Author Topic: RFK Jr. Solar Op Ed In The Slimes - Even Hogs Would Not Wash In This Drek  (Read 9766 times)

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Offline Kremmen

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Re: RFK Jr. Solar Op Ed In The Slimes - Even Hogs Would Not Wash In This Drek
« Reply #25 on: December 28, 2012, 03:56:32 pm »
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I have mixed feelings about nuclear, so long as we have a money based society I will not trust humans with nuclear.
2 issues - operational safety and long term storage of the waste. Ideally, both should be strictly authorized and controlled by parties not in the revenue loop. A nuclear steam generator is not all that complex in principle. As our anglo-saxon friends say - the devil is in the details.

The problem with issue #1 is that a huge proportion of the world's nuke generating capacity is rather old and not up to modern safety standards. In some cases the plants have been also run with totally idiotic operating procedures and rules such as 3 Mile Island and Chernobyl. Both of those accidents were man-made. Also a lot of the older cold war era nuke plants were designed to produce weapons grade fissionable as waste products - usually at the expense of inherent plant safety. In Japan the Fukushima disaster was due to natural causes but also there the safety design of the plant was not up the task due to the age of the installation.
Proper fail-safe reactor design combined with reliable containment and sufficient passive emergency cooling in addition to active safety systems goes a long way to ensure trouble free operation. Of course it is impossible to design away every single failure mechanism but a lot can be done, and better than it used to be done.

As for issue #2, the final storage of spent fuel is a tough nut to crack. AFAIK Finland is the only place where this has been resolved http://www.posiva.fi/en/final_disposal/. Not to everyone's satisfaction of course, there are always those who won't be happy whatever the suggestion. But i think it will do the trick.

My opinion regarding nuclear power is that when you apply modern engineering and known operational best practices in a supervised manner (by 3rd parties), then the end result can be quite reliable. I believe this to be the case at least in Finland, although not necessarily everywhere. But i don't lose sleep over our powerplants.

Simpler than hydrogen you just put a HVDC link in addition to the one across the straits, and possibly a few across the Med to get the power to the consumers. Losses will be in the order of 10% total, much better than transporting a difficult to handle fuel. You can use excess to make hydrogen and then reform CO2 out of the air to make methane or methanol in a chemical Fischer Troph plant to make synfuel. Probably only 50% efficiency, but a good use of excess demand, you simple size the syngas storage to keep the plant running for a 2 day period to handle demand swings.
Sure, whatever makes the most sense. Hydrogen is just a no-brainer but if there are better options then by all means. The core idea was just to put the otherwise useless solar energy there to some use.
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Offline Simon

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Re: RFK Jr. Solar Op Ed In The Slimes - Even Hogs Would Not Wash In This Drek
« Reply #26 on: December 28, 2012, 04:16:03 pm »

2 issues - operational safety and long term storage of the waste. Ideally, both should be strictly authorized and controlled by parties not in the revenue loop. A nuclear steam generator is not all that complex in principle. As our anglo-saxon friends say - the devil is in the details.

That is your problem. As we are dealing with something so potentially dangerous do you really think we can trust any government that is being lobied by private interests. Just look at the UK, the government have and continue to sell off all controlled assetts and services. Nuclear in the UK is and would be run privately, by people wanting to make a profit and who are lobying (corrupting) the government.

Just look at the massive fuck up in the Uk over the way the banks got away with it, I have no doubt large scale control of nuclear would go the same way. As we all sit here with our technical minds we need to remember that we are governed by a bunch of assholes that have to technical grounding, want to be popular AND rich. I have no faith in human nature, and proof of dishonesty in the field of energy is the lack of clarity in comparisons between current and prospective means of energy generation. I am well aware of the overwhelming problem and that it won't be solved by panels on a few houses or turbines in fields, the true all round answer is to look at our consumption first, but then I forgot that is tabu to tell people what to do and not to be wasteful, while that will save energy, leave the energy companies and the government out of pocket (taxes).

