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Author Topic:   The nuclear generation option
Modulous
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Posts: 7418
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005
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Message 1 of 22 (795343)
12-11-2016 3:48 PM


But Germany and Japan have stopped doing ... wonder why? Perhaps it has to do with waste disposal and public safety issues.

The politics of fear, Germany and Japan both faced huge public pressure after a second gen power station failed and a whole 600-1,000 people theoretically received lethal exposure and have or will die younger (about 20,000 died near immediately as a result of the actual natural disaster). It wasn't science that made the determination. Increasing your risk of radiation caused death from 0.75% to 1.25% is not good, but it's not so catastrophic that we should decide not to build Generation III plants - from a scientific point of view. That doesn't win votes, though.

Compare with the Generation III Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Plant which was at the epicentre of an earthquake at the same magnitude as the Fukushima one.

Do you know what the hazards of nuclear generation are?

Yes, negligible.

100,000 people die globally per trillion kWh of coal generation (10,000 in the US)

440 people die globally per trillion kWh of solar generation.

150 people die globally per trillion kWh of wind generation

90 people die globally per trillion kWh of nuclear generation - including Chernobyl and Fukushima. (in the US it is 0.01)

Similar numbers have been derived by others.

Are you under the impression you know more than you actually do?

Do you know more than the scientists in Germany and Japan?

Are you saying that scientists in Germany and Japan set energy policy, based on science rather than politicians based on votes?

That sounds like you think you know more about German and Japanese politics than you actually do.

Or we could put as much money into solar and wind power and eliminate the need for oil all together, growing hemp to make biofuel for portable energy.

Well there is a supply issue, right? There are lots more dead things that became fossil oil than living things that could become, with further processing, useable oil. I'm fine it - the UK has the top 3 largest biomass-electricity plants in the world. In fact Drax is the largest plant in Europe, and provides us with 5-10% of our power.

Of course, we have to import all that biomass (it's wood, incidentally) from other countries - and if those other countries followed our lead, we might not be able to do that....

My solar panels generate more electricity than I use and I haven't paid an electric bill since august 2015.

Did you ever investigate what happened to all the silicon tetrachloride that was produced to make your solar panels? In 2015, it was probably recycled, but it may still have been dumped. Even if you try other materials you still end having to use things like cadmium.

Still, it's difficult to get away from the dangers of hydrofluoric acid of which a LOT is used. It's possible to use other chemicals (which are themselves also toxic, but easier to handle) but business is business and low regulation nations are going to be able to sell their products cheaper.

It should be pointed out that it can take about 2 years of continuous operation to pay back the energy needed to make solar panels. So assuming you installed them January 1st 2015, you're still several weeks from having saved the planet from anything.

Then there is amount of carbon pollution that occurs as a result of making them. Depending on where they were made you might not get a net carbon emission benefit until 2019.

Then you might consider possible damage caused by wind, rain and snow on your home; If a toxic chemical plant is hit by a natural disaster, that's an ecological disaster. If a toxic chemical transport ship has a spillage, it's an ecological disaster.

This is all simplified, and it's certainly better than Coal and oil, but it's easy to think you know more than you do when the environmental costs are moved from the point of generation to point of manufacturing and maintenance.

So what about Nuclear Waste? It's incredibly compact and well contained, as opposed to just about all other toxic waste from all other methods. If we want to argue something like 'we can recycle waste products in solar power' then we can say the same for nuclear power only the improvements within our technological grasp are orders of magnitude greater.

Because of THE FEAR, nuclear waste is more heavily regulated and monitored than other waste. Unfortunately, that same fear means there is a lot of political stalemate over moving it around.

Most US scientists, and even more physicists favour building more nuclear power

quote:
Colorado, where much of the uranium is obtained, is a geologically active region, full of faults and fissures and mountains rising out of the prairie, and there are about a billion tons of uranium in its surface rock. (This number is based on the fact that granite typically contains 4 parts per million of uranium. I take the area of the Colorado Rockies to be about 300 by 400 kilometers, and consider only rock from the surface to 1,000 meters depth.) The radioactivity in this uranium is 20 times greater than the legal limit for Yucca Mountain, and will take more than 13 billion years-not just a few hundred-for the radioactivity to drop by a factor of ten. Yet water that runs through, around, and over this radioactive rock is the source of the Colorado River, and is used for drinking water in much of the west, including Los Angeles and San Diego. And unlike the glass pellets that store the waste in Yucca Mountain, most of the uranium in the Colorado ground is water-soluble. Here is the absurd-sounding conclusion: if the Yucca Mountain facility was at full capacity and all the waste leaked out of its glass containment immediately and managed to reach ground water, the danger would still be 20 times less than that currently posed by natural uranium leaching into the Colorado River.

quote:
But when ingested (e.g. from ground water) it isn’t. According to the linear hypothesis, when consumed by a group of people, we expect about one extra cancer for each half-gram of plutonium swallowed. That is bad, but not a record-setter. Botulism toxin (found in poorly prepared mayonnaise) is a thousand times worse.

(embed starts 51 minutes in at the pertinent part)

https://www.technologyreview.com/...-witch-of-yucca-mountain

Do you know more than most scientists?
Is your competence high enough to assess the facts correctly, or is your confidence a function of relative ignorance?


Replies to this message:
 Message 4 by Modulous, posted 12-11-2016 6:44 PM Modulous has acknowledged this reply

    
Adminnemooseus
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Message 2 of 22 (795344)
12-11-2016 3:53 PM


Topic created from a message at another topic
Message 1 is message 21 from the "The Dunning–Kruger effect" topic.

Adminnemooseus


Or something like that©.

