Nuclear power

in reality, all of this has been a total load of old bollocks
Positive Passion
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Re: Nuclear power

Postby Positive Passion » 04 Jan 2022, 11:20

Rorschach wrote:
Positive Passion wrote:It is clearly the way forward, but there are still problems to be solved. I also read fairly recently that nuclear fusion reactors are closer than the gen pub thinks, and that would be a good thing.


I think the ultimate way forward is wind, solar, etc. but they're nowhere near ready to do the heavy lifting. I think we need nuclear to supplement the renewables rather than using coal and oil, until we have sufficient capacity from the renewables.

Fusion would be lovely but I'm not confident it's going to happen any time soon. I'd be bloody happy to be proven wrong.


A quick google search shows articles in science mags written in the last few weeks about developmental fusion milestones being achieved.

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Deebank
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Re: Nuclear power

Postby Deebank » 04 Jan 2022, 11:26

Positive Passion wrote:
Rorschach wrote:
Positive Passion wrote:It is clearly the way forward, but there are still problems to be solved. I also read fairly recently that nuclear fusion reactors are closer than the gen pub thinks, and that would be a good thing.


I think the ultimate way forward is wind, solar, etc. but they're nowhere near ready to do the heavy lifting. I think we need nuclear to supplement the renewables rather than using coal and oil, until we have sufficient capacity from the renewables.

Fusion would be lovely but I'm not confident it's going to happen any time soon. I'd be bloody happy to be proven wrong.


A quick google search shows articles in science mags written in the last few weeks about developmental fusion milestones being achieved.



As I understand it (which admittedly, is not at all deeply) fusion has been achieved,

The problem is getting more energy out than you put in to achieve fusion.
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Positive Passion
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Re: Nuclear power

Postby Positive Passion » 04 Jan 2022, 11:35

Deebank wrote:
Positive Passion wrote:
Rorschach wrote:
I think the ultimate way forward is wind, solar, etc. but they're nowhere near ready to do the heavy lifting. I think we need nuclear to supplement the renewables rather than using coal and oil, until we have sufficient capacity from the renewables.

Fusion would be lovely but I'm not confident it's going to happen any time soon. I'd be bloody happy to be proven wrong.


A quick google search shows articles in science mags written in the last few weeks about developmental fusion milestones being achieved.



As I understand it (which admittedly, is not at all deeply) fusion has been achieved,

The problem is getting more energy out than you put in to achieve fusion.


Yes indeed but these articles seem to say progress in that area is happening. It does begthe question of why spend 23bn on Hinckley rather than on fusion development, but there are no doubt long term v short term issues.

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Deebank
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Re: Nuclear power

Postby Deebank » 04 Jan 2022, 11:51

Positive Passion wrote:
Deebank wrote:
Positive Passion wrote:
A quick google search shows articles in science mags written in the last few weeks about developmental fusion milestones being achieved.



As I understand it (which admittedly, is not at all deeply) fusion has been achieved,

The problem is getting more energy out than you put in to achieve fusion.


Yes indeed but these articles seem to say progress in that area is happening. It does begthe question of why spend 23bn on Hinckley rather than on fusion development, but there are no doubt long term v short term issues.


Governments are probably resistant to putting that level of funding into something that might not prove effective. For all the many drawbacks, we know Hinkley will generate electricity.

But there are other options...

A power plant like Hinkley places the source a long way from the pconsumer and 50% of generated power is lost to resistance in the grid, so the closer the user is to the source the better. - the more efficient the system is.

I live in a development that has a biomass generator adjacent to the houses and light industry. A byproduct is hot water and central heating for the town. I assumed that we get our power directly from the plant - but an engineer informed me that the plant feeds into the grid and our electricity comes from the grid, which rather undermines my own argument.

If we could have small scale power generation dispersed - maybe even in every home - then you have already increased the power available by something approaching 50%.
I've been talking about writing a book - 25 years of TEFL - for a few years now. I've got it in me.

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Re: Nuclear power

Postby Positive Passion » 04 Jan 2022, 12:02

Deebank wrote:
Positive Passion wrote:
Deebank wrote:

As I understand it (which admittedly, is not at all deeply) fusion has been achieved,

The problem is getting more energy out than you put in to achieve fusion.


