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'[OT] Chernobyl - 20 years ago today'
2006\04\26@134043 by Mark Scoville

flavicon
face
Chernobyl tragedy - April 26, 1986 - 20 years ago today... Has it been that
long?

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/in_depth/europe/2006/chernobyl/default.stm

-- Mark

Doesn't matter what your business card says...
We're all in the results business.



2006\04\26@145359 by James Newtons Massmind

face picon face
>
> Chernobyl tragedy - April 26, 1986 - 20 years ago today...
> Has it been that long?
>
> news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/in_depth/europe/2006/chernobyl/default.stm
>
> -- Mark
>

And the grass is still growing around the site, the deer come and graze, and
have babies, the trees are growing... The local villagers are (now) dying at
normal rates.

Yes, thousands died. Between 4 and 90 thousand depending on who you listen
to. And if we build more plants, even though they would undoubtedly be safer
than the horrible design of Chernobyl, it is entirely possible that another
failure could happen and thousands more could die. But it is a drop in the
bucked compared to the millions who have died as a result of our use of
fossil fuels. Look at the number of deaths due to pollution from oil and
coal burning. Think about global warming (unless you are still one of the
nut cases that deny it exists). New Orleans alone. Add in the thousands who
have died in wars to protect our supply of oil. All the 9/11 deaths. All
from oil.

Nukes are our best hope for the future.

The danger of nuclear power, while certainly serious, has been massively
over stated.  Perhaps by vested interests who decided that other sources of
energy would be more profitable for them? How many people have been injured
by a well designed nuke plant? Um... That would be... ZERO. Three Mile
melted down and no-one died. Same basic class of failure as what happened at
Chernobyl. If you build them right, they are much less likely to be unsafe.
On the other hand, the damage of using coal and oil is inherent in the
source (Strip mining / OPEC) and in the process of using it (burning with
air).

The FOUNDER of Greens Peace just released a statement that he now supports
nuclear power as a more environmentally friendly source of power than coal,
oil or even hydroelectric. With age comes wisdom.

France is installing several new atomic power plants rather than depend on
OPEC.

I would be pleased to host one in my town or back yard assuming it would
remove the areas dependence on fossil fuels.

People need to pull their heads out of the emotional fog at look at these
issues with reason.

Spent fuel goes back in the earth where it came from and is, obviously, less
energetic than it was before. It may be breaking down faster and therefore
be more radio-active, but it will be active for a shorter period of time and
so contribute less destruction to the environment. It doesn't need to be
stored at a cost of billions. It needs to be chopped up and spread out over
the area where it was originally mined. Or dropped in the ocean. For pete
sake, its radiation, we get it from the sun, from the earth, from the water,
everywhere. It just isn't that big a deal. Manage it, deal with it, get over
it.

Or keep breathing poisoned air and deal with the storms, rising oceans, and
OPEC.

---
James.


2006\04\26@152205 by John Ferrell

face picon face
One of my favorite sites is relevant:
http://www.kiddofspeed.com/

John Ferrell
http://DixieNC.US

----- Original Message -----
From: "Mark Scoville" <spam_OUTmscovilleTakeThisOuTspamunicontrolinc.com>
To: "Microcontroller discussion list - Public." <.....piclistKILLspamspam@spam@mit.edu>
Sent: Wednesday, April 26, 2006 1:41 PM
Subject: [OT] Chernobyl - 20 years ago today


{Quote hidden}

> --

2006\04\26@155304 by Ewhost

flavicon
face
hrm i recall this site being proven a fake or atleast the majority of
the story a fake, the images are real.

either way, worth the look.


John Ferrell wrote:

>One of my favorite sites is relevant:
>http://www.kiddofspeed.com/
>
>John Ferrell
>http://DixieNC.US
>
>{Original Message removed}

2006\04\26@162451 by Bob Axtell

face picon face
James, sorry. Nuclear is NOT our best hope.
Hear me out. You are a brilliant guy, you'll see
why.

James Newtons Massmind wrote:
{Quote hidden}

Yes. Thank goodness some technicians were able to bury the lot under
layer after layer of concrete so
that the emissions are now acceptable. But the PROBLEM is still there,
it never went away. There will
have to be a sign on the top of the Chernobyl rubble-pile stating "do
not disturb for 10K years". Anybody
honestly think that is realistic?

{Quote hidden}

Global warming is caused by.. er.. WARMING... which is indirectly caused
by carbon dioxide. Yes,
while I can't be certain that global warming is not simply a cyclical
event, excessive warming DOES
cause a lot of death and destruction. And we need to fix it.

> Nukes are our best hope for the future.
>  
Nope, sorry, wrong answer. There are so many negatives to nuclear power
I cannot even begin a list.
But later I will list a few.

> The danger of nuclear power, while certainly serious, has been massively
> over stated.  Perhaps by vested interests who decided that other sources of
> energy would be more profitable for them? How many people have been injured
> by a well designed nuke plant? Um... That would be... ZERO. Three Mile
> melted down and no-one died. Same basic class of failure as what happened at
> Chernobyl. If you build them right, they are much less likely to be unsafe.
> On the other hand, the damage of using coal and oil is inherent in the
> source (Strip mining / OPEC) and in the process of using it (burning with
> air).
>  
I never said using oil and gas is better, because when you use then, you
simply add more to the carbon
dioxide burden of the atmosphere. In this we agree.

> The FOUNDER of Greens Peace just released a statement that he now supports
> nuclear power as a more environmentally friendly source of power than coal,
> oil or even hydroelectric. With age comes wisdom.
>  
He hasn't thought it through yet. Somebody.. or a lot have somebodies..
have flimflammed him into thinking
this is the only other possible thing to use. If that is wisdom, we are
truly lost.

> France is installing several new atomic power plants rather than depend on
> OPEC.
>  
These guys are driven by the same notion that our government has... It
provides technicians and engineers
that would normally be making nuclear bombs something to do between
bombs.. The governments lie to
their people to perpetuate an enormous folly.

> I would be pleased to host one in my town or back yard assuming it would
> remove the areas dependence on fossil fuels.
>  
No you wouldn't. Not really. Think about it.

> People need to pull their heads out of the emotional fog at look at these
> issues with reason.
>  
Sorry, no fog in my house. We don't allow fog here. We work in FACTS.
> Spent fuel goes back in the earth where it came from and is, obviously, less
> energetic than it was before. It may be breaking down faster and therefore
> be more radio-active, but it will be active for a shorter period of time and
> so contribute less destruction to the environment. It doesn't need to be
> stored at a cost of billions.
Sounds like a good idea, but its been thought of before. I wonder why
they have never done it before...
or will they actually do it now? Sounds pretty expensive to me....Store
it at a cost of billions, or spread it
around at the cost of billions. Nuke plants in operation since 1950
still store their offal in tanks under the
plants. So the REAL costs of operating nuke plants hasn't even begun,
has it?

>  It needs to be chopped up and spread out over
> the area where it was originally mined. Or dropped in the ocean. For pete
> sake, its radiation, we get it from the sun, from the earth, from the water,
> everywhere. It just isn't that big a deal. Manage it, deal with it, get over
> it.
>  
No, uranium 235 does NOT occur naturally, and must be intensely refined
by centrifuge and/or filtering.

No, more misconceptions. This energy was trapped when the original
star-stuff was created after the "Big Bang". When
we tinker with it and generate electricity, we release enormous amounts
of heat. And more heat we DO NOT
need. Remember the one about global warming?

> Or keep breathing poisoned air and deal with the storms, rising oceans, and
> OPEC.
>  
Again, a short list of serious problems with nuclear power generation:

1. The fuel is costly to acquire and concentrate enough to be made
useable. Sources of yellow cake are becoming
harder and harder (Do ya think maybe that "harder to find"  = higher
costs?) to locate. The best source now is
Nigeria... an ISLAMIC country. Sounds like costly oil all over again,
doesn't it?  We just CAN'T catch a break, can
we?

2. Despite a lot of interesting ideas, storing spent fuel long enough
for it to be rendered inert still seems to be insolvable.
Hasn't been solved in 60 years. well, maybe we will get lucky somehow.

3. Nuclear power plants are costly to operate and costly to maintain.
The pressure vessels become damaged (made
brittle) by the radiation and must be periodically replaced... and the
old ones cut up and buried.

Now, I have rained on your parade. I do so because there is a viable
alternative.

I (and many others) have had the solution since I was a kid. Solar
energy. Not with photovoltaics; they presently use
up more energy to make than they generate. No, just raw solar heat energy.

Imagine a 10 square mile area of the Arizona desert - probably Indian
land, since there is so much unused. Rainfall here
is less than 5 inches a year, and the sun shines with incredible
intensity here all year long. Concentrate sunlight with simple
parabolic mirrors made of stainless steel, and heat water into steam,
and spin turbines. Just like a nuke plant, but no nuclear
material, no containment vessel,  no spent fuel. Disadvantages? Well,
the sun goes down every day, but there is a simple
solution for that too. Here's MY list:

1. We have calculated that a solar plant that can capture 5 square miles
of desert sunlight will generate enough electricity to
meet the electrical needs of the USA even as the needs expand for the
next 50 years.

2. Excessive capacity will be used to breakdown water into oxygen and
hydrogen, which will be first stored to generate
heat for running some turbines at night, providing the grid with energy
during the night. Excess hydrogen will be shipped
to special "gas stations" that will provide fuel for the thing that will
power cars.  AND this hydrogen will be CHEAP.
The burning of hydrogen and oxygen produces ONLY water, NO carbon dioxide.

3. No extra heat is created when using solar energy, as it would have
fallen on the desert anyway. Its OUR sunlight, not
imported from Saudi Arabia.

4. There is absolutely NOTHING about solar energy used in this way that
is complex or leading edge. Nothing tricky
in any way, except MAYBE making sure the mirrors don't accidentally
point toward an airplane flying over...

No, instead of doing it right, the American public is being "forced" to
use nuclear power because "its our best hope".
I sure hope people wise up. This isn't being pushed much because it is
just too simple for words...


My philosophy of life is that I must NOT leave a big mess for my
children to forced to deal with. And nuclear power
is about the biggest mess POSSIBLE.


Wow, I am getting too old for this...

--Bob
> ---
> James.
>  
>
>  

2006\04\26@170816 by David VanHorn

picon face
>
> I never said using oil and gas is better, because when you use then, you
> simply add more to the carbon
> dioxide burden of the atmosphere. In this we agree.


And very significant amounts of radioactives.


--
> Feel the power of the dark side!  Atmel AVR

2006\04\26@184315 by Nate Duehr

face
flavicon
face
Bob Axtell wrote:
> James, sorry. Nuclear is NOT our best hope.
> Hear me out. You are a brilliant guy, you'll see
> why.

Interesting stuff Bob.  I want to throw a few small items into the fray...

> I never said using oil and gas is better, because when you use then, you
> simply add more to the carbon
> dioxide burden of the atmosphere. In this we agree.

There's been some VERY interesting new work in the last few years on a
completely different phenomenon, which there was a recent Nova special
on here in the States.  Do some searches for "Global Dimming".

