

          No source of energy is without an environmental cost, disadvantages and limitations and saying otherwise is foolishness ignorance or dishonesty.

          And as long as people here continue to adtroturf the issues I will be here posting here.

          I welcome honest debate.

          More homework. Still an unsolved problem that gets worse every year.

          What about my Daughter's future?

          by koNko on Fri Apr 22, 2011 at 09:52:34 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Not dishonest (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            vets74

            It's not dishonest to point out that the problems of A are less than the problems of B. It clarifies issues. Indeed, I suggest that equating A and B because they share a characteristic in vastly differing magnitudes is misleading.

            •  The diarst has not done that. (0+ / 0-)

              This is not an objective and data-driven comparrison at all.

              Where that the case, renewables would clearly be the best choice and these are not only not mentioned in the diary, but in the commements the diarist states there is ONLY a choice between nukes and coal.

              Diary clearly aims to deflect from the obvious problems with nukes by arguing the problems with coal and oil and makes incredible retorical statements about the safetly and trustworthiness of the nuke industry on that basis which are clearly false in light of the industry record.

              That is misleading.

              What about my Daughter's future?

              by koNko on Sun Apr 24, 2011 at 09:17:36 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  BTW (0+ / 0-)

          I am not publishing diaries making the claims about the coal industry that you do for the nuclear industry.

          Nuclear power as an industry is far more trustworthy than Big Oil or Big Coal. In large part because uranium is plentiful -- about the same as tin -- we are not going to see wars fought over it.

          Comment: (a) TEPCO et al  (b) Learn more about tin and yellow cake

          What about my Daughter's future?

          by koNko on Fri Apr 22, 2011 at 10:03:02 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I had about 60 tabs open & I clicked that PDF (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        vets74, erush1345, PeterHug, koNko

        Somehow I avoided crashing my computer.

        Uranium mining is destructive. That's a good report.

        However, coal mines destroy far, far more land and kill far, far more people than uranium mines.

        look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening. "It's the planet, stupid."

        by FishOutofWater on Thu Apr 21, 2011 at 09:12:12 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  It would surprise you. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      vets74

      The area required to power the entire world with solar panels is actually pretty small.

      Solar panels ain't cheap so I'm not saying its exactly feasible.

  •  What do you do with the mine tailings and the (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    vets74, wezelboy

    spent fuel? I saw how uranium tailings poisoned everything on Big Mountain, and we're seeing radioactive waste leak into the Colorado River right now. Just a coupla ferinstances. Want clean energy? Look out your window...sun and wind, water power. Why aren't they being discussed seriously? Because they can be individually owned...solar panels on every rooftop means no monopoly, no big fat profit for the corporations who manipulate the energy market. Nuclear generation of electricity is no cleaner than coal, it just looks that way.

    •  Fact is, we need gigawatt power plants (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      erush1345

      to meet energy demands that are already in the pipeline.

      Oil is not going to cut it for cars. That has to go electric, too.

      We need to do nuclear as well as we can. But we cannot afford leaking $2.8-trillion a decade for imported oil. No way.

      We don't have the money.

      Financial criminals + Angry White Males + Personality Disorder dreamers + KKKwannabes + George Will =EQ= The GOPer Base (-4.38,-3.74)

      by vets74 on Thu Apr 21, 2011 at 09:05:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  We Americans need to stop buying all this crap (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        vets74, PeterHug

        we have to plug into electrical outlets and start doing things by hand. The electricity we're talking about is not being used to manufacture anything anymore, it is for convenience. We have become a nation of fat, lazy consumers who want everything right now, at the touch of a button, the flip of a switch. Yeah, yeah, I know....hospitals, life saving equipment, but that is not where most of it goes. It goes into Mr. Coffee programmable coffee makers, instant-on HiDef flat screens, machines that get us into our cars and in to work faster, and machines that entertain us so we don't have to think about how badly we're screwing things up. I'll tell you what we need all this power for, for the extraction of wealth from the American public, and that is a complete concept.

        •  The Amish. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          socalmonk, erush1345, PeterHug

          They think we're funny.

