Author Topic: My country is going to commit economic suicide ...  (Read 29326 times)

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Offline cdev

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Re: My country is going to commit economic suicide ...
« Reply #175 on: December 16, 2018, 03:44:53 pm »
You put your finger on a key need, better batteries or other means to store energy over time without losing it.

The true cost of nuclear could easily become astronomical if you factor in accidents.

The true cost of non-nuclear could easily become astronomical if you factor in global warming.

Provide a way to store large quantities of energy near where it is needed, and a principal advantage of nuclear disappears. Until then...

There are huge variations in personal energy use. We could all likely save more.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2018, 03:46:24 pm by cdev »
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Offline nctnico

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Re: My country is going to commit economic suicide ...
« Reply #176 on: December 16, 2018, 04:11:05 pm »
The true cost of nuclear could easily become astronomical if you factor in accidents.

This is not only because of the solar-storm/loss of the ultimate heat sink risk, its also because of the huge and still unsolved closely related problems of nuclear waste creation, need for cooling of that waste on site at spent fuel ponds, and the still not very well understood problems caused by meltdowns and releases into the environment of nuclear waste.

For example, its not well known but the rate of nuclear decay they were expecting to see at Chernobyl is not occurring. Also the accident caused substantial amounts of contamination all across northern Europe, especially at high altitudes where rain dumped the radiation. In addition to the Ukraine, Belarus and Russia, a great many other European countries still have issues that impact agriculture from the radiation released by the nuclear accident.
But this is all about old nuclear technology. The power plants they build today are for power generation only and are also way more safe. It is like saying a car is unsafe because you can bang your head against the stearing wheel while every modern car you can buy today has an airbag in the steering wheel.
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Offline cdev

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Re: My country is going to commit economic suicide ...
« Reply #177 on: December 17, 2018, 12:05:14 am »
If there had been any actual breakthroughs, you can bet we would have heard lots about them. We haven't.

 And meanwhile we've got a serious problem with these old nuclear plants which are getting brittle with time, and spent fuel pools which need to be kept filled with a constant supply of fresh water.

Governments cover up the threat they all pose, which is real. Its a classic 'groupthink' situation, like the Challenger disaster.  People who might have important input or ideas are scared to speak up because of the situation that Irving Janis described in his research on groupthink. Richard Feynman wrote a book on it.

This situation with nuclear fission is dangerous for a great many reasons. There is a serious risk that a solar storm could cause  DC currents which could cause transformers across the entire planet to fail. This would knock out the global power grid for a substantial time if they were not taken offline in time. We're working on developing an early warning capacity by stationing two space probes at the Lagrangian points, significantly closer to the Sun, since the speed of light is significantly faster than the charged particles the Sun emits we could have a bit of warning if this system is functioning. Not much, maybe 15 minutes. If all the power utilities on the planet could be warned and have systems in place to remove the transformers from the grid the destruction of all these transformers could be prevented. There are thousands of them.

The problems with nuclear power plants are many. One big problem is fatigue of metal due to radiation. metal bolts in nuclear power plants in particular seem to have a tendency to fail.

Another is the 'loss of the ultimate heat sink problem'. Loss of cooling capacity.

Its a super complicated set of problems but they are mostly amenable to engineering solutions BUT they need to be undertaken.

We shouldn't build any more fission plants. I don't think that the designs Ive seen offer any radical improvements. They are not immune to these problems as far as I know. 

I'm not an expert but experts that I do trust have told me this.
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Offline nctnico

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Re: My country is going to commit economic suicide ...
« Reply #178 on: December 17, 2018, 12:45:08 am »
If there had been any actual breakthroughs, you can bet we would have heard lots about them. We haven't.
No breakthroughs required. The designs for intrinsically safe (=no runaway/melt down risk) nucluar fission plants are there. Many of the nuclear power plants are of the PWR type which (without any active component) slows the reaction down when the cooling water overheats. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pressurized_water_reactor
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Offline apis

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Re: My country is going to commit economic suicide ...
« Reply #179 on: December 17, 2018, 01:07:10 am »
Something not everyone realise is that reactor designs can vary greatly and you can't really compare them safety-wise. If someone suggested to build a graphite moderated reactor like Chernobyl today I would be the first to protest, but you can't compare that to other reactor designs like the molten salt thorium reactors or pebble-bed reactors.