Basically -- and you're really advised to read the real data of course,
but I'll summarize it as I understand it -- all of our burning of
various things has created enough VISIBLE polution that there are now
areas of the Earth's surface where sunlight energy reaching the surface
is lower by almost 15% (some areas of Siberia, ironically).

From the Nova special, it sounded like at least three good studies of
three completely circumstances now confirm this.

So Global Warming -- as we've all heard about -- is being actively
countered by Global Dimming to some extent.

The Nova special even talked about scientists trying to measure the
exact amounts each is "pulling" the environment warmer and cooler.

Warming is winning, according to the initial studies.

This leads to some corolaries:

- Global Warming (as we have traditionally defined it) is likely already
far worse than we originally imagined.

- Global Warming is not going to be worse AWAY from populated areas
where pollution is created and tends to remain, and not as bad in
populated areas or areas downwind of population centers for many
hundreds of miles.

- Reducing visible emissions while not reducing greenhouse gases and
other types of emissions causing the warming side of things -- will
continue to make the imbalance worse.   But, visible emissions *tend* to
be the emissions that cause humans the most distress and health problems
in the short-term, so they're always attacked first.

>> I would be pleased to host one in my town or back yard assuming it would
>> remove the areas dependence on fossil fuels.
>>  
> No you wouldn't. Not really. Think about it.

No one really wants anything to do with making modern "civilization" in
their back yard, really.

Chemical plant?  No don't want that...

(But everything within eyesight here was made with chemicals, especially
the plastics surrounding me here at my typical American cubicle desk.)

Oil refinery?  No.

Chicken farm (for the other thread about mistreating poultry)?  Not nice
to have around the average city.

Chip fabrication plant and associated wastes?  (Since this *is* the
PICList after all...)?  Don't really want that too close to my back
yard, either.

Big HDTV tower?  (The local "hot issue" right now, even though the tower
folks want to take DOWN three others in the process of erecting the new
one).  No.

Cellular phone towers?  No one wants those either.

Coal-fired power plant?  Nope.

Nuclear power plant?  Not really.

>> People need to pull their heads out of the emotional fog at look at these
>> issues with reason.

Agreed.  ;-)  But I contend that the emotional fog is that we can fix
it.  Humans make messes.  We're tragically sad that way.

> plants. So the REAL costs of operating nuke plants hasn't even begun,
> has it?

The REAL costs of "modern society" are never paid by the current
generation.  And typically humans are too short-sighted to see that.

I'll be paying for WWII heavily in my generation (mid-30's)...

WWII ends, Baby Boom starts, Baby Boomers retire in the U.S. in a few
years, and my generation -- will be paying for their care via government
subsidies until they die.

I think the numbers show I'm supposed to pay for three to four people in
retirement out of my wages.  The math shows it isn't going to work, no
matter how you slice it.

If you'd have all kept your ****s in your pants after the war... LOL...
just kidding... just one of many examples...

This whole "leave the world a better place" is a fallacy.  ALL humans
alive -- ruin the planet in some small way, no matter how "green" or
"off the grid" they live.  Just digging up a small plot of land for a
garden leaves a scar that wouldn't have been there "naturally".

Of course "naturally" assumes humans aren't natural, which is the
ultimate silliness of all of these arguments.  If humans are "natural",
then it's pretty "natural" for us to screw up the planet.

> 1. The fuel is costly to acquire and concentrate enough to be made
> useable. Sources of yellow cake are becoming
> harder and harder (Do ya think maybe that "harder to find"  = higher
> costs?) to locate. The best source now is
> Nigeria... an ISLAMIC country. Sounds like costly oil all over again,
> doesn't it?  We just CAN'T catch a break, can
> we?

Similar to the need for nitrates for explosives and fertilizer at the
turn of the century.  Peru and India were the major sources, people
fought over the trade routes, the nitrates themselves, etc... until an
aspiring German chemist figured out how to make man-made nitrates in a
lab.

It's just a different material the whole world is struggling to find and
use.  Same problem, different material, different millennium.

> 2. Despite a lot of interesting ideas, storing spent fuel long enough
> for it to be rendered inert still seems to be insolvable.
> Hasn't been solved in 60 years. well, maybe we will get lucky somehow.

Physics says that's not likely, but who knows...

> 3. Nuclear power plants are costly to operate and costly to maintain.
> The pressure vessels become damaged (made
> brittle) by the radiation and must be periodically replaced... and the
> old ones cut up and buried.

All power production facilities (when the entire system is taken into
account) are MASSIVELY costly.

This argument that nuclear is somehow more expensive forgets the
billions and billions put into the existing infrastructure for
oil/coal/gas power production and the resulting system of power plants
in most of the "civilized" world.

That wasn't free either, but it was spread out over time and people
don't count it anymore "against" those systems.

Costs are a straw-man argument anyway -- people are going to pay
whatever it costs to have power.

Case-in-point: Gasoline prices rising in the U.S. lately... people
haven't stopped driving.  It just pushes the price of EVERYTHING up.  Why?

Because it's not about the GAS... it's about TRANSPORTATION.  People in
"modern society" need to be able to travel many miles every day.

Until you take the TRAVEL pressure off the system, gas prices simply
don't matter... the prices of everything else will just follow the
TRANSPORTATION opportunity cost spent.

> I (and many others) have had the solution since I was a kid. Solar
> energy. Not with photovoltaics; they presently use
> up more energy to make than they generate. No, just raw solar heat energy.

I thought there have already been test systems that do this by heating a
central "tower" and they've been found to be buggy, hard to maintain,
and expensive?

{Quote hidden}

Again, there's been a test system somewhere, and I remember reading that
it didn't produce anywhere NEAR that level of power.  It's efficiency
was highly overrated, and operating it was difficult.

Plus, you have transmission losses, and other serious problems in
DISTRIBUTION of that power.  How are you going to get your power from
the Arizona desert all the way to NYC where the sunlight just isn't
close?  Maybe from Florida?  Texas?

> 2. Excessive capacity will be used to breakdown water into oxygen and
> hydrogen, which will be first stored to generate
> heat for running some turbines at night, providing the grid with energy
> during the night. Excess hydrogen will be shipped
> to special "gas stations" that will provide fuel for the thing that will
> power cars.  AND this hydrogen will be CHEAP.
> The burning of hydrogen and oxygen produces ONLY water, NO carbon dioxide.

Sounds nice.  And expensive.  People would pay it once your system is in
place, (as I mentioned above) but getting them to pay to SWITCH isn't
going to be easy.

> 3. No extra heat is created when using solar energy, as it would have
> fallen on the desert anyway. Its OUR sunlight, not
> imported from Saudi Arabia.

Moving it around will certainly have untold effects on planetary weather
patterns, etc... but we're seeing that already happens with all us
humans doing things like flying around the world in hollow aluminum
tubes at high altitude and leaving vapor trails in the sky where none
should have ever been naturally.  ;-)

> No, instead of doing it right, the American public is being "forced" to
> use nuclear power because "its our best hope".
> I sure hope people wise up. This isn't being pushed much because it is
> just too simple for words...

I don't think it's as simple as you think it is.  But I'll agree that at
least for the electrical part, it's an incremental change to "the grid".
 Fuel for vehicles?  Not going to happen without massive funding
dragged en-masse out of people's wallets to build new infrastructure for
hydrogen.

> My philosophy of life is that I must NOT leave a big mess for my
> children to forced to deal with. And nuclear power
> is about the biggest mess POSSIBLE.

You never threw anything in a trash can to be put in a land fill?  ;-)
Congrats.

Humans are just a mess... admit it.  :-)

Nate

2006\04\26@195414 by Peter Todd

picon face
On Wed, Apr 26, 2006 at 01:24:27PM -0700, Bob Axtell wrote:
> No, uranium 235 does NOT occur naturally, and must be intensely refined
> by centrifuge and/or filtering.

Which is why one of the most successfull nuke designs used today, the
CANDU reactor, doesn't bother with it. It runs off unenriched uranium
straight from the ground, much more efficient, and there is far more
unenriched uranium around, to the point where the current stockpiles of
it, let alone stuff in the ground, is enough to last us for at least a
decade or two.

Also you can burn thorium in CANDU reactors as well, and thorium is
extremely common. India is currently pursueing an ambition project to
figure out how to do this on a large scale, as they have the second
highest reserves of thorium in the world. (tied with the US, just after
australia)

Source: wikipedia-candu

{Quote hidden}

Politically we haven't found a solution, scientificly we have. There are
*lots* of geologically stable places. As mentioned below, we've already
had to deal with this issue before with even more toxic things.

> 4. There is absolutely NOTHING about solar energy used in this way that
> is complex or leading edge. Nothing tricky
> in any way, except MAYBE making sure the mirrors don't accidentally
> point toward an airplane flying over...

Or more importantly, making it cheap and economical. Good luck on that
one.

If it were easy, people would be doing it already.

Fundementally the problem is that coal and oil are just too cheap. End
of story. No amount of well-wishing will make things different until the
economy is forced to take into account the externalities involved from
CO2 production.

> My philosophy of life is that I must NOT leave a big mess for my
> children to forced to deal with. And nuclear power
> is about the biggest mess POSSIBLE.

Nah, a really concentrated mess, which, with some unfortunately
expensive reprocessing, can be made no more radioactive as the stuff was
when it came out of the ground in the first place.

The entierty of the high-level radioactive waste in the whole world from
*all* sources, including the massive amounts of waste developed to
support the nuclear weapons programs, would fit in an office building.

Up in Yellowknife where my parents live, there is that much volumn of
highly toxic arsenic-trioxide sitting underground from a *single* gold
mine. Did I mention the damn stuff is water-soluable too?

Source: http://nwt-tno.inac-ainc.gc.ca/giant/atg_e.html

Not to imagine the huge amounts of other far more deadly stuff than
arsnic that get dumped... Nuclear waste is the least of our concerns.
>From a waste handlers perspective, it's really easy to work with because
it's trival to detect, if it's dangerous, a gieger counter will start
beeping. Done. Seal it off. If it's really dangerous, IE hot, it must
have a short half-life, so soon (IE decades) it'll be a whole lot safer
than it was.

That arsnic mentioned above has to be sealed for eternity, it will
*never* become safe. Ever. The same is true for anything containing
heavy metals, like lead. Nuclear waste is pretty tame stuff by
comparison.

Heck, ever wondered why Hiroshima and Nagasaki are now thriving cities?

> Wow, I am getting too old for this...

Well, I guess at 21, I'm just young enough... :)

--
petespamKILLspampetertodd.ca http://www.petertodd.ca

2006\04\26@195532 by Bob Axtell

face picon face
(second inclusion, I never saw my first inclusion. I think this is
a VERY timely issue)

James, sorry. Nuclear is NOT our best hope.
Hear me out. You are a brilliant guy, you'll see
why.

James Newtons Massmind wrote:
{Quote hidden}

Yes. Thank goodness some technicians were able to bury the lot under
layer after layer of concrete so
that the emissions are now acceptable, before they perished. But the
PROBLEM is still there, it never went
away. There will have to be a sign on the top of the Chernobyl
rubble-pile stating "do not disturb for 10K
years". Anybody honestly think that such vigilance is realistic?