          Financial criminals + Angry White Males + Personality Disorder dreamers + KKKwannabes + George Will =EQ= The GOPer Base (-4.38,-3.74)

          by vets74 on Thu Apr 21, 2011 at 09:24:15 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  You point out trivial things (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          vets74, bryfry
          Mr. Coffee programmable coffee makers, instant-on HiDef flat screens, machines that get us into our cars and in to work faster, and machines that entertain us so we don't have to think about how badly we're screwing things up.

          Ever work with your hands much? Do you have any idea how much more time it takes to file a piece of steel to shape as opposed to machining it? We could be talking days vs. minutes.

          •  Like I said, when we're talking about the huge (0+ / 0-)

            amount of power the US consumes, it is not for manufacturing...most of our brick and mortar production facilities are gone overseas. Everybody has electric everything, and yes, I have worked with my hands all my life, thank you. I wish that electricity was being used for manufacturing, but it isn't. It is primarily being used for comfort and convenience. We have built a society and a lifestyle upon a foundation of cheap power, and now that the days of cheap power from traditional sources are gone, the industry that supplies that power is far more invested in their profits than the creation of cheap power from sources they cannot own and control. They would rather poison the air, land and water, and everything alive, than lose their high rolling lifestyles. And so would most of the rest of us, sadly.

            •  Egalitarianism of values (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              ebohlman, vets74

              Socalmonk, the values you disparage are embraced by millions of people. I too harbor distaste for some of the excesses of American life -- SUVs spring immediately to mind. But I do not consider my values superior to anybody else's. If another person wants to use electricity for some purpose I consider frivolous, I do not disparage that person. To each his own. I respect other people and their choices.

              I do believe that everybody should haul their own weight. If my neighbor wants to drive an SUV, I have no objection, so long as they pay the true costs of their choices.

              Nuclear power is one way of permitting other people with other values to pursue happiness in their own manner while imposing less damage upon everybody else -- less than they would impose by using coal-generated electricity.

              •  And if my neighbor maintains a lifestyle that (0+ / 0-)

                necessitates the destruction of the environment and the real American economy, the scale by which the standard of living that most of us enjoy down here in the lower 80, I'll be the first and probably the loudest to call him an asshole. The "true cost" is not something most individuals are prepared or even able to pay, or we wouldn't be in the mess we're in.

    •  Size matters (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ebohlman, vets74

      Socalmonk, the tailings from uranium mining are dwarfed by the tailings from coal mining. We have to concentrate on the size of things, not their mere existence.

  •  ... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    vets74
    Here is what the Chinese are doing.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/...
    Under the deal, the firm will build a new mining complex to give China Power International Development (CPI) 30m tonnes of coal a year for 20 years.

    "Drop the name-calling." Meteor Blades 2/4/11

    by indycam on Thu Apr 21, 2011 at 08:58:01 PM PDT

    •  They're doing everything. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      erush1345

      Somebody over there has all the money. Their energy plan shows 80%/20% coal to nuke, similar to our current setup.

      Financial criminals + Angry White Males + Personality Disorder dreamers + KKKwannabes + George Will =EQ= The GOPer Base (-4.38,-3.74)

      by vets74 on Thu Apr 21, 2011 at 09:07:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  If nuke is the thing (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        vets74

        why are they doing coal ?

        "Drop the name-calling." Meteor Blades 2/4/11

        by indycam on Thu Apr 21, 2011 at 09:19:41 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Cheap. Easy. Big bureaucracy behind it. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          erush1345

          And they don't give a shit about global warming.

          Financial criminals + Angry White Males + Personality Disorder dreamers + KKKwannabes + George Will =EQ= The GOPer Base (-4.38,-3.74)

          by vets74 on Thu Apr 21, 2011 at 09:26:23 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  They're doing both... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          vets74

          I predict that we will be unable to stop runaway climate change, not because we don't have technologies that could in principle be used to bring CO2 emissions to an acceptable level, but because (i) the decision makers globally will not feel the urgency (given that they are mostly politicians who always think they can make some sort of 'deal' with reality), and (ii) because once the urgency does sink in, building out the needed new infrastucture will simply be impossible in time and with our future resource limitations.

          Wow...that was one sentence...
          :)

  •  I Never Understand Pushing of Nukes in a (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    vets74

    discussion forum.

