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'[OT] On Nuclear power'
2006\08\30@094415 by Gus S Calabrese

face picon face
Nuclear power is a practical technology at this point. Politics is  
the only thing that
limits it.   Two issues to be settled.  Where to put the plants and  
where to put the waste.
If one looks at the figures dispassionately, nuclear plants have  
operated safely in most
locations.  They do cause deaths and the cost vs benefit ratios are  
acceptable.

( The above paragraph will make sense to those who realize that every  
activity has costs /
benefits and that most c/b can be quantized ... including the cost of  
a human life or the cost of
a human man-year of life. )

Output of nuclear plants can be in the form of electricity or  
hydrogen.  I expect in the future that
the ratio of power distribution will be about 50/50.   Hydrogen is  
portable and pipeable. <----new word
Electrical energy is portable and can be sent long distances via  
transmission lines.

It is all pretty simple if standard politics^1 disappeared.  Sadly,  
therein lies the rub.
Terrorism issues^2 are no different for nuclear than for other  
technologies.


^1   Greed, NIMBY, tribalism, socialism (see greed ), and alpha/beta/
omega pack behaviour.
^2   Terrorists are created by politics.  See ^1.  If state sponsored  
terrorism went away so would
small group terrorism go away.  Sigh !   Might as well wish for a  
marmalade moon.


^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
AGSC  Augustus Gustavius Salvatore Calabrese
4337 Raleigh Street
Denver, CO
720 222 1309     303 908 7716 cell
adding " spam2006 " bypasses my spam blocker.  Please place in the  
text or at the END of the subject line.
( i am hard to reach by phone )
All ideas, text, drawings and audio , that are originated by me,  and  
included with this signature text are to be deemed to be released to  
the public domain as of the date of this communication .  AGSC
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^


2006\08\30@105038 by Bob Axtell

face picon face
Gus S Calabrese wrote:
> Nuclear power is a practical technology at this point. Politics is  
> the only thing that
> limits it.   Two issues to be settled.  Where to put the plants and  
> where to put the waste.
>  
I'm disappointed, Gus. It doesn't worry you that after 60 years of
trying, the waste problem
still hasn't been "solved"?

> If one looks at the figures dispassionately, nuclear plants have  
> operated safely in most
> locations.  They do cause deaths and the cost vs benefit ratios are  
> acceptable.
>  
In order to render Chernobyl safe, more than 500,000 men risked
sterility and worse in order
to pour a concrete coffin  around the radioactive  plant. Do you really
think that kind of
cost is "acceptable"?
> ( The above paragraph will make sense to those who realize that every  
> activity has costs /
> benefits and that most c/b can be quantized ... including the cost of  
> a human life or the cost of
> a human man-year of life. )
>  
I disagree. The benefits of nuclear (if there are any) do not outweigh
the true cost. Because
waste has not been solved for plants already in operation, the true
"costs" have not yet been
determined. Worse, yellowcake (raw uranium ore) is found cheaply in
Nigeria... another
Islamic country. Think about it; its $70 oil all over again

> Output of nuclear plants can be in the form of electricity or  
> hydrogen.  I expect in the future that
> the ratio of power distribution will be about 50/50.   Hydrogen is  
> portable and pipeable. <----new word
> Electrical energy is portable and can be sent long distances via  
> transmission lines.
>  
Agree. But the source should be solar energy, not nuclear. Nuclear
needlessly adds to the
global heat burden, solar does not... the sun will shine regardless. No,
I DON'T mean PV,
I mean brute solar concentration. Its a nuclear plant without nuclear
fuel. Childs' play.
> It is all pretty simple if standard politics^1 disappeared.  Sadly,  
> therein lies the rub.
> Terrorism issues^2 are no different for nuclear than for other  
> technologies.
>  
But a nuclear plant is more attractive as a terrorist target because of
the radioactivity involved.
>
> ^1   Greed, NIMBY, tribalism, socialism (see greed ), and alpha/beta/
> omega pack behaviour.
> ^2   Terrorists are created by politics.  See ^1.  If state sponsored  
> terrorism went away so would
> small group terrorism go away.  Sigh !   Might as well wish for a  
> marmalade moon.
>  
A marmalade moon sounds pretty good to me. I'll set up a website...

You were just kidding, right, Gus? This is a joke to get me going, isn't it?

--Bob

{Quote hidden}

2006\08\30@115248 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face

On Aug 30, 2006, at 7:50 AM, Bob Axtell wrote:

> In order to render Chernobyl safe, more than 500,000 men risked
> sterility and worse in order to pour a concrete coffin  around
> the radioactive  plant.

Where does THAT number come from?  It seems extremely unlikely
for any construction project to utilize that many people; consider
that the total population of chernobyl at the time of the accident
was about 100,000.

> It doesn't worry you that after 60 years of
> trying, the waste problem still hasn't been "solved"?
>
Um, not particularly, since I find the current "requirements"
for "solved" to be unrealistic.  Similar requirements applied to
other energy sources would likely render them all unusable as
well.  (Oh wait.  That's happening now re CO2 and global warming.)

BillW

2006\08\30@123559 by Bob Axtell

face picon face
William Chops Westfield wrote:
> On Aug 30, 2006, at 7:50 AM, Bob Axtell wrote:
>
>  
>> In order to render Chernobyl safe, more than 500,000 men risked
>> sterility and worse in order to pour a concrete coffin  around
>> the radioactive  plant.
>>    
>
> Where does THAT number come from?  It seems extremely unlikely
> for any construction project to utilize that many people; consider
> that the total population of chernobyl at the time of the accident
> was about 100,000.
>  
I was just as astonished. I read it on the web within the last week, and
NOT from an anti-nuke
site. The USSR took techs from all over the country to volunteer for
20min stints as workers.
GOOGLE for it; I knew I'd be challenged on it.  Its there.

>  
>> It doesn't worry you that after 60 years of
>> trying, the waste problem still hasn't been "solved"?
>>
>>    
> Um, not particularly, since I find the current "requirements"
> for "solved" to be unrealistic.  Similar requirements applied to
> other energy sources would likely render them all unusable as
> well.  (Oh wait.  That's happening now re CO2 and global warming.)
>  
Hmmm.  I guess we could just put up a sign over the waste site like "Do
Not Open for 15,000
Years" and hope for the best. But _I_ will try my best to keep America
from firing these
things up again when there are GOOD, workable alternatives.
> BillW
>  

--Bob

2006\08\30@125808 by Bob Axtell

face picon face
William Chops Westfield wrote:
{Quote hidden}

At the moment I can't find it, Bill. I'll look again later.

--Bob

2006\08\30@143223 by Vitaliy

flavicon
face
Bob Axtell wrote:
>> If one looks at the figures dispassionately, nuclear plants have
>> operated safely in most
>> locations.  They do cause deaths and the cost vs benefit ratios are
>> acceptable.
>>
> In order to render Chernobyl safe, more than 500,000 men risked
> sterility and worse in order
> to pour a concrete coffin  around the radioactive  plant. Do you really
> think that kind of
> cost is "acceptable"?

>From what I've read, most people who know what they're talking about agree
that another nuclear accident on the scale of Chernobyl is impossible. The
RBMK design used in Chernobyl was unsafe because one of its primary purposes
was to make plutonium for bombs.

> I disagree. The benefits of nuclear (if there are any) do not outweigh
> the true cost. Because
> waste has not been solved for plants already in operation, the true
> "costs" have not yet been
> determined.

As James said a while back (and I'm paraphrasing), "just take the waste back
to the mining site, and spread it thin". Nuclear waste is less radioactive
in the long term, than uranium ore.

> Worse, yellowcake (raw uranium ore) is found cheaply in
> Nigeria... another
> Islamic country. Think about it; its $70 oil all over again

Unfair comparison. US has enough *locally mined* nuclear fuel to last for
many, many years using current technologies. If fuel reprocessing (which was
prohibited during the Carter administration for security reasons) is allowed
again, it will last even longer. I'm not even talking about new technologies
that have the potential to make the fuel last virtually indefinitely.

> Agree. But the source should be solar energy, not nuclear. Nuclear
> needlessly adds to the
> global heat burden, solar does not... the sun will shine regardless. No,
> I DON'T mean PV,
> I mean brute solar concentration. Its a nuclear plant without nuclear
> fuel. Childs' play.

This topic has been beaten to death. Unlike nuclear power, solar is
economically unfeasible.

>> It is all pretty simple if standard politics^1 disappeared.  Sadly,
>> therein lies the rub.
>> Terrorism issues^2 are no different for nuclear than for other
>> technologies.
>>
> But a nuclear plant is more attractive as a terrorist target because of
> the radioactivity involved.

Let's make a list of technologies that are attractive to terrorists, shall
we? And then work together to get them banned?
Commercial jets and high-rise buildings would be at the top of the list of
"attractive terrorist targets."

>> ^1   Greed, NIMBY, tribalism, socialism (see greed ), and alpha/beta/
>> omega pack behaviour.
>> ^2   Terrorists are created by politics.  See ^1.  If state sponsored
>> terrorism went away so would
>> small group terrorism go away.  Sigh !   Might as well wish for a
>> marmalade moon.
[snip]
> You were just kidding, right, Gus? This is a joke to get me going, isn't
> it?

Based on Gus's history of posts, I don't think he's joking. Personally, I
think Gus is taking the ideas of personal and market freedoms too far, but I
do subscribe to the views he expressed in this particular post.

Best regards,

Vitaliy Maksimov
ScanTool.net, LLC
Tel.: +1 (602) 923-1870 x112
Fax: +1 (602) 532-7625
E-mail: spam_OUTvitaliyTakeThisOuTspamscantool.net

2006\08\30@143725 by Mike Hord

picon face
> Um, not particularly, since I find the current "requirements"
> for "solved" to be unrealistic.  Similar requirements applied to
> other energy sources would likely render them all unusable as
> well.  (Oh wait.  That's happening now re CO2 and global warming.)

Waste heat will be a problem for ANY energy we tap, except solar,
maybe.

Earth has a homeostatic balance of energy absorbed to energy shed.
We absorb it from the day side, shed it to from the night side.  Other
energy (I often wonder how much) is captured by plants, which die
(either eaten, burned, buried, or sink into the sea), where that energy
waits until someone fishes it out of where it went and releases it
back into the energy-sphere.

In the final analysis, as long as our energy usage keeps going up,
we're going to slowly roast our planet, no matter where the energy
comes from.  "Free" energy (as recently discussed) would be a
nightmare- overnight, huge amounts of thermal energy would be put
into play.

Efficiency is the key.  Instead of moving one person per 1.5 tons of
metal being shuffled around, move ten (public transportation).
Instead of releasing 80% of the energy devoted to lighting as
heat, release 5% (or whatever the incandescent vs. LED breakdown
is).  Stop making CRTs in favor of LCDs.

I read somewhere that in the 20-odd years since the massive
regulatory crackdown on refrigerator efficiency, that alone has
saved approximately one Arctic National Wildlife Refuge's worth
of energy.

Mike H.

2006\08\30@150333 by Mike Hord

picon face
> As James said a while back (and I'm paraphrasing), "just take the waste back
> to the mining site, and spread it thin". Nuclear waste is less radioactive
> in the long term, than uranium ore.

There are a couple of flaws with that reasoning:
1.  If it were less radioactive, it would have a longer halflife than raw
uranium.  It doesn't.  Shorter halflife=>faster breakdown=>more
radiation.
2.  Spread thinly, it would find its way into groundwater, or rivers.
Even if it WERE less radioactive, small amounts of radioactive
materials internally are more dangerous than larger amounts
externally- remember, our skin stops quite a bit of radiation of
some types (gamma rays?  I think).
3.  Is radioactivity the only problem with that waste?  Even if it
weren't radioactive, it's still "heavy" metal isotopes, and last I
looked, those are the sort of materials that slowly build up in
our bodies until they reach toxic levels.

It seems a good idea to me to capture some of that wasted
heat energy from the radioactive wastes.  Right now we just
keep it cool as best we can by pouring water over it so it doesn't
get hot enough to catch fire.  Why not run a few big Stirling
engines?  Even capturing 10% of that waste heat is more than
we do now.

Mike H.

2006\08\30@152405 by David VanHorn

picon face
On 8/30/06, Mike Hord <.....mike.hordKILLspamspam@spam@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > As James said a while back (and I'm paraphrasing), "just take the waste
> back
> > to the mining site, and spread it thin". Nuclear waste is less
> radioactive
> > in the long term, than uranium ore.
>
> There are a couple of flaws with that reasoning:
> 1.  If it were less radioactive, it would have a longer halflife than raw
> uranium.  It doesn't.  Shorter halflife=>faster breakdown=>more
> radiation.



It's a fuzzy picture, but given that 100% of the atoms must decay over time,
wether they break down all in the next week, or over the next milinneum, the
same amount of total radiation is released.  I'm not sure which is really
better.

The decay products vary, and an alpha emitter on your ceiling (smoke
detector) is harmless, but one inhaled or ingested is pretty likely to give
you cancer.


It seems a good idea to me to capture some of that wasted
heat energy from the radioactive wastes.  Right now we just
keep it cool as best we can by pouring water over it so it doesn't
get hot enough to catch fire.  Why not run a few big Stirling
engines?  Even capturing 10% of that waste heat is more than
we do now.


Nuclear-waste powered Stirling engines?  :)

2006\08\30@152956 by Vitaliy

flavicon
face
Mike Hord wrote:
[snip]
> In the final analysis, as long as our energy usage keeps going up,
> we're going to slowly roast our planet, no matter where the energy
> comes from.  "Free" energy (as recently discussed) would be a
> nightmare- overnight, huge amounts of thermal energy would be put
> into play.

Use the free energy to make mirrors that will reflect solar energy back into
space, and thus control the temperature of the planet. :)

AFAIK, the amount of thermal energy produced by, say, nuclear power is
insignificant compared to the greenhouse effect of CO2 released from burning
fossil fuels.

> Efficiency is the key.  Instead of moving one person per 1.5 tons of
> metal being shuffled around, move ten (public transportation).

Out of curiosity, how often do you ride the bus?

I find that in most places, public transportation is vastly inferior to
traveling by car. For example, here in Phoenix it takes about fifteen
minutes to reach a certain destination by car, and approximately an hour to
get there by bus. Not counting the walking time to/from the bus stations.

> Instead of releasing 80% of the energy devoted to lighting as
> heat, release 5% (or whatever the incandescent vs. LED breakdown
> is).

This may be counterintuitive, but fluorescent lights are about twice as
energy efficient as LEDs.

> I read somewhere that in the 20-odd years since the massive
> regulatory crackdown on refrigerator efficiency, that alone has
> saved approximately one Arctic National Wildlife Refuge's worth
> of energy.

Yes, government incentives have the potential to increase energy efficiency.
However, cost/benefit must always be considered.

Best regards,

Vitaliy

2006\08\30@155520 by Austin

flavicon
face
>Mike Hord wrote:
>Spread thinly, it would find its way into groundwater, or rivers.
>Even if it WERE less radioactive, small amounts of radioactive
>materials internally are more dangerous than larger amounts
>externally- remember, our skin stops quite a bit of radiation of
>some types (gamma rays?  I think).

Gamma radiation is the worst from an external point of view.
Gamma particles have no mass and no charge, so they can
penetrate through a human body and ionize all the molecules in
their path.

Beta - and Beta + decay emit electrons & positrons - no mass
but some charge.  They can penetrate skin but not too far.

Alpha decay causes the most damage if you're talking about
a source from inside the body due to the large mass & electrical
charge.  Alpha particles don't travel far on their own, though, so
they're not really a worry from external sources.  If imbibed or
otherwise consumed, however, they'll kill ya quick.

AustinM

2006\08\30@161308 by Mike Hord

picon face
> Out of curiosity, how often do you ride the bus?

Not as often as I should, but more often than most.  It depends on
how convenient the bus is to where I want to go:  I live at the
confluence of three major bus routes, so I can get most places by
bus quite easily.  I ride at least two or three times a week.

> I find that in most places, public transportation is vastly inferior to
> traveling by car. For example, here in Phoenix it takes about fifteen
> minutes to reach a certain destination by car, and approximately an hour to
> get there by bus. Not counting the walking time to/from the bus stations.

I agree.  But it's a chicken-and-egg problem:  public transportation sucks
because it isn't used heavily enough to be cost-effective to expand it, and
no one uses it because it isn't thorough enough.  Ultimately, the market may
demand public transportation be used because the cost of personal
transport becomes excessive for daily use (i.e., commuting, grocery
getting, etc.).

I'd ride the bus to work, but for me it goes beyond inconvenient to almost
impossible.  I live IN town, and work just outside of town.  All the buses
run basically from my office to my home in the morning, and vice versa in
the afternoon.  Of course, my commute is short (~5 miles), so cost-wise,
as long as I'm going to own a car anyway, it's cheaper for me to drive than
to ride the bus.  Driving only saves me about 30 to 45 minutes over the bus,
but the convenience is hard to beat.

> This may be counterintuitive, but fluorescent lights are about twice as
> energy efficient as LEDs.

They have their drawbacks- many people find fluorescent lights to be
unpleasant to work under.  If it were simply a matter of efficiency, the
incandescent bulb would be long gone.

Mike H.

2006\08\30@164011 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> our skin stops quite a bit of radiation of
> some types (gamma rays?  I think).

no, is't Alpha particles that are stopped by almost any layer, but are
(consequently) devastating when they hit a living cell directly.

Otherwise: I don't doubt there are lots of people on this list on both
sides of this discussion, and with convincing arguments, and a pressing
urge to convince their opponents (I match the first two criteria, no
longer the last). But I think it is for the good of this list when they
would do so elsewhere.

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu


2006\08\30@172251 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Vitaliy wrote:

> However, cost/benefit must always be considered.

Exactly. As in moving several tons of metal through rush hour stop and go
every work day just to get one person to and from work.

The problem with cost/benefit calculations is that they tend to leave out
most of the cost.

Gerhard

2006\08\30@173011 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Vitaliy wrote:

> This topic has been beaten to death. Unlike nuclear power, solar is
> economically unfeasible.

Now, come on... The US can afford to have the most energy-inefficient life
style, by a large margin. There's nothing that's economically unfeasible :)

Gerhard

2006\08\30@181610 by Padu

face picon face
----- Original Message -----
From: "Gerhard Fiedler"
>
>> This topic has been beaten to death. Unlike nuclear power, solar is
>> economically unfeasible.
>
> Now, come on... The US can afford to have the most energy-inefficient life
> style, by a large margin. There's nothing that's economically unfeasible
> :)
>
> Gerhard
>

>From my experience here in the US, I see that most of people do a very good
job saving energy. For example, they don't walk to the grocery store, they
go by car... saving energy. I also see that most people have a very good
savings in form of fat. :-)

Cheers

Padu

2006\08\30@184423 by Vitaliy

flavicon
face
Gerhard Fiedler wrote:
>> However, cost/benefit must always be considered.
>
> Exactly. As in moving several tons of metal through rush hour stop and go
> every work day just to get one person to and from work.
>
> The problem with cost/benefit calculations is that they tend to leave out
> most of the cost.

That's true. It would be awesome if there was a way to accurately calculate
the externalities. Are the benefits of decreased emissions worth the losses
of productivity and decreased quality of life? And, what is the point at
which the latter outweigh the former?

Best regards,

Vitaliy Maksimov
ScanTool.net, LLC
Tel.: +1 (602) 923-1870 x112
Fax: +1 (602) 532-7625
E-mail: vitaliyspamKILLspamscantool.net

2006\08\30@184900 by Vitaliy

flavicon
face
Gerhard Fiedler wrote:
>> This topic has been beaten to death. Unlike nuclear power, solar is
>> economically unfeasible.
>
> Now, come on... The US can afford to have the most energy-inefficient life
> style, by a large margin. There's nothing that's economically unfeasible
> :)

The smiley tells me that you're probably joking. But in case you're not, :)

"Economically unfeasible" doesn't mean that something cannot be done because
there isn't enough money to make it work. It just means that in a *free
market* there are alternatives that are cheaper. In the case of nuclear vs
solar energy, nuclear wins by a wide margin on the basis of cost/benefit,
even when you take into account the externalities.

Best regards,

Vitaliy

2006\08\31@043229 by Russell McMahon

face
flavicon
face
>>From what I've read, most people who know what they're talking about
>>agree
> that another nuclear accident on the scale of Chernobyl is
> impossible.

>From what I've learned in life, so far, any experts who declare
anything "impossible" should be shunned like the plague and given an
adequately wide berth. When talking about the geographic reach of
Chernobyl type events that's a rather wide berth :-)

Chernobyl occurred because it could and because of human error. The
latter function can allow such things to happen even when they "can't"
:-(.

>> I disagree. The benefits of nuclear (if there are any) do not
>> outweigh
>> the true cost. Because
>> waste has not been solved for plants already in operation, the true
>> "costs" have not yet been
>> determined.

I have so far seen nothing to suggest that the waste problem has been
"solved". I see this as THE over-riding issue. If you can genuinely
hand on heart and have your children's children's children's
children's
lives a genuine concern some day declare it solved I'd still want to
see Murphy and Darwin do a full risk analysis on it so they can show
you the many holes they'd find. Human nature is such that no
guarantees can be trusted that aren't backed up by data that can't be
falsified by their greatest opponents. And even then people get it
wrong. The mistakes of the past are always explicable in terms of how
much we now know. But there are still ALWAYS mistakes of the past.
Until we know that we cannot know we can't start to build "safe"
solutions.


> As James said a while back (and I'm paraphrasing), "just take the
> waste back
> to the mining site, and spread it thin". Nuclear waste is less
> radioactive
> in the long term, than uranium ore.

Sounds good. Not true. Doesn't work.
Some version MAY be able to be made to work.
Someday. Maybe.
You can get more waste out than starter product.
The waste products are in many cases much much much ... much worse
than the raw materials. You could (arguably) add suitably ground and
processed yellow cake to your food at say a 5% content and eat it
indefinitely and possibly not suffer too badly, apart from taste and
texture. There's any amount of things that come out of a reactor that
that is not true for. And while ""nature"" put the stuff in the ground
in a manner where it largely stays put, there really really isn't any
guarantee that anyone will give you and die for (but you may) that WE
can do the same. Solve the waste problem and I'll join the cheering
squad and the saluting line. Until then I'm wry of greedy men, human
nature and Murphy and Darwin.