Yes indeed but these articles seem to say progress in that area is happening. It does begthe question of why spend 23bn on Hinckley rather than on fusion development, but there are no doubt long term v short term issues.


Governments are probably resistant to putting that level of funding into something that might not prove effective. For all the many drawbacks, we know Hinkley will generate electricity.

But there are other options...

A power plant like Hinkley places the source a long way from the pconsumer and 50% of generated power is lost to resistance in the grid, so the closer the user is to the source the better. - the more efficient the system is.

I live in a development that has a biomass generator adjacent to the houses and light industry. A byproduct is hot water and central heating for the town. I assumed that we get our power directly from the plant - but an engineer informed me that the plant feeds into the grid and our electricity comes from the grid, which rather undermines my own argument.

If we could have small scale power generation dispersed - maybe even in every home - then you have already increased the power available by something approaching 50%.


I recall in Isaac Asimov’s “Foundation” someone in an office flicks their cigarette ash into an ashtray which is a mini-nuclear reactor, so the ash just disappears.

What do you mean - “science fiction”?

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Re: Nuclear power

Postby Rorschach » 04 Jan 2022, 13:55

Deebank wrote:
As I understand it (which admittedly, is not at all deeply) fusion has been achieved,

The problem is getting more energy out than you put in to achieve fusion.


Quite.
When that problem is solved we basically have free energy and the world changes entirely. If anyone with the money really thought it could be done, they'd pour every cent they had into it. The person who owns a way of getting more energy out of a fusion reactor than they put in AND can scale it up to a usable level, would be so rich they'd make Elon Musk look like a pauper of Dickensian levels.
My attitude is not very scientific but I can't help feeling that free energy isn't going to happen any time soon. It's just too good to be true.
Bugger off.

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Rorschach
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Re: Nuclear power

Postby Rorschach » 04 Jan 2022, 14:05

Deebank wrote: ... nuclear fission clearly wasn't and isn't the solution ...


As I've already said, I don't think it's the solution either. Fusion would be lovely but I suspect the future is in renewables (and effective storage that is higher capacity and more efficient than current battery technology).
Localised power generation sounds like a fine idea (e.g. solar panels on roofs) and there are lots of other things we can and should do, but the problem is that, with current technology, they won't be enough to supply our energy needs in the next few decades.

The choice is between nuclear and coal. That is the only real issue.

The data seems to suggest that coal does far more harm than nuclear.

But it doesn't really matter which is better. Nuclear has been so thoroughly demonised that even largely educated people are dead against it no matter what. I'm sure we're stuck with coal, lung disease and climate change no matter what.
Bugger off.

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der Freiherr
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Re: Nuclear power

Postby der Freiherr » 04 Jan 2022, 14:45

[quote="Rorschach"]Are you for or against?/quote]

I don't know. I'm open to the arguments. I just don't know enough to have a real opinion.

I think Q (the infrequent poster who posts the compilations) is pretty passionate about it.
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Rorschach
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Re: Nuclear power

Postby Rorschach » 04 Jan 2022, 15:45

der Freiherr wrote:
Rorschach wrote:Are you for or against?


I don't know. I'm open to the arguments. I just don't know enough to have a real opinion.

I think Q (the infrequent poster who posts the compilations) is pretty passionate about it.


Which way does he swing?
Bugger off.

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Hightea
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Re: Nuclear power

Postby Hightea » 04 Jan 2022, 15:59

Rorschach wrote:
Hightea wrote:
Rorschach wrote:
Why not?

Nuclear power already saves lives.

see mudshark's reply


See my reply to Mudshark.

So again: Why not?

Because when a serious accident happens (agree there aren't many) the land is useless almost forever.
Sure a few around the world isn't a big deal but not an end all. However, if we had more reactors around the world there would be more accidents and more useless land. If we could build all nuclear reactors in the middle of nowhere or in the dessert, Antarctica and above the artic circle, that would be one thing. The risk is just too much as they have them in population centers. Like I said if they ever figure out Fusion I'm all in.