    None of this is decided by anybody any of us can influence.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Thu Apr 21, 2011 at 09:31:31 PM PDT

    •  Maybe somebody's kids ? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      PeterHug

      Maybe a college student ?

      And pushing for a rational solution can't be all bad. I worked for NRC on the lessons learned projects after TMI, so I know that positive change is possible.

      Financial criminals + Angry White Males + Personality Disorder dreamers + KKKwannabes + George Will =EQ= The GOPer Base (-4.38,-3.74)

      by vets74 on Fri Apr 22, 2011 at 04:01:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Same as opposing nukes (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      vets74

      People who oppose the expansion of nuclear power also present their opinions in discussion forums. It's the free exchange of ideas that is so vital to a healthy democracy.

  •  But first (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    happymisanthropy, vets74, koNko

    Please, before we build those 100 new nukes, which will take 5 or 10 years, let's just build the 74,000 megawatts of solar power that currently have applications pending on public lands in the Western States.

    I'd venture there's nearly that much in wind energy that have pending applications also.

    Let's get those renewables built that already have applications in the pipeline and then we can talk about nukes.

    I have to admit you got nerve, bringing up nukes before those japanese reactors have even cooled down yet.

    •  The Japanese nukes will take 5 years to cool. (0+ / 0-)

      Maybe till October to get below boiling point for the cooling water.

      The fuel rods are very, very hot. They have to be. What they do for a living is generate heat.

      Rational thought has to be free of whatever the current propaganda and news cycles are putting out. How else to analyze anything ?

      Google [ ooda loop boyd ] for an interesting system for analyzing how decisions get made. Observe-orient-decide-act.

      This OODA Loop structure was put together to analyze air-to-air dogfights. Then later a team with neuroscience training tested subjects and found that the four phases are carried out by different combinations of areas in the brain.

      Usually the system is used to hone competitive processes. You can also use it to discipline your own thinking -- am I doing everything I need to do in each of the four phases ?

      Financial criminals + Angry White Males + Personality Disorder dreamers + KKKwannabes + George Will =EQ= The GOPer Base (-4.38,-3.74)

      by vets74 on Fri Apr 22, 2011 at 04:11:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Nerve? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      vets74

      "I have to admit you got nerve, bringing up nukes before those japanese reactors have even cooled down yet."

      I would think that discussing policy issues regarding nuclear power would be particularly appropriate given the prominence of the incident in the news.

  •  Pretty (0+ / 0-)

    Bored in Shanghai....

    Financial criminals + Angry White Males + Personality Disorder dreamers + KKKwannabes + George Will =EQ= The GOPer Base (-4.38,-3.74)

    by vets74 on Fri Apr 22, 2011 at 04:49:12 AM PDT

    •  Oldie but goodie (0+ / 0-)

      Found that on the tubes and posted it to comment on Dkos years ago. Cannot exactly remember the context but it had something to do with Scotts.

      But as long as you're flipping through my photobucket, you might have posted this chart I made instead, which is actually relevant to the topic and something you could have used as data to support your own argument for nukes, vis a vis the percapita emsissions of France - which was included exactly because they have a high fraction of nuclear energy.

      CO2,emissions,environment

      But never mind, there is not much use for facts in this thread. This is Daily Kos.

      What about my Daughter's future?

      by koNko on Sun Apr 24, 2011 at 09:32:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Is this really the "import cost" ? (0+ / 0-)
    9,000,000 times $85 times 365 = $ 280-billion import cost a year

    Because that entire $85/bbl does not (necessarily) leave the country.

    For example, Iraq's oil was so lucrative because it cost $1/bbl to produce.  But let's be more realistic and say $10/ bbl in general  That money would be spent in Iraq (or wherever) but much of it would flow back to the parent companies (e.g., Halliburton in Texas).

    On top of that there would be royalties paid to the host government - let's say those are 30% - thus the cost for the oil company to acquire a bbl of imported oil would be about $35.   The difference between that and $85 (or $135 for that matter)  wouldn't be leaving the country and probably shouldn't be included in that calculation.

    •  Spot market price. (0+ / 0-)

      Only little people pay taxes.................... same for bringing money back to the U.S. for investment.

      All of the $85 goes overseas.