This argument will always revolve around money and politics, shoot the politicians and replace them with engineers and we'd be coming up with solutions in under a year !
 

Offline Kremmen

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Re: RFK Jr. Solar Op Ed In The Slimes - Even Hogs Would Not Wash In This Drek
« Reply #27 on: December 28, 2012, 09:29:10 pm »

That is your problem. As we are dealing with something so potentially dangerous do you really think we can trust any government that is being lobied by private interests. Just look at the UK, the government have and continue to sell off all controlled assetts and services. Nuclear in the UK is and would be run privately, by people wanting to make a profit and who are lobying (corrupting) the government.
Again, in the general case i tend to agree. I don't want to make this about me and my country, but there are reasons why i am not too worried about Finnish nuclear power. I guess politics is fundamentally the same everywhere but despite the differences in party agendas, i have to say that basically i trust our politicians. That does not mean at all that i agree with them on every issue, but there are 2 things that build confidence: transparency and lack of corruption. I'm sure you can't know it, but Finland has repeatedly been ranked as one of the least corrupted, indeed often _the_ least corrupted country in the world. That does not mean there is none, but it also means that large scale capers are an automatic political suicide. Mr Berlusconi's political career in Finland would be about 10 seconds in duration. Recently it became the done thing for each MP and minister to publicize their private financial status, i.e. personal debts and holdings in various commercial enterprises and similar things. Even trivial (elsewhere) items like taxi costs for MPs and things on that level can cause headlines here. And i promise you that not a single national level investment but causes endless discourse between the politicos and media. Of course that is the same everywhere but there doesn't seem to be a culture of hiding the decision making process behind smoke & mirrors. I don't know if such a thing as a national character exists really, but at least you can say that we lot are a pretty homogeneous bunch (some would use the word inbred...  :o) and still as a rule consider that a man's word is his bond, even for politicians to some degree. Seems to result in less diverging/hidden agendas overall, i don't know.
So what i probably try to say is that while there is certainly lobbying it is at least mostly quite visible and tractable.
Quote

Just look at the massive fuck up in the Uk over the way the banks got away with it, I have no doubt large scale control of nuclear would go the same way. As we all sit here with our technical minds we need to remember that we are governed by a bunch of assholes that have to technical grounding, want to be popular AND rich. I have no faith in human nature, and proof of dishonesty in the field of energy is the lack of clarity in comparisons between current and prospective means of energy generation. I am well aware of the overwhelming problem and that it won't be solved by panels on a few houses or turbines in fields, the true all round answer is to look at our consumption first, but then I forgot that is tabu to tell people what to do and not to be wasteful, while that will save energy, leave the energy companies and the government out of pocket (taxes).

This argument will always revolve around money and politics, shoot the politicians and replace them with engineers and we'd be coming up with solutions in under a year !

We have had our issues with bank subsidies as well, but nothing earth shaking. A number of banks have folded and those that remain have probably learned a few lessons even though they escaped the full consequences of their actions..

Here the power companies are private enterprises as well. They of course lobby their case like everyone else. But bribery - i really don't think so. In Finland there is a government agency (Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority http://www.stuk.fi/en_GB/) that issues permissions to construct and operate a nuclear generating station. That agency is in turn under higher political oversight by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health and operates closely with the Ministry of Trade and Industry. Referring to what i wrote above, I have a hard time picturing those boys to be bribed by a power company. Theoretically possible of course, but as the government operations and decisions are completely transparent, the process can be challenged at any time. Go see the Rad Authority web page that i linked, to see what i mean. Specifically on this page is a simplified picture of the assessment and monitoring process: http://www.stuk.fi/ydinturvallisuus/ydinvoimalaitokset/ydinvoimalaitosluvat/en_GB/luvat/

Politics is the running of common affairs. Money will always be of primary interest to everyone so is naturally in the epicentre of politics in multiple ways. But to replace politicians with another group of people is really not recommended. I repeat myself, but who else should run our common affairs if not the politicians whose specific job it is? Engineers - no way. The majority of us are nerds and anoraks who can't give a shit about common issues, are totally incompetent and as useful as pope's balls. Who else then - the military? Hmm, its been tried and is being tried in many places with sad results. The only place where it seems to - kinda - work is Thailand where they every now and then throw the corrupt prime minister out the window and a colonel or two look after things for a while. The people don't seem to be any worse off and eventually the next PM pops up. Not my kind of democracy but seems to work for them. Mainly i guess because everyone is loyal to the king in the end...