And despite e.g. Russia still having that kind of reactors in use, if you calculate the number of deaths because of nuclear, hydro-electric and coal per watt-hour produced, it becomes painfully clear that nuclear is, by a fair margin, the safest power type we have. (You can use worst case figures for nuclear and still get the same results). If you factor in environmental effects like acidification and mercury poisoning from coal it becomes even more clear how much cleaner and safer nuclear is. Nuclear is more expensive than coal because coal doesn't have to pay for its negative side-effects (externalities) like nuclear do. The high cost of new reactors today is because the anti-nuclear lobbyists tactics is not to demand the reactors be shut down (primarily), but rather to lobby for stricter and stricter safety requirements, insurance-requirements and other tax based tricks to make them uneconomical.

Dealing with the waste is not a big (technical) problem either. It is very dangerous initially, for sure, but there is so little of it produced compared to how much power is generated that it is manageable and easy to contain. It is not like with coal which dump shit into the atmosphere continuously. Nuclear waste is solid burnt-out fuel you put into containers and store in a safe fashion, nothing gets into the environment. The "millions of years problem" is very misleading, it's true it will be radioactive for a long time, but radioactivity decline exponentially. In reality the hottest, most dangerous, components cool down very quickly; and after a relatively short time you are left with only the weakly radioactive stuff (with a very long half-life). So the waste will be slightly more radioactive than background radiation for a very long time, but not nearly as dangerous as claimed, and in fact, after a few hundred years comparable to radioactive ore that already exists in the ground in many places. Someone put it like this: even if 10% leaks out after 100 years you are no worse off than what you started with. So to simply deposit it deep underground really is a safe solution. (Even safer would be to deposit it into a subduction-zone in the ocean and let plate tectonics move the material back into the mantle, but that will never be politically possible of course. But just depositing it deep underground is still safe enough.)

Unfortunately we can't build enough new nuclear reactors to replace coal quickly enough to combat climate change even if there was political will to do so. I believe I heard that you can at most increase the capacity by 6% the next 30 years or so. Nuclear could be a small part of a solution though.

I don't think that the designs Ive seen offer any radical improvements. They are not immune to these problems as far as I know.
What about thorium molten salt reactors?
« Last Edit: December 17, 2018, 01:33:08 am by apis »
 

Offline Mr. Scram

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Re: My country is going to commit economic suicide ...
« Reply #180 on: December 17, 2018, 01:25:56 am »
If there had been any actual breakthroughs, you can bet we would have heard lots about them. We haven't.

 And meanwhile we've got a serious problem with these old nuclear plants which are getting brittle with time, and spent fuel pools which need to be kept filled with a constant supply of fresh water.

Governments cover up the threat they all pose, which is real. Its a classic 'groupthink' situation, like the Challenger disaster.  People who might have important input or ideas are scared to speak up because of the situation that Irving Janis described in his research on groupthink. Richard Feynman wrote a book on it.

This situation with nuclear fission is dangerous for a great many reasons. There is a serious risk that a solar storm could cause  DC currents which could cause transformers across the entire planet to fail. This would knock out the global power grid for a substantial time if they were not taken offline in time. We're working on developing an early warning capacity by stationing two space probes at the Lagrangian points, significantly closer to the Sun, since the speed of light is significantly faster than the charged particles the Sun emits we could have a bit of warning if this system is functioning. Not much, maybe 15 minutes. If all the power utilities on the planet could be warned and have systems in place to remove the transformers from the grid the destruction of all these transformers could be prevented. There are thousands of them.

The problems with nuclear power plants are many. One big problem is fatigue of metal due to radiation. metal bolts in nuclear power plants in particular seem to have a tendency to fail.