      There, it gets slice-and-diced. Don't expect to see any of it again. Maybe if some Oil Sheik takes his family to visit Disneyland.

      Financial criminals + Angry White Males + Personality Disorder dreamers + KKKwannabes + George Will =EQ= The GOPer Base (-4.38,-3.74)

      by vets74 on Fri Apr 22, 2011 at 01:55:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You know, that really makes no sense at (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        vets74

        all - Let's say Chevron - from Richmond California, is extracting oil in Nigeria.

        Clearly, there are costs involved in the actual extraction - like I mentioned, $10 a bbl.

        Plus royalties owed to the government of Nigeria - let's say $25 a bbl.

        That's $35 of the $85 cost of a barrel of oil - but just why the fuck would they be sending the other $50 overseas?

        And exactly where overseas?  Clearly it is not needed in Nigeria for anything that has to do with actually obtaining the oil.

        Are you insinuating that they're sending it the Cayman Islands to stick in a tax shelter or something like that?  I could kinda buy that - but would appreciate some evidence . . . ..

  •  I don't mind the current risks. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    vets74

    I'm OK with a Chernobyl or Fukushima every once in a while--seriously.  I'm not OK, ethically, with creating dangerous waste that will remain dangerous beyond our reliable ability to convey its danger to future generations.  Solve that, and I'll live with the current risks.

    It's better to curse the darkness than light a candle. --Whoever invented blogs, c.1996

    by Rich in PA on Fri Apr 22, 2011 at 05:36:37 AM PDT

    •  Please see my comment above (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      vets74

      entitled "Rad Waste Disposal". In it I explain that there are no technical obstacles to safe rad waste disposal.

    •  Yucca Mountain. (0+ / 0-)

      Geologically totally safe. As stable as any place on earth.

      Despite the anti-nuke/pro-coalers and the local nimby crew, there's nothing wrong with putting fuel rods in a dry, deep mine.

      Financial criminals + Angry White Males + Personality Disorder dreamers + KKKwannabes + George Will =EQ= The GOPer Base (-4.38,-3.74)

      by vets74 on Fri Apr 22, 2011 at 02:01:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The heat mobilizes what water there is (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        vets74, koNko

        in the rock, and that isn't zero. I remember some presentations at a Yucca Mountain progress report conference I went to in the late 90s which reported on some of the systems they were trying to come up with to keep "rain" off of the corrosion resistant casks that were being designed for the facility.

        Some decades after loading, the heat from the spent fuel would cause water that is in the rock to become mobilized and it would circulate, evaporating and condensing repeatedly in the excavated spaces, literally raining on the casks. They had an idea for a titanium shield structure that would keep the rain off of the casks, but the whole thing including the casks would end up with pinhole perforations after a few centuries, leading to mobilization of the repository contents far sooner and more extensively than the 10,000 years the repository was trying to be certified for.

        These were Yucca Mountain contractors reporting on their studies, not some wild eyed nimby types or something.

        Moderation in most things. Except Reactors. IFR forever!

        by billmosby on Fri Apr 22, 2011 at 02:25:53 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Meanwhile...... (0+ / 0-)

          In March 2006, the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works Majority Staff issued a 25 page white paper "Yucca Mountain: The Most Studied Real Estate on the Planet." The conclusions were:

          -- Extensive studies consistently show Yucca Mountain to be a sound site for nuclear waste disposal
          -- The cost of not moving forward is extremely high
          -- Nuclear waste disposal capability is an environmental imperative
          -- Nuclear waste disposal capability supports national security

          Who likes leaving the spent rods out at the power plants ?

          Thinks that's a good idea, better than Yucca ?

          And btw, the idea that there's going to be "rain" in these tunnels didn't test out. It was a theory; presented as a theory. Didn't test out.

          Coal and natural gas adding CO2 to the atmosphere ??? That tests out just fine.

          Financial criminals + Angry White Males + Personality Disorder dreamers + KKKwannabes + George Will =EQ= The GOPer Base (-4.38,-3.74)

          by vets74 on Fri Apr 22, 2011 at 03:28:18 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I found some reference on the web (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            vets74

            to electrical heat experiments that did produce water, but I'll take your word for it that that won't happen, I haven't kept up with Yucca for years now.