Edit: typos
« Last Edit: December 28, 2012, 09:55:25 pm by Kremmen »
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Offline Simon

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Re: RFK Jr. Solar Op Ed In The Slimes - Even Hogs Would Not Wash In This Drek
« Reply #28 on: December 28, 2012, 10:12:07 pm »
after £2000 of each UK tax payers money was spent propping up banks they stopped telling us how much of our money had been ploughed into private enterprises that were holding the country to ransom, I guess £5-10+K per head is now in the banks and despite this our government allow the bosses to take huge pay packets and bonuses despite running at a loss and owing ME money, if it was any other company they would have been locked up and left to rot in jail.

Big bankers are of course giving "donations" to the current political party in power.

Under that megalithic cock up and monument to corruption in a so called democratic country I would never trust anyone in this country with nuclear power, after all the rich people that run these things can afford to hop on a plane and move half way around the world should it all go wrong and us scum get killed off by an accident.
 

Offline mianchen

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Re: RFK Jr. Solar Op Ed In The Slimes - Even Hogs Would Not Wash In This Drek
« Reply #29 on: December 28, 2012, 10:22:21 pm »
The cost of chinese coal is obviously low and unlike stupid countries like the UK they are not exporting their natural resources but the products of it that are worth far more.

I think we can draw the line at: it cost energy to make the power station in the same way it cost energy to build the solar panel factory, so lets make the existence of the factory the starting point. How much power does it take to make the panel and yes that includes extracting and transporting the materials. I have no interest in costs, money is a fabricated entity and it's value is extremely relative and it depends on where you are, the argument is about power in versus power out, money has nothing to do with it.

Why do you think the coal mines were closed in the UK, Chinese coal is cheaper even after the trip half way around the world.

Chinese coal costs lives and blood not money http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coal_mining#China as many as 20,000 miners die every year!
 

Offline Simon

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Re: RFK Jr. Solar Op Ed In The Slimes - Even Hogs Would Not Wash In This Drek
« Reply #30 on: December 28, 2012, 10:24:14 pm »
that is why it is nice and cheap and that is all anyone cares about !
 

Offline Kremmen

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Re: RFK Jr. Solar Op Ed In The Slimes - Even Hogs Would Not Wash In This Drek
« Reply #31 on: December 28, 2012, 10:45:37 pm »
after £2000 of each UK tax payers money was spent propping up banks they stopped telling us how much of our money had been ploughed into private enterprises that were holding the country to ransom, I guess £5-10+K per head is now in the banks and despite this our government allow the bosses to take huge pay packets and bonuses despite running at a loss and owing ME money, if it was any other company they would have been locked up and left to rot in jail.

Big bankers are of course giving "donations" to the current political party in power.

Under that megalithic cock up and monument to corruption in a so called democratic country I would never trust anyone in this country with nuclear power, after all the rich people that run these things can afford to hop on a plane and move half way around the world should it all go wrong and us scum get killed off by an accident.
I may be incredibly naive but i don't have quite so pessimistic view about affairs here.
One problem with private enterprises is that there is no political control over their rewarding systems. A company is free to pay whatever it wants to its employees. That does not usually enter the picture when subsidies are decided, except that this practice has been strongly criticized here recently ( formerly part state owned power companies :) ).
The national debt only keeps growing here as well and is a considerable amount per capita, same with these bank salvaging operations that apparently everyone has had to do. Still, the problems are at least acknowledged and solutions publicly presented (and criticized). I am not really that much into politics so my competence to discuss specific solutions to specific problems quickly runs out but i do understand this: Often/usually those who have to solve the toughest problems win no popularity contests whatever they do, because the solutions are painful to all. It is so human to live and let others die (or at least, pay).
But regarding hidden bribery in the form of "support", again there is this: http://www.vaalit.fi/15515.htm. This is about publicity of election funding and may not cover the whole issue but you get the tone.
Fortunately we don't have anybody who is really filthy rich so mostly everybody needs to stay put  ::)