Another is the 'loss of the ultimate heat sink problem'. Loss of cooling capacity.

Its a super complicated set of problems but they are mostly amenable to engineering solutions BUT they need to be undertaken.

We shouldn't build any more fission plants. I don't think that the designs Ive seen offer any radical improvements. They are not immune to these problems as far as I know. 

I'm not an expert but experts that I do trust have told me this.
As far as I understand the the problems with the traditional nuclear power plants is that they were essentially an offshoot of weapons development, or even intended to produce the materials for that. That's a lot like how the first generations of rockets were essentially ballistic missiles with a booster seat. Many of the nuclear plants we currently have are still built on this legacy. When they're designed from the ground up to be safe and as inert as possible, they should be much safer.

Ideally the technology producing our power would be entirely safe and clean, but the two current main methods both carry distinct risks. Emitting tons of junk into the atmosphere is a high stakes game unlike anything we've tried before too.
« Last Edit: December 17, 2018, 01:28:48 am by Mr. Scram »
 

Offline apis

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Re: My country is going to commit economic suicide ...
« Reply #181 on: December 17, 2018, 01:42:59 am »
Ideally the technology producing our power would be entirely safe and clean, but the two current main methods both carry distinct risks. Emitting tons of junk into the atmosphere is a high stakes game unlike anything we've tried before too.
A Swedish study concluded that about 3000 die prematurely each year in Sweden (population of about 10 million) because of air pollution, mainly from coal power. In ten years that is as many as the worst caste estimate from Chernobyl, globally, over all time. And that is only in Sweden. Hopefully that puts things into perspective. Add to that the problem with greenhouse gases, acidification and mercury poisoning of the oceans, etc.
 

Offline Mr. Scram

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Re: My country is going to commit economic suicide ...
« Reply #182 on: December 17, 2018, 02:05:16 am »
A Swedish study concluded that about 3000 die prematurely each year in Sweden (population of about 10 million) because of air pollution, mainly from coal power. In ten years that is as many as the worst caste estimate from Chernobyl, globally, over all time. And that is only in Sweden. Hopefully that puts things into perspective. Add to that the problem with greenhouse gases, acidification and mercury poisoning of the oceans, etc.
One of the issues with nuclear power is that the damage can be a lot less incremental. Emissions are slowly choking civilisation to death, whereas nuclear power can deliver a solid punch in the gut at once. It does come with the possibility of a more slow and insidious process of waste leaking out into the environment. We've dumped waste in oceans and other ill-contained situations before and will pay the price for it eventually as the container contents will spread, but even well-kept dumping grounds can't be expected to be maintained for millennia to come.

Neither are very attractive options in the long run. I don't know what the answer is, as renewable energy doesn't seem to be up to the task of replacing those two yet.
 

Offline cdev

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Re: My country is going to commit economic suicide ...
« Reply #183 on: December 17, 2018, 02:09:39 am »
Do you know why Germany decided to stop using nuclear power?
After Chernobyl.


And how then Vattenfall, a Swedish company,  sued them under the rigged ISDS system.

Note that #ISDS lets nations taxpayers be sued for ANY CHANGE, no matter how justified.
« Last Edit: December 17, 2018, 03:55:31 am by cdev »
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Offline Mr. Scram

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Re: My country is going to commit economic suicide ...
« Reply #184 on: December 17, 2018, 02:47:39 am »
Do you know why Germany decided to stop using nuclear power?
After Chernobyl.

You do don't you?

And how then Vattenfall, a Swedish company, sued them under the rigged ISDS system.

Note that #ISDS let them be sued for ANY CHANGE, no matter how justified.
Who are you talking to?

Please refrain from injecting the usual theories and speculation into this discussion. There are plenty of your other threads where you can do that without much harm.
 