{Quote hidden}

Global warming is caused by.. er.. WARMING... which is indirectly caused
by carbon dioxide. Yes,
while I can't be certain that global warming is not simply a cyclical
event, excessive warming DOES
cause a lot of death and destruction. And we need to fix it. I agree.

> Nukes are our best hope for the future.
>  
Nope, sorry, wrong answer. There are so many negatives to nuclear power
I cannot even begin a list.
But later I will list a few.

{Quote hidden}

I never said using oil and gas is better, because when you use then, you
simply add more to the carbon
dioxide burden of the atmosphere. In this we agree.

> The FOUNDER of Greens Peace just released a statement that he now
> supports
> nuclear power as a more environmentally friendly source of power than
> coal,
> oil or even hydroelectric. With age comes wisdom.
>  
He hasn't thought it through yet. Somebody.. or a lot have somebodies..
have flimflammed him into thinking
this is the only other possible thing to use. If _that_ is wisdom, we
are truly lost.

> France is installing several new atomic power plants rather than
> depend on
> OPEC.  
These guys are driven by the same notion that our government is... It
provides technicians and engineers
who would, normally be making nuclear bombs, with something to do
between bombs.. The governments lie to
their people to perpetuate an enormous folly.

> I would be pleased to host one in my town or back yard assuming it would
> remove the areas dependence on fossil fuels.
>  
No you wouldn't. Think about it.

> People need to pull their heads out of the emotional fog at look at these
> issues with reason.
>  
Sorry, no fog in my house. We don't allow fog here. We work in FACTS.
> Spent fuel goes back in the earth where it came from and is,
> obviously, less
> energetic than it was before. It may be breaking down faster and
> therefore
> be more radio-active, but it will be active for a shorter period of
> time and
> so contribute less destruction to the environment. It doesn't need to be
> stored at a cost of billions.
Sounds like a good idea, but its been thought of before. I wonder why
they have never done it before...
or will they actually do it now? Sounds pretty expensive to me....Store
it at a cost of billions, or spread it
around at the cost of billions. Nuke plants in operation since 1950
still store their offal in tanks under the
plants. So the REAL costs of operating nuke plants hasn't even begun,
has it?

>  It needs to be chopped up and spread out over
> the area where it was originally mined. Or dropped in the ocean. For pete
> sake, its radiation, we get it from the sun, from the earth, from the
> water,
> everywhere. It just isn't that big a deal. Manage it, deal with it,
> get over
> it.
>  
No, usable uranium does NOT occur naturally, and must be intensely
refined by centrifuge and/or filtering.

No, more misconceptions. This energy was trapped when the original
star-stuff was created after the "Big Bang". When
we tinker with it and generate electricity, we release enormous amounts
of heat. And more heat we DO NOT
need. Remember the one about global warming?

> Or keep breathing poisoned air and deal with the storms, rising
> oceans, and
> OPEC.
>  
Again, a short list of serious problems with nuclear power generation:

1. The fuel is costly to acquire and concentrate enough to be made
usable. Sources of yellow cake are becoming
harder and harder (Do ya think maybe that "harder to find"  = higher
costs?) to locate. The best source now is
Nigeria... an ISLAMIC country. Sounds like costly oil all over again,
doesn't it?  We just CAN'T catch a break, can
we?

2. Despite a lot of interesting ideas, storing spent fuel long enough
for it to be rendered inert still seems to be insolvable.
Hasn't been solved in 60 years. well, maybe we'll get lucky somehow.

3. Nuclear power plants are costly to operate and costly to maintain.
The pressure vessels become damaged (made
brittle) by the radiation and must be periodically replaced... and the
old ones cut up and buried. Somewhere.

Now, I have rained on your parade. I do so because there is a viable
alternative.

I (and many others) have had the solution since I was a kid. Solar
energy. Not with photovoltaics; they presently use
up more energy to make than they generate. No, just raw solar heat energy.

Imagine a 10 square mile area of the Arizona desert - probably Indian
land, since there is so much unused. Rainfall here
is less than 5 inches a year, and the sun shines with incredible
intensity here all year long. Concentrate sunlight with simple
parabolic mirrors made of stainless steel, and heat water into steam,
and spin turbines. Just like a nuke plant, but no nuclear
material, no containment vessel,  no spent fuel. Disadvantages? Well,
the sun goes down every day, but there is a simple
solution for that too. Here's MY list:

1. We have calculated that a solar plant that can capture 5 square miles
of desert sunlight will generate enough electricity to
meet the electrical needs of the USA even as the needs expand for the
next 50 years.

2. Excessive capacity will be used to breakdown water into oxygen and
hydrogen, which will be first stored to generate
heat for running some turbines at night, providing the grid with energy
during the night. Excess hydrogen will be shipped
to special "gas stations" that will provide fuel for the thing that will
power cars.  AND this hydrogen will be CHEAP.
The burning of hydrogen and oxygen produces ONLY water, NO carbon dioxide.

3. No extra heat is created when using solar energy, as it would have
fallen on the desert anyway. Its OUR sunlight, not
imported from Saudi Arabia.

4. There is absolutely NOTHING about solar energy used in this way that
is complex or leading edge. Nothing tricky
in any way, except MAYBE making sure the mirrors don't accidentally
point toward an airplane flying over...

No, instead of doing it right, the American public is being "forced" to
use nuclear power because "its our best hope".
I sure hope people wise up. This isn't being pushed much because it is
just too simple for words...


My philosophy of life is that I must NOT leave a big mess for my
children to be forced to deal with. And nuclear power
is about the biggest mess POSSIBLE.


Wow, I am getting too old for this...

2006\04\26@222758 by Mike Hord

picon face
I've always wondered if we wouldn't be doing bad things by
tapping into ANY source of energy.

For example, if we capture too much wind energy, then not
enough is available to carry water in from the ocean and our
inland fresh water supplies dry up.

If we capture too much solar, same thing.  Or maybe
something else.

What about fusion using lunar helium-3?  Now we're importing
and releasing energy into our "energy sphere" that was not
intended to be there.  Result- more warming.

Most of these would require HUGE scales of energy
production to make a dent, but we ARE headed that way.

The only REAL solution is to stop releasing so damn much
energy into the Earth's biosphere.  So we either need to
moderate our consumption or get off Earth.

I'm all for getting off Earth.

For interesting reading about energy "solutions", look
up Freeman Dyson's theories about levels of civilization.
This is from a distant memory, so don't be too hard on me.
A level zero civilization uses fossil fuels, nuclear energy,
and maybe some solar.  A level 1 civilization uses ALL of
the energy which is incident upon its homeworld.  A level
2 civilization uses ALL the energy which escapes its
primary.  A level 3 civilization uses all of the energy which
escapes from its local stellar cluster.

So on a galactic scale, we aren't much better than
cavemen roasting mastodons over fire that has to be
kept rather than created!

Also continue (dragging the conversation in a (hopefully)
less inflammatory direction) to consider that any
civilization above level one would be, for all intents and
purposes, largely invisible to outside observers.  After
all, we can't see its primary (or local cluster), and any
energy radiated would be in the form of heat which
would red shift as they move away from us, causing it
to look even less like what we're looking for as likely
ET candidates.  So there could be tens of thousands
of these civilizations all around us and we'd never know...

Mike H.

2006\04\26@224627 by Bob Axtell

face picon face
Mike Hord wrote:
> I've always wondered if we wouldn't be doing bad things by
> tapping into ANY source of energy.
>
> For example, if we capture too much wind energy, then not
> enough is available to carry water in from the ocean and our
> inland fresh water supplies dry up.
>
> If we capture too much solar, same thing.  Or maybe
> something else.
>  
Actually, someone has even studied this. The sunlight level is so great
on the
Sonoran desert  that the captured sunlight would probably result in
INCREASED
plant and animal life because there is shade some places.

> What about fusion using lunar helium-3?  Now we're importing
> and releasing energy into our "energy sphere" that was not
> intended to be there.  Result- more warming.
>  
Yes, standard nuclear reactions in nukes generate considerable more warming.

> Most of these would require HUGE scales of energy
> production to make a dent, but we ARE headed that way.
>
> The only REAL solution is to stop releasing so damn much
> energy into the Earth's biosphere.  So we either need to
> moderate our consumption or get off Earth.
>
> I'm all for getting off Earth.
>  
I would have left already if I could. Some days I feel like I was put
here as a test;
it must have been something I did REALLY BAD in my last life.

{Quote hidden}

Yes, that's about it. Except the cavemen didn't leave a heaping mound of
radioactive
trash for the next 1000 generations to deal with. Conservatively, I'd
say the cavemen
were about 10 steps ahead of us.

{Quote hidden}

I could be wrong, of course, but calling us "civilized" is a real
stretch, from any standpoint.

-- Bob
> Mike H.
>
>  

2006\04\26@225301 by David VanHorn

picon face
>
> The only REAL solution is to stop releasing so damn much
> energy into the Earth's biosphere.  So we either need to
> moderate our consumption or get off Earth.


A neutral density filter sitting at L1 could do a lot twoard regulating
things.
Anyone want to tune THAT  PID loop?

--
> Feel the power of the dark side!  Atmel AVR

2006\04\26@225553 by David VanHorn

picon face
>
> I would have left already if I could. Some days I feel like I was put
> here as a test; it must have been something I did REALLY BAD in my last
> life.


Although it's widely assumed so, I don't think you necessarily work in
chronological order.
One theory is that there's only one of us, and all the "others" are us at a
different point in the stream.


--
> Feel the power of the dark side!  Atmel AVR

2006\04\26@234047 by Peter Todd

picon face
On Wed, Apr 26, 2006 at 09:27:57PM -0500, Mike Hord wrote:
> I've always wondered if we wouldn't be doing bad things by
> tapping into ANY source of energy.
>
> For example, if we capture too much wind energy, then not
> enough is available to carry water in from the ocean and our
> inland fresh water supplies dry up.
>
> If we capture too much solar, same thing.  Or maybe
> something else.
>
> What about fusion using lunar helium-3?  Now we're importing
> and releasing energy into our "energy sphere" that was not
> intended to be there.  Result- more warming.
>
> Most of these would require HUGE scales of energy
> production to make a dent, but we ARE headed that way.

Here's some hard numbers on all of that:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earth%27s_energy_budget

The total influx of solar energy to the earth is 174 petawatts.

Geothermal energy is 23 terrawatts.

Tidal energy gives you another 3 terrawatts.

And finally... Burning fossil fules is only 13 terrawatts.

Geothermal BTW is actually almost entierly radioactive decay, stored
heat from the beginnings of the planet can't account for how much is
there.

In any case, solar energy accounts for over 10,000 times more energy
than does fossil fuels. In fact, the uncertanty of that solar energy
figure due to natural fluctuations is far more than geothermal and
fossil fuels combined.

So basically, it'll be a long time before we scale up our energy
consumption to the point where it's even remotely comparable with the
effects of global warming. My hunch is landscape modification, through
changing albedo, could very well have more effect. The creation of the
Dutch Polder's for instance probably had a massive effect on the albedo
by replacing dark water with relatively lighter land. That's changing
some % of around 300W of power per square meter, add's up real quick.