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Offline Simon

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Re: RFK Jr. Solar Op Ed In The Slimes - Even Hogs Would Not Wash In This Drek
« Reply #32 on: December 28, 2012, 11:00:23 pm »
if the banks were not holding the country / world to ransom they would have failed and those people would have no income, but we the public are paying to keep them afloat. No man who has crashed his company and had the good fortune to be rescued by people much poorer than him should take any bonus. If a counties laws can permit that it is not fit to handle nuclear power.
 

Offline Kremmen

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Re: RFK Jr. Solar Op Ed In The Slimes - Even Hogs Would Not Wash In This Drek
« Reply #33 on: December 28, 2012, 11:49:15 pm »
if the banks were not holding the country / world to ransom they would have failed and those people would have no income, but we the public are paying to keep them afloat. No man who has crashed his company and had the good fortune to be rescued by people much poorer than him should take any bonus. If a counties laws can permit that it is not fit to handle nuclear power.
An admirable attitude but i am afraid you are committing what is called a logical fallacy (non sequitur to be precise). From unacceptable rewarding principles in the banking world, it does not follow that a country (government) is unfit to supervise use of nuclear power. It/they may be unfit but it won't be because of too big payments for banking bosses.
It is always very easy to find things that are wrong in the world. However, at the same time it is worth bearing in mind that all problems do not have easy solutions, nor are all problems connected. Some are and others not.
Nothing sings like a kilovolt.
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Offline Simon

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Re: RFK Jr. Solar Op Ed In The Slimes - Even Hogs Would Not Wash In This Drek
« Reply #34 on: December 29, 2012, 02:41:00 pm »
I don't trust our politicians given their current record. Big businessmen will not give a toss about safety and will lobby the government who will let them have their way, I can just see it happening. In a country where the head of the ruling party tells someone that for £250K they can have a chat with the primeminister and wister in his ear and get things done to help their company I will not tollerate nuclear. We need to clean up the legislative body before they legislate and lay plans for such a potentially deadly energy system.
 

Offline SeanB

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Re: RFK Jr. Solar Op Ed In The Slimes - Even Hogs Would Not Wash In This Drek
« Reply #35 on: December 29, 2012, 03:20:56 pm »
That is expensive Simon, here it costs 25k...........
 

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Re: RFK Jr. Solar Op Ed In The Slimes - Even Hogs Would Not Wash In This Drek
« Reply #36 on: December 29, 2012, 04:58:49 pm »
yes it is so expensive that after it was revealed that the ruling political party are completly corrupt they still got to stay in power as though nothing was and it was forgotten in a week. and you want me to trust them with nuclear ? NO WAY  !
 

Offline ftransform

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Re: RFK Jr. Solar Op Ed In The Slimes - Even Hogs Would Not Wash In This Drek
« Reply #37 on: December 29, 2012, 05:15:30 pm »
yes it is so expensive that after it was revealed that the ruling political party are completly corrupt they still got to stay in power as though nothing was and it was forgotten in a week. and you want me to trust them with nuclear ? NO WAY  !

oh baby I trust your control rod...
 

Offline Simon

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Re: RFK Jr. Solar Op Ed In The Slimes - Even Hogs Would Not Wash In This Drek
« Reply #38 on: December 29, 2012, 06:16:43 pm »

oh baby I trust your control rod...

Not now darling ;)
 


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