>> Worse, yellowcake (raw uranium ore) is found cheaply in
>> Nigeria... another
>> Islamic country. Think about it; its $70 oil all over again

No problem. Everywhere is liable to be an Islamic country (or, at
least, that's certainly the aim) by the time it really matters :-).

But eg Australia has 'quite a lot' and I recently heard that one of
the Pacific Islands has too (hard as I find to believe that).

> This topic has been beaten to death. Unlike nuclear power, solar is
> economically unfeasible.

Sweeping statements do not by themselves a factoid make.
One could as easily say, "... unlike solar power, nuclear is
economically unfeasible."
ie *UNTIL* the "waste problem" is irrefutably solved and properly
costed nuclear power generation is operating with the jury still out.
I see no reason, alas, to have confidence that the bottom line will be
favourable EXCEPT an inexplicable rosy eyed desire that it be so. If
solar was your only choice then it could and would be made to work and
with ease. The BEST use of solar may well not look like what we see
now. It may eg be large solar farms in southern US states making
Hydrogen by any of a range of means. It might be the once mooted solar
power  satellites (but probably not).

Would YOU trust a man who is trying to sell you something that was
felt to have such an unknown and potentially high level of risk that
the industry applied to the government for a waiver from legal
responsibility - and the government complied? Would you trust an
industry full of them? You would !!!? "Hey Jack, I may have found a
site for our new plant ... ". If you are unaware of the legal status
of risks from the US nuclear power industry you may find it
enlightening to check it out.

I believe that solar AIR thermal systems have the possibility of
offering solar heating on a per household basis at a far far more cost
effective basis than current water based systems. During our least
sunny winter month the roof of my (larger than many) house receives
about 400 kWh of solar insolation. Per day! If one could capture and
properly utilise 25% of that = 50 kWh it would remove the need for any
external heat for the home. In summer the input rises to about 1500
kWH/day = about $150 of heating at current rates. Present water solar
systems are generally heavy and of limited area. A "big" home system
may be 6 m^2. Half my roof is 90 m^2 - 15 x larger. If we can
accommodate that scale of capture then acceptable efficiency can be
rather lower and new utilisation tricks can be learned.

In winter at say 50 kWh thermal available a 10% efficient Stirling
Engine would provide a useful 5 kWH/day - and the thermal energy would
still be available for use. Over a 10 year (cough) lifetime that's
about $2,500 worth of electricity at domestic rates. That's NOT enough
electricity to run an average home's non thermal and non lighting
needs, and certainly not enough for mine! :-). But the thermal input
would put  massive dent in mains power requirements.

>>> It is all pretty simple if standard politics^1 disappeared.
>>> Sadly,
>>> therein lies the rub.
>>> Terrorism issues^2 are no different for nuclear than for other
>>> technologies.

Standard politics, despite its many many many evils, also helps make
"the market" a decent citizen in such heavily skewed situations. The
invisible hand, market forces, what the market will bear, supply an
demand and all their fellow travellers may be all very well (and may
not) when all the players are on hand to attempt to level the playing
field according to their own measures of levelness. BUT when many of
the invisible hands belong to those who have not been born, and will
not be, if at all, for another 100, 1000, 10000 and even 100000 years,
then it needs someone to stand up for them apart from those with
vested interests or who are just so bright eyed and bushy tailed over
what can be achieved now that they epitomise Mr Butlers famous
"frankly my dear, I don't give a damn". If people (or any other
beings) had been burying nuclear wastes of the sort we are talking
about now, all over the planet 1,000 or 10,000 years ago then our
attitudes to them would be 'rather different'.

I'm loosely involved with a group of people interested in buying a
(very) isolated former US chemical weapons and nuclear waste dump
which has also been blessed with one or more 'broken arrow's. (US
territory but not in any US state :-) ). This is liable to prove an
interesting exercise in long term management and ongoing remediation.
It will be interesting to see what responsibilities the military and
government accept and which they seek to avoid when this is
transferred out of government hands. Not that the government can be
relied on for this - they lack visible hands as well.

> Let's make a list of technologies that are attractive to terrorists,
> shall
> we? And then work together to get them banned?
> Commercial jets and high-rise buildings would be at the top of the
> list of
> "attractive terrorist targets."

Attractive is not the issue in this case - that's a straw man. You
need to attack the right man :-).
At issue is the ability for terrorists (whatever that means) to use
something to threaten a large number of unspecified people credibly.
eg ability to destroy a hydro dam may do lots of damage but the target
is very specific and requisite remediation, prevention and costs are
reasonably knowable so the 'terror' (I dislike that word in this
context) bounds are well set. Known possession of a small amount of
Anthrax spores arguably has a wider terror prospect than threatening
to destroy the Boulder Dam.

>>> ^1   Greed, NIMBY,

So, we can build one in your BY then ? :-)

> tribalism
?

> , socialism

the word I know, but can't see how it applies especially usefully here

> (see greed ),

if you must equate socialism and greed or need to do so to make sense
of an argument then it's liable to water down the logical level :-)

> and alpha/beta/omega pack behaviour.

Can't go wrong here.
It's the fault of the top dog, wannabee top dog, bottom do and
presumably all the dogs in between.

>>> ^2   Terrorists are created by politics.  See ^1.  If state
>>> sponsored
>>> terrorism went away so would
>>> small group terrorism go away.  Sigh !   Might as well wish for a
>>> marmalade moon.

"Terrorism", whatever it is, is a product of human nature.
State/individual/whatever are just facets of the general problem.
They're all covered in marmalade.

Which is getting off the subject (just) slightly.

If you can solve the waste problem then we'll all be free to deal with
terrorism. Until then our children's children's children cower in
dread at the thought of the lies which will be told to foist our
problems onto latter generations so we can have cheap and economic
nuclear power.

If, as Gus suggests, Socialism is "greed", presumably because it seeks
to share "other people's" assets (whatever that may mean :-) ) with
people who they don't belong to (whatever that may mean :-) ) THEN
nuclear power in its present state is the ultimate expression of
socialism, as it seeks (very successfully) to take the assets of a
future unspecified number of generations in order that we may have
"cheap" power now. I'm all for cheap, safe nuclear power BUT it has to
be legitimately costed and the waste disposals issues must be
unquestionably settled and costed. Until then it's just future theft.

As for Socialism being greed, I'm no great apologist for any of the
'isms, whether socialism, communism, capitalism, anarchism or
whatever. All are just expressions of human nature and all have their
failings and necessarily blindspots to justify themselves as THE best
answer. Those who think that their interpretations of reality and
perspectives on what is right and just and fair, at the expense of the
reasoning of others, are liable to be all as deluded as each other.
The dyed in the wool unbending hard line Marxist and Capitalist are
every bit as blind and greedy and depraved as each other. Each, of
course, with the purest of motives. The only way out of this maze is
appeal to an absolute standard. But that, fortunately for all, is
another subject :-).


       Russell











2006\08\31@072020 by Russell McMahon

face
flavicon
face
> In the case of nuclear vs
> solar energy, nuclear wins by a wide margin on the basis of
> cost/benefit,
> even when you take into account the externalities.

That's true, as long as you cost the externality

   "and then we put the waste somewhere where it will be safe
    and non polluting for a few hundred thousand (literally) years"

at little or nothing or

       'too hard so we'll ignore it'

or

       'waste?, what waste?".

Or if you count the externality

       'generations that come after us who this may affect'

(about 10,000 generations)
as
           'outside the scope of the current cost benefit analysis.

Estimates of the age of human civilisation  vary, but if we start from
a bit pre Hamurabi, the nuisance lifetime of some atomic waste is over
20 times the duration of total known human 'civilisation to date. .

Of course, many byproducts have a shorter or much shorter half life.

Pu239        24,000 years
Pu240         6560 years

Ra226        1600 years
U238        4.5 billion years (almost edible fwiw)
Iodine 129        17 million years (not at all nice stuff)(thyroid)
Strontium 90     29 years (body calcium replacer)

To a vague generalisation, the longer the half life the lower the
activity, BUT specific chemical and radiological properties of some
radionucleotides may make them much more significant than their HL
suggests, or even more significant for shorter HLs.

eg Iodine 129 affects the thyroid and offers up close and personal
beta and gamma treatment.

Strontium 90 replaces body calcium generally and bone notably and
provides a zero distance beta irradiation source.

U238 is almost edible (hard on the teeth) and even U235 is bearable
stuff as a solid.

The "problem" with DU used in tank and warthog penetrators and which
is U235 poor is both that it is dispersed as a gas and a fine powder
on impact and, significantly, that the clever people who provide it to
the military decided it wasn't good enough to stick with naturally
sourced material but also added reactor processed material to the mix
so you get a little more than you expect.

Good DU in weapons comment

       http://www.bandepleteduranium.org/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=118

Very nice discussion of the medical aspects of internal contamination
with Uranium.

       http://www.mindfully.org/Nucs/DU-Medical-Effects-Mar99.htm

A US gulf war Desert Storm vet who was in the general vicinity of the
Abrams and Thunderbolts when they were doing their thing with DU
should not be surprised to find they have 0.1 to 1 mg of DU in their
body now. Some may have more, many less. Whether this much matters
vastly depends on all sorts of factors and whether the vet is you. The
above paper will help assess some of the implications, should there be
any.

Note that natural uranium is the main starting point for 'all this'
and about the most benign of any of the radioactive materials
involved. If the above report puts you off tangling with U238 you may
wish to think much more carefully about the other materials that the
process creates.

_____________

Excellent radionucleotide half life and activity level and radiation
type and energy table.

   http://www.ead.anl.gov/pub/doc/tbl2-rad-prop.pdf#search=%22%22half%20life%22%20radioactive%20table%22

OKish treatment on nuclear waste here

       http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_waste

NIMBY - is your back yard near one of these places in the US?
James' is (only approximately)

       http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Nuclear_waste_locations_USA.jpg

       Bigger version

               http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/2b/Nuclear_waste_locations_USA.jpg


1957 perspective

       http://darwin.nap.edu/books/NI000379/html/108.html




2006\08\31@090405 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Vitaliy wrote:

> Are the benefits of decreased emissions worth the losses of productivity
> and decreased quality of life?

Another problem is with the questions :)

This question assumes that decreased emissions means decreased quality of
life. It may be the contrary... It is not guaranteed that moving several
tons of metal through rush hour stop and go every day just to move one
person means a high quality of life -- for that person or the ones around
that person.

Gerhard

2006\08\31@091426 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Russell McMahon wrote:

> NIMBY

One, largely theoretical, way to deal with externalities and environmental
problems could be to put the problem in the hand of the one who causes it,
as much as possible. For example run the engine exhaust through the
passenger cabin :)  Or deliver the yearly quota of nuclear waste to all who
bought electricity from the plant. (Of course, they -- or their heirs --
also get their share of the plant itself when it goes out of service after
some 50 years.)

I know these are not realistic scenarios, but everything else is NIMBY.

Gerhard

2006\08\31@102517 by Bob Axtell

face picon face
Gee, Russell, you nailed it!
I wish _I_ could write this well.

--Bob


Russell McMahon wrote:
{Quote hidden}

In the Sept 2006 Scientific American, page 81, "Waste Management": "No
country in the world has
yet implemented a system for permanently disposing of the spent fuel and
other radioactive waste
produced by nuclear power plants".

{Quote hidden}

Actually the unknowns will probably stop new nuclear plants in the US.
The US government is
badly overextended financially, so nuclear enthusiasts will try to use
outside investors. But these
guys have been burned before- legal tobacco, pharmaceutical drugs, all
have been subjected to
enormous lawsuits. These big guys aren't stupid. Unless the waste
problem is solved, no money
will be forthcoming.

{Quote hidden}

I have an old friend that builds solar-heated homes in north Georgia,
USA. They allow a family
to get through a snowy winter with almost ZERO fuel costs (just the cost
of moving the warm
air around).
{Quote hidden}

Awesome, Russell. Do you write for a living?

--Bob
{Quote hidden}

2006\08\31@105247 by Alan B. Pearce

face picon face
You guys may like to look at the issue of Scientific American that has just
come out. I leafed through the copy that arrived yesterday in our library,
and it seems to contain a pretty good look at the various alternative energy
sources including nuclear, wave motion, solar (including with a Stirling
Engine) and many more besides.

I haven't read any of the articles, but just scanning through it seemed to
have some pretty good technical content.

2006\08\31@112151 by Russell McMahon

face
flavicon
face
> Gee, Russell, you nailed it!
> I wish _I_ could write this well.

Thanks.
Flattery will get you somewhere :-)

But, alas, one has only "nailed it" in the majority of cases when the
reader already more or less agrees with you. If the argument isn't
what you want to hear it's far less convincing. This is just as true
for me when I'm listening to things that I disagree with :-).

That said, I continue find myself convinced or swayed by "opposing"
argument more often than I expect to be.

Even if your "opponent" (in the broadest sense of the term) can't find
any real holes in your argument you still haven't nailed it if you
haven't won their heart. Old adage - "A man convinced against his will
has the same opinion still" has merit. And in the case of nuclear
power hearts and facts often enough don't seem to go together. James
has suggested on numerous occasions that resistance to nuclear power
is based on groundless fears which aren't supported by the evidence.
And yet I would say almost the opposite, that claims for the safety of
nuclear power are based on the belief that nuclear waste is not a
problem, and I say that this belief is groundless and is not supported
by the evidence. James and I are, often enough, reasonable and logical
people and in many technical areas think somewhat similarly, but on
something like this we differ radically. He at least will certainly
not think that I've nailed it :-).

> In the Sept 2006 Scientific American, page 81, "Waste Management":
> "No
> country in the world has
> yet implemented a system for permanently disposing of the spent fuel
> and
> other radioactive waste
> produced by nuclear power plants".

Most would agree with this, but proponents of nuclear power would
argue that either reasonable solutions are in the pipeline or that
good solutions already exist but are being stymied by political and/or
uninformed resistance. I read recently, and I don't know if it's true,
that while Yucca Mountain is yet to be used, it's full capacity will
have been allocated before it starts to be operated.

Note that -

>> Would YOU trust a man who is trying to sell you something that was
>> felt to have such an unknown and potentially high level of risk
>> that
>> the industry applied to the government for a waiver from legal
>> responsibility - and the government complied?

may in part address

{Quote hidden}

as legislation that limits liability of nuclear power plants may apply
or be able to be extended to waste storage. Guaranteed imminity from
legal process has a nice ring to it.


> Awesome, Russell. Do you write for a living?

Thanks again.
But, no, I tend to write when I should be earning my living :-).
It's a marvellous tool for procrastination when the latest project is
calling plaintively from the dungeon.
A label that vaguely fits me is "self employed electronic designer /
developer" although I hope for that to not be a broad enough label
over the next year or so :-). Stirling engine development is only one
of the things on the (hopeful) agenda. We'll see.




       Russell

.





2006\08\31@112338 by Tony Smith

picon face
{Quote hidden}

There's always Synrock, which pops up every so often.  Works (mix waste with
ceramic, bake & serve), but is either a bit tricky to do or is a bit pricey,
so not many takers.  I'm assuming the latter.

Australia has over 25% (I've seen 40%) of the worlds uranium.  Current
theory is to dig it up, sell it overseas, take the waste back & bury it
where it came from.  Not sure how this solves Australian energy needs, but
the lights in China's will still work.

Building a reactor for power is getting mentioned, and by a few hippies too.
Of course, one was supposed to have been built ages ago.  That was the prize
for letting the British make South Australia glow in the dark, but the
Americans didn't think it was a good idea.  Tsk.  They gave Iran one, why
not us?

I wonder how Synrock warm gets.  We could bury it all in Tasmania, that
place needs all the heat it can get.

Tony

2006\08\31@115726 by James Newtons Massmind

face picon face
>         'waste?, what waste?".

But this is what has been done with fossil fuels. Air pollution, lung
cancer, lead poisoning, are all being ignored. Not to mention global
warming, which is (apparently) influenced more by the greenhouse gases than
the actual energy release.

At least with Nukes, people take the waste seriously. The problem is that
they are not making a fair comparison with the waste from other energy
sources.

And they are being down right stupid in their fear of the nuke waste. Yes,
it is dangerous, but it isn't THAT dangerous.

---
James.


2006\08\31@122142 by Mike Hord

picon face
> >         'waste?, what waste?".
>
> But this is what has been done with fossil fuels. Air pollution, lung
> cancer, lead poisoning, are all being ignored. Not to mention global
> warming, which is (apparently) influenced more by the greenhouse gases than
> the actual energy release.
>
> At least with Nukes, people take the waste seriously. The problem is that
> they are not making a fair comparison with the waste from other energy
> sources.

At least in the case of nuclear waste, it all comes out solid, and in one place.
That's more than one can say for many of the by-products of other energy
generation methods.

Mike H.

2006\08\31@123540 by David VanHorn

picon face
> And they are being down right stupid in their fear of the nuke waste. Yes,
> it is dangerous, but it isn't THAT dangerous.


There's a very good book called "deep time" that deals with the subject of
communication across intervals of 10,000 years or so.  The author worked on
the panel that suggested various ways to communicate the hazards.

They had input from various government bodies too, with suggestions like
burying CDs with the information around the site..

Something that they touched on in the discussion was interesting to me, and
I contacted the author with the idea of constructing fortifications around
the site, all "pointed" inward, based on the concept that regardless of
languages, we seem to be able to identify fortifications as such. Having
them ring the site should convey the idea that there's something dangerous
in the middle, but even then you get to the point of making it
"interesting", where a buried and concealed site would just be another
featureless plot of ground.

2006\08\31@144849 by Herbert Graf

flavicon
face
On Wed, 2006-08-30 at 07:50 -0700, Bob Axtell wrote:
> Gus S Calabrese wrote:
> > Nuclear power is a practical technology at this point. Politics is  
> > the only thing that
> > limits it.   Two issues to be settled.  Where to put the plants and  
> > where to put the waste.
> >  
> I'm disappointed, Gus. It doesn't worry you that after 60 years of
> trying, the waste problem
> still hasn't been "solved"?

Well, what about the "waste" from other power generation? Coal plants
have spewed all kinds of crap into the air for a century now. LOTS of
health problems have resulted. Yet to many coal is FAR more appealing
then nuclear, despite it's huge amount of harm.

{Quote hidden}

Depends. How many people have had their lives cut short because of our
burning of fossil fuels over the past century? 500,000? I'd guess WAY
more.

{Quote hidden}

Fine, but the "real costs" for other energy production has also not been
determined, so I don't see why this is a huge issue for one technology,
and a non issue for all the others.

> Worse, yellowcake (raw uranium ore) is found cheaply in
> Nigeria... another
> Islamic country. Think about it; its $70 oil all over again

That I didn't know. I have heard that Canada also has alot of uranium
ore, so for me that's a solution.

{Quote hidden}

Very true, and I also hope solar WILL be an option one day. As it stands
now, the cost of solar is just to high to be worth it.

As with the oil sands in Alberta, which only a few years ago weren't
worth much, the rising price of energy will allow other technologies to
break through. Unfortunately we can't wait for that to happen, we need
the energy now.

> > It is all pretty simple if standard politics^1 disappeared.  Sadly,  
> > therein lies the rub.
> > Terrorism issues^2 are no different for nuclear than for other  
> > technologies.
> >  
> But a nuclear plant is more attractive as a terrorist target because of
> the radioactivity involved.

Terrorists have SO many targets to choose from it boggles the mind. To
use that as an excuse would mean you'd have to ban so many other things
from existing, it just doesn't fly IMHO.

I am not hugely fond of nuclear power. It has it's issues. But of all
the options today, it is the only practical choice IMHO. Burning more
and more fossil fuels is easily as bad as building more nuclear power
IMHO. And solar is just too expensive. Wind is a WONDERFUL choice, but
it just doesn't work everywhere, and worse it's not a constant source of
power.

TTYL

2006\08\31@145547 by Herbert Graf

flavicon
face
On Wed, 2006-08-30 at 12:29 -0700, Vitaliy wrote:
> Out of curiosity, how often do you ride the bus?

When I lived in the city, every week day. Now, almost never.

> I find that in most places, public transportation is vastly inferior to
> traveling by car. For example, here in Phoenix it takes about fifteen
> minutes to reach a certain destination by car, and approximately an hour to
> get there by bus. Not counting the walking time to/from the bus stations.

Absolutely. I actually tested it on Monday this week. I carpool with a
friend every day. It was his drive that day, he had an emergency and I
had to find a way back to the car pool lot myself. I had a ride
available to me, but decided to give public transportation a try as an
experiment.

It cost me $3.50 and took about 2 hours to get back to the car.

By car for the same trip it costs me $2.00 in gas (I know, depreciation,
maintenance and insurance aren't included) and it takes me 20 minutes.

2 hours ONE WAY vs. 20 minutes? I don't think it's even a question.

> > Instead of releasing 80% of the energy devoted to lighting as
> > heat, release 5% (or whatever the incandescent vs. LED breakdown
> > is).
>
> This may be counterintuitive, but fluorescent lights are about twice as
> energy efficient as LEDs.

This again is a case where people don't consider the energy used to MAKE
the bulb, and then dispose of it properly. With those numbers thrown in
an incandescent bulb doesn't seem that bad anymore...

TTYL

2006\08\31@145722 by Herbert Graf

flavicon
face
On Wed, 2006-08-30 at 15:13 -0500, Mike Hord wrote:
> > This may be counterintuitive, but fluorescent lights are about twice as
> > energy efficient as LEDs.
>
> They have their drawbacks- many people find fluorescent lights to be
> unpleasant to work under.  If it were simply a matter of efficiency, the
> incandescent bulb would be long gone.

The newest CFLs put out a colour temperature so close to incandescent
most people can't tell the difference, let alone be bothered by it. The
flicker is not visible.

TTYL

2006\08\31@170326 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Herbert Graf wrote:

> It cost me $3.50 and took about 2 hours to get back to the car.
>
> By car for the same trip it costs me $2.00 in gas (I know, depreciation,
> maintenance and insurance aren't included) and it takes me 20 minutes.

Nor are any of the non-monetary costs. Nor are any of the costs a car trip
costs others. Nor are alternatives that require a different infrastructure.
If people had calculated that way, the Internet would have never been
created.

Gerhard

2006\08\31@173403 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face
On Aug 31, 2006, at 9:35 AM, David VanHorn wrote:

> book called "deep time" that deals with the subject of communication
> across intervals of 10,000 years or so.  The author worked on
> the panel that suggested various ways to communicate the hazards.