    
Coyote
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Message 3 of 22 (795347)
12-11-2016 5:18 PM


Thorium Power Is the Safer Future of Nuclear Energy
Thorium Power Is the Safer Future of Nuclear Energy

http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/...ar-energy/#.WE3PtvO3RFQ

Nuclear power has long been a contentious topic. It generates huge amounts of electricity with zero carbon emissions, and thus is held up as a solution to global energy woes. But it also entails several risks, including weapons development, meltdown, and the hazards of disposing of its waste products.

But those risks and benefits all pertain to a very specific kind of nuclear energy: nuclear fission of uranium or plutonium isotopes. There’s another kind of nuclear energy that’s been waiting in the wings for decades – and it may just demand a recalibration of our thoughts on nuclear power.

Nuclear fission using thorium is easily within our reach, and, compared with conventional nuclear energy, the risks are considerably lower.

Thorium’s Story

Ideas for using thorium have been around since the 1960s, and by 1973 there were proposals for serious, concerted research in the US. But that program fizzled to a halt only a few years later. Why? The answer is nuclear weapons. The 1960s and ’70s were the height of the Cold War and weaponization was the driving force for all nuclear research. Any nuclear research that did not support the US nuclear arsenal was simply not given priority.

Conventional nuclear power using a fuel cycle involving uranium-235 and/or plutonium-239 was seen as killing two birds with one stone: reducing America’s dependence on foreign oil, and creating the fuel needed for nuclear bombs. Thorium power, on the other hand, didn’t have military potential. And by decreasing the need for conventional nuclear power, a potentially successful thorium program would have actually been seen as threatening to U.S. interests in the Cold War environment.

Today, however, the situation is very different. Rather than wanting to make weapons, many global leaders are worried about proliferating nuclear technology. And that has led several nations to take a closer look at thorium power generation.

More


Religious belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge.

Belief gets in the way of learning--Robert A. Heinlein

In the name of diversity, college student demands to be kept in ignorance of the culture that made diversity a value--StultisTheFool

It's not what we don't know that hurts, it's what we know that ain't so--Will Rogers

If I am entitled to something, someone else is obliged to pay--Jerry Pournelle

If a religion's teachings are true, then it should have nothing to fear from science...--dwise1

"Multiculturalism" demands that the US be tolerant of everything except its own past, culture, traditions, and identity.


  
Modulous
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Posts: 7418
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005
Member Rating: 3.1


(3)
Message 4 of 22 (795349)
12-11-2016 6:44 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Modulous
12-11-2016 3:48 PM


A reply to Message 23, The Dunning–Kruger effect
Gosh, fear of accidents like have happened over and over and over? Cherynoble, 5 mile island, Fukushima are the ones we remember

And are basically all of them. Yes irrational fear. Not science, is driving people away from nuclear power consideration.

It's like people being afraid of foreign muslim terrorists. Yes, they exist, and yes the kill - but citizens with guns kill orders of magnitude more.

Pardon me, but I think it is very reasonable to be wary of nuclear power because of its past failures. Especially when you have a better alternative.

Sure, and Muslims sometimes kill non-Muslim Americans. Is it reasonable therefore to be wary of Muslims?

Germany and Japan are committing to solar and wind etc generation because (a) it is economical and (b) there is low hazard potential

a) is not science, its politics.
b) is disputed by scientists

I don't read links that require me to turn off my ad-blocker

Get a better ad-blocker system, mine kills the ads and lets me in fine. Have you explored your hosts file perchance?

One kilowatt-hour is 3.6 megajoules: so your "440 people die globally per trillion kWh" becomes 440 people per 3.6 trillion megajoules ...
... 122 people per trillion (10^9) million (10^6) ... or 122 people per 10^15 ... which happens to be a quadrillion (US), so your number here appears to be off by a factor of 10 or so, making my sources number less than your numbers for nuclear.

Or yours are. My source was a Forbes article about several studies including one by the WHO. Yours is on a site promoting solar power. Just saying, you know?

Here are some of the sources in the article:

P. Bickel and R. Friedrich, Externalities of Energy, European Union Report EUR 21951, Luxembourg (2005).

A. J. Cohen et al., The global burden of disease due to outdoor air pollution, Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health, Part A, 68: 1301-1307 (2005)

NAS, Hidden Costs of Energy: Unpriced Consequences of Energy Production and Use Committee on Health, Environmental, and Other External Costs and Benefits of Energy Production and Consumption; Nat. Res. Council, Wash., D.C. ISBN: 0-309-14641-0 (2010).

C. A. Pope et al., Lung cancer, cardiopulmonary mortality, and long-term exposure to fine particulate air pollution. Journal of the AMA, 287 (9): 1132-1141 (2002).

J. Scott et al., The Clean Air Act at 35, Environmental Defense, New York, www.environmentaldefense.org. (2005).

WHO, Health effects of chronic exposure to smoke from Biomass Fuel burning in rural areas, Chittaranjan National Cancer Institute (2007) cnci.academia.edu/1123846/

These deaths are also all solely in production and do not accumulate through the life of the panels

Right, but they also cover all solar power generated over time, so this is a moot point. The deaths occur, then the power is generated as opposed to the power is generated then the deaths occur. The deaths still occur. Those people are not less dead because they died in hydroflouric acid factory accident or cadmium poisoning.

this means you need to look at the deaths over the lifetime of the panels and windmills, not just at the initial manufacture because those lifetime generations add to the kWh generated by the panels per death and would reduce the death-toll by another order of magnitude or more.

Well thank goodness RAZD is here to tell scientists how to do their job! Those dumb scientists who miss those blindingly obvious things, eh?