            I don't like leaving spent fuel at reactor sites, but I think that's exactly where it will be left to rot in place.

            Not a good situation at all. My own preference would be to run the spent fuel through IFRs or other such systems, but I don't think the politics or the economics will ever support such things. At least not here. Perhaps we can sell that "fuel" to the Chinese someday.

            Also, we would need to make more foolproof reactors than we have now (or contemplate, IFRs included) or else probably find the habitable land area slowly shrinking as the number of accident exclusion zones  goes up.

            Moderation in most things. Except Reactors. IFR forever!

            by billmosby on Fri Apr 22, 2011 at 03:50:28 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  First time there's a big problem at a power plant (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              billmosby

              with the fuel rods, we'll see Yucca Mountain come back on the front burners.

              We thought that the 9/11 team that hit North Tower had blown it, bypassing Indian Point. Harder target with a 747....

              The IFR breeders do look good. South Africa has been getting results here, along with their helium pebble-bed systems. Argonne was too honest about what they were planning -- wiping out the Oil Biz ain't good politics.

              BTW: can we find a way to recycle Chinese drywall ?

              Financial criminals + Angry White Males + Personality Disorder dreamers + KKKwannabes + George Will =EQ= The GOPer Base (-4.38,-3.74)

              by vets74 on Fri Apr 22, 2011 at 05:38:19 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Heh, Chinese drywall... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                vets74

                I think they have a system for recycling the managers of such projects when they become know.

                I doubt Yucca will be coming back, though. NIMBY technology will continue to outpace reality, I think.

                I was always kind of struck by my bosses' refusal to mention global warming (which phrase dates my tenure at Argonne-West, I'm sure) as a reason to promote the IFR. I think they considered it a bit too tentative back in the 90s to use in their publicity. Some of them are still at work on a derivative concept at a startup in Reston, VA called ARC. I worked for three of the guys on this page back in the day.

                Their new concept takes the basic IFR reactor technology and scales back the power density so it doesn't have to be refueled for about 20 years. However it still envisions trucking the spent fuel to central reprocessing facilities after that time. Kind of a long shot for the U.S. it seems to me.

                Moderation in most things. Except Reactors. IFR forever!

                by billmosby on Fri Apr 22, 2011 at 06:07:04 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

    •  That was solved about 20 years ago. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      koNko

      Google the system referenced in my sig.

      However, reactor safety is probably still a big enough problem that it's not worth doing, at least in a very much bigger way than we already utilize the power source.

      Moderation in most things. Except Reactors. IFR forever!

      by billmosby on Fri Apr 22, 2011 at 02:12:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Interesting Google Earth (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    koNko

    overlay, showing populations living within 50 mi of nuke plants around the world. If you want to look at the overlay on Google Earth yourself, you can download the necessary .kmz file from this, where it says "Download the map file..."

    Moderation in most things. Except Reactors. IFR forever!

    by billmosby on Fri Apr 22, 2011 at 02:10:47 PM PDT

  •  Great. Let the owners cover the Damage (0+ / 0-)

    insurance and possible expenses without making the citizenry take the vast majority of the economic risk and I say build thousands of them.

    Problem is, not one will be EVER be built unless you and I take on nearly all the risk.

    Funny business that, eh? "I've got this perfectly safe thing to do, I'll make a profit on it year after year, but I won't do it unless YOU take the risk."

    Sounds like a sucker's bet doesn't it? If someone offered you that deal on anything at all, other than this, you'd kick them in the ass and tell them to get out. Most people would.

    That's because when a deal stinks to high heaven, it's not a deal adults would do.

    PS: Current renewable energy generation exceeds existing nuke capacity. Funny how that's not an alternative, isn't it?

    World wide renewable exceeds nuclear energy production world-wide.
    ...In 2010, for the first time, worldwide cumulated installed capacity of wind turbines, biomass and waste-to-energy plants, and solar power reached 381 gigawatts, outpacing the installed nuclear capacity of 375 gigawatts,’’ the report, ‘‘The World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2010-2011,’’ issued by Worldwatch Institute, noted.


    Until we break the corporate virtual monopoly on what we hear and see, we keep losing, don't matter what we do.

    by Jim P on Mon Apr 25, 2011 at 06:10:15 PM PDT

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