The "requirement" that nuke waste sites be "labeled" in such a
way that hypothetical devolved civilizations 10000 years from
now would be able to tell that they're dangerous is one that I
find particularly objectionable...  I prefer to think of future
humans as mining the waste sites for valuable radioactives used
to power their spacecraft, and we don't treat ANY other environmental
modifications with concern as to how they might impact future
non-civilizations...

BillW

2006\08\31@180223 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face

On Aug 31, 2006, at 2:02 PM, Gerhard Fiedler wrote:

> If people had calculated that way, the Internet
> would have never been created.
>
You do know that the internet was largely created from a military
experiment in "survivable communications" - how the generals can
talk to their troops if half the wires between them are now
radioactive holes in the ground?

After that, we have assorted amounts of fraud, greed, and etc,
leading to a stock market bubble pop that was by no means harmless
to a lot of people...

I like the internet.  The internet has been very good to me.  But
it isn't a very shiny example of how innovation ought to happen.

BillW

2006\08\31@190613 by David VanHorn

picon face
>
> The "requirement" that nuke waste sites be "labeled" in such a
> way that hypothetical devolved civilizations 10000 years from
> now would be able to tell that they're dangerous is one that I
> find particularly objectionable...


It's largely political, but understandable, given the nature of the threat.
Kids have been hurt, finding radioactive capsuled from scrapped medical
equipment, very high level sources.  It would be bad if our decendants dug
into it and used it as religious ornaments or some such.. Mostly it's based
on the idea that a collapse is inevitable over that span, and they might not
be able to tell the hazard.


I prefer to think of future
> humans as mining the waste sites for valuable radioactives used
> to power their spacecraft, and we don't treat ANY other environmental
> modifications with concern as to how they might impact future
> non-civilizations...


I suspect they will be mining our dumps for all kinds of things, and maybe
rather thankful to us for concentrating it so nicely for them.

2006\08\31@202059 by David Minkler

flavicon
face
David VanHorn wrote:
<snip>

>I suspect they will be mining our dumps for all kinds of things, and maybe
>rather thankful to us for concentrating it so nicely for them.
>
... and it won't be 10000 years from now.


2006\08\31@205030 by Carey Fisher

face picon face
Herbert Graf wrote:
>  Wind is a WONDERFUL choice, but
> it just doesn't work everywhere, and worse it's not a constant source of
> power.
>
> TTYL
>
>  
I wonder...  if you extract energy from the wind, then the wind contains
less energy, doesn't blow as hard/far.  What are the unintended
consequences of extracting energy from the wind?  Change in weather
patterns causing famine?  Is it really a "WONDERFUL" choice or is it
just another choice with attendent negative consequences?
--

*Carey Fisher*

2006\08\31@210529 by David VanHorn

picon face
>
>
> I wonder...  if you extract energy from the wind, then the wind contains
> less energy, doesn't blow as hard/far.  What are the unintended
> consequences of extracting energy from the wind?  Change in weather
> patterns causing famine?  Is it really a "WONDERFUL" choice or is it
> just another choice with attendent negative consequences?


Extracting as much energy as a few trees might..
Out of an airstream that might be a mile high.
The most a given mill can extract is something like 30% of the available
energy within it's swept area.

2006\08\31@212913 by Carey Fisher

face picon face
David VanHorn wrote:
>> I wonder...  if you extract energy from the wind, then the wind contains
>> less energy, doesn't blow as hard/far.  What are the unintended
>> consequences of extracting energy from the wind?  Change in weather
>> patterns causing famine?  Is it really a "WONDERFUL" choice or is it
>> just another choice with attendent negative consequences?
>>    
>
>
> Extracting as much energy as a few trees might..
> Out of an airstream that might be a mile high.
> The most a given mill can extract is something like 30% of the available
> energy within it's swept area.
>  
Then can wind power produce enough energy to replace a significant
amount of energy produced from fossil fuels?

Maybe there's a physical law that says "...for X amount of energy you
extract from the total Earth ecosystem, you cause Y damage to it no
matter how you extract the energy (coal, wind, waves...)"???
--

*Carey Fisher*

2006\08\31@213815 by Gus S Calabrese

face picon face

On 2006-Aug 31, at 16:02hrs PM, William Chops Westfield wrote:


On Aug 31, 2006, at 2:02 PM, Gerhard Fiedler wrote:

> If people had calculated that way, the Internet
> would have never been created.
>
You do know that the internet was largely created from a military
experiment in "survivable communications" - how the generals can
talk to their troops if half the wires between them are now
radioactive holes in the ground?

After that, we have assorted amounts of fraud, greed, and etc,
leading to a stock market bubble pop that was by no means harmless
to a lot of people...

I like the internet.  The internet has been very good to me.  But
it isn't a very shiny example of how innovation ought to happen.

^ Name a major innovation that was "shiny" ( or at least "shinier" )
than the creation of the internet.  Any major innovation displaces
people and they cry and then everyone muddles on. AGSC ^

BillW
-

2006\08\31@214904 by Bob Axtell

face picon face
Carey Fisher wrote:
> Herbert Graf wrote:
>  
>>  Wind is a WONDERFUL choice, but
>> it just doesn't work everywhere, and worse it's not a constant source of
>> power.
>>
>> TTYL
>>
>>  
>>    
> I wonder...  if you extract energy from the wind, then the wind contains
> less energy, doesn't blow as hard/far.  What are the unintended
> consequences of extracting energy from the wind?  Change in weather
> patterns causing famine?  Is it really a "WONDERFUL" choice or is it
> just another choice with attendent negative consequences?
>  
EVERYTHING has consequences:

TAXES cause otherwise honest people to become liars. CARS moving on the
freeway cause the earth
to slow down or speed up ever so slightly. POWER DAMS prevent fish from
swimming upstream.
MARRIAGE causes divorce. Even in our line of work, placing a meter into
a circuit affects the actual circuit,
and prevents us from EXACTLY measuring our circuit.

All we can hope for is that the consequences are as innocuous as possible.

--Bob

2006\08\31@220230 by Russell McMahon

face
flavicon
face
> ^ Name a major innovation that was "shiny" ( or at least "shinier" )
than the creation of the internet.  Any major innovation displaces
> people and they cry and then everyone muddles on. AGSC ^

There will always be some people who complain. no matter what the
benefits for most, so absolute objections alone are not a measure of
shininess. Relative or percentage proportion of objections may be.

Candidates:

?Concrete?
A slave labour saver may annoy a few (slave traders/owners) but
probably had a new positive effect.

Disinfectant / antiseptic generally.

Boiling water to sterilise it.

Anaesthetics.

Ability to perform significant surgery.eg appendectomy, caesarean
birth.

Aspirin.

Dynamite :-)

Aqualung

Global warming :-) :-)


       Russell

2006\08\31@220512 by David VanHorn

picon face
>
> MARRIAGE causes divorce.


Nearly every marriage ends in death or divorce!



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

2006\08\31@224401 by Herbert Graf

flavicon
face
On Thu, 2006-08-31 at 20:50 -0400, Carey Fisher wrote:
> Herbert Graf wrote:
> >  Wind is a WONDERFUL choice, but
> > it just doesn't work everywhere, and worse it's not a constant source of
> > power.
> >
> > TTYL
> >
> >  
> I wonder...  if you extract energy from the wind, then the wind contains
> less energy, doesn't blow as hard/far.  What are the unintended
> consequences of extracting energy from the wind?  Change in weather
> patterns causing famine?  Is it really a "WONDERFUL" choice or is it
> just another choice with attendent negative consequences?

It's a good question. I'd expect that to have any noticeable impact the
amount of wind generation would have to be on a scale many magnitudes
larger then our power needs would probably be.

Suffice it to say that it's very likely we could extract a good deal of
power from wind before that becomes an issue.

TTYL

2006\08\31@230803 by Tony Smith

picon face


> -----Original Message-----
> From: .....piclist-bouncesKILLspamspam.....mit.edu
> [EraseMEpiclist-bouncesspam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTmit.edu] On Behalf Of David VanHorn
> Sent: Friday, September 01, 2006 12:05 PM
> To: Microcontroller discussion list - Public.
> Subject: Re: [OT] On Nuclear power
>
> >
> > MARRIAGE causes divorce.
>
>
> Nearly every marriage ends in death or divorce!


And the rest live happily ever after, I presume.  :)

Tony

2006\08\31@231554 by Richard Prosser

picon face
If you did knock back the wind, then you'd knock back the waves on the
sea or lakes etc. So anyone trying to use wave energy would have a
problem with it.

However, being able to enough energy out of the wind to have any
effect is pretty unlikely in the short term.

RP

On 01/09/06, Herbert Graf <mailinglist3spamspam_OUTfarcite.net> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

> -


'[OT] On Nuclear power'
2006\09\01@000757 by Robert Ammerman
picon face

> EVERYTHING has consequences:
>
> TAXES cause otherwise honest people to become liars. CARS moving on the
> freeway cause the earth
> to slow down or speed up ever so slightly. POWER DAMS prevent fish from
> swimming upstream.
> MARRIAGE causes divorce.

BIRTH causes DEATH


2006\09\01@024421 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
>> MARRIAGE causes divorce.

> Nearly every marriage ends in death or divorce!

nearly?

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu


2006\09\01@060925 by Vasile Surducan

face picon face
On 8/30/06, Gus S Calabrese <@spam@gscKILLspamspamomegadogs.com> wrote:
> Nuclear power is a practical technology at this point.


If you never lived less than 1000km closer to Cernobal...
probably 20 years ago you've been to young to know, right?


Vasile

2006\09\01@072325 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
William ChopsWestfield wrote:

>> If people had calculated that way, the Internet
>> would have never been created.
>>
> You do know that the internet was largely created from a military
> experiment in "survivable communications" - how the generals can
> talk to their troops if half the wires between them are now
> radioactive holes in the ground?

This is a bit short of the full story, but yes, I knew that the DoD and
ARPANET were part of the Internet's history.

But the point is another. The point is that if someone had made a
calculation in 1980 what it costs to send information via letter from A to
B and what it costs to maintain that network to do the same, they would
have concluded that creating the infrastructure for that network is wasted
money. In the same way as people conclude that creating a network
infrastructure of public transport is wasted money.

There is not much that's fundamentally different between the creation of
the network of streets and roads for automobiles, the network of data
exchange called Internet or a network of public transport. In the creation
phase, it is never cost-efficient and needs targeted investment (usually
public money). Only when a certain "critical mass" of general coverage is
achieved, the real value starts to appear. Until then it just looks like a
waste of resources.

Gerhard

2006\09\01@083315 by Russell McMahon

face
flavicon
face
> Well, what about the "waste" from other power generation? Coal
> plants
> have spewed all kinds of crap into the air for a century now. LOTS
> of
> health problems have resulted. Yet to many coal is FAR more
> appealing
> then nuclear, despite it's huge amount of harm.
>
>> > If one looks at the figures dispassionately, nuclear plants have
>> > operated safely in most
>> > locations.  They do cause deaths and the cost vs benefit ratios
>> > are
>> > acceptable.

The issue with nucler waste is that the dangers are of a different
nature than those from all other types of waste. As a bonus they also
have guaranted longevity that would make any poison green with envy.

Ionising radiation harms by altering the very structure of the matter
it interacts with - whether by transmutation of elements or by
knocking 'bits' out of molecules or altering genetic structures.
Everything else attacks from without. Nuclear effectively from within.
ie "normal" physical barriers against chemical activity, genetic
interactions et al are no match for particles which, quite literally,
ignore these barriers utterly and work on the atomic structure itself.

Other forms of pollution largely tend to do their thing in the short
to medium term and your descendants get to inherit the damage. With
nuclear they tend to get the damage themselves first hand (as well as
in, in some cases, theuir mutated genes)(rare). You can get large
pools of poisonous byproducts (leachate dams from mining, perchlorate
ions from silicon valley, pentavalent chromium from hollywood, ...)
but you have to work very hard at it and the effects tend to scale
with the volumes. Some substances achieve effects out of normal
proportion to their concentrations (such as, perhaps, the much debated
DDT) but most chemical substances are going to be limited in their
ability to harm unless you set up really large volume production.

And, as well as damaging differently, and requiring tiny
concentrations to be effective, and having vast periods of activity,
some nucleotides also use more traditional chemical means to assist
their attack. For example, Strontium 90 would be nowhere near as
dangerous as a contaminant were it not for the fact that it chemically
substitutes for calcium in biological organisms (such as you and me).
If you ingested equal and small quantities of U235 and Strontium 90 -
the first may well pass relatively safely pass through your body but a
significant proportion of the latter would end up in your bones and
commence zero distance radioactive damage. Strontium 90 has a
relatively small half life - around 10 years - while it is of great
concern in the case of a reactor event it is not going to overly
bother your children's children - should you survive to have any. But
some other materials also have nasty body attaching properties and
half lives of 10's of thousands of years. Or millions. Iodine 129 has
a half life of over 10 million years. It's only about 100 times as
active as U235. Not nice stuff at face value but not liable to kill
you in minutes if you handled a sample tube of it. BUT ingest a little
and a fair proportion will end up in your thyroid and start it's 100 x
U235 Beta particle attack. Whether someone ingest this now or in a few
decades, century, millenia or millions of years is going to make very
little difference to its potency.

"Spreading it thin" is one way to help ensure that such substances
don't come back to bite you. Alas, food chains often have the property
of gathering some inobvious and minutely represented substance and
concentrating it at an increasing level as you progress up the chain.
A current example is mercury. Sardines are safe to eat mercury wise as
they have only slightly elevated mercury levels. But if eating Tuna,
which eat things that eat things that ... eat sardines, in any volume
(as some people do - such as some body builders who use it as a cheap
source of concentrated protein)  then checking mercury levels becomes
very wise. As the top of many food chains is usually the group which
contains you and I, many substances which are concentrated in this
manner are delivered to us at levels well above their environmental
average. It's entirely likely that Iodine 129 could be included in
such a concentration process somewhere along the line. Similarly
Strontium 90 from fallout tends to be deposited on ground surfaces, is
ingested by cattle, ends up in milk in place of calcium and we
complete the last stage of the concentrating process.

"Burying it deep" is another approach. But, store enough of a given
nucleotide in an utterly secure location [[Yukka Mountain, Simpsons
Desert or wherever]] and, given long enough, Murphy will with
certainty work out how to get it out and spread it more or less thinly
across the landscape and Dawrin will work out a natural system to
reconcentrate it for you. The harder you try the longer it may take
and the more surprised the recipients are liable to be.

Waste stored in vitrified glass was found to be leaching certain
radioactive components to the surface through the matrix.
Investigation revealed that bacteria  were present which had found
just the thing deep inside this convenient package and were mining it
and bringing it to the surface for their own reasons (or none at all).
That anything at all could or did live in such an environment had not
been previously known.

I'm informed that:  (no ref offered, work beckons)(gargoyle for it
yourself) that there is MORE biomass and living creatures present in
the "solid" rocks and subterranean body of the earth than exists on
the whole surface and within the oceans. Odds are some of these
denizens are eagerly awaiting new sources of entertainment. Living
bacteria have been returned from rock samples from miles deep.

Clue - for starters try mixes of:   endolithic autotriphic hydrogen
solid rock bacteria hydrogen

___

A similar process of concentration as occurs for mercury was said to
occur for the insecticide DDT, with large avian predators such as
hawks and eagles ending up with high concentrations. In the case of
DDT the result was said to be redued egg shell thickness leading to a
lower hatchling rate and a consequent reduction in bird numbers. The
concentration of DDT in this manner can be demonstrated by direct
measurement. (Whether such measurements have in ever fact been done in
an adequately rigorous  manner is a matter of bitter debate and
outside the scope of the present tirade). BUT whether such
concentrations, if present, actually have the effect on egg shell
thickness is far far less certain. Some argue (with a degree of
plausibility) that such claims, which form the main basis for the
international ban on DDT,  are based on extremely bad science and
small sample sizes and that the results have been swamped by
confounding factors.  ie it's debateable whether measured quantities
of DDT in eagles can be correlated to reductions in numbers. In case
you think I've let DDT divert me irrelevantly from nuclear matters, be
assured I haven't :-). In the case of concentration of nucleotides of
a given sort there is no debate over outcomes. If there are xxx
micrograms of some nucleotide in the liver of a Canada Goose then the
consequent radiation dose can be determined and the discussions moves
to another field. ie while the effect of many "poisons" may be moot,
with nuclear contamination it's all too certain. The substance is
simply the delivery mechanism for a radiation dosage system.
_____

Undoubtedly *ALL* forms of energy conversion have costs that are not
obvious and cause damage to health and deaths. There is little doubt
that the fatalities from well run nuclear fission plants during the
life of the plants is far lower than that from some alternatives such
as coal. Systems such as solar or hydro also have their direct and
indirect costs and attributable fatalities. But nuclear has the
ability and probability of keeping on keeping on doing damage long
long after every trace of a solar or hydro system has vanished. Coal
has the ability to create pollution with indirect effects lasting
centuries. But, compared to eg Iodine 129, and many of its friends,
its a flash in the pan.

Consider - If there'd been a very large coal mine and coal fired power
station near where you live 1,000 years ago it would probably largely
now be a matter of academic interest. But, if there'd instead been a
large nuclear waste dump there 1,000 years ago your interest would be
liable to be far more focused.

I welcome people telling me that I'm wrong about any or all of this
and explaining why. The more detail the better. "Just knowing" doesn't
count:-)



       Russell


2006\09\01@095353 by Howard Winter

face
flavicon
picon face
Bill,

On Wed, 30 Aug 2006 08:51:20 -0700, William "Chops" Westfield wrote:

{Quote hidden}

Errr - no!  The town of Chernobyl had a population of about 10,000, but that's a number of miles from the power station.  Pripyat was the town that
was built close to the power station, and had a population of about 45,000.  But they weren't the people working on the problem of entombing the
reactor - people from all over the USSR were brought in to do that - I have no idea how many, but using a lot of people for short periods of exposure
makes sense - those who fought the fire over the first couple of days mostly died from the exposure they got.

Cheers,


Howard Winter
St.Albans, England


2006\09\01@102455 by David VanHorn

picon face
On 9/1/06, Wouter van Ooijen <KILLspamwouterKILLspamspamvoti.nl> wrote:
>
> >> MARRIAGE causes divorce.
>
> > Nearly every marriage ends in death or divorce!
>
> nearly?


I just say it that way because it gets people thinking.

We do spend a lot of effort on beginning, and doing relationships, but we
don't seem to want to think about the fact that they will, one way or the
other, end.

2006\09\01@104254 by Howard Winter

face
flavicon
picon face
Russell,

On Fri, 01 Sep 2006 03:21:46 +1200, Russell McMahon wrote:

>...
>  I tend to write when I should be earning my living :-).
> It's a marvellous tool for procrastination when the latest project is
> calling plaintively from the dungeon.

Likewise, for a number of the rest of us,  reading what you've written!  :-)

Now I really *must* get on and finish the project I'm currently procrastinating from...

Cheers,



2006\09\01@104721 by Gus S Calabrese

face picon face

On 2006-Aug 31, at 20:02hrs PM, Russell McMahon wrote:

> ^ Name a major innovation that was "shiny" ( or at least "shinier" )
than the creation of the internet.  Any major innovation displaces
> people and they cry and then everyone muddles on. AGSC ^

There will always be some people who complain. no matter what the
benefits for most, so absolute objections alone are not a measure of
shininess. Relative or percentage proportion of objections may be.

Candidates:

?Concrete?
A slave labour saver may annoy a few (slave traders/owners) but
probably had a new positive effect.
^Allowed vast numbers of ugly buildings and other structures to be built
plus big dams and other evil things.  Not shiny.^

Disinfectant / antiseptic generally.
^Attacks innocent microbes, keeps alive lots of unfit people.  Prevents
survival of the fittest from operating properly.  Not shiny^

Boiling water to sterilise it.   <---- this is a major innovation ?
^Same as disinfectants plus causes thermal pollution Not shiny^

Anaesthetics.
^displaces sales of liquor. Allows people to be wimpy. Steals  
people's souls  Not shiny^

Ability to perform significant surgery.eg appendectomy, caesarean
birth.
^Too many people survive trauma.  Earth fills up with slackers who  
pollute.  Takes the
fun out of a head -on collision in a car.  Not shiny  ( maybe if  
painkillers did not exist ? )^

Aspirin.    ^Ha Ha^

Dynamite :-)^ Getting WARM^

Aqualung  ^ Great Song but was it major ?^

Global warming :-) :-)    ^Shiny, yes precious ^


        Russell

2006\09\01@105101 by Howard Winter

face
flavicon
picon face
James,

On Thu, 31 Aug 2006 08:57:19 -0700, James Newtons Massmind wrote:

> >         'waste?, what waste?".
>
> But this is what has been done with fossil fuels. Air pollution, lung
> cancer, lead poisoning, are all being ignored.

So that makes it OK???

And actually, all of the above are being addressed (Kyoto, increasing bans on places where smoking is allowed, RoHS...)

> Not to mention global
> warming, which is (apparently) influenced more by the greenhouse gases than
> the actual energy release.

Yes, this must be the case - the Sun radiates enough energy on the Earth's day-side in an hour than humans use in a year, so there's a huge way to
go before energy use becomes significant compared with what's arriving.

> At least with Nukes, people take the waste seriously. The problem is that
> they are not making a fair comparison with the waste from other energy
> sources.

"Two wrongs don't make a right".  The problem is not that nuclear waste is being taken too seriously (?), but that the others aren't being taken
seriously enough.  "He started it" isn't a valid excuse here, any more than it was for school playground fights...

> And they are being down right stupid in their fear of the nuke waste. Yes,
> it is dangerous, but it isn't THAT dangerous.

So you'd let them bury it in your back garden?  What would the chickens say?  :-)))

Cheers,


Howard Winter
St.Albans, England


2006\09\01@105943 by Howard Winter

face
flavicon
picon face
Dave,

On Thu, 31 Aug 2006 12:35:38 -0400, David VanHorn wrote:

> There's a very good book called "deep time" that deals with the subject of
> communication across intervals of 10,000 years or so.  The author worked on
> the panel that suggested various ways to communicate the hazards.
>
> They had input from various government bodies too, with suggestions like
> burying CDs with the information around the site..