For instance, my panels should last 30 to 50 years with a small decline in output over the years. I also expect global warming to increase cloud cover in coming years. Then there would be the cost to dispose of the panels at the end of their life, so we can likely double the death-toll and be conservative. Still ahead, imho.

Ahead of properly done nuclear power with its death per trillion kilowatt hours of 0.01? I don't think so.

A similar lifetime analysis for nuclear generation and the billion year lifetime for the waste product would add to that number.

That isn't the lifetime for the waste product...also remember - we have to compare it to naturally occurring radiation too.

Seems to me using the Thorium 232 decay chain would vastly reduce the health and safety risk of nuclear power.

Yup. As I, in fact said:

quote:
If we want to argue something like 'we can recycle waste products in solar power' then we can say the same for nuclear power only the improvements within our technological grasp are orders of magnitude greater.

And probably equally prone to comparing apples and oranges. Did you check them?

Yes. But I'm not claiming the degree of confidence that you are. I'm putting forward an alternative so as to dampen your confidence to bring you closer to an accurate assessment of your competence (this thread did start in the Dunning-Kruger thread after all).

Curiously, I don't doubt that the oil and nuclear industries gather all kinds of information suited to Forbes (business) type reporting to promote nuclear business and oil business.

Well, since the article concludes that oil is the second deadliest way to generate electricity, I think we can not worry too much about the evil oil industry manipulating things. The author of the Forbes article has ties to the nuclear industry though so I'll give you that.

You tell me, I have followed nuclear generation for several decades and have not seen any significant change, while there has been massive growth and development in wind and solar.

Really? You haven't seen any change in nuclear power generation techniques since 1980? Where have you been looking? Generation III came out in 1996 - but by that time FEAR prevented many of them from being built...so we're stuck with the relatively shitty Generation II reactors which were supposed to have a lifespan of 30-50 years, but their operation time has been doubled because nobody can convince politicians to upgrade or build new ones so they are just overhauling the existing systems. We're already well on the way to designing generation IV, but we still haven't been building generation III's out of fear.

But yeah, that's nuclear power's fault.

quote:
The core damage frequencies for these reactors are designed to be lower than for Generation II reactors – 60 core damage events for the EPR and 3 core damage events for the ESBWR[2] per 100 million reactor-years are significantly lower than the 1,000 core damage events per 100 million reactor-years for BWR/4 generation II reactors.[2]

The third generation EPR reactor was also designed to use uranium more efficiently than older Generation II reactors, using approximately 17% less uranium per unit of electricity generated than these older reactor technologies



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Generation_III_reactor

Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Plant has already been mentioned. Withstood two earthquakes. It was operating throughout the 2004 Chūetsu earthquake where it was very close to the epicentre (Mag 6) and carried on quite happily.

There was also the 2007 Chūetsu offshore earthquake - Mag 6.6. Note, the headline 'Second Earthquake hits nuclear power plant, nothing particularly dangerous happened' did not get splashed all over the media for some reason. THe consequences here? They shut things down and were ready to go back into operation the next day. "no visible significant damage has been found"

But there was some radioactive leakage! Well yes, let's see:

A pint of very slightly radioactive water leaked. It contained a measly 280 becquerels: Less than 10% radioactive than I am. Probably worse to eat a banana.
Two points of slightly more radioactive water leaked elsewhere. Probably the equivalent to throwing half a domestic smoke detector away.
A tonne of very slightly radioactive water from elsewhere leaked. The total amount of radiation about the same as TWO domestic smoke detectors. It was cleaned up with towels - that's how dangerous it was.
Finally 402,000,000 Bq was released via iodine gas due to human error causing an expected 0.0002 nanosieverts of additional exposure per person in the affected vicinity. The average exposure due to background is 2,400,000 nSv/year

So that was inconsequential. Two strong earthquakes within 5 years combined with a human fuckup in closing a vent. Not bad, neh?

Of course, the FEAR resulted in millions of dollars lost from stocks and tourism. But that's not nuclear power's fault - its a science education problem.

That's the most troubled of the Type III generators. The rest haven't had anything close to those kinds of 'problems'. But sure, let's compare that to a cheap ripoff by the Soviets that didn't even have a containment building designed to make power at the expense of people in Ukraine.

Growth and development that will continue to improve product production and safety.

Yes, and nuclear power production and safety is still miles ahead of it. We'd implement those safety techniques more - but ironically politicians feel it is an election loser to do it.

My question was not regarding the politics.

The decision was not made by scientists.

It is the scientist and design engineers duty to show risk at a politically acceptable level. This is true of any product or construction.

Correct. And politicians ignore these when it is politically expedient to do so. Merkel made her decision because of public opinion, not scientific opinion. This is starkly obvious given the previous year the Merkel government was clearly pro-nuclear (she herself has scientific credentials) but there were huge protests and within a month of the start of the protests suddenly Germany was going to shut them all down.

OF course, now the German government is being sued for billions because many companies made good faith investments in modernising those nuclear power plants after she had been talking pro-nuclear.

Votes votes votes, not science.

The other parameter to evaluate is distribution (and the cost in health and death associated with that), as nuclear (and coal and natural gas) generating plants are highly concentrated installations generating massive voltage, while my installation peaks at 240 VAC and is distributed by a cable that runs from the roof to the basement. A distributed system with solar generation at or near the end user means much more freedom to access power anywhere you want. This is why solar installations are making huge headway in developing countries, places that just cannot be economically supplied by nuclear power.

Yes, but again this is not all roses. If the whole country installed solar panels, we have to ask 'what percentage will be wired up and/or fixed incorrectly'? How many will be poorly maintained by their owners, and what are the consequences (it's fires, and heavy wind-borne materials in the shape of sails made of toxic materials by the way).