About wind mind you... I'm very curious to know what the sum affect of
wind power would be... See, for instance with solar power in most cases
the total effect will be unchanged. You take energy that is converted to
heat normally on the panel, move it a couple hundred feet, and
re-release it as heat. No big deal. Now with wind... What happens when
you effectively warm up the ground? Does that produce more wind by
heating up the air above it?

How far are winds "pushed" anyway?

Of course, as explained above, the effect is completely negligable, but
still, as something to think about...

--
.....peteKILLspamspam.....petertodd.ca http://www.petertodd.ca

2006\04\27@013012 by James Newtons Massmind

face picon face
<SNIP>

> Fundamentally the problem is that coal and oil are just too cheap. End
> of story. No amount of well-wishing will make things
> different until the
> economy is forced to take into account the externalities involved from
> CO2 production.

Agreed, but don't leave out the other externalities like health, war, etc...

<SNIP>

{Quote hidden}

So true. And yet, so many people are so upset about it...

> Heck, ever wondered why Hiroshima and Nagasaki are now
> thriving cities?

And if you really want to bend your mind, there are people alive to day, who
were standing in the middle of those cities when the bombs went off. "Duck,
cover and roll" is, in fact, valuable advice, but the other major point
seems to be "don't drink the black rain" and don't get trampled on the way
to the river.

---
James.


2006\04\27@013640 by James Newtons Massmind

face picon face
> I've always wondered if we wouldn't be doing bad things by
> tapping into ANY source of energy.
>
> For example, if we capture too much wind energy, then not
> enough is available to carry water in from the ocean and our
> inland fresh water supplies dry up.
>
> If we capture too much solar, same thing.  Or maybe something else.
>
> What about fusion using lunar helium-3?  Now we're importing
> and releasing energy into our "energy sphere" that was not
> intended to be there.  Result- more warming.
>
> Most of these would require HUGE scales of energy production
> to make a dent, but we ARE headed that way.
>
> The only REAL solution is to stop releasing so damn much
> energy into the Earth's biosphere.  So we either need to
> moderate our consumption or get off Earth.

The major difference is that fossil fuels inject carbon dioxide into the
atmosphere which then traps more of the suns enormous energy. Our own
directly added energy release is a pittance by comparison.

Again, fossil fuels cause global warming by CHEMICAL pollution, NOT ENERGY
pollution.

Not to mention chemical poisoning ala smog, lead poisoning ala war, and so
on.

---
James.


2006\04\27@015917 by James Newtons Massmind

face picon face
> Sounds like a good idea, but its been thought of before. I
> wonder why they have never done it before...
> or will they actually do it now? Sounds pretty expensive to
> me....Store it at a cost of billions, or spread it around at
> the cost of billions. Nuke plants in operation since 1950
> still store their offal in tanks under the plants. So the
> REAL costs of operating nuke plants hasn't even begun, has it?

The problem is political not real. The cost is high because people have been
scared into excessive regulation, safety measures that are unnecessary and
away from solutions that are obvious, cheap and effective.


> >  It needs to be chopped up and spread out over the area
> where it was
> > originally mined. Or dropped in the ocean. For pete sake, its
> > radiation, we get it from the sun, from the earth, from the water,
> > everywhere. It just isn't that big a deal. Manage it, deal with it,
> > get over it.
> >  
> No, uranium 235 does NOT occur naturally, and must be
> intensely refined by centrifuge and/or filtering.

Err... Could you please check your facts on that one? I'm pretty darn sure
it does. But in very small amounts and well spread out. Again, disposal of
radio-active waste, 235 or any other, could easily and safely be
accomplished by just spreading it thin.

> No, more misconceptions. This energy was trapped when the
> original star-stuff was created after the "Big Bang". When we
> tinker with it and generate electricity, we release enormous
> amounts of heat. And more heat we DO NOT need. Remember the
> one about global warming?

Bob, you are smarter than that. Global warming couldn't begin to be caused
by our tiny release of heat into the world. It is caused by the release of
green house gasses which trap more heat in the air, preventing its radiation
into space. If we were not polluting with fossil fuels, any additional heat
we polluted with would self correct very quickly.


> 1. The fuel is costly to acquire and concentrate enough to be
> made useable. Sources of yellow cake are becoming harder and
> harder (Do ya think maybe that "harder to find"  = higher
> costs?) to locate. The best source now is Nigeria... an
> ISLAMIC country. Sounds like costly oil all over again,
> doesn't it?  We just CAN'T catch a break, can we?

Many other sources of non-traditional nuke fuel are available.

> 2. Despite a lot of interesting ideas, storing spent fuel
> long enough for it to be rendered inert still seems to be insolvable.
> Hasn't been solved in 60 years. well, maybe we will get lucky somehow.

It HAS been solved, but the solution is politically unacceptable because our
people are stupid, our leaders are gutless, and the oil cartels are
effective mind washers.

> 3. Nuclear power plants are costly to operate and costly to maintain.
> The pressure vessels become damaged (made
> brittle) by the radiation and must be periodically
> replaced... and the old ones cut up and buried.

There is some truth in this, but a lot of the cost is in unnecessary
regulation and safety equipment required by a frightened public.

> Now, I have rained on your parade. I do so because there is a
> viable alternative.
>
> I (and many others) have had the solution since I was a kid.
> Solar energy. Not with photovoltaic's; they presently use up
> more energy to make than they generate. No, just raw solar
> heat energy.

Oh! Bob.. Please... Think about that for 3 seconds and then try again. I
know you are much more intelligent than that statement makes you seem.

As an example, I have a system on my roof right this moment that generated
$1,400 of electricity last year. It cost $21,000 installed (before the
rebates) so it will pay for itself in 15 of its 25 year lifespan. Actually
it will pay for itself in 10 years because of the federal and state
incentives. If the panels generated less power than it took to make them,
how could that ever be possible? See:
http://www.massmind.org/other/solar/case1.htm

{Quote hidden}

I can only hope you are right. That all sounds good. The only concern I can
think of is transmission losses to other areas, but that is probably not a
big deal.

But the enemy of my enemy is my friend. Big oil is stopping your solar plant
just as surly as it stopped my nuke plant. And for the same reasons. Rather
than fight about which is better, lets pool our resources and make big oil
go away.

What can we do to show people how truly and really horrible fossil fuels
are? I've mentioned a few ways, but we should expand on them, investigate
and get the word out. Should we not?

> My philosophy of life is that I must NOT leave a big mess for
> my children to forced to deal with. And nuclear power is
> about the biggest mess POSSIBLE.

Oil is bigger. Can we agree on that?

>
> Wow, I am getting too old for this...
>
> --Bob
> > ---
> > James.
> >  
> >
> >  
>
> --

2006\04\27@020531 by James Newtons Massmind

face picon face

> Humans are just a mess... admit it.  :-)

Some humans have learned to wipe their butts...

...perhaps we can learn to be LESS of a mess?

---
James.


2006\04\27@020752 by James Newtons Massmind

face picon face
> One theory is that there's only one of us, and all the
> "others" are us at a different point in the stream.

I thought you looked familiar...

---
James.


2006\04\27@033950 by Alan B. Pearce

face picon face
>> Chernobyl tragedy - April 26, 1986 - 20 years ago today...
>> Has it been that long?
>
>The local villagers are (now) dying at normal rates.

Not sure about that. Don't have any figures to back it up, but there are
charities here in the UK that bring a load of children from that area over
for a holiday each summer. Part of the thing is to let them have fun away
from the contaminated area, and have food that is known to not be
contaminated.

2006\04\27@052630 by Russell McMahon

face
flavicon
face
> The major difference

sez who ? :-)

ie We can hazard a guess as to which of the effects we are causing is
the major one , but often enough we will be wrong.

> is that fossil fuels inject carbon dioxide into the
> atmosphere which then traps more of the suns enormous energy. Our
> own
> directly added energy release is a pittance by comparison.

Pittances can perturb if positioned perilously.
ie the Lorentz butterfly may bite you unexpectedly when what you were
doing SEEMED to be insiognificant relative to natural effects.

> Again, fossil fuels cause global warming by CHEMICAL pollution, NOT
> ENERGY
> pollution.

Neither actually, arguably.
The action is "photochemical" but its a "mechanical" thermodynamic
effect as a result of this. The sun provides the energy pollution when
we alter the planet's albedo. Painting ALL our roofs white may help
:-).

Of course, the *major* contributor to global warming is the currently
increasing natural output of the sun which has been on an increasing
part of its variable cycle for several hundred years now*. Our effects
are, as you note above,  a pittance compared to this. Which doesn't
mean that our unnatural contributiion wont be what it takes to cause
the butterfly to flap its wing a century or two earlier, or at all.

Greatest known risk is stopping the Atlantic Conveyor subsurface
wraming current which keeps the Brits weather only miserable instead
of ice bound as it ought to be. CO2 levels play a, beleive it or not,
major part in the mechanisms that drive this process. Push them not
impossibly much higher than now and they will be able to skate from
England to France. The really nasty part is that they believe that the
process can flip over in as little as a decade once it gets going BUT
can take centuries to millenia to unflip.

* When you look at the graphs published by many of the 'more liable to
gain from global warming hype' groups you find that they lie severely
by cutting off the graphs in such a manner as to hide the long term
solar cycles which are very similar to what we are riding on top of
now. I'm certainly not saying that GW isn't real - just that

i     The sun is the major contributor.

ii    Our contribution is a small but significanyt fraction whose
effects are not easily predicted.


> Not to mention chemical poisoning ala smog, lead poisoning ala war,
> and so
> on.

Fossil fuels do not cause wars.
Wars may well be fought because of them, but if we had a lot more of
them there would be fewer wars fought over them.
People cause wars (thankyou Mr Heston, you can sit down now).  With or
without GW and FF there will be people and therefore wars.
Wars are caused by greed, pride and self preference. Whether any or
all of these are good or bad depends on ones point of view, whether
its you or someome else doing whatever is under consideration and
whether moral absolutes exist.

Any primary energy source that is limited in availability will cause
'trouble' (RoboCop style).

A potentially free unlimited energy source would cause problems
because of the loss of power (of the other sort) that it engendered.

Solar energy is, perhaps, the most logical one to target as it is
highly available at most consumer locations much of the time. The
level varies annually and with lattitude, but there is still heaps
(technical term) available at most sites much of the time if we but
were sensible with our collection technology. I'll be addressing that
later this year. Maybe. :-).

Harnessing ANY energy source results in pollution of one sort or
another. Some are benign enough in their primary form that the main
pollution comes from the production of the infrastructure. Others such
as fossil & chemical fuels (petroleum / coal / wood / ...)  and
nuclear fission (don't listen to James) are primary polluters as well
as having infrastructure pollution.  Nuclear fusion promises (lies,
lies ...) to be essentially pollution free relative to power output
once we manage to get to the He3 cycle. Other cycles are far worse.

Hmm. Warder wants me to go back now. Anon ...


       RM


       RM


2006\04\27@074114 by Tony Smith

picon face
Hot biker chick + post nuclear apocalype landscape.  Every sci-fi nerds
dream.