Yes, that'll work - as long as you dig them up every ten years and re-copy them so that any decay of the aluminium coating is obviated! :-)  Not to
mention that even now we have recording media that are almost inaccessible, because technology has moved on and the drives that created them
have all broken.  Try restoring a backup from a pre-Travan tape these days...

Cave painting should work though, as long as we can find the colouring material used to do the ones we've found.  Carving in stone is pretty good, as
long as the surface is protected from the weather.

> Something that they touched on in the discussion was interesting to me, and
> I contacted the author with the idea of constructing fortifications around
> the site, all "pointed" inward, based on the concept that regardless of
> languages, we seem to be able to identify fortifications as such. Having
> them ring the site should convey the idea that there's something dangerous
> in the middle, but even then you get to the point of making it
> "interesting", where a buried and concealed site would just be another
> featureless plot of ground.

How about building a huge stone structure to contain the nasty stuff - a pyramid shape is the most stable.  Ah!  It's been done, and did we carefully
investigate them, reading the hieroglyphs and working out whether they were a warning, and testing for anything nasty inside as we went?  No, we
just dug our way in!  Hopefully our descendants would be more careful - but actually I doubt it...

Cheers,


Howard Winter
St.Albans, England


2006\09\01@110603 by Gus S Calabrese

face picon face

On 2006-Sep 01, at 04:09hrs AM, Vasile Surducan wrote:

On 8/30/06, Gus S Calabrese <RemoveMEgscTakeThisOuTspamomegadogs.com> wrote:
> Nuclear power is a practical technology at this point.


 If you never lived less than 1000km closer to Cernobal...
probably 20 years ago you've been to young to know, right?

^ Cernobal was not a nuclear accident .... it was a weapons accident
AGSC ^

^Hilarious that some people complain bitterly about Nuke power  
generation
and do not insist that Nuke weapons be disappeared from the face of  
the earth.
One nuke weapon = evil to the 5th power  Since the US government  
maintains
approximately 10K weapons, they lead the world with evil to the 9th  
power.

http://www.thebulletin.org/article_nn.php?art_ofn=jf06norris     AGSC^

Vasile

2006\09\01@111744 by Yair Mahalalel

flavicon
face
You might find this useful, or at least amusing -
http://www.structuredprocrastination.com/

Yair (who's not debugging data analysis code).

On Fri, Sep 01, 2006 at 03:42:49PM +0100, Howard Winter wrote:
{Quote hidden}

> --

2006\09\01@111923 by Russell McMahon

face
flavicon
face
>> Boiling water to sterilise it.

> <---- this is a major innovation ?

Absolutely!

If you didn't have this technology and another group did then your
survival rates would vastly exceed theirs under certain quite
realistic circumstances.

Once upon a not too many centuries ago vast numbers of people in
London died in Cholera epidemics because they pumped polluted water
from sewage contaminated wells and didn't know about treating it.
Boiling would have done the trick. Removing the pump handle was the
solution in one case! (Probably a shiny handle I'd say).


       Russell.


2006\09\01@111937 by Russell McMahon

face
flavicon
face

>> And they are being down right stupid in their fear of the nuke
>> waste. Yes,
>> it is dangerous, but it isn't THAT dangerous.

I'd be interested in knowing what it would take for something to be
considered "THAT dangerous". It seems to me (BIMBW) that nuclear waste
is about as dangerous as it comes.

Someone may wish to explain to me why this is not the case. See my 2
recent posts on this as background to what form I feel the dangers
take and why. I'd be most happy to be wrong. But it's hard, alas, to
imagine that I am.




       Russell


2006\09\01@112630 by David VanHorn

picon face
Unfortunately, the CD type of suggestion was typical of what they got from
government agencies.


They talked a lot about the stone carving thing, but were worried that
someone might steal or deface the stones.   Other interesting ideas like
"broken ground".   It's a good read.

www.amazon.com/Deep-Time-Humanity-Communicates-Millennia/dp/0380793466/sr=8-1/qid=1157124358/ref=pd_bbs_1/104-8486181-6348768?ie=UTF8&s=books

2006\09\01@121534 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face

On Sep 1, 2006, at 8:15 AM, Russell McMahon wrote:

>>> Boiling water to sterilise it.
>
>> <---- this is a major innovation ?

> If you didn't have this technology and another group did then your
> survival rates would vastly exceed theirs under certain quite
> realistic circumstances.
>
> Once upon a not too many centuries ago...

Lack of sterilized water is still a major problem in many
third world countries.  I went to a talk some time ago by ex-pres
Carter, and he commented that there are some major parasite
problems that can be solved via some relatively simple filtering.
(I think it was a multi-cell parasite larva, so we're talking
filters not nearly so high-tech as are available to 1st world
hikers.)  There was a technical innovation in that some company
had been motivated to produce appropriate filter material as a
bulk process.

(Boiling water is very energy intensive and rather slow.  There
are a lot of places where it isn't practical.)

BillW

2006\09\01@130031 by Russell McMahon

face
flavicon
face

> (Boiling water is very energy intensive ...

Only if you do it using a low technology approach:-).

For systems that need only 100C water and not steam you simply
counterflow the output water against the input water. Energy is
required only to make up thermal losses. Counterflow heat exchangers
are one of the great under-developed marvels of our age :-)

If you want steam (distillation it's only slightly more complex. If
you use pressure or vacuum to slightly alter the boiling point on the
inlet and  outlet sides you can transfer almost all the latent heat of
vaporisation back from the output to the input. You need then only
make up losses as before.


       Russell



2006\09\01@135055 by Herbert Graf

flavicon
face
On Fri, 2006-09-01 at 15:50 +0100, Howard Winter wrote:
> > >         'waste?, what waste?".
> >
> > But this is what has been done with fossil fuels. Air pollution, lung
> > cancer, lead poisoning, are all being ignored.
>
> So that makes it OK???

Of course it doesn't. But it does tend to nullify MANY of the arguments
against nuclear power.

> And actually, all of the above are being addressed (Kyoto, increasing bans on places where smoking is allowed, RoHS...)

All are addressed? I'd same SOME are partically being considered about
being addressed. Kyoto is in many ways a joke. RoHS is a larger joke (if
you consider the percentage of lead found elsewhere in industry).

> > At least with Nukes, people take the waste seriously. The problem is that
> > they are not making a fair comparison with the waste from other energy
> > sources.
>
> "Two wrongs don't make a right".  The problem is not that nuclear waste is being taken too seriously (?), but that the others aren't being taken
> seriously enough.  "He started it" isn't a valid excuse here, any more than it was for school playground fights...

Very true, I completely agree, however...

We need energy. We can't just stop producing it and spend time solving
the waste problems.

As such, you must accept that SOME method of power generation MUST
continue.

In such a case, it doesn't matter that they both produce waste, that is
obvious. All we are left with is to choose technologies where the
(problem of waste)/(energy produced) ratio is as low as possible. IMHO
nuclear is FAR lower in this regard then coal, a LARGE part of power
production in the world today. Others will obviously dissagree, since
the (problem of waste) term is VERY hard to quantify.

> > And they are being down right stupid in their fear of the nuke waste. Yes,
> > it is dangerous, but it isn't THAT dangerous.
>  
> So you'd let them bury it in your back garden?  What would the chickens say?  :-)))

But you have NO problem with all the crap you are breathing in every
single day, all the crap you are ingesting every single day? I'd rather
have waste that I KNOW about where it is and how it affects me then
waste that is everywhere I go.

But that's just me.

TTYL

2006\09\01@155142 by Vitaliy

flavicon
face
Russell wrote:

> But, no, I tend to write when I should be earning my living :-).

Amen, ditto! :-)
Therefore I'll try to be brief...

>>From what I've learned in life, so far, any experts who declare
> anything "impossible" should be shunned like the plague and given an
> adequately wide berth. When talking about the geographic reach of
> Chernobyl type events that's a rather wide berth :-)

Chernobyl was a disaster waiting to happen. With new passively safe designs,
loss of coolant will not result in explosion as it did in Chernobyl -- on
the contrary, loss of coolant will shut down the reactor.

[snip]
>> As James said a while back (and I'm paraphrasing), "just take the
>> waste back
>> to the mining site, and spread it thin". Nuclear waste is less
>> radioactive
>> in the long term, than uranium ore.
>
> Sounds good. Not true. Doesn't work.

What's not true? The fact that the waste has less radioactivity in the long
term?

> Some version MAY be able to be made to work.
> Someday. Maybe.
> You can get more waste out than starter product.
> The waste products are in many cases much much much ... much worse
> than the raw materials. [snip]

Put the waste in ceramic pellets. Put the pellets in cement slabs. Put the
slabs in a place where they will be protected from the elements (like a
cave).

The last point is not that important. Since you did your research on
nuclear, you've probably heard of the "natural reactor" that they found in
Africa. Suprisingly, the presense of water did not cause the "nuclear waste"
to be carried more than a few feet from the reactor.

>> This topic has been beaten to death. Unlike nuclear power, solar is
>> economically unfeasible.
>
> Sweeping statements do not by themselves a factoid make.
> One could as easily say, "... unlike solar power, nuclear is
> economically unfeasible."
> ie *UNTIL* the "waste problem" is irrefutably solved and properly
> costed nuclear power generation is operating with the jury still out.

Nuclear power satisfies 80% of France's energy needs. If solar power was
economically feasible, we should see it account for a significant percentage
of at least some countries' energy needs, right? Alas, it isn't so, despite
the government subsidies.

{Quote hidden}

Russell, I believe you overuse, and sometimes misuse, the accusation of your
opponents committing a "straw man" fallacy. :-)

It was said that nuclear power plans are attractive terrorist targets. I
replied that that is not a good enough reason to ban atomic energy, because
there are other, just as attractive, and perhaps more vulnerable, targets
which we would have to ban as well, if we are to follow this line of
reasoning.

So it seems that maybe I am not the one attacking a straw man. ;-)

Best regards,

Vitaliy

2006\09\01@160216 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Herbert Graf wrote:

> We need energy.

US lifestyle (not sure about Canadian) uses IIRC around twice as much
energy per person than the next (Western European), which still uses much
more than many others. Research about people's happiness consistently comes
to conclusions that spending (wasting?) more energy does not correlate with
increased happiness.

So what is it that people are after that needs all the additional energy?

Gerhard

2006\09\01@162321 by Herbert Graf

flavicon
face
On Fri, 2006-09-01 at 17:01 -0300, Gerhard Fiedler wrote:
> Herbert Graf wrote:
>
> > We need energy.
>
> US lifestyle (not sure about Canadian) uses IIRC around twice as much
> energy per person than the next (Western European), which still uses much
> more than many others. Research about people's happiness consistently comes
> to conclusions that spending (wasting?) more energy does not correlate with
> increased happiness.
>
> So what is it that people are after that needs all the additional energy?

I have a feeling we Canadians are as bad or even worse then our friends
to the south with regards to energy usage per person.

The "reasons" are varied.

We are physically VERY spread out (vs. a typical European country). That
means that we use more energy for EVERYTHING. More energy to transport
that apple to the store, more energy lost in the longer transmission
lines. More energy used going to work, going to the store, going on
vacation, etc.

Climate also has a big influence, much of Canada gets quite cold in the
winter, I'd say on average we are colder then Europe, but I'm not
certain of that.

A LARGE factor is energy here is cheaper (sometimes MUCH cheaper).
Because of this we drive bigger cars, keep our houses warmer, leave the
lights on longer, take longer showers, etc.

My Dad lives in Austria, and on a recent visit we compared utility
costs. Taking out the exchange rate (meaning I consider 1 Euro = 1 CND
$), energy usage in the house was at least twice as expensive for him
then it is for me (hydro, water, gas). Taking into account the exchange
rate results in his costs being at least 3 times higher.

For petrol without the exchange rate the costs are similar, with the
exchange rate he pays 1.5x more. However, since his car gets better
mileage and he drives less he spends less on petrol then I do in a year.

TTYL

2006\09\01@164734 by Jack Smith

picon face
Here's one ... typical summer temperature in the area where I live is
32-34 deg C and humidity 60%.

When I was in Düsseldorf for a couple years in the early 1990's typical
summer temperature was in  the mid 20's C.

No problem living in Düsseldorf without air conditioning. Not so here.

Spent time in Portugal and Italy where summer temperatures were in the
30's C but not with oppressive humidity. Could get by there without air
conditioning most of the time.


Jack

Gerhard Fiedler wrote:
{Quote hidden}

>

2006\09\01@170854 by Herbert Graf

flavicon
face

On Fri, 2006-09-01 at 16:47 -0400, Jack Smith wrote:
> Here's one ... typical summer temperature in the area where I live is
> 32-34 deg C and humidity 60%.
>
> When I was in Düsseldorf for a couple years in the early 1990's typical
> summer temperature was in  the mid 20's C.
>
> No problem living in Düsseldorf without air conditioning. Not so here.
>
> Spent time in Portugal and Italy where summer temperatures were in the
> 30's C but not with oppressive humidity. Could get by there without air
> conditioning most of the time.

That is a good point. The area where my parents live in Austria has
temps VERY similar to what I have in Toronto. The highs and lows during
the course of a year match very closely with what I get.

There is however one difference though - the humidity.

When they have a day where it's 35degrees C it's hot (having been there
this past July), but it's NOT hot enough to need AC since you go in the
shade and you almost start shivering. At night the temps drop enough
that keeping the window open is more then enough.

In Toronto I couldn't imagine living without AC. 35degrees C feels like
a thick hot soup is around you, and you wouldn't even DREAM of leaving
your windows open at night and letting all that humidity in.

My dad is installing AC units on his house in Austria. Why? Because the
units he has can operate as heat pumps in the winter, and it's actually
cheaper to heat the rooms he's in in the winter using these units then
using the furnace (a duel fuel gas/wood furnace).

TTYL

2006\09\01@173625 by James Newtons Massmind

face picon face
> But the point is another. The point is that if someone had
> made a calculation in 1980 what it costs to send information
> via letter from A to B and what it costs to maintain that
> network to do the same, they would have concluded that
> creating the infrastructure for that network is wasted money.
> In the same way as people conclude that creating a network
> infrastructure of public transport is wasted money.
>
> There is not much that's fundamentally different between the
> creation of the network of streets and roads for automobiles,
> the network of data exchange called Internet or a network of
> public transport. In the creation phase, it is never
> cost-efficient and needs targeted investment (usually public
> money). Only when a certain "critical mass" of general
> coverage is achieved, the real value starts to appear. Until
> then it just looks like a waste of resources.
>
> Gerhard


That is a pretty brilliant point. Worth reading a couple times. It shows
where solid leadership is important. Right now the DARPA Grand Challenge has
shown that robotic vehicles are possible and the military will probably put
them in service in the next several years. And a few years after that, it
will start to trickle out to the civilian population. Now, if you think of
each robot car as a "packet"... Suddenly people who load balance servers or
make routers for a living have a whole new marketplace.

---
James.


2006\09\01@205349 by Tony Smith

picon face
{Quote hidden}

So the common denominator is people.  There's your problem, go fix it.

Tony



2006\09\01@212040 by Tony Smith

picon face
{Quote hidden}

Weapons accident?  Got a reference for that?  I suppose one could always
blow up the reactor to stop an invader.  A bit extreme, but it might work.
Maybe they'd been watching 'Blazing Saddles' too often.

I wonder what Russian is for 'Hey y'all, watch this', which is the gererally
accepted reason for the incident.  Switch off the safeties, run at low
power, and not be aware that the reactor design means running in that mode
is dangerous.  Oops.

So evil is related to the number of nukes in one's arsenal.  Should make an
interesting chart.  The Middle East must be paradise, except for Israel.  

Maybe you can plot all of the other bad things as well to produce an evil
quotient.  You could add guns, SUVs, rap music, knives, trans fats,
Dell/Sony laptop batteries, Soduku, lime green trousers, Celine Dion, Jar
Jar Binks and whiskey.  

Tony

2006\09\01@215049 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Jack Smith wrote:

> Here's one ... typical summer temperature in the area where I live is
> 32-34 deg C and humidity 60%.

Where I live (South-Eastern Brazil), it's often warmer and more humid.
Where I used to live (Southern California), it's often warmer; not so humid
though. Also lived in North-Eastern Brazil before that: warmer and more
humid.

Didn't (and don't) need air conditioning (even though many people use them
in these places). I guess it's more a question of life style -- I don't
like dryers either :)

Check out this:
www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/international/energyconsumption.html,
especially http://www.eia.doe.gov/pub/international/iealf/tablee1c.xls

Averages per person per country, which for bigger countries is not that
significant. But still somewhat significant...

Gerhard

2006\09\01@215531 by Bob Axtell

face picon face
Tony Smith wrote:
{Quote hidden}

Whiskey? What's bad about whiskey? <g>

--Bob
> Tony
>
>  

2006\09\01@215911 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Vitaliy wrote:

> If solar power was economically feasible, we should see it account for a
> significant percentage of at least some countries' energy needs, right?

Since when does a traditional economic balance include all costs? Just
because the costs someone has to pay out of his own pocket are smaller
doesn't mean that the overall cost are really smaller. You need to come up
with something better than that. Try figuring in the cost of maintaining
and securing a waste site for just a thousand years and see where the
economics are.

> Alas, it isn't so, despite the government subsidies.

And try to see where nuclear energy would be without government subsidies.
Probably non-existing.

Gerhard

2006\09\01@220041 by Vitaliy

flavicon
face
Tony Smith wrote:

>> ^ Cernobal was not a nuclear accident .... it was a weapons
>> accident AGSC ^
> Weapons accident?  Got a reference for that?  I suppose one could always
> blow up the reactor to stop an invader.  A bit extreme, but it might work.
> Maybe they'd been watching 'Blazing Saddles' too often.

Besides generating electric power, Chernobyl's RBMK was producing plutonium
for weapons use. As a result, critical safety features like a containment
building were omitted.

>From Wikipedia:

"[...] RBMK reactors were designed to allow fuel rods to be changed without
shutting down, both for refueling and for plutonium production (for nuclear
weapons). This required large cranes above the core. As RBMK reactor is very
tall (about 70 metres), the cost and difficulty of building a heavy
containment structure prevented building of additional emergency containment
structure for pipes on top of the reactor. Unfortunately, in the Chernobyl
accident, the pressure rose to levels high enough to blow the top off of the
reactor, breaking open these pipes in the process."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RBMK

Also, regarding Russell's doubts that a disaster of the same kind may happen
again:

"After the Chernobyl disaster, all RBMKs in operation underwent significant
changes, lowering their void coefficients to +0.7 b. This new number
precludes the possibility of a low-coolant meltdown."

I'm not saying a nuclear accident can't happen again, I'm just pointing out
that the *same kind* of accident where the high-pressure steam blew the top
off of the reactor, is theoretically no longer possible.

Best regards,

Vitaliy

2006\09\01@223847 by Tony Smith

picon face
> >> ^ Cernobal was not a nuclear accident .... it was a
> weapons accident
> >> AGSC ^
> > Weapons accident?  Got a reference for that?  I suppose one could
> > always blow up the reactor to stop an invader.  A bit
> extreme, but it might work.
> > Maybe they'd been watching 'Blazing Saddles' too often.
>
> Besides generating electric power, Chernobyl's RBMK was
> producing plutonium for weapons use. As a result, critical
> safety features like a containment building were omitted.


But that's not what caused the accident.  It didn't help after the fact, but
that's irrelevent.  Had the operators known what they were doing, and not
tried to hurry things, Chernobyl would be still running.

Like it or not, if peak oil is true, then an alternate energy source is
needed.  Nuclear seems to be the only thing capable of filling the gap in
the shortest time.

It may take 50-100 years to put an alternate in place, especially since
there's no 'front runner' in any of the proposed replacements.

This means nuclear should be be a temporary measure, and we all know how
long temporary solutions last...

Tony

2006\09\01@230052 by Tony Smith

picon face
> > So evil is related to the number of nukes in one's arsenal.  Should
> > make an interesting chart.  The Middle East must be
> paradise, except for Israel.
> >
> > Maybe you can plot all of the other bad things as well to
> produce an
> > evil quotient.  You could add guns, SUVs, rap music, knives, trans
> > fats, Dell/Sony laptop batteries, Soduku, lime green
> trousers, Celine
> > Dion, Jar Jar Binks and whiskey.
> >
> >  
> Whiskey? What's bad about whiskey? <g>
>
> --Bob


...says the man without a hangover...  :)

Tony

2006\09\01@230845 by Vitaliy

flavicon
face
Gerhard Fiedler wrote:

>> If solar power was economically feasible, we should see it account for a
>> significant percentage of at least some countries' energy needs, right?
>
> Since when does a traditional economic balance include all costs? Just
> because the costs someone has to pay out of his own pocket are smaller
> doesn't mean that the overall cost are really smaller. You need to come up
> with something better than that. Try figuring in the cost of maintaining
> and securing a waste site for just a thousand years and see where the
> economics are.

Figure in the value of energy that would be generated by the power stations
over the course of 1000 years, and it doesn't look so bad. The amount of
waste produced is small, and most of it can be recycled back into nuclear
fuel using an existing technology.

>> Alas, it isn't so, despite the government subsidies.
> And try to see where nuclear energy would be without government subsidies.
> Probably non-existing.

Not true. The only reason new nuclear power plans are not profitable in the
US, is because of government overregulation. They are profitable in France,
thanks to their streamlined certification process.

Best regards,

Vitaliy

2006\09\02@050502 by Russell McMahon

face
flavicon
face
> ...  if peak oil is true,

Dons Kevlar vest, nomex overalls, anti-libertarian radiation shields,
anti-socialist ...

1.    It's not. (Ducks). Read ?1970s? 'Club of Rome' stuff for
possible clues as to why.

2.    Even if it is, and it's not (see 1.), then we have enough time
(tm) to get the He3 fusion reactors going and the "few" Shuttle loads
a year coming back from the Lunar strip mining operations in order to
supply all the world's needs. The beanstick elevators will help, but
He3 is so overpoweringly overowering that good old chemical rockets
work just fine to get what Lunar He3 we need.

3.    And then we are OK until we can get the <insert preferred gas
giant here> He3 'deep dip' mining and return going.

4.    And then we are OK for longer than is sane.

While there are very dirty versions of fusion available, and the
easier (not easy) ones are the dirty ones, the holy grail of He3
fusion is a waste free energy source.