I'm not AGAINST solar power, I'm FOR it. I'm just reminding you that it isn't a perfect utopia here, and nuclear power is much safer than environmentalists have fear-mongered.

Look into hemp, which is what I mentioned.

Which is nice and all, and I'm not going to say otherwise - but it's easier when you have a big spacy land like the US. Here in the UK, less trivial. The UK uses about 5 million tonnes of biofuel.

Getting permission to extend an airport that is already 1,400 acres is a bureaucratic nightmare here. To get this amount of biofuels at 10T per acre is going to take up an area of 800 Square miles. That's an area equivalent to about 4 Manchesters - we have difficulty finding space to build houses as it is. We'd have to destroy lots of green space with heavy agriculture to do this.

I'd like to see hemp energy production, but I don't see it being a primary method unless we import it...so this will rely on other nations deciding to dedicate huge swathes of land to the project.

Not worse than your standard computer and battery production and disposal is it?

Hardly a ringing endorsement!

There are known risks that can involve standard operation procedures, typical of industry.

Yep, but its less with nuclear.

Which I consider basically irrelevant, because all the costs\risks are up front and cease to accumulate once the panels are installed, unlike fossil fuel or nuclear generation.

You can't simply ignore the carbon emissions - they still happen regardless of WHEN it happens. Nuclear produces about the same amount of carbon emissions per lifecycle {mostly from mining and transport I believe}.

Like oil tankers and pipelines, they keep happening. But my panels, once installed, do not add to that risk nor experience it year after year.

Again proving my point that you are being fooled that because they are clean at the point of generation you can ignore the filth at the point of manufacturing. This is a fallacy. Filth is filth whether it occurs all in one year or over many years. The total amount of filth is the important point to consider.

I had a solar spill yesterday ... it was sunny all day.

Pointedly ignoring the point you were responding to about all the horror from spills that occurred before the panels got to your house.

Wind rain and snow affect my house whether the panels are there or not -- they don't have any increased effect due to energy generation.

Sticking electrical power generators on your roof, contrary to your position, does in fact change the dynamics. Damage caused by flying debris, or poor installation can turn those panels into windsails, ripping your roof off and taking out some poor passersby. Heavy snow on and under solar panels can create heavier loads than you might expect, for longer than you might realize. And water + electricity + corrosion has been causing fun for humans for a long time.

New technology developed every day takes care of your other concerns (new materials, simplified manufacturing), if it takes two years for payback that is a small drop in the bucket for the lifetime of the panels, something

Yep, and nuclear power is leaping ahead in this category.

And dangerous for billions of years?

No it isn't.

But there was a much more invasive way of using nuclear waste in Iraq with depleted uranium ammo ... one with long term effects for society there. You need to include that with your death count and your waste fields for solar panel materials.

Why? Killing Iraqis is not part of power generation (except in a cynical kind of way : overtwinkyface : ). You can make heavy metal armour piercing rounds without energy creation and you can create energy without making armour piercing rounds. This is a red herring.

Really? what's the waste product from my panels 5 years from now? 10 years? Does it have a half life?

I gave you some of them. And no, they don't have a half life. Unprocessed, they'll stick around mostly forever. Yay.

And I say it is legitimate wariness because accidents have happened and accidents will happen.

Yes they will. And they happen more creating solar panels than they do generating nuclear power. It's just that nuclear power accidents are rare and the impacts are mostly invisible which makes for great newspaper stories. 'Another Chinese man melts in acid' is a less interesting story, especially if it happens more often. It's like the asthma problem or the gun shooting vs terrorism problem. Selection bias is a bitch.

Wow. Just WOW. (to quote Faith).

I have cancer, and I would not wish that on one single person. That risk alone is reason enough for me to forego nuclear power.

Yeah, that's the problem isn't it?

You don't have 'melted by acid' disease and you aren't living as a Chinese factory worker so FUCK THEM, right. Also have you ever had botulism? That risk alone should be enough for you to forego mayonnaise, fish, canned foods....right? right? Your risk perception isn't so warped as this is it?

Remember - this is the expected consequences of digesting quite a lot of plutonium directly.

Did you not read the article? That people get cancer today because of the Colorado river, digging through Uranium, being used as drinking water. Are you going to forego water too? What about air?

Do you know more than most scientists?
And I haven't said that either.

The tone of your post, however, suggested it.

My competence is sufficient to recognize risks as listed and detailed by scientists, to understand them, and to decide when I don't want to take them, especially when there are alternatives without those risks.

You mean alternatives with OTHER risks that result in MORE deaths overall?

Edited by Modulous, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Modulous, posted 12-11-2016 3:48 PM Modulous has acknowledged this reply

Replies to this message:
 Message 10 by RAZD, posted 12-12-2016 12:09 PM Modulous has responded

    
xongsmith
Member
Posts: 1788
From: massachusetts US
Joined: 01-01-2009
Member Rating: 5.1


(2)
Message 5 of 22 (795352)
12-11-2016 8:14 PM


But the old paradigm of a big central energy producing thingy is still going to be a major target of terrorists, foreign and domestic. Especially domestic these days. By covering 60-80% of rooftops with solar panels and vertical wind turbines at the single dwelling level, these terrorists will have had their hands tied.

- xongsmith, 5.7d

Replies to this message:
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nwr
Member
Posts: 5531
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005


Message 6 of 22 (795354)
12-11-2016 8:52 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by xongsmith
12-11-2016 8:14 PM


But the old paradigm of a big central energy producing thingy is still going to be a major target of terrorists, foreign and domestic.

The big central thingy can be protected.