Unfortunately for the dream, she got sprung as a fake, sort of.  She'd
been to Chernobyl, but on the official tour, not the bike.

Oh well.

Tony



{Original Message removed}

2006\04\27@082310 by Peter

picon face
Mark Scoville <mscoville <at> unicontrolinc.com> writes:

>
> Chernobyl tragedy - April 26, 1986 - 20 years ago today... Has it been that
> long?
>
> http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/in_depth/europe/2006/chernobyl/default.stm

I was curious what that 'lava-like' stuff was. So I found this:

http://www.rri.kyoto-u.ac.jp/NSRG/reports/kr79/kr79pdf/Pavlovych.pdf

Peter






2006\04\27@090534 by Howard Winter

face
flavicon
picon face
Alan,

On Thu, 27 Apr 2006 08:39:43 +0100, Alan B. Pearce wrote:

{Quote hidden}

Indeed, and the amazing thing is that the one month holiday here adds several years to their life expectancy!  
It does make you wonder why they and their families don't move further away from the contaminated area, but
there's no accounting for politics...

Cheers,


Howard Winter
St.Albans, England


2006\04\27@091844 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
James Newtons Massmind wrote:

> The problem is political not real.

What means "political" and what's not "real" in that?

Planning on storing anything for more than a century is not "scientific" --
we don't have any proven technology for that. Let alone the mechanisms to
provide the required social stability to insure the required maintenance
over the lifetime of the facility. This is all "real".

> Again, disposal of radio-active waste, 235 or any other, could easily and
> safely be accomplished by just spreading it thin.

I can see crop dusters flying over NYC and LA, "spreading it thin" right
where the energy was consumed :)


> But the enemy of my enemy is my friend.

Ouch... why is it that this fallacy is so popular? Haven't there been
enough examples yet to show that this doesn't work?


Funny that nobody mentioned the IMO biggest energy source: more efficient
use.

US total consumption: 100 P BTU/year, or 350 GJ/person/year
Germany total consumption: 14 P BTU/year, or 200 GJ/person/year

I don't consider the German lifestyle that much different, in terms of
opportunity for happiness and comfort. Maybe fewer dryers and smaller cars,
but that's about it. And note that I don't find anything particularly
energy-efficient about the German lifestyle. There's lots of room for
improvements, in both lifestyles -- the difference here is just to show
what big difference even minor adjustments can make. More efficient use
often comes not only with less consumption, but also with fewer side
effects.


BTW, there seem to have been a host of cartoons in the US lately about the
increased oil consumption of China. Let's see:

US petroleum consumption: 7.3 G barrels/year, or 3820 liters/person/year
China petroleum consumption: 0.3 G barrels/year, or 32 liters/person/year

Hm... :)

Gerhard

2006\04\27@093248 by Howard Winter

face
flavicon
picon face
Gerhard,

On Thu, 27 Apr 2006 10:17:58 -0300, Gerhard Fiedler wrote:

> James Newtons Massmind wrote:
>
>...
> > But the enemy of my enemy is my friend.
>
> Ouch... why is it that this fallacy is so popular? Haven't there been
> enough examples yet to show that this doesn't work?

Hear Hear!  This ludicrously simplistic view (and its other forms) have lead to so many foreign policy
catastrophes in the past, that surely it's time so scrap it?

> Funny that nobody mentioned the IMO biggest energy source: more efficient
> use.
>
> US total consumption: 100 P BTU/year, or 350 GJ/person/year
> Germany total consumption: 14 P BTU/year, or 200 GJ/person/year

Errr... some problem with the arithmetic here, I'm afaid!

If 100 P BTU = 350 GJ (and I haven't worked it out) then 14 P BTU must be 49 GJ.

Cheers,


Howard Winter
St.Albans, England


2006\04\27@094915 by Michael Rigby-Jones

picon face


{Quote hidden}

Howard,

I assumed that the P BTU figure is the total energy consumption for the entire country and the number in GJ is per person.  As the population of the US and Germany are considerably different this is where the discrepancy you have noted arises.

Regards

Mike

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2006\04\27@123052 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Howard Winter wrote:

>>> But the enemy of my enemy is my friend.
>>
>> Ouch... why is it that this fallacy is so popular? Haven't there been
>> enough examples yet to show that this doesn't work?
>
> Hear Hear!  This ludicrously simplistic view (and its other forms) have
> lead to so many foreign policy catastrophes in the past, that surely
> it's time so scrap it?

It was never time to make it up in the first place :)


>> Funny that nobody mentioned the IMO biggest energy source: more efficient
>> use.
>>
>> US total consumption: 100 P BTU/year, or 350 GJ/person/year
>> Germany total consumption: 14 P BTU/year, or 200 GJ/person/year
>
> Errr... some problem with the arithmetic here, I'm afaid!
>
> If 100 P BTU = 350 GJ (and I haven't worked it out) then 14 P BTU must be 49 GJ.

Errr... some problem with the reading here, I'm afraid :)

You just missed out on a crucial part of the dimensions. The US total
consumption is 100 P BTU *per year*, or 350 GJ *per person per year*.


BTW, the "international BTU" is about 1055 J. I used BTU in the first
number because that seems to be what most international statistics seem to
offer (at least the ones I found). (Wouldn't it have been easier if they
had defined the "international BTU" to be 1000 J? :)

Gerhard

2006\04\27@125043 by Nate Duehr

face
flavicon
face
James Newtons Massmind wrote:

> As an example, I have a system on my roof right this moment that generated
> $1,400 of electricity last year. It cost $21,000 installed (before the
> rebates) so it will pay for itself in 15 of its 25 year lifespan. Actually
> it will pay for itself in 10 years because of the federal and state
> incentives. If the panels generated less power than it took to make them,
> how could that ever be possible? See:
> http://www.massmind.org/other/solar/case1.htm

My disappointment with solar is a local problem.  We get a lot of hail
storms.

Any system I might install and attempt to make it to "payback" on, would
likely be destroyed or heavily damaged every three years, on average.

Some panels can survive a pretty good pounding, but when Mother Nature
drops 3/4" hail on your house every three to five years, solar panels on
the roof don't seem like such a good idea.

Nate

2006\04\27@131022 by olin piclist

face picon face
Gerhard Fiedler wrote:
> Wouldn't it have been easier if
> they had defined the "international BTU" to be 1000 J?

No, since BTU has a previous meaning of course.  It makes sense to formalize
the definition in MKS units, but not to actually change its value.  A BTU is
the amount of energy it takes to raise one pound of water 1 degree F if I
remember right.  This is a property of water and you don't just get to
decide it should be a different value.  If you want 1000J you can already
just say KJ.

For a while the meter was defined as a certain number of wavelengths of the
red emissions of krypton 86 if I remember right.  They didn't just pick a
nice round number because the meter had a previous definition, which in that
case I think was a platinum-iridium bar kept in Paris.  The definition was
so careful to preserve the previous length of the meter that it was actually
given in fractions of the wavelength, even though the actual number was in
the millions.  Would you rather they rounded off to the nearest 1000
wavelengths or so?

I don't know why they have to go thru all this sillyness.  After all how
many people have krypton 86 handy or a means of measuring a few million of
its wavelengths even if they did.  It would be a lot simpler if they just
picked something common, like the distance from the tip of the nose to the
tip of the index finger with the arm outstretched.  Everyone (well, most
everyone) has those handy.  The size of your foot and the width of the your
palm are other readily available measures, the latter particularly useful
for measuring the size of a horse.  Geesh, why do they have to make
everything so *complercated*!?


******************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, (978) 742-9014.  #1 PIC
consultant in 2004 program year.  http://www.embedinc.com/products

2006\04\27@132943 by Peter

picon face

On Wed, 26 Apr 2006, Ewhost wrote:

> hrm i recall this site being proven a fake or atleast the majority of the
> story a fake, the images are real.

Which part of the story is fake ? That site is mostly pictures.

Peter

2006\04\27@134633 by John Pfaff

picon face
The pictures are (probably) authentic, but the story has been proven
false.  Since the story is false, her credibility is destroyed.  
Apparently she did take a trip into the area, but it wasn't on a
motorycle.  It was on a regular tour with her husband.

http://www.uer.ca/forum_showthread.asp?fid=1&threadid=8951

Peter wrote:
{Quote hidden}

2006\04\27@135119 by Peter

picon face


On Wed, 26 Apr 2006, David VanHorn wrote:

>>
>> The only REAL solution is to stop releasing so damn much
>> energy into the Earth's biosphere.  So we either need to
>> moderate our consumption or get off Earth.
>
>
> A neutral density filter sitting at L1 could do a lot twoard
> regulating things. Anyone want to tune THAT PID loop?

A ND filter would be hard but a cloud of something or other conveniently
created there might work. BUT are you sure you want that ?

Peter

2006\04\27@135342 by Howard Winter

face
flavicon
picon face
Michael,

On Thu, 27 Apr 2006 14:44:52 +0100, Michael Rigby-Jones wrote:

{Quote hidden}

is per person.  As the population of the US and Germany are considerably different this is where the
discrepancy you have noted arises.

Ugh!  I didn't notice the difference in dimensions (the /person part) when I read this - sorry!  That being
the case, I'm rather surprised the US per person figure is only 1.75 of the German one.

Cheers,


Howard Winter
St.Albans, England


2006\04\27@135554 by Peter

picon face

On Wed, 26 Apr 2006, James Newtons Massmind wrote:

>> Humans are just a mess... admit it.  :-)
>
> Some humans have learned to wipe their butts...
>
> ...perhaps we can learn to be LESS of a mess?

Stop wiping and save some trees ?

Peter

2006\04\27@135610 by Howard Winter

face
flavicon
picon face
Gerhard,

On Thu, 27 Apr 2006 13:30:16 -0300, Gerhard Fiedler wrote:

{Quote hidden}

Err yes, quite right.  Sorry! (slinks off to the corner)

Cheers,


Howard Winter
St.Albans, England


2006\04\27@140242 by Peter

picon face

On Thu, 27 Apr 2006, Peter wrote:

> Mark Scoville <mscoville <at> unicontrolinc.com> writes:
>
>>
>> Chernobyl tragedy - April 26, 1986 - 20 years ago today... Has it been that
>> long?
>>
>> http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/in_depth/europe/2006/chernobyl/default.stm
>
> I was curious what that 'lava-like' stuff was. So I found this:
>
> http://www.rri.kyoto-u.ac.jp/NSRG/reports/kr79/kr79pdf/Pavlovych.pdf

Just in case I was not clear: The paper suggests that the puddles of
vitrified fuel 'lava' and materials under the reactor can go critical if
they get wet. In fact, they apparently may have done that twice already
according to graphs in that paper.

Peter

2006\04\27@141325 by James Newtons Massmind

face picon face

> > hrm i recall this site being proven a fake or atleast the
> majority of
> > the story a fake, the images are real.
>
> Which part of the story is fake ? That site is mostly pictures.

She rode through the area on her bike. The pictures of the road are from
that. Then she took an official tour and the pictures OFF the road are from
that. She didn't clearly state which pictures are from where. Some people
decided that this was "fake".

Just another amazing rumor that makes nuke power look bad and oil look
better by comparison.