Even if Peak Oil be true (see 1.) it has NOT included nuclear fusion
in its gambit and so it's irrelevant, as long as we work together to
get the decent version of fusion going as soon as reasonably possible.
And there's the rub.

> Nuclear seems to be the only thing capable of filling the gap in
> the shortest time.

Maybe, but -
Shortest time not needed (see above)
Not needed anyway (See above).

> It may take 50-100 years to put an alternate in place, especially
> since
> there's no 'front runner' in any of the proposed replacements.

50 years is fine.
We can progress through the Shale Oil, continental shelf Methane, deep
trench MEthane, Southern Ocean "you've got to be brave for that one"
Oil. And, if we were really serious, Robert Stirling would save us
:-).

> This means nuclear should be be a temporary measure,

This means nuclear is not needed as a temporary solution, which is
just as well, as we all know how disastrous fixes that are meant to be
temporary solutions all too often turn out to be :-).


       Russell


2006\09\02@072339 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Vitaliy wrote:

>>> If solar power was economically feasible, we should see it account for a
>>> significant percentage of at least some countries' energy needs, right?
>>
>> Since when does a traditional economic balance include all costs? Just
>> because the costs someone has to pay out of his own pocket are smaller
>> doesn't mean that the overall cost are really smaller. You need to come up
>> with something better than that. Try figuring in the cost of maintaining
>> and securing a waste site for just a thousand years and see where the
>> economics are.
>
> Figure in the value of energy that would be generated by the power stations
> over the course of 1000 years, and it doesn't look so bad. The amount of
> waste produced is small, and most of it can be recycled back into nuclear
> fuel using an existing technology.

I don't think that's true. AFAIK, current reactor designs require that the
reactor gets scrapped (and securely disposed of) after some 50 years. Also,
one single site won't hold the waste of 1000 years of production; it will
hold the waste maybe of one single reactor (including its decomissioning
waste).


>>> Alas, it isn't so, despite the government subsidies.

>> And try to see where nuclear energy would be without government subsidies.
>> Probably non-existing.
>
> Not true. The only reason new nuclear power plans are not profitable in the
> US, is because of government overregulation. They are profitable in France,
> thanks to their streamlined certification process.

Huh? And how was fission technology developed to the point where it became
profitable (if you take out the waste handling and liability questions)?
With private money? I don't think so.

Besides, didn't someone say that those companies have special conditions
regarding liability? That's a pretty huge subsidy, if you ask me. You
probably won't find an insurance company that insures a reactor if normal
liability laws apply. And they usually know pretty well where the money
is...

Gerhard

2006\09\02@080858 by Russell McMahon

face
flavicon
face
>>> If solar power was economically feasible, we should see it account
>>> for a
>>> significant percentage of at least some countries' energy needs,
>>> right?

>> Since when does a traditional economic balance include all costs?
>> Just
>> because the costs someone has to pay out of his own pocket are
>> smaller
>> doesn't mean that the overall cost are really smaller. You need to
>> come up
>> with something better than that. Try figuring in the cost of
>> maintaining
>> and securing a waste site for just a thousand years and see where
>> the
>> economics are.

For something like solar it is conceivable that you CAN work out an
all up cost that DOES cover essentially everything. IF the dread
market forces apply (and there are many distortions) the energy and
materials to produce your solar converters are knowable, the cost of
the greenfield site where you put your solar farm is knowable AND the
cost of remediation to return the greenfield site to original
condition when you stop farming it in 1/10/100 years from now is
known. All the plant and materials is disposable either for $ or as
scrap or garbage at rates which are set by systems outside the
industry and application you are in. Exceptions may be the disposal of
toxic substances in eg solar photovoltaic panels. But, if you had to
you could calculate "utter destruction" costs of everything left over,
either by combustion or chemical breakdown or whatever until the
byproducts were at a level where they could be treated quite literally
as raw material. That option does not exist for nuclear. You end up
with an irremediable end product which must be allowed to run its own
course and for which the only available option is storage. The
questions are storgae where, storage how and storage for how long
before it unstores itself. As nobody ever has made a system that lasts
10,000 years, as 2,000 years is exceptionally good going, as 100 years
is highly commendable and as "you just try and get a 10 year warranty
for anything, go on just try" applies to most stuff, then storage is
certainly an unknown so far. Maybe when we have a few thousand years
of radionucleitide storage on record we'll be in a better position to
assess what is liable to work.

And, as long as there is a genuine open ended unknowable involved true
costing is impossible. and nuclear is very probably the only energy
conversion technology for which this is true.

> Figure in the value of energy that would be generated by the power
> stations
> over the course of 1000 years,

That's certainly a misconception. While waste storage for 100 years
was mentioned (under 1% of the total requisite storage time for some
of the materials) the power stations that mde that waste are gone in
maybe 2 or 3% of that time. A reactor environment is a very very very
harsh one mechanically due to the effects of radiation on many
materials and it seems likely that nuclear power stationlove swill
remain in the 10's of years category for a while yet. So ...

> and it doesn't look so bad.

may be true if it applied, but it doesn;t, as the station is long gone
for most of the time. Also ..

> The amount of waste produced is small,

and

> and most of it can be recycled back into nuclear
> fuel using an existing technology.

is a bit too general here. Some reactor types allow ongoing fuel
regeneration and some allow extraction of usueful stuff (like eg
Plutonium) freom 'reprocessed' fuel. But so far ALL produce wate which
must be dealt witjh, and even if you had a process that was entirely
waste free, when the station ends it's life (20/40/?60? yeaars hence)
you have to treat the station itself as waste and deal with it. This
may yet prove true for He3 fusion systems :-(.

{Quote hidden}

Those two opinions are opinions :-).

I'd hazard my opinion that the French process is as it is because it's
the traditional French way to approach things. There are, of course,
many great things about France, and French people are just people who
live in France, *BUT* each grouping of people tend to acquire group
characteristics which persist across years and changes in government.
The French, more than some, are into doing things because they can,
and are very proud of being French and go to greater than normal means
to stay that way. Having a nuclear capability, energy independence and
a strong place in the world go with the territory. When it comes to
testing their nukes they decided the territory should be somewhere
else :-) - my backyard is where they chose for reasons which no doubt
made good sense to them. [[Sinking boats 'just across the bay' from me
when people complained about them doing this and knobbling us
economically when we wouldn't give back 2 of their saboteurs is
entirely consistent with the appropach that we have experienced over
the years. ]] I'd not be overly confident that the French decision to
wholeheartedly adopt nuclear power is because it's long term safe
(although the murals I saw on their cooling towers suggested that they
wanted you to think it was) or even that it's economically viable long
term. It may be both these, but ... .

Summary:

Nuclear energy conversion, unlike any other alternative, has open
ended costs which so far defy any attempts to quantise them with
confidence. This does not prevent any number of people confidently
claiming to have done so. Flee from such.

While the system may show positive cost benefit, it's entirely
possible that it shows massive negative cost benefit but the Jury's
still out. Nuclear waste storage is the key problem which needs to be
overcome before legitimate costing calculations can be made.

Nobody who thinks it's a good idea will believe a word of this.



       Russell





2006\09\02@090001 by peter green

flavicon
face
> Try figuring in the cost of maintaining
> and securing a waste site for just a thousand years and see where the
> economics are.
the waste problem is easy enough to solve, just bury it in deep mines
diluted so that after the first half centurary of storage it will be no more
radioactive than nautral uranium. Yes it might hurt some future miners after
a collapse of civilisation but so might the natural uranium ore we dig out
to feed our plants.

If we had a similarlly paranoic approach to the huge ammounts of CO2
conventional power produces, we'd never get anything done at all. I'm not
sure how well the chemical waste from solar cell production is handled but i
bet it doesn't get given the same level of paranioa as nuclear waste.


2006\09\02@094453 by Tony Smith

picon face
{Quote hidden}

He3?  Ha, for a minute there I thought it was going to be some silly
technology that is largely theoretical, no commercial success, not even out
of the lab, no supporting infrastructure, unknown costs & risks, and no
efficiency results.

Apart from a few minor 'easily solved' quibbles, He3 looks good.

So does shale oil, that gets looked at every time oil prices go up (even in
the 1920's in Australia), and put back on the 'too hard' shelf soon after.
Not quite as simple as digging a hole.  Looks good indeed, especially at
$150 a barrel.

Better than growing corn for biofuel, I guess.  Great option for Australia,
considering the droughts and all.  So, current thinking is we need a solar
farm to desalinate seawater to make hydrogen to fuel the trucks that carry
this water to the farms to grow the corn to turn into ethanol that we put in
our cars so we can drive to the beach.  I know there's a flaw in that
somewhere...

Tony

2006\09\02@100035 by Russell McMahon

face
flavicon
face
> the waste problem is easy enough to solve, just bury it in deep
> mines
> diluted so that after the first half centurary of storage it will be
> no more
> radioactive than nautral uranium. Yes it might hurt some future
> miners after
> a collapse of civilisation but so might the natural uranium ore we
> dig out
> to feed our plants.

> If we had a similarlly paranoic approach to the huge ammounts of CO2
> conventional power produces, we'd never get anything done at all.
> I'm not
> sure how well the chemical waste from solar cell production is
> handled but i

Our ancestors may yet curse us all chapter and verse for our lack of
"paranoia" over CO2 emissions.

Current global warming hype is largely hype, boondoggles and pc and
politically driven, and fails to note the overwhelming part that
natural solar cycles play in what we are presently seeing. But
notwithstanding this, it doesn't mean they aren't right :-). Too many
opponents of the current GW bandwagon deride the hoopla while failing
to note that there are/may be real risks. *IF* eg the Atlantic
Conveyor is as sensitive to atmospheric CO2 concentrations as some
suggest it is, and it's looking increasingly likely that they are
wrong, then within a century there may be records set for fastest time
ice skating from England to France.

But, re nuclear:

I suggest that you read through some of my recent posts re long lived
nucleotides with special affinities for biological attack, comments on
bacteria living IN vitrified nuclear waste barrels and mining selected
components and bringing them out, the fact that the "solid" rock is
teeming with life and the longevity of the longest known man made
devices ever made (and the expected lifetime of current ones). Or
gargoyle(tm) on the subject and be disturbed.

All up there is an extremely strong case to be made for the
perspective that the nuclear waste problem is not only far from solved
but that there is not presently any reliable indication that we have
the capability to solve it in the foreseeable future with the
requisite level of certainty.

As I've already said, IF the nuclear waste problem can be shown to be
solved in a manner that leaves the greatest reasonable doubter certain
that matters are under control and that the all up costs of power
generation including dealing with waste results in a net benefit then
I'm very happy to join the cheering line. Safe and cheap energy
conversion is something I would applaud. But, until that happens I'll
continue to plan to save the world using other energy conversion
techniques :-).*


       Russell

* One target is to revolutionise the NZ solar thermal heating scene.
But I may have to settle for lesser achievements, or none :-).



.

2006\09\02@120439 by Russell McMahon

face
flavicon
face
> He3?  Ha, for a minute there I thought it was going to be some silly
> technology that is largely theoretical, no commercial success, not
> even out
> of the lab, no supporting infrastructure, unknown costs & risks, and
> no
> efficiency results.

> Apart from a few minor 'easily solved' quibbles, He3 looks good.

A mere matter of engineering :-)
The sun has it down pat already.

But, yes.
It WAS meant to bea pie in the (literally) sky comment.
BUT, also, its nature is such that it completely trashes the peak oil
arguments.

A major problem is that "people" tend to take the line of immediate
least resistance rather than the line of optimum outcome. Very much
the same as natural selection insists on climbing isolated little
development peaks and then getting irrevocably trapped except through
outside intervention. [[Still wearing Nomex overalls]].

We could have had fusion by now if we'd been serious about it as a
planet. If eg we needed it to power the space tugs that were going to
save us from the incoming comet/ whatever due to arrive 50 years from
now, then we'd have it going in a year or two. The first strings of
prime numbers from space may be what it takes :-).

If we'd wanted we could have had a the first woman on Mars by now (if
not the first man on Venus) using 1960s technology.

And we could have had nuclear powered spacecraft using A bombs for
propulsion. Sometimes not achieving ones aims can be positive :-). (I
like the sheer cheek of the Orion concept).

The first net energy gain fusion is going to be radioactively dirty,
because it's far far easier to produce and contain the environment
needed. Which still happens to be very very very hard.

Efficiency results don't matter fwiw. We have proof of concept in two
arenas - one you can see daily (use very dark glasses) and the other
we hope never to see again. If we can make it run at all it will be
just fine, thank you very much :-). 1% over neutral would do and much
more is likely.

Fusion probably won't happen anyime soon (athough some of the laser
pellet implosion approaches keep threatening to provide the necessary
breakthrough - but so far not delivering. . And He3 fusion will take
longer.

> So does shale oil,

peak oil

> that gets looked at every time oil

peak oil

{Quote hidden}

Ineed. This is exactly what the peak oil evangelists are talking
about. Net energy use exceeds gains from won resources.

Excellent multi-production-region peak oil graph

       http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Hubbert_world_2004.png

Looks like we are right on the summit now :-).


Strategic significance of america's Oil Shale Resources.
45 pages

       http://www.evworld.com/library/Oil_Shale_Stategic_Significant.pdf




       Russell


2006\09\02@120626 by Gus S Calabrese

face picon face

On 2006-Sep 01, at 10:12hrs AM, William Chops Westfield wrote:


On Sep 1, 2006, at 8:15 AM, Russell McMahon wrote:

>>> Boiling water to sterilise it.
>
>> <---- this is a major innovation ?

> If you didn't have this technology and another group did then your
> survival rates would vastly exceed theirs under certain quite
> realistic circumstances.
>
> Once upon a not too many centuries ago...

Lack of sterilized water is still a major problem in many
third world countries.  I went to a talk some time ago by ex-pres
Carter, and he commented that there are some major parasite
problems that can be solved via some relatively simple filtering.
(I think it was a multi-cell parasite larva, so we're talking
filters not nearly so high-tech as are available to 1st world
hikers.)  There was a technical innovation in that some company
had been motivated to produce appropriate filter material as a
bulk process.

(Boiling water is very energy intensive and rather slow.  There
are a lot of places where it isn't practical.)

^ passing the water through hot radioactive waste would solve that  
problem  TIC AGSC ^

BillW

2006\09\02@120858 by Gus S Calabrese

face picon face
^ One great thing about nuclear waste is that it is detectable.
All forms of radioactivity can be detected relatively easily.
Correct me if I am wrong.  AGSC ^

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
AGSC  Augustus Gustavius Salvatore Calabrese
4337 Raleigh Street
Denver, CO
720 222 1309     303 908 7716 cell
adding " spam2006 " bypasses my spam blocker.  Please place in the  
text or at the END of the subject line.
( i am hard to reach by phone )
All ideas, text, drawings and audio , that are originated by me,  and  
included with this signature text are to be deemed to be released to  
the public domain as of the date of this communication .  AGSC
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^


2006\09\02@121206 by Gus S Calabrese

face picon face

On 2006-Sep 01, at 14:01hrs PM, Gerhard Fiedler wrote:

Herbert Graf wrote:

> We need energy.

US lifestyle (not sure about Canadian) uses IIRC around twice as much
energy per person than the next (Western European), which still uses  
much
more than many others. Research about people's happiness consistently  
comes
to conclusions that spending (wasting?) more energy does not  
correlate with
increased happiness.

So what is it that people are after that needs all the additional  
energy?

Gerhard
^ If people want to use the energy, I guess they do it to make  
themselves happy.
I guess the research is wrong.  Would you spend additional money on  
something you did not like ?
AGSC ^

2006\09\02@125340 by Herbert Graf

flavicon
face
On Sat, 2006-09-02 at 10:12 -0600, Gus S Calabrese wrote:
> US lifestyle (not sure about Canadian) uses IIRC around twice as much
> energy per person than the next (Western European), which still uses  
> much
> more than many others. Research about people's happiness consistently  
> comes
> to conclusions that spending (wasting?) more energy does not  
> correlate with
> increased happiness.
>
> So what is it that people are after that needs all the additional  
> energy?
>
> Gerhard
> ^ If people want to use the energy, I guess they do it to make  
> themselves happy.
> I guess the research is wrong.  Would you spend additional money on  
> something you did not like ?
> AGSC ^

I don't thing the study is "wrong", I think the assumptions that the
study is based on are wrong.

The study seems to assume that the additional energy use is a result of
trying to be "happier". This assumption is completely false IMHO. I use
more energy then a standard European not because I want to be happier
then I am, I use it because I don't really have a choice. My country is
very spread out, driving for 100kms and not seeing a single house is
common where I live. Therefore my energy usage is higher due to larger
distances.

My winters are on average colder and longer then the average European,
meaning I spend more energy on heating.

Energy prices are cheaper, so I don't worry as much about using more
energy.

I am very critical of "studies" since more often then not I find the
studies use the data they have in such a way to mean something that may
clearly not be true. The average Joe isn't going to understand the
limitations and simply believe the "conclusions".

TTYL

2006\09\02@173237 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face

On Sep 2, 2006, at 7:00 AM, Russell McMahon wrote:

> nuclear waste problem is not only far from solved but that
> there is not presently any reliable indication that we
> have the capability to solve it in the foreseeable future
> with the requisite level of certainty.

We have set the values of "foreseeable future" very long and of
"level of certainty" very high; far higher than any other technology.
Perhaps that is appropriate, given the long half-life of some of the
more dangerous radioactives, but perhaps it is silly.  I mean, the
theoretical lifetime of certain chemical poisons we "store" in the
environment is essentially infinite, and they get less attention.
(Indeed, one of my constant amusements is the juxtaposition of
"biodegradable" materials and landfills (garbage dumps) specifically
designed NOT to allow biological degradation.)

It bothers me significantly that the current crop of nuclear waste
disposal IS so long term: "make it go away for 10000 years."  I'd
rather see "storage" based on the idea that within 500 years we'll
want to do something else with it.  (There's probably an amusing
SF story involving successful permanent disposal of waste dooming
a near-future civilization that discovers that they NEED a particular
"waste product" that is now completely inaccessible.)

BillW

2006\09\02@192951 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face
On Sep 2, 2006, at 2:32 PM, William Chops Westfield wrote:

> I'd rather see "storage" based on the idea that within
> 500 years we'll want to do something else with it.

I left out part of my point, which was that even if planning
for <500y storage of nuke waste IS an attractive technical plan,
it's become politically unacceptable.  How is one supposed to
do a technical evaluation of the true cost of an energy source
when many of the costs are derived from political (non-technical)
requirements?

BillW

2006\09\02@201445 by Gus S Calabrese

face picon face

On 2006-Sep 02, at 06:08hrs AM, Russell McMahon wrote:

>>> If solar power was economically feasible, we should see it account
>>> for a
>>> significant percentage of at least some countries' energy needs,
>>> right?

>> Since when does a traditional economic balance include all costs?
>> Just
>> because the costs someone has to pay out of his own pocket are
>> smaller
>> doesn't mean that the overall cost are really smaller. You need to
>> come up
>> with something better than that. Try figuring in the cost of
>> maintaining
>> and securing a waste site for just a thousand years and see where
>> the
>> economics are.

For something like solar it is conceivable that you CAN work out an
all up cost that DOES cover essentially everything. IF the dread
market forces apply (and there are many distortions) the energy and
materials to produce your solar converters are knowable, the cost of
the greenfield site where you put your solar farm is knowable AND the
cost of remediation to return the greenfield site to original
condition when you stop farming it in 1/10/100 years from now is
known. All the plant and materials is disposable either for $ or as
scrap or garbage at rates which are set by systems outside the
industry and application you are in. Exceptions may be the disposal of
toxic substances in eg solar photovoltaic panels. But, if you had to
you could calculate "utter destruction" costs of everything left over,
either by combustion or chemical breakdown or whatever until the
byproducts were at a level where they could be treated quite literally
as raw material. That option does not exist for nuclear. You end up
with an irremediable end product which must be allowed to run its own
course and for which the only available option is storage. The
questions are storgae where, storage how and storage for how long
before it unstores itself. As nobody ever has made a system that lasts
10,000 years, as 2,000 years is exceptionally good going, as 100 years
is highly commendable and as "you just try and get a 10 year warranty
for anything, go on just try" applies to most stuff, then storage is
certainly an unknown so far. Maybe when we have a few thousand years
of radionucleitide storage on record we'll be in a better position to
assess what is liable to work.

And, as long as there is a genuine open ended unknowable involved true
costing is impossible. and nuclear is very probably the only energy
conversion technology for which this is true.

> Figure in the value of energy that would be generated by the power
> stations
> over the course of 1000 years,

That's certainly a misconception. While waste storage for 100 years
was mentioned (under 1% of the total requisite storage time for some
of the materials) the power stations that mde that waste are gone in
maybe 2 or 3% of that time. A reactor environment is a very very very
harsh one mechanically due to the effects of radiation on many
materials and it seems likely that nuclear power stationlove swill
remain in the 10's of years category for a while yet. So ...

> and it doesn't look so bad.

may be true if it applied, but it doesn;t, as the station is long gone
for most of the time. Also ..

> The amount of waste produced is small,

and

> and most of it can be recycled back into nuclear
> fuel using an existing technology.

is a bit too general here. Some reactor types allow ongoing fuel
regeneration and some allow extraction of usueful stuff (like eg
Plutonium) freom 'reprocessed' fuel. But so far ALL produce wate which
must be dealt witjh, and even if you had a process that was entirely
waste free, when the station ends it's life (20/40/?60? yeaars hence)
you have to treat the station itself as waste and deal with it. This
may yet prove true for He3 fusion systems :-(.

{Quote hidden}

Those two opinions are opinions :-).

I'd hazard my opinion that the French process is as it is because it's
the traditional French way to approach things. There are, of course,
many great things about France, and French people are just people who
live in France, *BUT* each grouping of people tend to acquire group
characteristics which persist across years and changes in government.
The French, more than some, are into doing things because they can,
and are very proud of being French and go to greater than normal means
to stay that way. Having a nuclear capability, energy independence and
a strong place in the world go with the territory. When it comes to
testing their nukes they decided the territory should be somewhere
else :-) - my backyard is where they chose for reasons which no doubt
made good sense to them. [[Sinking boats 'just across the bay' from me
when people complained about them doing this and knobbling us
economically when we wouldn't give back 2 of their saboteurs is
entirely consistent with the appropach that we have experienced over
the years. ]] I'd not be overly confident that the French decision to
wholeheartedly adopt nuclear power is because it's long term safe
(although the murals I saw on their cooling towers suggested that they
wanted you to think it was) or even that it's economically viable long
term. It may be both these, but ... .