The soft target is the grid. And rooftop solar panels still depend on the grid.


Fundamentalism - the anti-American, anti-Christian branch of American Christianity

This message is a reply to:
 Message 5 by xongsmith, posted 12-11-2016 8:14 PM xongsmith has responded

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 Message 7 by xongsmith, posted 12-11-2016 9:05 PM nwr has responded

  
xongsmith
Member
Posts: 1788
From: massachusetts US
Joined: 01-01-2009
Member Rating: 5.1


(1)
Message 7 of 22 (795355)
12-11-2016 9:05 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by nwr
12-11-2016 8:52 PM


nwr writes:

And rooftop solar panels still depend on the grid.

NOT REALLY. They send surplus back into the grid, yes.

Why do you think they call it living OFF the grid?


- xongsmith, 5.7d

This message is a reply to:
 Message 6 by nwr, posted 12-11-2016 8:52 PM nwr has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 8 by nwr, posted 12-11-2016 9:34 PM xongsmith has responded

    
nwr
Member
Posts: 5531
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005


Message 8 of 22 (795357)
12-11-2016 9:34 PM
Reply to: Message 7 by xongsmith
12-11-2016 9:05 PM


Having electricity available is most important at night time. And solar panels don't work very well then.

Fundamentalism - the anti-American, anti-Christian branch of American Christianity

This message is a reply to:
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xongsmith
Member
Posts: 1788
From: massachusetts US
Joined: 01-01-2009
Member Rating: 5.1


Message 9 of 22 (795358)
12-12-2016 12:29 AM
Reply to: Message 8 by nwr
12-11-2016 9:34 PM


nwr - don't flaunt your ignorance here. You are smarter than this. Please.

- xongsmith, 5.7d

This message is a reply to:
 Message 8 by nwr, posted 12-11-2016 9:34 PM nwr has acknowledged this reply

    
RAZD
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Posts: 18867
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
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Message 10 of 22 (795383)
12-12-2016 12:09 PM
Reply to: Message 4 by Modulous
12-11-2016 6:44 PM


Or yours are. My source was a Forbes article about several studies including one by the WHO. Yours is on a site promoting solar power. Just saying, you know?

Or my source is by someone intimately involved in the industry and that would have a better idea of the issues than a bunch of businessmen editors?

The FACT that the numbers are off by an order of magnitude should give you pause ... if you are really interested.

... The author of the Forbes article has ties to the nuclear industry though so I'll give you that.

Thanks, another reason to question the article (Tobacco "scientists" syndrome?)

These deaths are also all solely in production and do not accumulate through the life of the panels

Right, but they also cover all solar power generated over time, so this is a moot point. ...

Your list does not say that, so you were giving false impressions. What are the lifetime numbers used in your article?

Right, but they also cover all solar power generated over time, so this is a moot point. ...

This phrase doesn't really make complete sense to me. Do you mean continuing production of panels? Or is the death-toll averaged out over the lifetime of the panels?

... The deaths occur, then the power is generated as opposed to the power is generated then the deaths occur. The deaths still occur. Those people are not less dead because they died in hydroflouric acid factory accident or cadmium poisoning.

Correct, solar deaths only occur during manufacturing (and are likely largely preventable with proper safety protocols), thereafter they are as safe as any rooftop installation. This poses no ongoing safety risk for the neighborhood around the solar installation.

While nuclear deaths occur during construction and the continual mining and processing of fuel and then long after the plant is shut down in maintaining the long term hazardous waste in a safe environment, and they pose a risk to their surrounding neighborhoods, and so have to be built in isolation zones.

But it is the ongoing risk to neighborhoods that is of most concern to people. (NIMBY, not fear).

... Those people are not less dead because they died in hydroflouric acid factory accident or cadmium poisoning.

The process of mining uranium and thorium is not free of toxic gases, heavy metals and other toxic waste, and such mining needs to be continual during the lifetime of the reactors.

And you are still comparing apples and oranges.

That's the most troubled of the Type III generators. ...

And I still prefer the latest generation CANDU generators that can use the Thorium 232 decay cycle because the waste is intrinsically safer than the uranium plants, plus it can't be used to make weaponized nuclear materials -- a real and valid concern regarding nuclear generation.

If we consider xongsmith's comment regarding terrorist bombing, then the fallout from a Thorium reactor should be less hazardous than that of a uranium reactor.

Yes. But I'm not claiming the degree of confidence that you are. I'm putting forward an alternative so as to dampen your confidence to bring you closer to an accurate assessment of your competence (this thread did start in the Dunning-Kruger thread after all).

Really? you sound awfully confident that you have a better handle than me ... curiously I still think wind and solar are better directions to go than nuclear generation plants, and my reasons are quite simple:

  1. comparable cost, and costs dropping
  2. available to the consumer to install and maintain
  3. low to zero maintenance
  4. reduces need for large transformer stations and high power distribution lines
  5. disperses generation in a web instead of a grid, with power able to flow either direction in lines, making the system more robust and better able to withstand blackouts and damage by storms, improving distribution to consumers
  6. can be used in areas not well served by the grid distribution system
  7. negligible ongoing health and safety risk to surrounding neighborhoods

So when I look at the overall risk/benefit of these systems I see solar and wind being a better choice.

Look into hemp, which is what I mentioned.

Which is nice and all, and I'm not going to say otherwise - but it's easier when you have a big spacy land like the US. Here in the UK, less trivial. The UK uses about 5 million tonnes of biofuel.

Getting permission to extend an airport that is already 1,400 acres is a bureaucratic nightmare here. To get this amount of biofuels at 10T per acre is going to take up an area of 800 Square miles. That's an area equivalent to about 4 Manchesters - we have difficulty finding space to build houses as it is. We'd have to destroy lots of green space with heavy agriculture to do this.