Offline apis

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Re: My country is going to commit economic suicide ...
« Reply #185 on: December 17, 2018, 03:39:32 am »
A Swedish study concluded that about 3000 die prematurely each year in Sweden (population of about 10 million) because of air pollution, mainly from coal power. In ten years that is as many as the worst case estimate from Chernobyl, globally, over all time. And that is only in Sweden. Hopefully that puts things into perspective. Add to that the problem with greenhouse gases, acidification and mercury poisoning of the oceans, etc.
One of the issues with nuclear power is that the damage can be a lot less incremental. Emissions are slowly choking civilisation to death, whereas nuclear power can deliver a solid punch in the gut at once. It does come with the possibility of a more slow and insidious process of waste leaking out into the environment. We've dumped waste in oceans and other ill-contained situations before and will pay the price for it eventually as the container contents will spread, but even well-kept dumping grounds can't be expected to be maintained for millennia to come.

Neither are very attractive options in the long run. I don't know what the answer is, as renewable energy doesn't seem to be up to the task of replacing those two yet.
Neither is perfect, but if you compare the negative effects per unit of energy produced it is clear that coal is far far worse. Nuclear is even safer, and arguably cleaner, than hydro-electric. Hydro delivers a far heavier punch when it fails, but water is less scary than radiation.

Nuclear waste is a mostly a solved problem: you store it a few km under ground at a carefully chosen location. It's highly radioactive at first, but radioactivity decays exponentially. Therefore the radioactivity never reaches zero (thus "it's dangerous for eternity") but after a relatively short time period most of the radioactivity disappears. Even if 10% of the waste leaks out already after 100 years it would roughly correspond to the radioactivity of the original uranium ore that went into the reactor. I.e. the ore that existed naturally in the ground in the first place. Of course, the containers are designed to last for millennia so they should not leak at all. The waste is dangerous for a very long time, but it is not nearly as bad as people make it seem, and it's very small amounts compared to the amount of energy produced.
« Last Edit: December 17, 2018, 03:41:10 am by apis »
 

Offline apis

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Re: My country is going to commit economic suicide ...
« Reply #186 on: December 17, 2018, 03:54:30 am »
Do you know why Germany decided to stop using nuclear power?
After Chernobyl.

You do don't you?

And how then Vattenfall, a Swedish company, sued them under the rigged ISDS system.

Note that #ISDS let them be sued for ANY CHANGE, no matter how justified.
I assume it was directed at me since it refers to Sweden.

I believe they they made the unfortunate decision to shut down their reactors prematurely and replace them with coal and Russian natural gas based on an emotional reaction to the Japanese tsunami and the Fukushima meltdown it caused. I'm not sure what the point is though?

I'm not sure what Vatenfall is up to, they are government owned so I'm sure it's all very political. I'm not a fan of ISDS type deals either?
 

Offline cdev

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Re: My country is going to commit economic suicide ...
« Reply #187 on: December 17, 2018, 04:17:06 am »
Nuclear waste is a mostly a solved problem: you store it a few km under ground at a carefully chosen location. It's highly radioactive at first, but radioactivity decays exponentially. Therefore the radioactivity never reaches zero (thus "it's dangerous for eternity") but after a relatively short time period most of the radioactivity disappears. Even if 10% of the waste leaks out already after 100 years it would roughly correspond to the radioactivity of the original uranium ore that went into the reactor. I.e. the ore that existed naturally in the ground in the first place. Of course, the containers are designed to last for millennia so they should not leak at all. The waste is dangerous for a very long time, but it is not nearly as bad as people make it seem, and it's very small amounts compared to the amount of energy produced.

They need better ways to store our existing waste and better cleaner kinds of nuclear energy before they build any more plants.

We should be focusing on things like better batteries and other storage methods to store the substantial amounts of solar energy that go to waste due to it being generated during the daytime and summer - Once we simply solve that one problem a lot of other issues become much more manageable.

http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-new-mexico-nuclear-dump-20160819-snap-story.html

Quote
https://arstechnica.com/science/2016/08/nuclear-waste-accident-2-years-ago-may-cost-more-than-2-billion-to-clean-up/

"The 2014 explosion apparently occurred when engineers at the Los Alamos National Laboratory were preparing a drum of plutonium and americium waste—usually packed with kitty litter (yes, kitty litter)—and decided to "substitute an organic material for a mineral one."