Summary:

Nuclear energy conversion, unlike any other alternative, has open
ended costs which so far defy any attempts to quantise them with
confidence. This does not prevent any number of people confidently
claiming to have done so. Flee from such.

While the system may show positive cost benefit, it's entirely
possible that it shows massive negative cost benefit but the Jury's
still out. Nuclear waste storage is the key problem which needs to be
overcome before legitimate costing calculations can be made.

Nobody who thinks it's a good idea will believe a word of this.



        Russell

^ Correct Russell   Since I have vast confidence in the creativity of  
people,
I think that storage problems will be solved in the next 50 years in  
one of two ways.
1)  improved methods of waste remediation and storage .....  way  
better methods
2)  space travel  .... throwing waste into the sun or putting it  
someplace out of the way.


AGSC ^



2006\09\02@210412 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Gus S Calabrese wrote:

>> So what is it that people are after that needs all the additional
>> energy?

> ^ If people want to use the energy, I guess they do it to make themselves
> happy. I guess the research is wrong.  Would you spend additional money
> on something you did not like ?

Happiness is probably a multi-dimensional optimization problem, in the
simplest way to look at it, and not one-dimensional. It is also highly
likely that it has several local maxima, and you just may be stuck around
such a local maximum.

Add to it that many people don't really know what makes them happy -- we
would have fewer wars if more people knew what makes them happy, I think;
few people get happier the more war they have around them. So yes, I do
think that many people spend effort and money on things that don't make
them happy.

"Like" is something else, less complicated than happiness. But even then...
someone may like to drive, but he may not like to be stuck in stop-and-go
for an hour every day -- yet he does it. So yes, I do think that people
even spend money on something they do not like.

Gerhard

2006\09\02@210802 by Bob Axtell

face picon face
William Chops Westfield wrote:
> On Sep 2, 2006, at 2:32 PM, William Chops Westfield wrote:
>
>  
>> I'd rather see "storage" based on the idea that within
>> 500 years we'll want to do something else with it.
>>    
>
> I left out part of my point, which was that even if planning
> for <500y storage of nuke waste IS an attractive technical plan,
> it's become politically unacceptable.  How is one supposed to
> do a technical evaluation of the true cost of an energy source
> when many of the costs are derived from political (non-technical)
> requirements?
>
> BillW
>
>  
Bill, you have chiseled down to the core of the nuclear energy problem.
Thanks.

--Bob

2006\09\02@211037 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Herbert Graf wrote:

> I don't thing the study is "wrong", I think the assumptions that the
> study is based on are wrong.
>
> The study seems to assume that the additional energy use is a result of
> trying to be "happier".

What study is that?

> I use more energy then a standard European not because I want to be
> happier then I am, I use it because I don't really have a choice. My
> country is very spread out, driving for 100kms and not seeing a single
> house is common where I live. Therefore my energy usage is higher due to
> larger distances.

There are more options than Canada and "standard European" (whatever that
means :)  -- and there are a few quite spread out places among them. I
posted a link to a spreadsheet with worldwide consumption data (no
interpretation in there; it's pure fact).

Besides... just because a country is big doesn't mean you /have/ to build
everything far apart. If you do, that's a choice (not necessarily an
individual one, but a collective one at least).

Gerhard

2006\09\02@212014 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Gus S Calabrese wrote:

> ^ Correct Russell   Since I have vast confidence in the creativity of  
> people,
> I think that storage problems will be solved in the next 50 years in  
> one of two ways.
> 1)  improved methods of waste remediation and storage .....  way  
> better methods
> 2)  space travel  .... throwing waste into the sun or putting it  
> someplace out of the way.

The problem with that approach is that people thought similar things about
50 years ago... :)  

Projections of what will be created in the next 50 years have a tendency to
go awfully wrong. Otherwise it wouldn't really be creation...

Gerhard

2006\09\02@212040 by Bob Axtell

face picon face
Gus S Calabrese wrote:

<respectful snip>
>
> ^ Correct Russell   Since I have vast confidence in the creativity of  
> people,
>  
You have MUCH more confidence in people than I have. This waste problem
has been attacked
by the world's best minds for over 50 years, and no viable solution has
been forthcoming.

> I think that storage problems will be solved in the next 50 years in  
> one of two ways.
> 1)  improved methods of waste remediation and storage .....  way  
> better methods
>  
Yes, it's possible to dig down into the mantle and put the waste there.
Many technical problems
but they might be overcome. Will be very expensive, of course.

> 2)  space travel  .... throwing waste into the sun or putting it  
> someplace out of the way.
>  
The risk of an accident at takeoff will probably preclude this approach.

--Bob
>
> AGSC ^
>
>
>
>  

2006\09\02@213234 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
William ChopsWestfield wrote:

> I left out part of my point, which was that even if planning
> for <500y storage of nuke waste IS an attractive technical plan,
> it's become politically unacceptable.  How is one supposed to
> do a technical evaluation of the true cost of an energy source
> when many of the costs are derived from political (non-technical)
> requirements?

Well, I guess you just have to live with the fact that you live with other
people.

What's so bad about "political requirements"? This is just an expression
that means that the requirements come from the process that you and your
peers have chosen for making decisions that affect all. What other
requirements should there be? I often write requirements for projects. The
initial and most important requirements are usually non-technical: after
all, I'm not in the business of creating technology for its own sake, I
create it to solve somebody's problem. That's usually a person, and the
requirements are non-technical. Part of my job is to translate that into
technical specs.

This is not different with energy creation and waste disposal. This is a
fundamentally non-objective problem, as there is no way to objectively
compare different options. Trying to "do a technical evaluation of the true
cost of an energy source" is a contradiction in terms. The "true cost" is a
social problem, not a technical or economical one. Technical and economical
aspects play an important role, and you better get them right before you go
on to the more subtle aspects, but they don't play the major role. This is
really about something else... how do we want to live? This is not a
technical question, and it can't be answered with only technical means.

Gerhard

2006\09\02@220012 by Gus S Calabrese

face picon face

On 2006-Sep 02, at 19:03hrs PM, Gerhard Fiedler wrote:

Gus S Calabrese wrote:

>> So what is it that people are after that needs all the additional
>> energy?

> ^ If people want to use the energy, I guess they do it to make  
> themselves
> happy. I guess the research is wrong.  Would you spend additional  
> money
> on something you did not like ?

Happiness is probably a multi-dimensional optimization problem, in the
simplest way to look at it, and not one-dimensional. It is also highly
likely that it has several local maxima, and you just may be stuck  
around
such a local maximum.

Add to it that many people don't really know what makes them happy -- we
would have fewer wars if more people knew what makes them happy, I  
think;
few people get happier the more war they have around them. So yes, I do
think that many people spend effort and money on things that don't make
them happy.

^ there is a small and powerful group of people that like wars.  Wars  
make them happy.
Sadly a vast percentage of "Joe Six packs" accept what the warmongers  
say.
AGSC ^

"Like" is something else, less complicated than happiness. But even  
then...
someone may like to drive, but he may not like to be stuck in stop-
and-go
for an hour every day -- yet he does it. So yes, I do think that people
even spend money on something they do not like.

Gerhard

2006\09\02@223620 by Herbert Graf

flavicon
face
On Sat, 2006-09-02 at 22:10 -0300, Gerhard Fiedler wrote:
> Herbert Graf wrote:
>
> > I don't thing the study is "wrong", I think the assumptions that the
> > study is based on are wrong.
> >
> > The study seems to assume that the additional energy use is a result of
> > trying to be "happier".
>
> What study is that?

Not sure, the op mentioned some study about happiness not correlating to
higher energy usage.

{Quote hidden}

Yes, and on that list Canada is quite high, hence my comments as to WHY
they are that high.

> Besides... just because a country is big doesn't mean you /have/ to build
> everything far apart. If you do, that's a choice (not necessarily an
> individual one, but a collective one at least).

True, but as an individual there's nothing I can do about how the
country currently is laid out. It is a fact that Canada is FAR more
spread out then the average European country, which to some extent
explains the higher per person energy usage.

TTYL

2006\09\02@224318 by Russell McMahon

face
flavicon
face
>  If people want to use the energy, I guess they do it to make
> themselves happy.
> I guess the research is wrong.  Would you spend additional money on
> something you did not like ?

People spend money on many things because they think or hope that it
will make them happy. While this sometimes works to some extent it
usually (term used intentionally) does not do so. There is an
extremely poor correlation with wealth or the expenditure of money and
the acquisition of happiness.

At one stage the richest woman in the world committed suicide. While
suicide is a complex issue, her wealth brought her neither adequate
happiness in its own right or the means to obtain a 'cure' that would
convince her that living was worthwhile.

I heard recently (ref not available)(gargoyle will know) about
research done on winners of the ?Florida State Lottery? over several
decades. They were reportedly in almost all cases less satisfied with
their lives years to decades after winning the lottery than they had
been beforehand.

In the present context, happiness and satisfaction with life is not
well correlated with "standard of living" (whatever that means),
wealth or possessions. Those who can consume usually do so, and the
"needs" of an extravagant lifestyle increase in a greater than unity
power relationship with the available means. In many cases "I want"
gets confused with "I need" so thoroughly that it becomes easy for
people at the top of the world consumption scale to desperately try to
preserve their rate of consumption so that life as they know it may
continue. To fail to do so is felt to invite the destruction of a
"worthwhile" life and all that is valuable in their world.

But, you knew that :-).


           Russell

PS        Let me note that I am not (just :-) ) a moralising do gooder
proclaiming the potential evils of 'the love of money' and of
exponentiating consumption. That's just a bonus :-). I too want to be
able to do things that I cannot at present reasonably afford to do
(but I want to a far lesser extent to have things that I do not have,
with certain well defined exceptions).(Truth be known I can in fact
afford everything I need and essentially everything I want - it's the
ability to do certain things that is outside my easy reach at
present). And, I'm looking at increasing my ability to do some of
these things. I am a capitalist within a capitalist society. I like
many aspects of the system but I'm extremely uncomfortable with its
extremes (and the extremes of most other systems dreamed up by
people)..

2006\09\03@020559 by David VanHorn

picon face
>
> > 2)  space travel  .... throwing waste into the sun or putting it
> > someplace out of the way.


When you work out how much energy this takes, you'll be surprised.
And then there's the small matter of the occasional launch vehicle failure.

2006\09\03@054051 by James Newtons Massmind

face picon face

> > And they are being down right stupid in their fear of the
> nuke waste.
> > Yes, it is dangerous, but it isn't THAT dangerous.
>  
> So you'd let them bury it in your back garden?

Given reasonable containment and shielding, yes, I would.

> What would
> the chickens say?  :-)))
>

Cluck.

---
James.



2006\09\03@083755 by Gus S Calabrese

face picon face

On 2006-Sep 03, at 00:05hrs AM, David VanHorn wrote:

>
>> 2)  space travel  .... throwing waste into the sun or putting it
>> someplace out of the way.


When you work out how much energy this takes, you'll be surprised.
And then there's the small matter of the occasional launch vehicle  
failure.

^ You are talking about today's launch technology.  In the future  
there will not be
a launch.... just as today you do not launch your car to the  
supermarket.  AGSC ^

2006\09\03@101044 by Tony Smith

picon face
> > He3?  Ha, for a minute there I thought it was going to be
> some silly
> > technology that is largely theoretical, no commercial success, not
> > even out of the lab, no supporting infrastructure, unknown costs &
> > risks, and no efficiency results.
>
> > Apart from a few minor 'easily solved' quibbles, He3 looks good.
>
> A mere matter of engineering :-)
> The sun has it down pat already.
>
> But, yes.
> It WAS meant to bea pie in the (literally) sky comment.
> BUT, also, its nature is such that it completely trashes the
> peak oil arguments.


I look forward to your plan of parking a small sun somewhere (Tasman Sea?)
or the alternate of using H-bombs to power a Stirling engine, Orion-style.

I'm not sure how the fantasy (and it is, at this point) of He3 trashes the
peak oil argument.  Peak oil is just stating the half-way mark.  While you
can quibble about the date, which depends on rubbery figures, outright lies,
new technology, abiogenics, new discoveries etc, it will happen.

The problems with oil are rising demand, no new discoveries, greenies upset
about drill Antartica, shale oil has never been worth mining (even now), and
requires a bit more than just squeezing rocks (like needing lots of water),
and like toothpaste, the first 50% is much easier to get too than the last
50%.  If we're beyond the halfway mark, 2050 will see the last drop burnt.

Building a few nuclear power plants can be considered the safe bet; we know
it works, and we know the pros & cons.

In the mean time, fire up the He3 miners, dig holes thru the mantle, cover
deserts with solar collectors & wind farms, build greenhouses with kilometer
high chimneys, kick the surfers off the beach so make room for the tidal
generators, and give everyone an exercise bike with a generator.  One of
these might work.

Tony

2006\09\03@101053 by Tony Smith

picon face
> ^ Correct Russell   Since I have vast confidence in the
> creativity of  
> people,
> I think that storage problems will be solved in the next 50
> years in one of two ways.
> 1)  improved methods of waste remediation and storage .....  
> way better methods
> 2)  space travel  .... throwing waste into the sun or putting
> it someplace out of the way.
>
> AGSC ^


Storage problem has more-or-less been solved, Google (TM) Synrock.

Given the reliability of the Space Shuttle, Sun disposal may actually result
in somewhat random Earth disposal.  Anyway, getting stuff to the Sun (or
general vicinity) takes a lot of effort.

Tony

2006\09\03@164058 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Herbert Graf wrote:

>>> The study seems to assume that the additional energy use is a result of
>>> trying to be "happier".
>>
>> What study is that?
>
> Not sure, the op mentioned some study about happiness not correlating to
> higher energy usage.

That was me. In that post I wrote: "Research about people's happiness
consistently comes to conclusions that spending (wasting?) more energy does
not correlate with increased happiness."

I did not imply a causal relationship. There is just so far no confirmation
that lifestyles that use a lot of energy result in a higher degree of
happiness.

(Of course, when comparing it makes sense to compare regions with similar
relevant characteristics. Which should be possible.)

Gerhard

2006\09\03@165712 by James Newtons Massmind

face picon face
Someone make a note: I agree with Russell on this. Peak oil is the least
persuasive argument.

Environmental damage is the next up on the list for me. It is plausible, and
frightening.

But the top of the list is that fossil fuel dependency puts power in the
hands of foreign oil producers and oil barons like our current
administration. The failure of the PR effort in support of nuclear power in
the USA strongly influenced our current involvement in this insane war. If
we had all the power we needed, along with stronger support for mass
transit, and some support of local organic farmers, Bush would not have been
able to justify the invasion of Iraq. We would not have killed more
civilians than Sadam, made ourselves a pariah in the world, and justified
any number of future terrorist actions. BTW, we are on track to have killed
more US soldiers in Iraq than the 9/11 terrorists killed in the WTC right
around Christmas this year.

But then it all boils down to the unbelievably freaking stupid US citizens
that we have bread over years of welfare coupled with an educational system
whose real purpose is to churn out sheeple, and a lack of evolutionary
pressure (e.g. the gene pool needs some chlorine).

And a little more awake time during high school science class might have
turned the tide. Do you remember Carl Sagan saying that there were enough
nuke warheads in the world to kill everyone twice over? Want to know how
they justified that? You would have to either group the entire population of
the earth in one place, then set off all the bombs together, or you could
slice up all the warhead material and feed just a sliver to each person on
the planet. Other than that, there is NO WAY that the nuke arsenal could
have killed everyone. Not even close. Massive death? Sure. Huge die off?
Sure. Everyone? No way. Based on reading articles on the fall out patterns
from nuclear warhead tests, I calculated that if EVERY warhead were expended
on the USA alone, targeting only the most populated areas (ignoring military
targets) you MIGHT have been able to kill 90% of the population. And that is
just the USA. Anyone who sat down and thought about it for a while could
have realized that it was fear mongering, pure and simple. But the sheeple
don't think.

---
James.



> {Original Message removed}

2006\09\03@170119 by James Newtons Massmind

face picon face

> Better than growing corn for biofuel, I guess.  Great option
> for Australia,
> considering the droughts and all.  So, current thinking is we
> need a solar
> farm to desalinate seawater to make hydrogen to fuel the
> trucks that carry
> this water to the farms to grow the corn to turn into ethanol
> that we put in
> our cars so we can drive to the beach.  I know there's a flaw in that
> somewhere...
>


Hah! Brilliant and well said. Water is going to be the next gold.

---
James.


2006\09\03@171130 by James Newtons Massmind
face picon face
> Current global warming hype is largely hype, boondoggles and
> pc and politically driven, and fails to note the overwhelming
> part that natural solar cycles play in what we are presently
> seeing.

With Bush et all actively attempting to squash scientific reports of global
warming, how do you figure this is politically driven? If our best
scientists are saying it is so, why are we arguing?

> But notwithstanding this, it doesn't mean they aren't
> right :-). Too many opponents of the current GW bandwagon
> deride the hoopla while failing to note that there are/may be
> real risks. *IF* eg the Atlantic Conveyor is as sensitive to
> atmospheric CO2 concentrations as some suggest it is, and
> it's looking increasingly likely that they are wrong,

Huh? Scripture and verse brother... (that is a request for links to
evidence, for those of you who didn't grow up Christians)

{Quote hidden}

The mines that were holding the uranium held it just fine for a darn long
time. Just put it back. The extra radiation isn't going to be that big a
deal. Or dump it in the ocean. Or atomize it and spray it in the air. All of
these will do less damage than we have done with fossil fuels.


{Quote hidden}

Just building our houses to use passive solar heating could make a huge
difference. Mandate that all new houses use passive solar. Offer some tax
incentives for the conversion of conventional homes.

Look into earth tubes for cooling.

Grow your own food in your back yard if you really want to save energy since
most fossil products are used to produce food. Over 1500 miles is traveling
by the average meal before it sits on your table. And it was grown with oil
based fertilizers and insecticides.

Ah, well.. I go on. Time to go weed my pepper plants and water the banana
trees...

---
James.


2006\09\03@171433 by James Newtons Massmind

face picon face
>> Lack of sterilized water is still a major problem in many
>> third world countries.  I went to a talk some time ago by
>> ex-pres Carter, and he commented that there are some major
>> parasite problems that can be solved via some relatively
>> simple filtering.
>> (I think it was a multi-cell parasite larva, so we're talking
>> filters not nearly so high-tech as are available to 1st world
>> hikers.)  There was a technical innovation in that some
>> company had been motivated to produce appropriate filter
>> material as a bulk process.
>>
>> (Boiling water is very energy intensive and rather slow.  
>> There are a lot of places where it isn't practical.)
>>
> ^ passing the water through hot radioactive waste would solve
> that problem  TIC AGSC ^

Very Big Grin.. Actually I laughed out loud when I read that. Brilliant.

---
James.



2006\09\03@171802 by James Newtons Massmind

face picon face
> It bothers me significantly that the current crop of nuclear
> waste disposal IS so long term: "make it go away for 10000
> years."  I'd rather see "storage" based on the idea that
> within 500 years we'll want to do something else with it.  

So true. What is the justification of the nuclear nay sayers for the need to
have a storage system that is guarantied to last for the life of the waste?
Why not store it for a while until a better solution can be developed? If
civilization collapses, then it collapses, who cares if it is irradiated at
that point? We would already have lost.

> (There's probably an amusing SF story involving successful
> permanent disposal of waste dooming a near-future
> civilization that discovers that they NEED a particular
> "waste product" that is now completely inaccessible.)


Another very good point. Maybe in 100 or so years we will have found
something useful to do with spent nuke fuel.

---
James.


2006\09\03@172735 by James Newtons Massmind

face picon face
> > I left out part of my point, which was that even if
> planning for <500y
> > storage of nuke waste IS an attractive technical plan, it's become
> > politically unacceptable.  How is one supposed to do a technical
> > evaluation of the true cost of an energy source when many
> of the costs
> > are derived from political (non-technical) requirements?
>
> Well, I guess you just have to live with the fact that you
> live with other people.

The truth of that point just stabs me through the heart. Yes, sadly, I have
to accept that I live with morons.

BUT: I don't have to raise morons. I can try to educate the morons. I can
separate my self from the morons as much as possible. And I can do what I am
not doing now enough lately: Hide the fact that I don't agree with the
morons.

It's nice to be able to talk with other engineers about these things. Not
all agree, but even those who don't are not anywhere near being morons.

I heard an audio tape yesterday of a woman calling 911 to complain that some
burger joint got her order wrong. That is what I'm talking about.

Yes, I have to accept that I share the air with her. And I must find it in
myself to respect her life, if not her decisions. But I can do everything
possible to make her understand why she must not call 911 to bitch about
missing fries. And I can try, and most likely fail, to educate her about our
energy crisis.

---
James.


2006\09\03@173246 by James Newtons Massmind

face picon face
Now that it isn't almost 3am and I am thinking clearly, I must reverse that:
I would NOT allow contained nuclear waste to be buried in my back yard. But
the only reason I would not is that I must protect MY families assets, the
property being one, and taking that action would reduce the resale value of
the land to, err..  Zero.

But other than that, yes, I would allow it. Especially if there was a heat
exchange loop running through it.

---
James.



> {Original Message removed}

2006\09\03@184740 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face

On Sep 3, 2006, at 2:11 PM, James Newtons Massmind wrote:

> Just building our houses to use passive solar heating could make
> a huge difference. Mandate that all new houses use passive solar.

They should cut down all the nearby trees to increase efficiency
of the passive solar heating, too.  No wait - that interferes with
cooling (ie shade) in the summer!  I'm so confused :-(

I wonder how much energy would be saved just by upgrading old
houses to modern high-efficiency heating?  I mean, I live in a
relatively recently constructed area, and I'm sure much of the
heating pre-dates modern concerns about efficiency, and some
place are MUCH older.  Shucks, we looked at some houses back
when we were house-hunting that were heated by wood stoves...

(OTOH, what percentage of the population lives in houses...)

BillW

2006\09\04@052140 by Russell McMahon

face
flavicon
face
> I look forward to your plan of parking a small sun somewhere (Tasman
> Sea?)

Paris! :-)
Failing Paris, Waiouru looks like a good place. [[Google maps fails
the Waiouru test miserably]][[Must be a good place for a nuke
station]]..