I'd like to see hemp energy production, but I don't see it being a primary method unless we import it...so this will rely on other nations deciding to dedicate huge swathes of land to the project.

For use instead of oil\gasoline. Any plant that is producing gasoline can produce the hemp biofuel, and transportation of hemp seed should be considerably safer than the transporting of oil (exxon valdez, bp gulf, leaking pipelines, exploding train oil cars, etc)

Enjoy


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This message is a reply to:
 Message 4 by Modulous, posted 12-11-2016 6:44 PM Modulous has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 11 by Modulous, posted 12-12-2016 1:52 PM RAZD has acknowledged this reply

  
Modulous
Member
Posts: 7418
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005
Member Rating: 3.1


Message 11 of 22 (795384)
12-12-2016 1:52 PM
Reply to: Message 10 by RAZD
12-12-2016 12:09 PM


Or my source is by someone intimately involved in the industry and that would have a better idea of the issues than a bunch of businessmen editors?

The author of the piece is not a magazine editor. He's a scientist:

quote:
I have been a scientist in the field of the earth and environmental sciences for 33 years, specializing in geologic disposal of nuclear waste, energy-related research, planetary surface processes, radiobiology and shielding for space colonies, subsurface transport and environmental clean-up of heavy metals. I am a Trustee of the Herbert M. Parker Foundation and consult on strategic planning for the DOE, EPA/State environmental agencies, and industry including companies that own nuclear, hydro, wind farms, large solar arrays, coal and gas plants. I also consult for EPA/State environmental agencies and industry on clean-up of heavy metals from soil and water.

The FACT that the numbers are off by an order of magnitude should give you pause ... if you are really interested.

Of course, but my point was that there is no reason for it to NOT give you pause too.

Thanks, another reason to question the article (Tobacco "scientists" syndrome?)

So on the same grounds, we can discount your source too? Or are nuclear/alternative energy scientists exactly the sort of people we would call the necessary experts?

Your source is run by someone called Idriss Sghir. I can't find much about him other than I think he is Moroccon and also runs or has run a site for collecting inspirational and funny quotes. He doesn't provide a source for his figures, just plops them out there. The only other thing I can find about him is that he worked for an alternative energy company called TARFAYA ENERGY COMPANY as a Wind Power Supervisor, whatever that is. He is a Member of the Media and Communications Committee of the Renewable Energy Club, he might have a Master's degree? Hard to tell as I don't read French.

Your list does not say that, so you were giving false impressions. What are the lifetime numbers used in your article?

The numbers look at how many people die, or could die in the case of things like air pollution in each industry vs how much power that industry is making. It isn't looking at individual panels, but the industry - the industry doesn't stop just because you have solar panels. If anything, if we go global with solar - the industry will ramp up.

This phrase doesn't really make complete sense to me. Do you mean continuing production of panels? Or is the death-toll averaged out over the lifetime of the panels?

The whole industry of generating power by solar energy, the whole amount of power generated.

Correct, solar deaths only occur during manufacturing (and are likely largely preventable with proper safety protocols), thereafter they are as safe as any rooftop installation.

And deaths are deaths, regardless of when they occur. If the Solar industry kills 40-400 per trillion KWh that amount of people will continue to die after your panels are installed. Ignoring this would not be addressing the problems with the various methods of generating power.

Here is an excerpt from the book 'THE NUCLEAR ENERGY OPTION' by Bernard L. Cohen (well respected physicist, passed away in 2012):

quote:
Even if there were a competition between solar and nuclear electricity, there is no technically valid reason to prefer the former. It was pointed out previously that production of the materials for deploying a solar cell array requires burning 3% as much coal as would be burned in generating the same amount of electricity in coal-burning power plants. Roughly the same is true for the power tower and wind turbine applications of solar energy. That means that they produce 3% as much air pollution as coal burning. This is not a great environmental problem, but it still makes them more harmful to health than nuclear power. In addition, there are long-term waste problems, discussed in Chapter 12, which pose many times more of a health problem than the widely publicized nuclear waste. There are lots of poisonous chemicals used in fabricating solar cells, such as hydrofluoric acid, boron trifluoride, arsenic, cadmium, tellurium, and selenium compounds, which can cause health problems. Also, there is much more construction work needed for solar installations than for nuclear; construction is one of the most dangerous industries from the standpoint of accidents to workers.

If photovoltaic panels on houses become widespread, how many people would be killed and injured in cleaning or replacing solar panels on roofs, or in clearing them of snow? What about the dangers in repairing the complex electric conversion systems? Over a thousand Americans now die each year from electrocution, and the power-conditioning equipment needed for a solar electricity installation would represent a major increase in this risk. Back-up systems, most especially diesel engines in the home, have serious health problems. Diesel exhausts include some of the most potent carcinogens known, and they contribute to most of the other air pollution problems discussed in connection with coal burning in Chapter 3.


He gives this table:


Deaths Caused
Source First 500 years Eventually
Nuclear
High-level waste 0.0001 0.018
Radon emissions 0.00 -420
Routine emissions 0.05 0.3
Low-level waste 0.0001 0.0004
Coal
Air pollution 75 75
Radon emissions 0.11 30
Chemical carcinogens 0.5 70
Photovoltaics for solar energy
Coal for materials 1.5 5
Cadmium sulfide 0.8 80

That negative number looks strange, nuclear waste saves lives in the long term? Huh?

quote:
The radon to which we are now exposed comes from the uranium and its decay products in the top 1 meter of U.S. soil, since anything percolating up from deeper regions will decay before reaching the surface. From the quantity of uranium in soil (2.7 parts per million) and the land area of the United States (contiguous 48 states), it is straightforward to calculate that there are 66 million tons of uranium in the top meter of U.S. soil. This is now causing something like 10,000 deaths per year from radon, and will continue to do so for about 22,000 years, the time before it erodes away. This is a total of (10,000 x 22,000 =) 220 million deaths caused by 66 million tons of uranium, or 3.3 deaths per ton. As erosion continues, all uranium in the ground will eventually have its 22,000 years in the top meter of U.S. soil and will hence cause 3.3 deaths per ton.