Like that bit about how solar panels take more power to build than they
produce in their life time.

And that windmills kill birds. Which by the way, is absolutely bull pucky.

' wonder how these get started? Who starts them? Who would benefit from
them?


Where are the rumors about more people dying from breathing the pollution
put out by oil and coal fired generation plants than have died smoking
cigarettes? **

---
James.

** I have no idea if that is true, but I felt like trying to start a rumor
for the other side.

2006\04\27@142941 by David VanHorn

picon face
>
>
> > A neutral density filter sitting at L1 could do a lot twoard
> > regulating things. Anyone want to tune THAT PID loop?
>
> A ND filter would be hard but a cloud of something or other conveniently
> created there might work. BUT are you sure you want that ?


Well, if you're worried about solar driven heating being a problem, that
would be one way to fix it, and somewhat easier than building a dyson
sphere.

I tried to order 1-1 scale plans, but they never arrived. :)


--
> Feel the power of the dark side!  Atmel AVR

2006\04\27@143223 by Peter Todd

picon face
On Thu, Apr 27, 2006 at 11:13:13AM -0700, James Newtons Massmind wrote:
{Quote hidden}

Ahh, you gotta go to the Ontario College of Art and Design for that.
I've heard that one before, along with "Cigarettes aren't dangerous,
it's the plastic filters in them that cause the cancer, tobacco smoke is
natural and safe." The same teacher (a smoker BTW) also tried to tell my
class that %95 of women were *already* infertile because of estrogens
from plastics and because of that civilization would end within a few
decades. Strangely, his examples of this were all wrong, he somehow
managed to cite the few plastics that don't have estrogen mimicing
compounds in them, names high and low density polyethelyne, rather than
the numorous examples to the contrary.

Who's benifitting from those BTW? Fear. He's one of the more popular
teachers in the school, because he panders to students who hate
industry, and who smoke for that matter...

--
@spam@peteKILLspamspampetertodd.ca http://www.petertodd.ca

2006\04\27@152951 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Olin Lathrop wrote:

>> Wouldn't it have been easier if they had defined the "international BTU"
>> to be 1000 J?
>
> No, since BTU has a previous meaning of course.  It makes sense to
> formalize the definition in MKS units, but not to actually change its
> value.  A BTU is the amount of energy it takes to raise one pound of
> water 1 degree F if I remember right.  This is a property of water and
> you don't just get to decide it should be a different value.  

Well, yes, kind of. My comment was pointing at the fact that there are
probably at least 5 different common definitions of Btu out there (besides
the two common abbreviations :)  
http://www.sizes.com/units/british_thermal_unit.htm

Since for most who use Btu it apparently doesn't really matter that much
which Btu it is (it seems to be rarely specified, which implies an
uncertainty of about 0.5%), I figured it would make my life easier if they
used one that was off by a little more (only 5%), but more convenient.
Nobody would probably notice it... And there was the smiley that you left
out of your quote... :)


> If you want 1000J you can already just say KJ.

<nitpick> That would be kJ physics.nist.gov/cuu/Units/prefixes.html
</nitpick>

I suspect that few people are familiar with either the SI prefixes beyond
T/tera or the plain language words for those numbers. That's possibly one
of the reasons for the use of Btu in such tables: less zeroes than when
using J.

But the consumption has reached amounts that the statistics for many
countries need P/peta even when using Btu. And while learning what P/peta
means (10^15), one could learn in the same token what E/exa means (10^18).
Which would then make the US energy consumption about 100 EJ/year (or about
3 TW or about 10 kW/person; both in yearly averages).

The problem is with the plain language terms for such big numbers... after
M/mega/million they get ambiguous:
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quadrillion#SI_Prefixes
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Names_of_large_numbers
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Long_and_short_scales


> For a while the meter was defined as a certain number of wavelengths of the
> red emissions of krypton 86 if I remember right.  

You remember right http://www.mel.nist.gov/div821/museum/timeline.htm

Its definition is based on the speed of light and time (derived from
cesium-133) now.


> Would you rather they rounded off to the nearest 1000 wavelengths or so?

I think that's a different matter. There's a difference between physical
constants (like krypton wavelength, cesium frequency, speed of light), base
units (like m, s) and arbitrary convenience units (like Btu). The first two
are necessary and just don't match in general. You can match a base unit
with one physical constant, but then it won't match another. But you can
make life with (in)convenience units easier :)

(I do remember our previous conversations. And I know that there are a few
Btu definitions that are independent of the joule. And I hope you do notice
the smileys...)

Gerhard

2006\04\27@153524 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Howard Winter wrote:

> I'm rather surprised the US per person figure is only 1.75 of the German
> one.

I seem to remember that the difference was more some time ago. Something
seems to be catching on -- either one way or the other :)

Gerhard

2006\04\27@163812 by Bob Axtell

face picon face
hehe.

James Newtons Massmind wrote:
>>> hrm i recall this site being proven a fake or atleast the
>>>      
>> majority of
>>    
>>> the story a fake, the images are real.
>>>      
>> Which part of the story is fake ? That site is mostly pictures.
>>    
>
> She rode through the area on her bike. The pictures of the road are from
> that. Then she took an official tour and the pictures OFF the road are from
> that. She didn't clearly state which pictures are from where. Some people
> decided that this was "fake".
>
> Just another amazing rumor that makes nuke power look bad and oil look
> better by comparison.
>  
That whole website appears to be propaganda in favor of someone.

{Quote hidden}

There might be some truth here, though. My sister inlaw lives outside
LA, and she has been told by
friends that doctors have said that everybody living in LA county smokes
two packs a day- even if
they never lit up.

You are a great guy, James. Keep it up. Sorry I accused you falsely. I
will read PICLIST through
another vehicle, not email, from now on.

--Bob

> ---
> James.
>
> ** I have no idea if that is true, but I felt like trying to start a rumor
> for the other side.
>
>  

2006\04\27@165234 by Bob Axtell

face picon face
James Newtons Massmind wrote:
>>> hrm i recall this site being proven a fake or atleast the
>>>      
>> majority of
>>    
>>> the story a fake, the images are real.
>>>      
>> Which part of the story is fake ? That site is mostly pictures.
>>    
>
> She rode through the area on her bike. The pictures of the road are from
> that. Then she took an official tour and the pictures OFF the road are from
> that. She didn't clearly state which pictures are from where. Some people
> decided that this was "fake".
>
> Just another amazing rumor that makes nuke power look bad and oil look
> better by comparison.
>
> Like that bit about how solar panels take more power to build than they
> produce in their life time.
>  
Oops, I missed this one. Yes, if the standard process is used (slices of
6" silicon crystal wafers), the crystal
is made by many kilowatts of careful heating and crystal growing. So
that one is SORTA true.

Newer devices are made by an extrusion process, where the active
junction is on a glassy surface. These use
much less energy to make and are very inexpensive. Of course they are
not very efficient, either, but when
concentrated, work very well, I understand..

{Quote hidden}

2006\04\27@172512 by Peter

picon face

A different kind of Chernobyl - Centralia:

http://www.offroaders.com/album/centralia/the-story.htm

also shows promise to last 100 years.

Peter

2006\04\27@175553 by Peter Todd

picon face
On Thu, Apr 27, 2006 at 01:52:32PM -0700, Bob Axtell wrote:
> > She rode through the area on her bike. The pictures of the road are from
> > that. Then she took an official tour and the pictures OFF the road are from
> > that. She didn't clearly state which pictures are from where. Some people
> > decided that this was "fake".
> >
> > Just another amazing rumor that makes nuke power look bad and oil look
> > better by comparison.
> >
> > Like that bit about how solar panels take more power to build than they
> > produce in their life time.
> >  
> Oops, I missed this one. Yes, if the standard process is used (slices of
> 6" silicon crystal wafers), the crystal
> is made by many kilowatts of careful heating and crystal growing. So
> that one is SORTA true.

Of course, aparently up until recently, solar panels were almost
exclusively made using recycled wafer material that would have otherwise
been thrown out anyway.

So definetely a win, even if technically *maybe* more energy was used.

--
KILLspampeteKILLspamspampetertodd.ca http://www.petertodd.ca

2006\04\27@183805 by James Newtons Massmind

face picon face
> A different kind of Chernobyl - Centralia:
>
> www.offroaders.com/album/centralia/the-story.htm
>
> also shows promise to last 100 years.
>
> Peter

I saw a thing on that some time ago... A really interesting story. At first
glance you think "Huh? Big deal" and then you realize how serious it is for
those people and then you wonder why the heck it's so hard to put out, and
you keep reading...

There are so many ways to screw up the world...

---
James.


2006\04\27@205515 by Bob Axtell

face picon face
Peter Todd wrote:
{Quote hidden}

Good catch, Peter, I didn't know.

--Bob

2006\04\27@220538 by Matthew Miller

flavicon
face
On Wed, Apr 26, 2006 at 04:55:02PM -0700, Bob Axtell wrote:
>
> 1. We have calculated that a solar plant that can capture 5 square miles
> of desert sunlight will generate enough electricity to
> meet the electrical needs of the USA even as the needs expand for the
> next 50 years.

I have to take issue with this number of square miles. It seems hopelessly
optimistic.

>From <http://www.eia.doe.gov/cneaf/electricity/epa/epa_sum.html> the total
2004 generating capacity was 963E9 Watts.
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_energy> has the best case value of 1020
W/m^2 of solar energy reaching the ground.

Using this info, at least 365 mi^2 would be needed to power the U.S., and
this is assuming 100% efficiency. A power generation faculty at 50%
efficiency would be 40x40 miles. This would be the greatest engineering
project mankind ever attempted! I'm all for this, but I'm skeptical whether
solar on this scale will beat nuclear on economics alone.

Of course I've been very optimistic here, much more that 700 mi^2 will be
needed. Multiple solar collection faculties as well...

Let's do it. Human kind need challenges any way.

Matthew

--
"It is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education"
    -- Albert Einstein

2006\04\28@000919 by Bob Axtell

face picon face
Matthew Miller wrote:
> On Wed, Apr 26, 2006 at 04:55:02PM -0700, Bob Axtell wrote:
>  
>> 1. We have calculated that a solar plant that can capture 5 square miles
>> of desert sunlight will generate enough electricity to
>> meet the electrical needs of the USA even as the needs expand for the
>> next 50 years.
>>    
>
>  
This is very old data, published in the 80s. I am quite certain that it
is correct. Lets see... ya know, I
think I misspoke, I think it is 5 miles square, not 5 square miles. That
is then a square, 5mi by 5mi, or
25 square miles. My calculator says that 25sq miles contains 2,589,998.5
square meters. At 740 watts
per square meter, that is 1,926,598 KW or 1926.6 MW. Barely enough for
Greater LA, methinks...

Doesn't look like enough to me, either... Looks like it needs to be
maybe 10 times that... I need to go
dig this outa my old paper files.