"The new material caused a complex chemical reaction that blew the lid off a drum, sending mounds of white, radioactive foam into the air and contaminating 35 percent of the underground area," the LA Times wrote. The dump's filtration system, which was supposed to "prevent any radioactive releases," subsequently failed.

No workers were in the shafts of the dump at the time. Workers on the surface were only exposed to low doses of radiation due to the HEPA filters in the ventilation system.

Still, the dump site was set to receive another 277,000 drums of radioactive waste from around the country. The congestion is now creating a costly problem.

The federal government renewed its contract with dump operator Nuclear Waste Partnership to the tune of $640 million extra for cleanup. That number could grow, especially as federal officials now say the contaminated ventilation system on the dump needs to be replaced—a project that will not be completed until 2021. Until then, the dump must remain open, but it can not accept nuclear waste at the rate it had planned. The dump costs $200 million a year to remain open, the LA Times reported. Meanwhile, feds also have to pay to house the nuclear waste being stored at sites around the US (in Washington state and Idaho, for example) that's supposed to be on its way to the WIPP.

While there may be cheaper solutions to the problem, the Department of Energy is under pressure to fix the New Mexico dump to make good on a US agreement with Russia to fulfill mutual reductions of plutonium. WIPP is currently the primary destination for weapons-grade nuclear waste. If it closes, a likely expensive and time-consuming disposal alternative would have to be proposed.

Edwin Lyman, a physicist and nuclear expert at the Union of Concerned Scientists, told the LA Times that, "The decision means operations at the dump must resume. They have no choice."

That means that WIPP cleanup, including indefinite housing costs for nuclear waste around the country that was to be shipped to WIPP, could rank among the costliest nuclear waste cleanup efforts in US history, on par with clean up after Pennsylvania’s Three Mile Island disaster in 1979. Cleanup after that incident cost the federal government about $1 billion, or $1.7 billion adjusted for inflation.

Update: A DoE spokesperson e-mailed Ars on Wednesday, writing "The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) is critical to the Department of Energy’s mission to cleanup waste Cold War nuclear weapons production. WIPP is the nation’s only repository for the disposal of nuclear waste known as transuranic (TRU) waste, which consists of contaminated items such as clothing, tools, rags, residues, debris, soil, etc. The Department is committed to the recovery, and resumption of TRU disposal operations at WIPP when it is safe to do so.”


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Offline Mr. Scram

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Re: My country is going to commit economic suicide ...
« Reply #188 on: December 17, 2018, 04:27:31 am »
Neither is perfect, but if you compare the negative effects per unit of energy produced it is clear that coal is far far worse. Nuclear is even safer, and arguably cleaner, than hydro-electric. Hydro delivers a far heavier punch when it fails, but water is less scary than radiation.

Nuclear waste is a mostly a solved problem: you store it a few km under ground at a carefully chosen location. It's highly radioactive at first, but radioactivity decays exponentially. Therefore the radioactivity never reaches zero (thus "it's dangerous for eternity") but after a relatively short time period most of the radioactivity disappears. Even if 10% of the waste leaks out already after 100 years it would roughly correspond to the radioactivity of the original uranium ore that went into the reactor. I.e. the ore that existed naturally in the ground in the first place. Of course, the containers are designed to last for millennia so they should not leak at all. The waste is dangerous for a very long time, but it is not nearly as bad as people make it seem, and it's very small amounts compared to the amount of energy produced.
I don't think the current negative per unit of energy produced are a very good metric to compare the two. Nuclear waste will be a larger problem in the future than it is now. It's not at its worst yet and there are a lot of debts to pay. We've been terrible at storing it away safely, pretty much randomly dumping it all over the place. Thinking we can somehow now build a perfectly safe storage facility that this time will not be corroded or flooded or cracked by an earthquake is just more human hubris. Though we've come close we haven't seen nuclear power at its worst either. Chernobyl could have been many times worse as the real disaster was narrowly avoided. It's estimated that blast could have wiped out half of Europe and made it a radiation zone for 500000 years. That's many times more than humans have been around, for anyone not appreciating what half a million years means.