In obtaining fuel for one nuclear power plant to operate for 1 year, 180 tons of uranium is mined out of the ground. This action may therefore be expected to avert (180 x 3.3 =) 600 deaths. However, to be consistent we must also consider erosion of the mill tailings covers. When this is taken into account, the net long-term effect of mining and milling is to save 420 lives.


Can't say I'm sold on the idea - wouldn't essentially lowering the surface mean more radon is able to escape from lower down? But the guy knows more on the subject than I do I suppose.

While nuclear deaths occur during construction and the continual mining and processing of fuel and then long after the plant is shut down in maintaining the long term hazardous waste in a safe environment, and they pose a risk to their surrounding neighborhoods, and so have to be built in isolation zones.

But it is the ongoing risk to neighborhoods that is of most concern to people. (NIMBY, not fear).

Yes, and those people are arseholes who don't give a shit about other people just because they live in China. Are you one of those arseholes?

PS: NIMBY *IS* FEAR - you said it yourself 'pose a risk to their neighbourhoods' - this is a FEAR.

The process of mining uranium and thorium is not free of toxic gases, heavy metals and other toxic waste, and such mining needs to be continual during the lifetime of the reactors.

Yes, these numbers are already included in the figures. And even then they still do better than solar. Well executed the figure is as little as 0.01 deaths per Trillion kWh, if we include the deaths from cheap Soviet plants and aging Gen II plants - it is AT WORST as bad as solar, and at best, ten times safer.

From the article:

quote:
Nuclear has the lowest deathprint, even with the worst-case Chernobyl numbers and Fukushima projections, uranium mining deaths, and using the Linear No-Treshold Dose hypothesis (see Helman/2012/03/10). The dozen or so U.S. deaths in nuclear have all been in the weapons complex or are modeled from general LNT effects. The reason the nuclear number is small is that it produces so much electricity per unit. There just are not many nuclear plants. And the two failures have been in GenII plants with old designs. All new builds must be GenIII and higher, with passive redundant safety systems, and all must be able to withstand the worst case disaster, no matter how unlikely. We also must deal with our spent fuel better, something we know how to do

For some numbers I found this site, which is pro nuclear, but I don't see any reason to dispute these particular numbers - but let me know if you think they err:

quote:
With a complete combustion or fission, approx. 8 kWh of heat can be generated from 1 kg of coal, approx. 12 kWh from 1 kg of mineral oil and around 24,000,000 kWh from 1 kg of uranium-235. Related to one kilogram, uranium-235 contains two to three million times the energy equivalent of oil or coal.

Though it should be noted that we typically don't extract and convert 100% of the energy in any of these methods - it shows quite ably why a lot less mining is required and thus why less mining deaths occur. This claimed nuclear engineer provides further detail:

quote:
thus, in an American LWR, your kg of uranium can be expected to produce 45 megawatt-days of energy. You can look at that as 45 MW of power steadily for one day, or one MW steadily for 45 days, etc. Note that burnup refers to THERMAL energy release. If you want to know how much electricity was generated, you must multiply by the thermal efficiency of the power plant using that fuel. 33% is often a good estimate for power plants that boil water to turn turbines. So you get about 15 MWd of electricity per kg U. The rest of the energy turns into waste heat...
Typically, some 44 million kilowatt-hours of electricity are produced from one tonne of natural uranium. The production of this amount of electrical power from fossil fuels would require the burning of over 20,000 tonnes of black coal or 8.5 million cubic metres of gas.

abe: envelope calculation removed because it got complicated every time I tried to make it better and I gave up!

And I still prefer the latest generation CANDU generators that can use the Thorium 232 decay cycle because the waste is intrinsically safer than the uranium plants, plus it can't be used to make weaponized nuclear materials -- a real and valid concern regarding nuclear generation.

You can have both! Advanced Heavy Water Reactor is Generation III. You get all the lovely safety and efficiency features AND you are using Thorium. Win win!

If we consider xongsmith's comment regarding terrorist bombing, then the fallout from a Thorium reactor should be less hazardous than that of a uranium reactor.

A bomb would be pointless to attack a Gen III (and even a Gen II) nuclear power plant. If number of deaths was important, you'd be better served bombing a stadium.

And yes, they are looking into 'what if a plane hits', and although nobody can say 100% - without actually doing it - it is thought they'd hold up fine. Also - the airspace around nuclear power generators is typically watched quite severely - although that's not a guarantee of course.

Really? you sound awfully confident that you have a better handle than me

I'm just regurgitating expert opinion - they are the ones with the real confidence.

negligible ongoing health and safety risk to surrounding neighborhoods

Except in the neighbourhoods where the things are made, which you continue to not give a fuck about. Also, chemical plants are less defended against bomb and plane attacks....


another abe:

I've provide three sources: Richard A. Muller, one of the fathers of modern Radioisotope Dating methods, author of the influential paper, Radioisotope Dating with a Cyclotron, the first person to date something using tritium and esteemed and world famous professor of Physics, specializing in nuclear physics.