For the record maybe its all my fault - I dropped Physics as a major in college. If I had graduated I was going to work for my friends father in Princeton who, at the time, was one of the leading guys on Nuclear Fusion. :lol:

On a side note this is from a few years ago, the NYT did a state by state study of types of energy used,

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/201 ... state.html

love to see an update.

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Rorschach
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Re: Nuclear power

Postby Rorschach » 04 Jan 2022, 17:33

Hightea wrote:Because when a serious accident happens (agree there aren't many) the land is useless almost forever.



Well, the BBC (and many others) doesn't entirely agree.
Maybe not habitable in the near future but not useless.
Bugger off.

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mudshark
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Re: Nuclear power

Postby mudshark » 04 Jan 2022, 18:29

"Many others": very ex-presidential Tym ;-).
After the big Texas freeze we decided to fork out US$20K and purchase solar panels. The house is now completely 'energy neutral'. In fact, I'm producing more than what I'm using and the power company is paying me for that overage. If they'd start putting panels on all the new buildings (and 23 billion would cover a helluva lot of those) it's not going to solve all the problems but it would greatly reduce the rate of pollution from gas and coal-fueled power plants which would simply have to produce a lot less energy. Maybe I'm naive but I think that's a much better way forward than nuclear energy. I admit I don't know enough about it and I can't read those Economist articles without falling asleep. Going Atomic just scares me.

Rorschach mentioned that the closing of the nuclear facilities in Germany is a disaster. I disagree. It's a start and it will not be easy to overcome all problems, but they'll get there. Always have, always will. In Eastern Germany they have been using that very dirty brown coal for decades. The nuclear energy that was available hasn't changed that.
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Re: Nuclear power

Postby Samoan » 04 Jan 2022, 18:59

Time was a Leg of Lamb was an economically priced and delicious Sunday roast

Then you couldn't get it for less than top New Zealand dollar.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-north-west-wales-15783517
Nonsense to the aggressiveness, I've seen more aggression on the my little pony message board......I mean I was told.

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Hightea
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Re: Nuclear power

Postby Hightea » 04 Jan 2022, 19:20

Rorschach wrote:
Hightea wrote:Because when a serious accident happens (agree there aren't many) the land is useless almost forever.



Well, the BBC (and many others) doesn't entirely agree.
Maybe not habitable in the near future but not useless.

Read the same report before, actually pretty well read on the subject.
While plant life and some animal life has returned its still isn't safe for humans.
Let alone the damage it did around the world.
By the way neither of these incidents are the worse that can happen.
Much worse damage can be done from a Nuclear Reactor accident let alone in todays world some terrorist can destroy one.
Nuclear is safer than the 80's but not worth it in my eyes.

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Rorschach
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Re: Nuclear power

Postby Rorschach » 04 Jan 2022, 21:18

mudshark wrote:"Many others": very ex-presidential Tym ;-).


:evil:
I said that because the same article is all over the place. I just took a string of text from it, Googled it, and it appeared 201 times. And there are other articles on the same subject.

mudshark wrote:After the big Texas freeze we decided to fork out US$20K and purchase solar panels. The house is now completely 'energy neutral'. In fact, I'm producing more than what I'm using and the power company is paying me for that overage. If they'd start putting panels on all the new buildings (and 23 billion would cover a helluva lot of those) it's not going to solve all the problems but it would greatly reduce the rate of pollution from gas and coal-fueled power plants which would simply have to produce a lot less energy. Maybe I'm naive but I think that's a much better way forward than nuclear energy. I admit I don't know enough about it and I can't read those Economist articles without falling asleep. Going Atomic just scares me.


You're not being naive, you're just not listening!!
I've said several times that solar etc. are the future but also pointed out that, with current technology, they can't replace coal. We need to use as many renewable energy sources as possible right now and to improve them as fast as we can, but in the meantime, we also need either coal or nuclear. It's a binary choice. We either use fossil fuels that will soon run out and, in the meantime, cause climate change, lower quality of life and lower life expectancy or nuclear with the risk of catastrophic accidents and the problem of storing spent fuel. The data suggests that the latter is not as bad as the former, but it is, of course, arguable.

mudshark wrote:Rorschach mentioned that the closing of the nuclear facilities in Germany is a disaster. I disagree. It's a start and it will not be easy to overcome all problems, but they'll get there. Always have, always will. In Eastern Germany they have been using that very dirty brown coal for decades. The nuclear energy that was available hasn't changed that.