I'm not sure what makes you think waste will be safe after a 100 years. If it's highly radioactive now, it will still be dangerously radioactive after one half-life. Even the shortest lived nuclear materials have a half-life of about that period. Most have considerably longer half-lives.

"The back-end of the nuclear fuel cycle, mostly spent fuel rods, contains fission products that emit beta and gamma radiation, and actinides that emit alpha particles, such as uranium-234 (half-life 245 thousand years), neptunium-237 (2.144 million years), plutonium-238 (87.7 years) and americium-241 (432 years), and even sometimes some neutron emitters such as californium (half-life of 898 years for Cf-251). These isotopes are formed in nuclear reactors."

I don't really understand how one could claim hydro would potentially be more dangerous. Not even the largest dam breaking could cause a disaster wiping out half of Europe. Moreover, the area affected can be rebuilt relatively easy instead of turning into a radiation zone for thousands of years. I'm not necessarily opposed to using nuclear power, but being overly naive about what it is and isn't is not the way to do it. Stuffing waste underground in places we have less than ideal access to isn't a solution. It's the same reasoning that lead us to pumping endless amounts of waste into the air and oceans. We pretend it's gone, but it's not. We should acknowledge we don't have a clue what to do with the waste and we should acknowledge that fucking it up can have serious consequences for large parts of the world.
 
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Offline apis

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Re: My country is going to commit economic suicide ...
« Reply #189 on: December 17, 2018, 05:27:15 am »
We should be focusing on things like better batteries and other storage methods to store the substantial amounts of solar energy that go to waste due to it being generated during the daytime and summer - Once we simply solve that one problem a lot of other issues become much more manageable.
Right, simple: just invent some new super battery! Not so simple I suspect. Might not even be possible. Even if it is, who knows when the breakthrough comes. Nuclear is proven existing technology. Super batteries is wishful thinking.

If the goal is to replace coal in order to prevent climate change, then there isn't enough time to be picky. We should use all available options, and even so we would have to reduce energy usage a lot. Instead people are replacing nuclear with coal sadly. A few years ago they said that the world usage of coal isn't just increasing, the rate of change is increasing. I'm glad I'm not around a hundred years from now.

The reason we are still stuck with temporary nuclear waste storage is because there is so much political resistance to anything called nuclear.

The US is special, you process a lot of radioactive material for military purposes. I'm only referring to civilian use. In fact, it's the military side of things that is the root of all the problems so far. It's why the safer reactor types has not been developed. The ones in use today have military applications. The reason for the Chernobyl disaster was because of a military experiment performed at the reactor. The light water reactors that are still common today exists because they were suitable for use by the US navy, and so on. If they had a molten salt reactor in Fukushima instead the disaster would have been avoided (it would shut down gracefully even in case of complete power failure).
 

Offline apis

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Re: My country is going to commit economic suicide ...
« Reply #190 on: December 17, 2018, 05:52:24 am »
We've been terrible at storing it away safely, pretty much randomly dumping it all over the place.
Yes, because anti-nuclear activists oppose every proposal for permanent storage. The technical solution exists as I've outlined previously.

Thinking we can somehow now build a perfectly safe storage facility
Of course not, there is no such thing as perfectly safe. It's just that the consequence of failure is not that severe as people seem to think, in the unlikely even it were to fail and things started leaking several km below the earth. (Note, this would be far below the biosphere. It's not comparable to dumping waste willy nilly in the ocean).

It's estimated that blast could have wiped out half of Europe and made it a radiation zone for 500000 years.
Well, that is news to me, so pardon me if I'm sceptical. As far as I know Chernobyl is pretty much the worst that could possibly happen and there are hydro dam accidents that killed far more people. The Bhopal disaster was probably worse as well. In fact only about 100 died in direct relation to Chernobyl, other figures stated are typically the worst case estimate of the long term effect of the fallout.