> I have to take issue with this number of square miles. It seems hopelessly
> optimistic.
>
> >From <http://www.eia.doe.gov/cneaf/electricity/epa/epa_sum.html> the total
> 2004 generating capacity was 963E9 Watts.
> <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_energy> has the best case value of 1020
> W/m^2 of solar energy reaching the ground.
>
>  
So. Arizona averages yearly 740 W/meter^2. In summer it probably gets
close to 1020. But its major
advantage is that there are very few overcast days, the reason why So
Arizona has 5 observatories
within 50 miles of Tucson.

> Using this info, at least 365 mi^2 would be needed to power the U.S., and
> this is assuming 100% efficiency. A power generation faculty at 50%
> efficiency would be 40x40 miles. This would be the greatest engineering
> project mankind ever attempted! I'm all for this, but I'm skeptical whether
> solar on this scale will beat nuclear on economics alone.
>  
Nuclear power has no economics. Nuclear power is never paid for,; we
will pay for it generation after generation
in perpetuity; sorta like an expensive cemetery.

But if you are looking for the loose screw, it is that the US power grid
would be unable to accept even a fraction
of the plant's output, because it is so decadent. Rebuilding the grid
would be the most costly task.
> Of course I've been very optimistic here, much more that 700 mi^2 will be
> needed. Multiple solar collection faculties as well...
>  
Yes, NM could take a few, Arizona many, because most of Arizona is
unused Indian land, just dust and cactus.
But AZ has an advantage in that the Bay of Baja could provide cooling
water, pumped about 50 miles. Mexico
would certainly assist, in order to get cheap electricity in exchange.
> Let's do it. Human kind need challenges any way.
>  
It beats another nuke plant. Lets do!

--Bob

> Matthew
>
>  

2006\04\28@002616 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face

On Apr 26, 2006, at 11:53 AM, James Newtons Massmind wrote:

> Yes, thousands died. ...  But it is a drop in the bucked compared
> to the millions who have died as a result of our use of fossil
> fuels. Look at the number of deaths due to pollution from oil
> and coal burning.

As long as we're racking up death tolls, let's not forget the
people killed by mere LACK of affordable energy.  Freezing to
death for lack of heat, heat related problems for lack of air
conditioning, diseases related to insufficient energy for
sterilization or other trivial expenditures of energy, starvation
due (partially) to no energy for pumping irrigation water...

The US energy consumption is probably excessive, but in some
very real sense, I think you can estimate a peoples' standard
of living pretty accurately by measuring their per capita
energy consumption...  (this does NOT mean that one shouldn't
be as efficient as possible, of course.)

It is amusing in a grim way to listen to people decry the US
dependence on foreign oil and talk about domestic sources like
coal, at the same time full states are shutting down coal mines
due to safety concerns, and the global warming people want to
decrease carbon dioxide emissions (coal surely emits more CO2
per BTU than oil... (?))

BillW

2006\04\28@003006 by Bob Axtell

face picon face
Matthew Miller wrote:
{Quote hidden}

I did some digging with your wikipedia reference. It is based on data
from a research facility in Golden, CO.
It looks like 1020 was the max from THEIR site (since I noticed graphs).
So AZ must be much higher, because
we have a better angle on the sun. I need to dig more...

--Bob

2006\04\28@005540 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face

On Apr 27, 2006, at 9:09 PM, Bob Axtell wrote:

> Nuclear power has no economics. Nuclear power is never paid for;
> we will pay for it generation after generation in perpetuity;
> sorta like an expensive cemetery.
>
The problem is that we say that with perfect intellectual confidence,
without comparing it to the similar but less obvious "never paid"
costs of other energy sources.  Bringing up earlier discussions,
I wonder what the political and economic situation WRT the USA
and the middle east would be like if they weren't sitting on such
a valuable high-demand commodity...

BillW

2006\04\28@024732 by Peter

picon face
James Newtons Massmind <jamesnewton <at> massmind.org> writes:

> > A different kind of Chernobyl - Centralia:
> >
> > www.offroaders.com/album/centralia/the-story.htm
> >
> > also shows promise to last 100 years.
> >
> > Peter
>
> I saw a thing on that some time ago... A really interesting story. At first
> glance you think "Huh? Big deal" and then you realize how serious it is for
> those people and then you wonder why the heck it's so hard to put out, and
> you keep reading...

For Centralia they seem to think that all three towns built on that coal vein
are going to get it eventually. I also discovered a number of other coal mine
fires which have been going for years in the USA. They are less well known
because they  do not destroy any towns ? Apparently putting one of these out is
a gigantic task. Even a small one took six months and exotic equipment:

http://firechief.com/technology/firefighting_jet_engine_exhaust/

Apparently, 50+ years or underground burning is quite common. Apparently there
are 49 (forty-nine!) underground fires going in Pennsylvania alone right now,
most of them over 10 years old:

http://www.greenworks.tv/radio/todaystory/20020715.htm

Beats me where they get air to burn for so long.

Peter




2006\04\28@053848 by Tony Smith

picon face
>
> > > hrm i recall this site being proven a fake or atleast the
> > majority of
> > > the story a fake, the images are real.
> >
> > Which part of the story is fake ? That site is mostly pictures.
>
> She rode through the area on her bike. The pictures of the
> road are from that. Then she took an official tour and the
> pictures OFF the road are from that. She didn't clearly state
> which pictures are from where. Some people decided that this
> was "fake".


The 'fake' story came about because while there were photos of the towns
and photos of the bike, there weren't any photos of the bike AT the
towns...

Bike riders try to get part of their bike into every photo, even if it's
just the mirror, fairing or blinker.  "Here's the leaning tower of Pisa,
as seen from my bike", "Here's a salt mine, as seen from my bike",
"Here's a bit of road, as seen from my bike" etc.  Typical biker photo:
<http://www.kiddofspeed.com/367img/image2.3.jpg>.  Odd behaviour, but
anyway.  Probably so you remember what bike you had, at the time rather
than where you went.

The updated site has photos just like that.  Hmmm.

I've got a copy of the original site somewhere, must go back & check.

Tony

2006\04\28@084735 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Bob Axtell wrote:

> I think it is 5 miles square, not 5 square miles. That is then a square,
> 5mi by 5mi, or 25 square miles. My calculator says that 25sq miles
> contains 2,589,998.5 square meters.

Now if we only could get rid of miles (and inches and the like), we
wouldn't have to make these little conversion mistakes and send mars rovers
off course or miscalculate the size of solar plants :)

1 mile is about 1609 m. 1 square mile is 2.6 Mm^2. 25 square miles are 65
Mm^2.

> At 740 watts per square meter, that is 1,926,598 KW or 1926.6 MW.

At 740 W/m^2 that becomes 48 GW.

> Barely enough for Greater LA, methinks...

This still holds, more or less :)

With 10 kW/person (total energy) on average, that's enough energy for 4.8
million people. With 1.5 kW/person (electricity), that's enough electricity
for 32 million people.


>> Using this info, at least 365 mi^2 would be needed to power the U.S., and
>> this is assuming 100% efficiency.

With about 450 GW average electricity consumption for the US, and those 740
W/m^2, that's 608 Mm^2, or 608 (km)^2 -- slightly less, but same range.

Gerhard

2006\04\28@101050 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
William ChopsWestfield wrote:

>> Nuclear power has no economics. Nuclear power is never paid for;
>> we will pay for it generation after generation in perpetuity;
>> sorta like an expensive cemetery.
>>
> The problem is that we say that with perfect intellectual confidence,
> without comparing it to the similar but less obvious "never paid"
> costs of other energy sources.  

One problem is that we don't have an input/output accounting on a large
scale. This makes "informed choices" practically impossible. Most of what
we're doing on that scale is mere guesswork.

I think the technology is here by now to start thinking about this. Instead
of having only money accounting (which of course also could use some
cleaning up, both the accounting and the process that creates the rules)
have also resource accounting. Won't ever be perfect, but probably better
than none at all (that's /my/ guess here :).

And start charging for resource use instead of issuing cost-free or
constant-cost permits, therefore including the use of resources into the
money accounting that determines most business (and many private)
decisions. Of course the price of resources is in many instances a
"political" price, because we own them together, and they can't easily be
limited to a single entity (company or person), like land for example.
Pollution for example affects in most cases more than one entity, so all
affected need to get together and put a price on that pollution. That's by
definition a political process.


> Bringing up earlier discussions, I wonder what the political and economic
> situation WRT the USA and the middle east would be like if they weren't
> sitting on such a valuable high-demand commodity...

That would of course require that the governments be somewhat honest about
the real motives for the various involvements there. That's a worthwhile
but difficult to achieve goal :)

Gerhard

2006\04\28@103436 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Peter wrote:

> Apparently, 50+ years or underground burning is quite common. Apparently there
> are 49 (forty-nine!) underground fires going in Pennsylvania alone right now,
> most of them over 10 years old:
>
> http://www.greenworks.tv/radio/todaystory/20020715.htm

Would be good to be able to at least tap into the heat generated there...
:)

Gerhard

2006\04\28@110338 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
William ChopsWestfield wrote:

> The US energy consumption is probably excessive, but in some very real
> sense, I think you can estimate a peoples' standard of living pretty
> accurately by measuring their per capita energy consumption...  (this
> does NOT mean that one shouldn't be as efficient as possible, of
> course.)

Two very, hm, controversial statements in one phrase :)

First, what's "standard of living"? Before saying what it correlates to, we
probably have to have an agreed-upon way to measure it. This is not easy.
Are you sure that the US standard of living is about 75% "higher" or
"better" than Germany's? How would you measure that (so that we then can
see whether the correlation with the energy consumption is there)?

One example for the difficulty of measuring "standard of living" is the
higher freedom of movement when walking one enjoys in Germany and the
higher freedom of movement with anything motorized one enjoys in the USA.
How do you figure that into the standard of living calculation? I know
people for whom one is an essential part of their standard of living, I
know others for whom the other is an essential part, and I know people for
whom neither is.


Secondly, I think you severely limited your first statement ("you can
estimate a peoples' standard of living pretty accurately by measuring their
per capita energy consumption") with your second ("this does NOT mean that
one shouldn't be as efficient as possible"), without making the consequence
that follows from that explicit. IMO it follows from the second statement
that you only can estimate a peoples' standard of living by measuring their
energy consumption as long as they do things in a similar way.

For example, if a people would do most of their day-to-day chores by bike
or similar and had built an infrastructure that would permit that, their
energy consumption would be lower than the USA's or Germany's (everything
else being equal or comparable). Yet I'd say that their standard of living
would be higher.

Given the restriction that must be put on the first statement when
including the second one, I'm not sure the first one continues to make much
sense.

Gerhard

2006\04\28@114309 by Peter Todd

picon face
On Fri, Apr 28, 2006 at 11:10:07AM -0300, Gerhard Fiedler wrote:
> And start charging for resource use instead of issuing cost-free or
> constant-cost permits, therefore including the use of resources into the
> money accounting that determines most business (and many private)
> decisions. Of course the price of resources is in many instances a
> "political" price, because we own them together, and they can't easily be
> limited to a single entity (company or person), like land for example.
> Pollution for example affects in most cases more than one entity, so all
> affected need to get together and put a price on that pollution. That's by
> definition a political process.