Location not a major issue.
If you can find places to put fusion stations now, and if the French
can let off H bombs under coral atolls in my back yard when they wish
to, because they can , then finding places to put waste free fusion
stations that are within the yield range of existing fission stations
should not be overly hard.
:-)

> or the alternate of using H-bombs to power a Stirling engine,
> Orion-style.

Orion and Stirling don't mix alas - plays havoc with the displacers.

:-)

>  I'm not sure how the fantasy (and it is, at this point)

Absolutely. Anything that doesn't exist is.
Anything that we don't (yet) know how to make exist, even more so.
That it can exist is engineering certainty.
Whether we will ever do it is not.

> ... of He3 trashes the
> peak oil argument.  Peak oil is just stating the half-way mark.
> While you
> can quibble about the date, which depends on rubbery figures,
> outright lies,
> new technology, abiogenics, new discoveries etc, it will happen.

Agree - BUT - I was using the term "peak oil" as it is used BUT in a
wider context than it is intended in its purest form.
The wider argument is something like "There is a point where oil
production will peak and forever after diminish. There is nothing
available that will replace it that has a net energy gain after you
take account of all the externals. We will therefore have an
increasing demand-supply energy gap. Therefore we are all doomed." The
evangelical versions of this add a chorus of 'We are all doomed' after
every full stop (including the last) in the above Mantra.

I agree that there will come a point where we use up half/much of the
oil. But the wider implications are less certain to the point of
scaremongering. He3 fusion has the great appeal (even if presently
fantasy) of having so great a output-input energy gap that it trashes
the above larger argument.

> In the mean time, fire up the He3 miners,

First vee need zee 100 billion dollars international investment (3
months from Iraq budget should do OK). ZEN vunce wee haff zee system
working vee fire up zee miners. In dee interim vee may vish to bild
der better sace sheeps. Zen vee get zee trillion dollars final payment
for capital verks and vee are away ! [[I have no idea what the point
of zee accent is - or what it represents - but itseems to go with zee
mad scientist image that's part of all this]].

> dig holes thru the mantle,

Too hard. No need. Easier methods. Earth may bleed to death.

> cover deserts with solar collectors

viable. choose well.

> & wind farms,

same

> build greenhouses with kilometer high chimneys

wait and see how the Oz one works out.

> kick the surfers off the beach so make room for the tidal
> generators,

No need. Plenty of sea power for all. Just needs a serious development
effort by "the world". The problem is NOT the availability of seapower
but making the systems last. The sea loves to tear things apart and
wave power systems are certainly no exception.

> and give everyone an exercise bike with a generator.

Only for the keen and green.
I design them :-)

> One of these might work.

Several would.
Nuclear had a very nice government leg up when no expense spared made
total sense.
Give some alternatives the same treatment and other systems would
shine [:-)].

Arguably the biggest thermal solar issue is being able to make large
collectors that last adequately long at a good price. Given a billion
dollars, do you think you could achieve an order of magnitude cost
effectiveness of existing domestic solar thermal collectors over
existing designs? I think I may be able to. "Ten times cheaper" is
liable to make quite a difference.

The solar energy that falls on my house roof in a year would cost 10
to 15 times more than my total annual power bill as heat at domestic
rates. I'm a rather heavy power user. Recovering 10% of that at a cost
not in excess of current domestic rates long term would make the
system viable. I believe it's possible. Implemented world-wide
wherever it's possible (not everywhere) it would transform our energy
picture. Within  a year I hope to have  a proof of concept system
working - but probably wont have and may never start on it. But ...


       Russell



2006\09\04@052140 by Russell McMahon

face
flavicon
face
>> > ... down right stupid in their fear of the nuke waste.

>> > Yes, it is dangerous, but it isn't THAT dangerous.

>> So you'd let them bury it in your back garden?

> Given reasonable containment and shielding, yes, I would.

And, what do you think parents from Sellafield would say.

These are cited in context below

   www.comare.org.uk/press_releases/comare_pr10.htm
   http://www.comare.org.uk/documents/COMARE10thReport.pdf

But, if you don't get that far, read the first, decide if you even
need to bother with the second, and then decide if you REALLY would
allow people to bury " reasonably contained and shielded waste"
anywhere near your children. If anyone feels that playing the
"children card" is unfair here, read the first reference and note
which population group the cancer clusters concerned affected.

_____________

House for sale:
Garden contains significant quantities of reasonably contained and
shielded waste.
Experts all agree that this is not only entirely safe now but will
continue to remain safe for at least some time. Possibly a very long
time. Possibly a very very long time. Possibly. (Acts of God
excluded). Not only is and will it be and remain entirely safe, it
will not affect your children, your wife your environment or anything
else whatsoever in an adverse manner. Of this we are statistically
certain!

In the unlikely advent of something adverse happening to any or all of
the aforesaid a veritable army of experts will descend on you and
yours and carry out extensive and indeed exhaustive tests and advanced
statistical analyses that will verify beyond all reasonable, or indeed
possible, doubt that the aforesaid waste is not in any way to blame
for the unfortunate events your aforesaids are, or were while alive,
experiencing.

       Just like happened (happens) at Sellafield / Windscale (what's
in a name?)

where there has never been any statistical correlation between the
"unusual" 'clusters' of childhood cancers and anything else that may
or may not be happening nearby.

How many people on list would EVER go and live in Sellafield?

To spell it out.

- Nobody can 'scientifically' explain the reason for the childhood
cancer clusters at Sellafield.

- According to the very very very best science available, all the many
nasty things that happen or happened nearby appear NOT to have caused
them - everything is 'reasonably contained and shielded'. But
something did.

- [[I opine that]] Nobody, and certainly not the experts who wrote
this report, doubt for a moment that the nasty stuff' is the cause.
They just don't know how it managed to do it.

- ie the very best safety, measurement and analysis systems available,
when they work according entirely to plan, end up not being able to
explain how childhood cancers are being caused by the local nasties.

If you want to see why its utterly no surprise to anyone whatsoever
that this happens and the words (alphabetical order) below don't tell
you enough
see
           http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sellafield

and any amount of other stuff via gargoyle.

   B2O4 reprocessing
   Calder Hall
   MOX plant
   Magnox reprocessing
   Thorp plant leak
   WAGR
   Windscale
   Windscale fire

Note that Windscale 1 was destroyed in 1957, full decommissioning
started in the 1990s and is now "partially complete".

________________________

The official word -

COMARE 10th Report: The incidence of childhood cancer around nuclear
installations in Great Britain
[UK] Crown Copyright 2005
Produced by the Health Protection Agency for the Committee on Medical
Aspects of Radiation in the Environment

   Intro

   http://www.comare.org.uk/press_releases/comare_pr10.htm

       Report proper (46 page pdf)

       http://www.comare.org.uk/documents/COMARE10thReport.pdf


       Russell

2006\09\04@052140 by Russell McMahon

face
flavicon
face
Please don't eat the sand :-).

I, also, in their situation, would have liked an investigation to "
... locate the source of the radioactive particles found in the
general
environment around the Dounreay Nuclear Establishment  ...",
irregardless of how health affecting they might be. If you can
encounter the odd "radioactive particle" lying around the place
without visible means of support (even without $100k in the trunk),
and the kids in Thurso already have more cancers than anyone can
explain (albeit not very many extra in absolute terms) then being able
to put a confident ceiling on such happenings would seem to be a
priority.


       Russell


       http://www.comare.org.uk/documents/COMARE1-6reports.pdf

In our Sixth Report we summarised the work undertaken since 1995 and
up until
October 1998, to locate the source of the radioactive particles found
in the general
environment around the Dounreay Nuclear Establishment and reconsider
the possible
health implications of encountering these particles. We have also
considered whether
ingestion of these particles could be associated with the previously
reported excess
of leukaemia and NHL in young people living in Thurso. We noted that
if individuals
were to ingest particles with activities at the top of the range of
those particles
already found on the Dounreay foreshore, very serious acute radiation
effects would
occur. However, at that time very few particles had been found on the
publicly
accessible beach at Sandside Bay and all were of them were of low
activity. We
concluded that an implausibly large number of these particles would
have needed to
be ingested to have given rise to the known level of childhood
leukaemia in the area
around Dounreay. We recommended increased and regular and improved
beach
monitoring in the area to ensure any particles coming ashore could be
found and
removed.

2006\09\04@071503 by Howard Winter

face
flavicon
picon face
Russell,

On Mon, 04 Sep 2006 20:24:17 +1200, Russell McMahon wrote:

>...
> Just like happened (happens) at Sellafield / Windscale
(what's in a name?)

A number of years ago there was an item in a satirical
comedy television programme:

"In the interests of public relations, Windscale will
henceforth be known as "Sellafield", and ionising radiation as
"Magic Moonbeams"! "

Cheers,


Howard Winter
St.Albans, England


2006\09\04@071914 by Howard Winter

face
flavicon
picon face
On Mon, 04 Sep 2006 20:51:57 +1200, Russell McMahon wrote:

>...
> I, also, in their situation, would have liked an investigation to "
> ... locate the source of the radioactive particles found in the
> general
> environment around the Dounreay Nuclear Establishment  ...",
> irregardless of how health affecting they might be.

Russell,

You are charged that you did use an Americanism, resulting in an inaccurate statement of your intended meaning.  How do you plead?  :-)

(I believe you meant "regardless"! :-)

Cheers,


Howard Winter
St.Albans, England


2006\09\04@073609 by Alan B. Pearce

face picon face
>Russell,
>
>You are charged that you did use an Americanism, resulting in an
>inaccurate statement of your intended meaning.  How do you plead?  :-)
>
>(I believe you meant "regardless"! :-)

Maybe he was irradiated ........ ;)

2006\09\04@125318 by Russell McMahon

face
flavicon
face
> That was me. In that post I wrote: "Research about people's
> happiness
> consistently comes to conclusions that spending (wasting?) more
> energy does
> not correlate with increased happiness."
>
> I did not imply a causal relationship. There is just so far no
> confirmation
> that lifestyles that use a lot of energy result in a higher degree
> of
> happiness.
>
> (Of course, when comparing it makes sense to compare regions with
> similar
> relevant characteristics. Which should be possible.)

At least one study, which appeared to be reasonably well done, and
which I cannot now locate, concluded that the average Philippino was
more satisfied, by their own assessments,  with all aspects of their
life than the average USAino.



       Russell


2006\09\04@125318 by Russell McMahon

face
flavicon
face
> Storage problem has more-or-less been solved, Google (TM) Synrock.

That should be Synrock(tm). ie it's proprietary.
Better, arguably, than vitriication with sugar (I'm not making this up
:-) ) followed by glass, which is what's used more usually.

But there are no guarantees that Synrock will work long term.
In the 1, 10, 100, 1000, 10000 and 100000 year test program it's at
about step 2. When it's met all 6 stages it may be considered proven.
Until then there's a severe rsik of it being as much a "salesman's
dream" as much of the other 'solutions' for intractable problems.

eg a few years ago I ws most pleased to read that "the landmine
problem has been solved". It reported highly successful fireld trials
of a landmine detector which worked by exciting the energetic bonds
whiocjh are necessarily present in explosives and detetcing them at a
distance. It sounded like the Land Mine's day had come. I haven't
heard anything of the system since. One may, of course, postulate
other reasons for such a silence.

> Given the reliability of the Space Shuttle, Sun disposal may
> actually result
> in somewhat random Earth disposal.

No rocket system is liable to be reliable enough to meet public
expectations for such a system. The space elevator(s), when they
happen, should be. Tjhis should happen at about the same time as the
He3 reactors ;-).

> Anyway, getting stuff to the Sun (or
> general vicinity) takes a lot of effort.

Energy taken to reach the sun is slightly more than to send material
to outer space - especially so if "slingshot" assists are used along
the way out.
"Get to earth orbit and you're half way to anywhere." Getting to the
sun, or outer space, takes about as much energy again as Low Earth
Orbit. Unfortunately the availble payload fraction decreases very
markedly in the process.



       Russell

2006\09\04@125319 by Russell McMahon

face
flavicon
face
>> I, also, in their situation, would have liked an investigation to "
>> ... locate the source of the radioactive particles found in the
>> general
>> environment around the Dounreay Nuclear Establishment  ...",
>> irregardless of how health affecting they might be.


> Russell,
>
> You are charged that you did use an Americanism, resulting in an
> inaccurate statement of your intended meaning.  How do you plead?
> :-)
> (I believe you meant "regardless"! :-)

It is probable but not certain that the term originated in 'the
colonies'.

I considered "regardless" but wanted something more 'open' and
tenuous.
While "regardless" clearly SHOULD mean "without regard to" which
implies neutrality, it is generally nowadays biased towards a sense of
"despite the fact that ...". ie in this case it might in some minds be
rendered " ... in spite of the fact that they might not be health
affecting."

I did not want that sense to be conveyed.

What I was aiming at was more - "Whether the radiation particles do or
don't constitute a radiation hazard is completely not the issue - in
either case I would have wanted an investigation to locate the source
of the particles ... . "

Irregardless seemed to me more liable to escape the bias which may
exist with standard garden variety "regardless". But, perhaps not.

The word is, perhaps, not so frowned on by 'experts' as one might
expect - despite severe attempts to stamp it out aborning.

See:

Summary from:

       http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irregardless

Irregardless seems to be moving slowly in the direction of
standardization. It has gone from nonexistence in the 1910 publication
of Etymological Dictionary of the English Language,[7] to being a
normality in modern dictionary publications, and it frequently occurs
in edited professional prose. The fact that its listing as a "humorous
usage" has practically disappeared today supplies further evidence in
favor of acceptance. Nevertheless, irregardless still has much
progress to make. It does not appear in most thesauruses, and is
neither in Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus (1992)[8] nor The Random
House Thesaurus (College Edition, 1984).[9] Teachers generally
advocate the use of regardless or irrespective in place of
irregardless.

______________

Summing up from

       http://www.worldwidewords.org/qa/qa-irr1.htm

       Whose erudition I generally place some store in

"So the precedents are all on the side of irregardless and-despite the
opinions of the experts-I suspect that the word will become even more
popular in the US in the future. For the moment, though, it is best
avoided in formal writing."


OK?
:-)

       Russell





2006\09\04@125320 by Russell McMahon

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> Hah! Brilliant and well said. Water is going to be the next gold.

Indeed it is.
Sounds bizarre.
But studies (whatever that means) show that earth's ability to supply
adequate water supplies will fall well behind demand in the next few
decades. Already large multinationals are buying up rights to water
supply "all over" to be in a position to profit from the new boom.

Conspiracy theory?
Mayhaps.
Have a look and see what gargoyle tells you on the subject.
Then decide for yourself.


       Russell



2006\09\04@125321 by Russell McMahon

face
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>> Current global warming hype is largely hype, boondoggles and
>> pc and politically driven, and fails to note the overwhelming
>> part that natural solar cycles play in what we are presently
>> seeing.

> With Bush et all actively attempting to squash scientific reports of
> global
> warming, how do you figure this is politically driven? If our best

Error.
Parser failure.
Cannot elucidate intent of query.
Bzzzt.
Must be late.
It is ...

> scientists are saying it is so, why are we arguing?

GW IS happening.
Best indications, based on good historical data,  are that it's the
sun that's doing it and that "we" are just along for the ride.
BUT we may be supplying the Lorentz butterfly wingflap that pushes the
system over the edge.
The *fact* that the major tends are consistent with historical
observation is usually obfuscated or downright excised by those on the
gravy train.
Would I lie to you?
Do you think I'm joking?
:-)
I'm not.
There is so much "noise" that the good science gets buried. There is
so much vested interest that even if they are telling the truth they
probably don't know they are.
I am not, as far s I can tell, a conspiracy theroist ;-).

>> But notwithstanding this, it doesn't mean they aren't
>> right :-). Too many opponents of the current GW bandwagon
>> deride the hoopla while failing to note that there are/may be
>> real risks. *IF* eg the Atlantic Conveyor is as sensitive to
>> atmospheric CO2 concentrations as some suggest it is, and
>> it's looking increasingly likely that they are wrong,

> Huh? Scripture and verse brother... (that is a request for links to
> evidence, for those of you who didn't grow up Christians)

Read de gud book yourself - I've already "Atlantic Conveyor"d the list
enough in the past that it's not worth doing again. PICLIst archives
should do fine OR gargoyle. It's all there. If REALLY interested
advise and I can probably supply some reports.

       "atlantic conveyor" co2   = 9800 Gargoyles.


Ohhhhhhhhhh OK then.
A few:

Worst case theory say that the deep subsurface "Atlantic Conveyor"
current which keeps North Atlantic including UK and continent
unnaturally ice free is highly sensitive to atmospheric CO2
concentrations and that relatively minor rises my cause the current to
stop very suddenly. Shut down time may be as little as a few years and
, once stopped, it may take thousands of years to restart. North
Atlantic would be skateable :-)

This is decades old stuff but few seem to know of it.
Of late I think the "may take hundreds of years to swing" models are
looking more likely but this subjet is probably even more unknowable
than the longevity of nuclear waste stores :-).


Example of a "rapid shutdown" theory version

       http://www.wunderground.com/education/abruptclimate.asp

Ice skating in Paris

    http://www.pik-potsdam.de/~stefan/Publications/Other/rahmstorf_newscientist_1997.html

Centuries.

       http://www.jsmf.org/grants/historical/cf/rahmstorf.htm


Heaps more on gargoyle.


       Russell

2006\09\04@143048 by James Newtons Massmind

face picon face
This brings up a very good question: Given the public fear of nuclear power
and radiation, why is there not a Geiger counter in every home?

The irrational fear of radiation, coupled with the total lack of any
reasonable action to protect ones self from it just...

Grrrrr!

---
James.



> {Original Message removed}

2006\09\04@144022 by Michael Rigby-Jones

picon face


>-----Original Message-----
>From: RemoveMEpiclist-bouncesspamTakeThisOuTmit.edu [piclist-bouncesEraseMEspam.....mit.edu]
>Sent: 04 September 2006 19:31
>To: 'Microcontroller discussion list - Public.'
>Subject: RE: [OT] On Nuclear power
>
>
>This brings up a very good question: Given the public fear of
>nuclear power and radiation, why is there not a Geiger counter
>in every home?
>
>The irrational fear of radiation, coupled with the total lack
>of any reasonable action to protect ones self from it just...


Because people don't expect to encounter dangerous levels of radiation in their home?  

FYI Many houses in the UK have Radon "detectors" fitted as Radon gas buildup is a problem in some areas (particularly the South-West, where I live!).  The detectors are really just logging devices which are sent off for analysis after a certain period of use.

Regards

Mike

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2006\09\04@144037 by David VanHorn

picon face
On 9/4/06, James Newtons Massmind <EraseMEjamesnewtonspammassmind.org> wrote:
>
> This brings up a very good question: Given the public fear of nuclear
> power
> and radiation, why is there not a Geiger counter in every home?


I used to have mine online doing a graph, but the poor software, and lack of
interest led me to take it offline.   I've logged some interesting events,
even caught (apparently) a GRB.
I saw a pretty good spike, about 20x background, and saw on the news that a
GRB had been detected, at roughly the same time.  :)    Also seen "Rain
washout".

2006\09\04@151623 by David VanHorn

picon face
FWIW, SMART-1 got 3.1 million miles to the gallon, more or less.
Now THAT's efficient!

2006\09\04@151632 by David VanHorn

picon face
On 9/4/06, David VanHorn <RemoveMEdvanhornEraseMEspamEraseMEmicrobrix.com> wrote:
>
>
>
> FWIW, SMART-1 got 3.1 million miles to the gallon, more or less.
> Now THAT's efficient!
>
>


Of course I don't know what Xenon gas is going for at the pump these days.

2006\09\04@170105 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> This brings up a very good question: Given the public fear of
> nuclear power
> and radiation, why is there not a Geiger counter in every home?

At least in my country: thanks to that irrational fear there is no need
for a geiger. there are plenty of gouvernment geigers around, and
blisfully little nuclear industry.

> The irrational fear of radiation, coupled with the total lack of any
> reasonable action to protect ones self from it just...

now if you want to discuss that in a less irrational way :) [but
preferrably not on the list]

> Grrrrr!

no, contrary to popular belief radiation makes no noise.

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu


2006\09\04@181316 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face

On Sep 4, 2006, at 9:25 AM, Russell McMahon wrote:

> Better, arguably, than vitriication with sugar followed by glass,
> which is what's used more usually.
>
> But there are no guarantees that Synrock will work long term.
>
For instance, it's no longer considered safe to store liquor in
leaded glass decanters, and it's largely the leaded glass in CRTs
that makes them get classified as hazardous waste.  I don't really
know how real those issues are, leaded glass seems awfully similar
to vitrified ... anything.

BillW

2006\09\04@200040 by Howard Winter

face
flavicon
picon face
James,

On Mon, 4 Sep 2006 11:30:44 -0700, James Newtons Massmind wrote:

> This brings up a very good question: Given the public fear of nuclear power
> and radiation, why is there not a Geiger counter in every home?

Hey, I've got one!  Remembering that Chernobyl was announced to the World by someone in Sweden who noticed an increase in background radiation,
I bought one a while ago.

Unfortunately it seems to have stopped working, so I need to do some work on it...

Cheers,



Howard Winter
St.Albans, England


2006\09\04@202500 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
James Newtons Massmind wrote:

> This brings up a very good question: Given the public fear of nuclear
> power and radiation, why is there not a Geiger counter in every home?

Possibly because most people (and that's /really/ most) don't understand
that well how the output of a Geiger counter is related to the dangers?

A Geiger counter for determining the danger from byproducts of nuclear
processes is probably similar to having a pH meter to find out about
dangerous chemicals in the environment. Not very effective.

Gerhard

2006\09\04@213336 by David VanHorn

picon face
I'm not sure if this is ALL the text, but this is a really large chunk
anyway, of the book "Deep Time".  A good read.

www.physics.uci.edu/~silverma/benford.html

2006\09\05@090342 by Gus S Calabrese

face picon face

On 2006-Sep 04, at 18:00hrs PM, Howard Winter wrote:

James,

On Mon, 4 Sep 2006 11:30:44 -0700, James Newtons Massmind wrote:

> This brings up a very good question: Given the public fear of  
> nuclear power
> and radiation, why is there not a Geiger counter in every home?