James Conca , Director of NMSU Carlsbad Environmental Monitoring and Research Center with several pages of publications, awards, and prestigious positions

AND

Bernard L. Cohen, Professor of physics, chemistry, chemical and petroleum engineering and professor of radiation health. Director of Scaife Nuclear Laboratory. A man who once offered to consume as much Plutonium oxide as Ralph Nader could consume caffeine (Nader wisely turned the offer down), who published 135 research papers on nuclear physics, 300 on energy and the environment, 6 books and host of other stuff, winner of the Tom W. Bonner Prize in Nuclear Physics, Distinguished Scientific Achievement Award, Walter H. Zinn Award chairman of the American Physical Society, Division of Nuclear Physics.

You have offered an anonymous unsourced webpage on a website run by a recent Master's degree graduate.

Just to put it into perspective for you...

Edited by Modulous, : No reason given.

Edited by Modulous, : No reason given.

Edited by Modulous, : No reason given.

Edited by Modulous, : No reason given.

Edited by Modulous, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 10 by RAZD, posted 12-12-2016 12:09 PM RAZD has acknowledged this reply

    
Taq
Member
Posts: 7034
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 3.8


Message 12 of 22 (795392)
12-12-2016 3:51 PM


Nuclear Power is Bananas, But In A Good Way
A writer at Forbes (perhaps the same one mentioned earlier?) wrote an article on the Fukushima radiation leaks where he measured the radioactivity in bananas. Since bananas are rich in potassium, and 40K is radioactive, you can actually calculate the radiation exposure from eating one banana.

As it turns out, the Fukushima disaster released 76 million bananas of radiation. If that was all in one place, that's a high dose. However, this dose was diluted in the ocean. It is also worth mentioning that worldwide banana production is about 145 million tons a year. That comes to 165 million bananas eaten PER HOUR. The radiation from Fukushima is less than the radiation exposure experience by the human population in one hour from just the eating of bananas. Banana farming poses a much higher radiation risk than Fukushima.

Read more here:
http://www.forbes.com/...to-76-million-bananas/#717f952c1e6f

Edited by Taq, : fixed the math, and added more math


Replies to this message:
 Message 13 by NoNukes, posted 12-15-2016 3:49 AM Taq has responded

  
NoNukes
Member
Posts: 9815
From: Central NC USA
Joined: 08-13-2010
Member Rating: 3.3


(2)
Message 13 of 22 (795664)
12-15-2016 3:49 AM
Reply to: Message 12 by Taq
12-12-2016 3:51 PM


Re: Nuclear Power is Bananas, But In A Good Way
As it turns out, the Fukushima disaster released 76 million bananas of radiation

Not quite right. The article says 76 million bananas every hour. The headline is misleading.

Forbes is almost alt-right on some topics. If I am going to quote a Forbes article as fact, I would check it thoroughly. FWIW, the calculations about the radioactivity of the typical banana based on the amount of K40 that is likely present are correct. But the dismissal of the concerns cited in his article are all hand waving.

There is no safe amount of radiation. As best we know, the risk added by sources of radiation are cumulative. I would also point out that not all forms of radiation are equally deadly as measured in Beq which is merely disintegrations per second. Some radioactive materials accumulate at various portions of the body because they mimic metals that are already present which offsets the effect of dilution if marine life can reconcentrate them. Some emissions (alpha, beta, gamma, neutron are more damaging to the body that others).

None of that crap is addressed in the article.


Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)

History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people. Martin Luther King

I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend. Thomas Jefferson

Seems to me if its clear that certain things that require ancient dates couldn't possibly be true, we are on our way to throwing out all those ancient dates on the basis of the actual evidence. -- Faith


This message is a reply to:
 Message 12 by Taq, posted 12-12-2016 3:51 PM Taq has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 15 by Taq, posted 12-15-2016 2:04 PM NoNukes has responded

    
frako
Member
Posts: 2702
From: slovenija
Joined: 09-04-2010


(1)
Message 14 of 22 (795716)
12-15-2016 11:32 AM
Reply to: Message 8 by nwr
12-11-2016 9:34 PM


Having electricity available is most important at night time. And solar panels don't work very well then.

just get one of those tesla batteries have them charge up douring the day and use the power douring the night.


Christianity, One woman's lie about an affair that got seriously out of hand

What are the Christians gonna do to me ..... Forgive me, good luck with that.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 8 by nwr, posted 12-11-2016 9:34 PM nwr has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 16 by nwr, posted 12-15-2016 3:32 PM frako has responded

    
Taq
Member
Posts: 7034
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 3.8


Message 15 of 22 (795736)
12-15-2016 2:04 PM
Reply to: Message 13 by NoNukes
12-15-2016 3:49 AM


Re: Nuclear Power is Bananas, But In A Good Way
NoNukes writes:

Forbes is almost alt-right on some topics. If I am going to quote a Forbes article as fact, I would check it thoroughly. FWIW, the calculations about the radioactivity of the typical banana based on the amount of K40 that is likely present are correct. But the dismissal of the concerns cited in his article are all hand waving.

The author is correct when he states that the amount of radiation leaked into the Pacific is insignificant relative to the amount of radiation we experience on a daily basis.

There is no safe amount of radiation. As best we know, the risk added by sources of radiation are cumulative.

However, when you stack the amount of radiation produced by Fukushima it is dwarfed by the other sources of radiation we experience in our every day lives. We should be as concerned about the radiation released by Fukushima into the Pacific as we are about exposing ourselves to the mid-summer Sun for 30 minutes.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 13 by NoNukes, posted 12-15-2016 3:49 AM NoNukes has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 18 by NoNukes, posted 12-15-2016 6:43 PM Taq has responded

  
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