You know, my dad is an economist. He specialized in resource economics
in university, with a minor in forestry biology. Ask him about
environmental issues and he'll point to the heavilly studied field of
externiality research in economics. This damn stuff has been studied to
death. We know very well what needs to be done to make our economic
system work better and take into account environmental issues. People
make their careers studying this stuff. Right now my dad is up in
northern Canada working for the government and writing reports on ways
to achieve sustainable use of the natural resources they have.

Sadly you are %100 right. It's completely a political issue. There have
been some success stories, for instance up north the harvesting of seals
is subject to some very successfull quotas that will allow the industry
to function in perpetuity, so long as anyone wants to buy seal skin.
Similarly the logging industry is very well managed. But we're still
nowhere near to accounting for the externialities involved with CO2 for
instance. And guess what? Oil is a *much* bigger industry than seal
hunting... Guess what gets all the news?


BTW Do make note that there are many little communities up in Nunavut past the
arctic circle are almost completely dependent on the seal hunt for their
livelyhood. Quite simply, there is nothing else they can sell to the
rest of the world other than some non-renewable resources. If it weren't
for the fashion industry still wanting to use seal skin, quite simply
those communities would be gone.

Think about that next time you are deciding if you want to listen to
those PETA activists and buy a hemp oscilloscope cover instead of that
nice seal skin one.

> > Bringing up earlier discussions, I wonder what the political and economic
> > situation WRT the USA and the middle east would be like if they weren't
> > sitting on such a valuable high-demand commodity...
>
> That would of course require that the governments be somewhat honest about
> the real motives for the various involvements there. That's a worthwhile
> but difficult to achieve goal :)

Take one look at the levels of military involvement in Afghanistan vs.
Iraq... And even Afghanistan has a proposed oil pipeline project going
accross it.

--
RemoveMEpeteTakeThisOuTspampetertodd.ca http://www.petertodd.ca

2006\04\28@122104 by Russell McMahon

face
flavicon
face
>> The US energy consumption is probably excessive, but in some very
>> real
>> sense, I think you can estimate a peoples' standard of living
>> pretty
>> accurately by measuring their per capita energy consumption...

> First, what's "standard of living"? Before saying what it correlates
> to, we
> probably have to have an agreed-upon way to measure it. This is not
> easy.
> Are you sure that the US standard of living is about 75% "higher" or
> "better" than Germany's? How would you measure that (so that we then
> can
> see whether the correlation with the energy consumption is there)?

I saw an interesting survey a year or two ago. People in the
Philippines and the US were asked the same questions about how they
felt about their income, quality of life etc. The questions were
absolute with respect to themselves - ie neither set of respondents
were answering relative to the others. AFAIR on just about every
measure the Fillipinos were happier with their lot and more generally
content than the USinos. This suggests that in meaningful terms the
standard of living is higher in the Phillippines than in the US.

> One example for the difficulty of measuring "standard of living" is
> the
> higher freedom of movement when walking one enjoys in Germany and
> the
> higher freedom of movement with anything motorized one enjoys in the
> USA.

as compared to the high freedom of both in New Zealand :-). So far.




       Russell McMahon

2006\04\28@143140 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face

> Which part of the story is fake ?

I thought the general conclusion was that the story wasn't so
much "fake" as "embellished."  Not a great thing in a "documentary",
but far from invalidating many of the major plot points...

BillW

2006\04\28@153323 by Peter
picon face


On Thu, 27 Apr 2006, Nate Duehr wrote:

> Some panels can survive a pretty good pounding, but when Mother Nature drops
> 3/4" hail on your house every three to five years, solar panels on the roof
> don't seem like such a good idea.

Doesn't this make you a candidate for 'vertical' panels with open trough
reflector ?

Peter

2006\04\28@162920 by Peter

picon face

On Fri, 28 Apr 2006, Gerhard Fiedler wrote:

> Peter wrote:
>
>> Apparently, 50+ years or underground burning is quite common. Apparently there
>> are 49 (forty-nine!) underground fires going in Pennsylvania alone right now,
>> most of them over 10 years old:
>>
>> http://www.greenworks.tv/radio/todaystory/20020715.htm
>
> Would be good to be able to at least tap into the heat generated there...

You would end up with the power plant falling into the caved-in earth
before too long I think.

Peter

2006\04\28@163635 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Russell McMahon wrote:

>> First, what's "standard of living"?

> AFAIR on just about every measure the Fillipinos were happier with their
> lot and more generally content than the USinos. This suggests that in
> meaningful terms the standard of living is higher in the Phillippines
> than in the US.

Yes, there are quite a number of attempts to universally catch this -- but
I guess it's too individual for any generalization making much sense.

>> One example for the difficulty of measuring "standard of living" is the
>> higher freedom of movement when walking one enjoys in Germany and the
>> higher freedom of movement with anything motorized one enjoys in the
>> USA.
>
> as compared to the high freedom of both in New Zealand :-). So far.

When talking about the freedom of movement when walking in Germany, I was
talking about this: Even though Germany is heavily populated, you can walk
pretty much everywhere. All rural areas, even when private property, are
open for the public (not motor vehicles, though). You're not allowed to
damage crops by walking across fields, but you are allowed to walk between
fields, between pastures, through the woods. This is a freedom that AFAIK
in most of the Americas doesn't exist. Not sure about NZ... Given my theory
that this difference between Germany (AFAIK most of Europe) and the
Americas is due to the forceful occupation of the Americas and the need to
defend the newly occupied lot against pretty much everybody, I'd guess that
this right doesn't exist in NZ either. Or does it?

Gerhard


'[OT] Chernobyl - 20 years ago today'
2006\05\01@030208 by Nate Duehr
face
flavicon
face
Peter wrote:
>
> On Thu, 27 Apr 2006, Nate Duehr wrote:
>
>> Some panels can survive a pretty good pounding, but when Mother Nature drops
>> 3/4" hail on your house every three to five years, solar panels on the roof
>> don't seem like such a good idea.
>
> Doesn't this make you a candidate for 'vertical' panels with open trough
> reflector ?

Not sure, never seen them.  Are they tall?

If they're tall, it'd require some serious structural reinforcement of
the roof, since we also regularly (usually once in the spring and once
in the fall) clock winds that are steady in excess of 50 Miles/Hour, and
gusts to 80 are not uncommon every few years.

Not sure how something with a "trough" at the bottom would enjoy heavy
wet snow loads either.  Or would that style even work if the reflector
is at the bottom when buried in heavy snow?)

(I've already lost my 40' X 13' awning twice during Spring heavy, wet,
snow events caused by upslope conditions.  If a strong low-pressure
system sets up over Albuquerque in the Spring when it's still cold
enough to snow and sucks moisture out of the Gulf of Mexico and shoves
it slowly uphill toward Colorado -- we get dumped on.  3-10' of heavy
wet snow has happened here numerous times in my life.  March of 2003 was
particularly interesting.  And Christmas 1984.)

We typically get 300+ days of sunshine a year here, but many times
that's because the weather is quite unstable in the Spring and Fall and
storms are short-lived but violent in the summertime.

But I wouldn't trade it for the world.  C'mon up to Denver and visit
sometime!

Nate

2006\05\01@132258 by Peter

picon face

>> Doesn't this make you a candidate for 'vertical' panels with open trough
>> reflector ?
>
> Not sure, never seen them.  Are they tall?

It's like the trough but it's set up like a Herschel telescope mirror
(look it up). Or the small 'orange peel' radar antennas.

> If they're tall, it'd require some serious structural reinforcement of the
> roof, since we also regularly (usually once in the spring and once in the
> fall) clock winds that are steady in excess of 50 Miles/Hour, and gusts to 80
> are not uncommon every few years.

You don't put them on the roof, they are almost vertical. They can lean
to the house or a solid fence (wall) or be hung on same at some height.

> Not sure how something with a "trough" at the bottom would enjoy heavy wet
> snow loads either.  Or would that style even work if the reflector is at the
> bottom when buried in heavy snow?)

Both the collector and the 'trough' are almost vertical. Because of the
Herschel setup and the max. altitude of the sun in the temperate zone
they are at about 22-25 degrees from vertical (both of them). This is
too steep for snow, etc to cling to.

> But I wouldn't trade it for the world.  C'mon up to Denver and visit
> sometime!

Thanks, it's a little out of my way for now ...

Peter

2006\05\01@141125 by James Newtons Massmind

face picon face
Is this what you are referring to Peter?

From
www.tpub.com/content/combat/14308/css/14308_75.htm
Orange-Peel   Paraboloid.-A   section   of   a complete   circular
paraboloid,   often   called   an ORANGE-PEEL REFLECTOR because of its
shape, is shown in view D of figure 5-13. Since the reflector is narrow in
the horizontal plane and wide in the vertical, it produces a beam that is
wide in the horizontal plane and   narrow   in   the   vertical.   In
shape,   the   beam resembles  a  huge  beaver  tail.  This  type  of
antenna system is generally used in height-finding equipment.

Figure 5-13 is on the prior page and is a rather poor image. There is a
better image at
http://www.tpub.com/neets/book11/46a.htm in figure 3-6

http://www.princeindia.org/researchproj.htm#a2
Parabolic Trough Collector Rotatable About Polar Axis :

Salient Features :
Cylindrical reflector rotates about the polar axis. This permits fixed
speed, single axis tracking.
Manufacturing cylindrical shape is much easier than dish shape.
Average aperture area utilization is @ 95%. This is much higher than
Scheffler systems, which is @ 65%
Cost effective system.


Is it a solar application of this radio single reflector?
http://www.starantenna.com/yagi_antenna_with_reflector.htm


I can't seem to find any mention on Google of a vertical solar panel using
an open trough reflector.

---
James.



> {Original Message removed}

2006\05\02@113910 by Peter

picon face

On Mon, 1 May 2006, James Newtons Massmind wrote:

> I can't seem to find any mention on Google of a vertical solar panel using
> an open trough reflector.

The solar panel and the reflector are horizontal. Think of a trough
reflector with a pipe in the middle. Now remove the pipe and put it on
(almost) the ground. To make the trough illuminate it you have to tilt
the trough down. It becomes almost vertical. It is also no longer the
same shape (although the same shape will work fine for a simple trough
collector). You can also make the trough much larger now, as it
is shallower. 'Offset' sattelite dishes use the same idea.

Peter

2006\05\02@121956 by Peter

picon face

A picture that resembles what I described (offset trough):

http://www.physics.usyd.edu.au/astrop/most/index_files/MOST-pic-GW.jpg

It's a radio astronomy antenna but the idea is the same.

2006\05\02@122906 by James Newtons Massmind

face picon face
www.massmind.org/images/member/jmn-efp-786/sun/verticalcollector.gif
?

---
James.



> {Original Message removed}

2006\05\03@131720 by Peter

picon face


On Tue, 2 May 2006, James Newtons Massmind wrote:

> www.massmind.org/images/member/jmn-efp-786/sun/verticalcollector.gif
> ?

Yes, more or less. Think about the possibilities: the pipe can be on the
ground or at a lower level, this allows natural convection to a storage
tank placed higher. The pipe need not move, it's enough to tilt the
collector. The tilt is smaller than that of a normal trough (half the
angle). Dirt won't stick to the almost vertical and shallow trough.

Peter

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