I'm not sure what makes you think waste will be safe after a 100 years. If it's highly radioactive now, it will still be dangerously radioactive after one half-life. Even the shortest lived nuclear materials have a half-life of about that period. Most have considerably longer half-lives.
I haven't said it is safe after 100 years, I even said it will never be safe! What I did say was that most of the radiation disappear in the beginning since it cools of exponentially (might be logarithmic, not sure now, but same conclusion either way). It will not remain super dangerous for millennia as many of the anti-nuclear people claim.

I don't really understand how one could claim hydro would potentially be more dangerous.

The Banqiao Dam failure in 1975 killed 171000 people, that is far worse than Chernobyl.
 

Offline Mr. Scram

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Re: My country is going to commit economic suicide ...
« Reply #191 on: December 17, 2018, 06:36:38 am »
That's exactly the overly rosy view of the risks involved with nuclear power which make me hesitant about using it. We've tripped over our own overconfidence too many times already. We always think we can build an everything proof storage facility and there's always some unforeseen flaw which ruins the whole plan. Like I said before I'm actually not opposed to nuclear power, but I am opposed to people naively waving the risks away. If we're not going into this being wary of every step we take, it's simply going to end in disaster. In that case we better abandon it and not play with the fire we can't responsibly handle.

Nuclear contamination can indeed be dangerous for tens or even hundreds of thousands of years. That's no imaginary claim, but agreed upon by those both for and against nuclear power. It's not some residual radiation either. Things aren't remotely safe after a 100 years. It's also true that Chernobyl was a disaster avoided. A few men prevented what used to be the core melting through the floor and reaching a reservoir of water. It's accepted that would have caused a much more massive steam explosion which would have wiped out the entire plant and led to much of Europe being heavily contaminated. "By most estimates, such a blast may have wiped out half of Europe, leaving it riskier to live in for 500,000 years." I can imagine that being unaware of both facts makes one much more cavalier in regards to the risks of nuclear power. It's hard to fear what you don't know. We danced with the devil and he threw us a bone.

It should also be noted that we're still dealing with the containment of Chernobyl. We haven't fixed or cleaned a lot, we've just built another dome over it to make it go away. That's essentially the same as stuffing it in a mine. It's probably naive to think the disaster as it happened didn't claim that many victims. We know the impact was quite significant as many times more were poisoned rather than killed, and we also know the Soviet Union did everything in its power to downplay the scale of the disaster. The same applies to Fukushima. The Japanese have been diligently downplaying the scale of the disaster and we don't have any real solutions to the problems they face. They just keep on building storage tank after storage tank to store the contaminated water used to cool the reactors, but it turns out those are already leaking water. Their "alternative" if filtering it a bit and dumping it into the sea while storing the highly radioactive sludge on-site. Those are not real solutions. It's moving the problem around.

If we're not serious about the problems we're already seeing, we're just asking for some more.

https://www.businessinsider.com/chernobyl-volunteers-divers-nuclear-mission-2016-4
« Last Edit: December 17, 2018, 06:38:46 am by Mr. Scram »
 
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Re: My country is going to commit economic suicide ...
« Reply #192 on: December 17, 2018, 09:27:46 am »
We should be focusing on things like better batteries and other storage methods to store the substantial amounts of solar energy that go to waste due to it being generated during the daytime and summer - Once we simply solve that one problem a lot of other issues become much more manageable.
Right, simple: just invent some new super battery! Not so simple I suspect. Might not even be possible. Even if it is, who knows when the breakthrough comes. Nuclear is proven existing technology. Super batteries is wishful thinking.

Actually that's wrong. We are currently using super batteries, when compared with the batteries of, say, 40 years ago.

Batteries and other technologies (hydro, flywheels, etc etc etc) have been evaluated for many decades - and been found to be insufficient. I remember my father formally assessing them in the late 70s / early 80s when he worked at the Central Electricity Research Labs.