A start in what? Instead of nuclear they're burning more coal. They never had a nuclear accident but now they're reducing length and quality of life and increasing greenhouse gas emissions. Now, if they'd banned this brown coal you mentioned, that would have been a start.
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Rorschach
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Re: Nuclear power

Postby Rorschach » 04 Jan 2022, 21:20

Hightea wrote:
Rorschach wrote:
Hightea wrote:Because when a serious accident happens (agree there aren't many) the land is useless almost forever.



Well, the BBC (and many others) doesn't entirely agree.
Maybe not habitable in the near future but not useless.

Read the same report before, actually pretty well read on the subject.
While plant life and some animal life has returned its still isn't safe for humans.


If you look at the text in red I think you'll find they say almost exactly the same thing.
Bugger off.

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Hightea
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Re: Nuclear power

Postby Hightea » 04 Jan 2022, 22:39


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Rorschach
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Re: Nuclear power

Postby Rorschach » 05 Jan 2022, 07:13

Hightea wrote:Good timing Rorschach
check what CHina is doing:

https://www.yahoo.com/entertainment/china-switched-nuclear-fusion-device-204100017.html


I wish them all the luck in the world, I really do, but I remain sceptical.
People have been trying to produce energy through fusion in an economically and technologically viable way since the 1940's but no-one's come very close to cracking it yet. Every few years there's an incremental improvement in one aspect or another of the required technology and some people are putting serious money into it. Maybe they'll get there eventually, but I think it'll take a long time still.

Notice that the Chinese reactor story is under 'entertainment' news, rather than science. It's not a bigger deal than other stuff that's going on around the world like the National Ignition Facility in California, which claims, with some credibility apparently, to have produced energy from fusion last year. Now they have to repeat that on an ever increasing scale but that's looking difficult.

Anyway, I hope they do succeed. That would give the world another chance. But in the meantime ...
Bugger off.

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Re: Nuclear power

Postby Deebank » 05 Jan 2022, 10:33

Rorschach wrote:You're not being naive, you're just not listening!!
I've said several times that solar etc. are the future but also pointed out that, with current technology, they can't replace coal. We need to use as many renewable energy sources as possible right now and to improve them as fast as we can, but in the meantime, we also need either coal or nuclear.


I really regret not getting solar panels when we bought our (new build) house*, it would have made the house as good environmentally as you could buy 'off the shelf' ten years ago.

23 billion plus could have made a big difference to how widely deployed renewables are.




*Actually we bought the house too late in the build to specify them.
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Re: Nuclear power

Postby Deebank » 05 Jan 2022, 10:40

Hightea wrote:
Rorschach wrote:
Hightea wrote:Because when a serious accident happens (agree there aren't many) the land is useless almost forever.



Well, the BBC (and many others) doesn't entirely agree.
Maybe not habitable in the near future but not useless.

Read the same report before, actually pretty well read on the subject.
While plant life and some animal life has returned its still isn't safe for humans.
Let alone the damage it did around the world.
By the way neither of these incidents are the worse that can happen.
Much worse damage can be done from a Nuclear Reactor accident let alone in todays world some terrorist can destroy one.
Nuclear is safer than the 80's but not worth it in my eyes.


Who knows how many cancers and deaths Chernobyl caused in total?
As Samoan's article hinted, the effects were still being felt in North Wales well into the (then) new millennium.

While I believe rates for leukaemia and other cancers were monitored in the Ukraine and its surrounding countries (although IIRC from the blurb at the end of the TV drama Chernobyl widely covered up and suppressed), I'm not sure how tightly they were monitored and correlated further afield... How many kids did walk about in their bare feet?

Which makes me think, that original 180m lives saved figure is a hypothetical (or a model). In that scenario - where nuclear power wasn't used - perhaps the colossal investments put into nuclear were used to develop alternatives? When you postulate an alternative past, all bets are off.
I've been talking about writing a book - 25 years of TEFL - for a few years now. I've got it in me.

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