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If the goal is to replace coal in order to prevent climate change, then there isn't enough time to be picky. We should use all available options, and even so we would have to reduce energy usage a lot. Instead people are replacing nuclear with coal sadly. A few years ago they said that the world usage of coal isn't just increasing, the rate of change is increasing. I'm glad I'm not around a hundred years from now.

The reason we are still stuck with temporary nuclear waste storage is because there is so much political resistance to anything called nuclear.

Partly; in practice there will always be some "temporary" storage for some waste, before it is ready for long-term disposal.

OTOH, the fossil fuel waste long-term storage is already in place, but completely inadequate.
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Offline bd139

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Re: My country is going to commit economic suicide ...
« Reply #193 on: December 17, 2018, 09:30:48 am »
Thanos was right. Less people is the answer.

Edit: slight side point. A lot of the rationale for battery storage not being sufficient comes from many of the heavy industries which consume a lot of electricity because it is currently cost efficient. Things like the Hall–Héroult process for example. We can knock our grid usage down considerably by making a few simple changes to how we run the world. Ultimately supply and demand need to meet somewhere in the middle.
« Last Edit: December 17, 2018, 09:33:53 am by bd139 »
 
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Online Marco

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Re: My country is going to commit economic suicide ...
« Reply #194 on: December 17, 2018, 02:34:29 pm »
Aluminium cost is already driven by electricity cost and it's a 100+ billion dollar a year industry, lack of energy efficiency is not because of lack of trying.
 
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Offline bd139

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Re: My country is going to commit economic suicide ...
« Reply #195 on: December 17, 2018, 02:40:39 pm »
It takes way more energy to get aluminium from ore than recycling it which is the point. We need to concentrate on efficient reuse of materials to slow the initial energy and consumption requirements down. Also things that we make from the materials need to last longer.
 
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Offline nctnico

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Re: My country is going to commit economic suicide ...
« Reply #196 on: December 17, 2018, 06:03:43 pm »
It takes way more energy to get aluminium from ore than recycling it which is the point. We need to concentrate on efficient reuse of materials to slow the initial energy and consumption requirements down.
That can't work. Economic growth means more new materials are needed and thus processing of ore.
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Online f4eru

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Re: My country is going to commit economic suicide ...
« Reply #197 on: December 17, 2018, 07:25:01 pm »
No, the Brittisch government borrowed money at an insane interest rate. That is plain stupid. It has nothing to do with the cost of nuclear.
This has a good reason.
No bank and no insurance wants to take the risk of nuclear, so the interest rate is very high on this high risk investment. This has nothing whatsoever to do with the government.
Take any insurance contract, for anything, cars, houses,.... They specifically exclude the risk of damage due to nuclear fission or fusion.
« Last Edit: December 17, 2018, 07:31:33 pm by f4eru »
 

Offline Mr. Scram

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Re: My country is going to commit economic suicide ...
« Reply #198 on: December 17, 2018, 07:38:17 pm »
That can't work. Economic growth means more new materials are needed and thus processing of ore.
Sure it can. We don't need new phones or furniture every two years. We need to build better and use longer.
 

Offline bd139

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Re: My country is going to commit economic suicide ...
« Reply #199 on: December 17, 2018, 07:43:04 pm »
That can't work. Economic growth means more new materials are needed and thus processing of ore.

I was hoping someone would reply with that because it's my point: economic growth is built on a lot of flawed assumptions which have an end game which is not sustainable. Assumption number one is that we build economics on a pyramid of materials which are not fungible or infinite. The cruel irony is that our only non fiat standard currency is basically a relatively valuable material (due to scarcity)

Sure it can. We don't need new phones or furniture every two years. We need to build better and use longer.

Exactly. Using that example, the laptop I'm currently writing this on is made of 100% recycled aluminium. When its time is up (5-8 years based on current expectations - I keep them much longer than the average 2 years!), it will be turned into a new one.
« Last Edit: December 17, 2018, 07:49:53 pm by bd139 »
 


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