Hey, I've got one!  Remembering that Chernobyl was announced to the  
World by someone in Sweden who noticed an increase in background  
radiation,
I bought one a while ago.

Unfortunately it seems to have stopped working, so I need to do some  
work on it...
^Probably gets too many RAD surges AGSC ^
Cheers,



Howard Winter
St.Albans, England


2006\09\07@230739 by Russell McMahon

face
flavicon
face


       http://www.wired.com/news/culture/0,71724-0.html?tw=wn_index_1

Says:


02:00 AM Sep, 07, 2006

A half-mile below the surface of the New Mexico desert, the federal
government is interring thousands of tons of monstrously dangerous
leftovers from its nuclear weapons program --plutonium-infested
clothing, tools and chemical sludge that will remain potentially
lethal for thousands of years to come.

It may be safely secured now, but how to keep our descendants
centuries in the future from accidentally unearthing it?

That's the question posed by the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, the
nation's only underground repository for military-generated
radioactive waste.
To address it, the Department of Energy convened a conclave of
scientists, linguists, anthropologists and sci-fi thinkers to develop
an elaborate system intended to shout "Danger!" to any human being for
the next 10,000 years -- regardless of what language they speak or
technology they use.

The resulting solution: an unprecedented and epic scale monument
that's expected to take the next three decades and as much as $1
billion to complete. "Basically, we just want to make sure society
doesn't forget we're here," says Roger Nelson, WIPP's chief scientist.
It's going to be pretty obvious that something is there under the
scrublands near Carlsbad. The waste site will be surrounded by a
four-mile outer fence of dozens of 25-foot, 20-ton granite markers
engraved with multi-lingual and pictographic warnings.

Inside that perimeter will be ...
__________________

Photos

       http://blog.wired.com/nucleardump/

Their "Dnger of digging" lightning bolt earthworks TOTALLY filed the
darwin test with my wife. She thought it looked like they were trying
to show that the site contained something interesting.

I think a large skull and mushroom cloud may fill the bill :-)


       Russell




2006\09\07@231511 by Russell McMahon

face
flavicon
face
Waste isolation pilot plant report
93 page pdf
1996
New Mexico

       http://www.wipp.energy.gov/library/CRA/BaselineTool/Documents/Appendices/EPIC.PDF#search=%22%22david%20givens%22%20wipp%22


Despite what they say below, at least one of their selected markers
would ENCOURAGE my wife to dig there, should she be in the archaeology
business.

ABSTRACT:


The U. S. Environmental Protection Agency requires the use of passive
institutional controls
(PICs) to discourage hture generations from inadvertently intruding
into the Waste Isolation Pilot
Plant (WPP) waste repository and the contiguous 16 sections. The
controls are to include
markers, records, archives, and government ownership and land-use
restrictions. Credit may be
allowed in performance assessments for these controls to reduce the
frequency of inadvertent
intrusion for several hundred years after disposal.

A task force was formed to estimate the credit for the passive
controls for the W Pre pository.
The estimate was constrained by the use of existing conceptual designs
of these controls, the use
of historical analogues for the endurance of materials and structures,
the consideration of possible
failure modes for each control, and the regulatory assumption of
societal "common
denominators."

Because of the redundancy of messages to be built into the passive
controls, human error was
identified by the task force as the only mechanism that could result
in inadvertent intrusion for the
10,000 years of regulatory concern. An examination of 80 years of
drilling records for the New
Mexico portion of the Delaware Basin identified no instances of the
mislocation of drilling sites
due to human error. The task force concluded that the failure of
passive controls to correctly
communicate the location and hazards of the waste, thereby detemng
inadvertent intrusions for
the first several hundred years of performance assessments will be no
greater than 0.01. This
failure rate is a bounding value intended to account for possible
failure mechanisms that the task
force failed to identify

Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, NM 87185

Carlsbad Tectuucal Assistance Conuactor, Carlsbad, NM '. '

Science Applications International Corporation, Albuquerque, NM
Westinghouse Waste Isolation Division, Carlsbad, NM



2006\09\08@014302 by Bob Axtell

face picon face
Russell McMahon wrote:
{Quote hidden}

But Russell, do us crackpot accounting types get to add the _costs_ of
all this to the costs of our
nuclear power plant?

...I notice that they gave up on Yucca mountain, NV....

--Bob
>
>         Russell
>
>
>
>
>  

2006\09\08@015134 by Bob Axtell

face picon face
Russell McMahon wrote:
{Quote hidden}

>government ownership and land-use restrictions.

Yep, when we lose the war on terror and are overrun with Muslim
radicals, government land-use restrictions will be as useful as
high-button shoes.
>  Credit may be
> allowed in performance assessments for these controls to reduce the
> frequency of inadvertent
> intrusion for several hundred years after disposal.
>  
several hundred years. Yep, that covers it all right...
{Quote hidden}

this means that this assurance, plus a dollar, will get you a cup of
coffee without sugar.

--Bob
>
>  

2006\09\08@042753 by Howard Winter

face
flavicon
picon face
Russell,

On Fri, 08 Sep 2006 14:50:12 +1200, Russell McMahon wrote:

> Their "Dnger of digging" lightning bolt earthworks TOTALLY filed the
> darwin test with my wife. She thought it looked like they were trying
> to show that the site contained something interesting.

That's always the problem - they ought to ask archaeologists what they would do if they encountered the things they're proposing.  I bet the answer
would be: "We'd think it was a site of great ritual importance, with access allowed only to the highest-status priests and/or rulers, and we'd excavate
to see what was at the centre".  Just think how we've treated the Pyramids, Stonehenge, South American Ziggurats, and so on.  Did we keep away in
case the things were marking something dangerous?

> I think a large skull and mushroom cloud may fill the bill :-)

That fails the species test for a start (as do the faces on the signs they show), but again could be construed as a warning to the populace of the
time that they weren't to pass further.  It's really hard to get the "This means you" message across to people who are used to seeing remains that
are aimed at the populace of the time (cave paintings), or general historical records of success in battle (Tragen's column), or images of and
representations to the gods (Egyptian hieroglyphs - which also include the first two).

Cheers,



Howard Winter
St.Albans, England


2006\09\08@084451 by Russell McMahon

face
flavicon
face
> That fails the species test for a start (as do the faces on the
> signs they show),

I don't see that as a major genuine disadvantage.
Odds of spacethingies coming here after we expire and within sensible
time periods is small given almost any world view.

And I suspect that the odds of any interstellar space faring race
having problems working out what is buried on this site without any
clues at all is vanishingly small.


       Russell

2006\09\08@091441 by Tony Smith

picon face
> > That fails the species test for a start (as do the faces on
> the signs
> > they show),
>
> I don't see that as a major genuine disadvantage.
> Odds of spacethingies coming here after we expire and within
> sensible time periods is small given almost any world view.
>
> And I suspect that the odds of any interstellar space faring
> race having problems working out what is buried on this site
> without any clues at all is vanishingly small.
>
>
>         Russell


Or as the report says, leave nothing at all.  As they say, monuments attract
attention.  

I know if I spot a large black slab of granite-like stuff, I'll be checking
it out.  Even if it's on the moon.  With explosives, if need be.  (as per
Asimov's 'The Sentinal'.)

I like they idea of burying waste deep in salt flats.  Works for witches &
warlocks, nuke waste shouldn't be a problem.  It's not as if you'll be
growing corn there.

Put up a few wooden posts, these might last 100 years.  After that...

Tony

2006\09\08@093700 by Jinx

face picon face
> I like they idea of burying waste deep in salt flats. Works for
> witches & warlocks, nuke waste shouldn't be a problem. It's
> not as if you'll be growing corn there.

Well, not tomorrow, but earthly cycles may make such an area
suitable for cultivation in the future. After all, it was a lake once.
Even The Sahara was forested, and will be again in a few
thousand years. I think no matter where you dump waste, it'll
be in area that is or will be useable

Came across this interesting paper (158kB) tonight on nucular
issues whilst surfing for something else

http://www.nirs.org/ch20/publications/nip1rosenkranz.pdf

2006\09\08@113337 by David VanHorn

picon face
>
> Well, not tomorrow, but earthly cycles may make such an area
> suitable for cultivation in the future. After all, it was a lake once.
> Even The Sahara was forested, and will be again in a few
> thousand years. I think no matter where you dump waste, it'll
> be in area that is or will be useable


Deep sea convergence zones have promise, but getting the containers to
survive the first part of the ride is tricky, plus they are available for
salvage.  That may be difficult, but it's not impossible.

2006\09\08@122309 by Tony Smith

picon face
> > I like they idea of burying waste deep in salt flats. Works for
> > witches & warlocks, nuke waste shouldn't be a problem. It's
> not as if
> > you'll be growing corn there.
>
> Well, not tomorrow, but earthly cycles may make such an area
> suitable for cultivation in the future. After all, it was a lake once.
> Even The Sahara was forested, and will be again in a few
> thousand years. I think no matter where you dump waste, it'll
> be in area that is or will be useable
>
> Came across this interesting paper (158kB) tonight on nucular
> issues whilst surfing for something else
>
> http://www.nirs.org/ch20/publications/nip1rosenkranz.pdf


True, the salt flats might become ocean again (but that makes digging up the
waste a bit harder).  Damn future, just why is it so hard to predict?

Not exactly pro-nuke, was he?

Problem is, he didn't say what we should be chasing for our energy needs,
even he admits fusion is a bit of a pipe-dream.  NZ isn't exactly the best
place for solar.  How much power can you generate from rubbing amber across
sheep :) !

Tony

Psst, we (OZ) has got loads of uranium, d'ya want some?

2006\09\08@192954 by Jinx

face picon face

> > Came across this interesting paper (158kB) tonight on nucular
> > issues whilst surfing for something else
> >
> > www.nirs.org/ch20/publications/nip1rosenkranz.pdf
>
>
> True, the salt flats might become ocean again (but that makes
> digging up the waste a bit harder).  Damn future, just why is it
> so hard to predict?
>
> Not exactly pro-nuke, was he?

I think he was being thoughtfully pessimistic, and got the
impression he's OK with nuclear power, but despairing of,
you guessed it, the human elements

Nuclear power generation is a very good example of the greed
games in the other thread

2006\09\08@193817 by Jinx

face picon face
> NZ isn't exactly the best place for solar.  How much power
> can you generate from rubbing amber across sheep :) !

Interesting thought though ; as they come down the race single-
file into the abbatoir, you could have an arrangement of rotating
amber brushes, carwash-style, Hmmmm

NZ is definitely not going nuclear, for all kinds of economic
and philosophical reasons. Wind farms are popping up, solar
is being tried, and the coastline too for tidal and wave energy

2006\09\09@042239 by Russell McMahon

face
flavicon
face
> ... Asimov's 'The Sentinal'.

Clarks
fwiw
Not quite verbatim, no doubt:

'The smell of burning from the galley made me realise that the
sausages had made their 250,000 mile journey in vain."

That was from when he could still write.



       Russell

2006\09\09@044530 by Tony Smith

picon face
> > ... Asimov's 'The Sentinal'.
>
> Clarks
> fwiw
> Not quite verbatim, no doubt:
>
> 'The smell of burning from the galley made me realise that
> the sausages had made their 250,000 mile journey in vain."
>
> That was from when he could still write.


Doh.  Yes, Clarke, not Asimov.

Just avoid the 'co-authored by...' ones.

Tony

2006\09\09@092414 by Russell McMahon

face
flavicon
face
> NZ is definitely not going nuclear, for all kinds of economic
> and philosophical reasons. Wind farms are popping up, solar
> is being tried, and the coastline too for tidal and wave energy

Auckland NZ insolation ranges from about 2.5 kWh/day/m^2 in winter to
about 8 in summer. Mean of say 5 or 6 kWh/day/m^2. That's enough to do
really good things with, especially if you can get large economies of
scale. as log as we aren't serious about hydrocarbon alternatives you
won't get the research funding to change the world.

Wind is good in selected locations but wind is an unforgiving master
and tends to require extremely robust and therefore not overly
competitive machines. It's still not unknown for multi ton blades to
go wandering, and simply trashing mechanisms is easy. The 10, and 50
year gales have to be survivable as, alas, the 100 year one will
probably arrive with Murphy sometime between 10 years and 1 month
after commissioning. Various shutdown strategies are used but there's
still a vast amount of excess energy around in such events.

Wave power is highly promising but again the sea's vast variability
makes economic solutions hard. The power is there in abundance but the
abundance gets too abundant at times.

Solar has the problem of being unpredictably variable on the low side
of possible on any given day but the advantage of never exceeding it's
predictable maximum value ever. [[Occasionally the design maximum may
be very very grossly exceeded, but when this happens you have greater
worries than whether your solar installation will survive.]] Thermal
solar usually doesn't like to be 'run dry' but means of ensuring this
are not usually too onerous. Photo voltaic is creeping up in
efficiency quite handsomely. Other bridesmaid variants stand
continually and hopefully in the wings (various Rankine and other
direct thermal to vapour cycles, Stirling and more). The problems with
eg solar Stirling are generally not solar related per se but specific
to the drive for energy density and efficiency.

Amazingly low cost Chinese manufactured water solar systems (6 m^3 for
about $US700 including water in glass vacuum insulated collectors,
stainless steel header tank and stand) are appearing but adequate
longevity may not yet be provided. Weight issues still prevent really
high surface area domestic deployment.

I still believe that solar air thermal has real promise due to the
ability to produce large low mass and low cost collectors giving vast
energy outputs per $ compared with current solar water systems. Solar
walls and their ilk have provided large area systems for many decades
but tend to be niche and less flexible or cheap than is required to
allow a quantum improvement in the domestic solar thermal market.

Anyone still awake?


       Russell

2006\09\09@110959 by Russell McMahon

face
flavicon
face
>> 'The smell of burning from the galley made me realise that
>> the sausages had made their 250,000 mile journey in vain."
>>
>> That was from when he could still write.
>
>
> Doh.  Yes, Clarke, not Asimov.
>
> Just avoid the 'co-authored by...' ones.

Not to mention "Tom Clancy'S ..." to which he contributes about zilch.

OR anything by Tom Clancy after half way through Rainbow 6 where
something went wrong with his ability (or willingness) to write good
stories, and it has never returned. I almost wonder if he had a stroke
or some such. The story changed in mid book and everything
subsequently has been bad or worse.

       Russell


2006\09\09@114211 by Howard Winter

face
flavicon
picon face
Jinx,

On Sat, 09 Sep 2006 11:37:55 +1200, Jinx wrote:

> > NZ isn't exactly the best place for solar.  How much power
> > can you generate from rubbing amber across sheep :) !
>
> Interesting thought though ; as they come down the race single-
> file into the abbatoir, you could have an arrangement of rotating
> amber brushes, carwash-style, Hmmmm

A Woolshurst machine - I like it!  :-)

> NZ is definitely not going nuclear, for all kinds of economic
> and philosophical reasons. Wind farms are popping up, solar
> is being tried, and the coastline too for tidal and wave energy

They tried wave power off the coast of Scotland, but the project was fraught with mishaps.  I seem to remember the first prototype was anchored to
the bottom with chains temporarily, waiting to be installed properly, when an uncharacteristically powerful storm blew up, wrenched the chains
apart, and dashed the unit against the coast, destroying it.  It all went a bit quiet after that!  (The project, not the weather)

Cheers,


Howard Winter
St.Albans, England


2006\09\09@122153 by Tony Smith

picon face
{Quote hidden}

Vaguely remember that was due to marital problems.  He divorced, and his
wife got the rights to the Rainbow Six stuff, so he kinda lot interest after
that.  Something odd like that.

Could be completely wrong, of course.

Tony  

2006\09\09@132112 by Byron A Jeff

face picon face
On Sat, Sep 09, 2006 at 11:50:55PM +1200, Russell McMahon wrote:

NZ alternative power options snipped...

{Quote hidden}

The promise of solar is the fact that solar infrastructure can be
deployed most anywhere are that it doesn't require a top down decision
to deploy. It can be built bottom up.

> Amazingly low cost Chinese manufactured water solar systems (6 m^3 for
> about $US700 including water in glass vacuum insulated collectors,
> stainless steel header tank and stand) are appearing but adequate
> longevity may not yet be provided. Weight issues still prevent really
> high surface area domestic deployment.

The question is what properties can you effectively get from out of it?
Solar infrastructure has many bases to cover:

1) Electricity
2) Cooling and dehumdification
3) Heating
4) Hot water

Now while the above system can clearly help with #3 and #4, #2 is iffy
and #1 is totally unclear. BTW cooling and dehumidification can be driven
by heat. Ammonia and Einstein cooling can be heat driven and
dehumidification can be accomplished by using dessicants to absorb moisture
and then heating the dessicant to drive the moisture out for reuse.

The issue with both types is that it's real low efficiency as compared to
the standard compression type system. But you don't need much electricity
at all in order to creating cooling, just heat. And the best thing is that
the hotter it gets, the more effecting the cooling becomes.

> I still believe that solar air thermal has real promise due to the
> ability to produce large low mass and low cost collectors giving vast
> energy outputs per $ compared with current solar water systems. Solar
> walls and their ilk have provided large area systems for many decades
> but tend to be niche and less flexible or cheap than is required to
> allow a quantum improvement in the domestic solar thermal market.

Agreed.

The final issue is effective electricity generation. I understand why you
are so hot on Stirling engines because they can be heat driven. So heated
air could theorectically be the unifying heat drive system for each of
the four basis of the solar infrastructure.

> Anyone still awake?

Still here. Just keep talking.

BAJ

2006\09\10@011955 by Russell McMahon

face
flavicon
face
> The question is what properties can you effectively get from out of
> it?
> Solar infrastructure has many bases to cover:
>
> 1) Electricity
> 2) Cooling and dehumdification
> 3) Heating
> 4) Hot water
>
> Now while the above system can clearly help with #3 and #4, #2 is
> iffy
> and #1 is totally unclear.

If the solar energy was very cheap then say 10% efficiency for
electricity would be tolerable if you could still use the remainder
for heating. Even steam engines manage that. Steam is capable of over
20% efficiency so a 10% target is probably acceptable. Half my roof in
winter at 50% thermal capture and 10% conversion to electricity using
steam is about 10 kWh of electricity and 90 kWh of heating. In summer
its almost 4 times that.

If the plant was sized to deal with summer power you'd have 40 kWh /
day for summer cooling if desired. The hotter the day the more he
cooling available.



       Russell




2006\09\10@015850 by William Chops Westfield

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On Sep 9, 2006, at 10:21 AM, Byron A Jeff wrote:
>
> The promise of solar is the fact that solar infrastructure
> can be deployed most anywhere are that it doesn't require
> a top down decision to deploy.

Unfortunately, that's largely an illusion.  I don't believe that
Solar deploys well at all in the sort of high-population-density
areas that account for an awful lot of the population, and in such
areas you DO need some top-down decisions involved.

James; you're into this; are there estimates somewhere on just
how much land area it takes to support (energy, significant
quantity of food, etc) each person...

BillW

2006\09\11@020030 by Jinx

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http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/story.cfm?c_id=5&ObjectID=10400645

"Dr Cox dismissed worries that by adventuring into the unknown
and creating tiny black holes, the machine could even destroy the
planet.

The probability is at the level of 10 to the minus 40," he said

As long as he's not the guy who makes up those "a once-in-a-
100-years storm" deals. You know, those storms that happen
every coupla years ;-)

If they do find another dimension, wonder if they'll find oil too ?

Or dinosaurs that could be knocked off to make some

Then there's the immigrants......

2006\09\11@020132 by Russell McMahon

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face
> James; you're into this; are there estimates somewhere on just
> how much land area it takes to support (energy, significant
> quantity of food, etc) each person...

A family can pretty largely live off the produce of a 1/4 acre of
land. But to do it you have to work at it as your primary concern in
life. If you have a "day job" as well it must pretty much come second.
I've seen this done, bit I would not want to do it personally.

       Russell

2006\09\11@051447 by Tony Smith

picon face
> The probability is at the level of 10 to the minus 40," he said
>
> As long as he's not the guy who makes up those "a once-in-a-
> 100-years storm" deals. You know, those storms that happen
> every coupla years ;-)
>
> If they do find another dimension, wonder if they'll find oil too ?
>
> Or dinosaurs that could be knocked off to make some
>
> Then there's the immigrants......


You make oil from immigrants?  Eww.  And here's Australia, sending them
away.

Tony

2006\09\11@070346 by Gerhard Fiedler

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William ChopsWestfield wrote:

> James; you're into this; are there estimates somewhere on just
> how much land area it takes to support (energy, significant
> quantity of food, etc) each person...

I guess this depends a /lot/ on the person. And if you take an average
person, it depends a lot on the sample over which you take the average.
Energy and resource usage differs wildly between different lifestyles.

Gerhard

2006\09\11@095253 by Russell McMahon

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face
> You make oil from immigrants?  Eww.  And here's Australia, sending
> them
> away.


Nah.
Soylent Green.
(Gargoyle knows)

       Russell

2006\09\11@103711 by Tony Smith

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> > You make oil from immigrants?  Eww.  And here's Australia, sending
> > them away.
>
>
> Nah.
> Soylent Green.
> (Gargoyle knows)
>
>         Russell


"Make Room! Make Room" by eating them.  Interesting.

I think a lot of people would get that reference, more than those who would
get the SnowCrash one.

Tony

2006\09\11@122457 by James Newtons Massmind

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> James; you're into this; are there estimates somewhere on
> just how much land area it takes to support (energy,
> significant quantity of food, etc) each person...

That depends greatly on how you live. There is one family of 4 who get more
than half their needs (more like 3/4) from 1/5th acre.

http://www.pathtofreedom.com

But they live in a way that is significantly different than you or I. They
use arms and legs and brains.

They are still dependant on the city for water (although a well could remove
that) and on waste cooking oil for automobile fuel. I believe they heat with
"natural" gas, but they are working on adding a wood stove so that should
end soon. BTW, I now heat with wood and solar only.

There are food items that really can not be produced in such a small space
and must be purchased from outside if you eat them. Beans, flour, yeast,
oil, salt. Meat production is not an option except for eggs, possibly fish
and the occasional chicken or duck which is good enough, I guess. Milk from
a goat or two.


Just planting a garden is a good way to start.
techref.massmind.org/techref/other/gardens.htm
http://techref.massmind.org/techref/other/garden/fencehouse.htm

Chickens are just wonderful if done right:
http://techref.massmind.org/techref/other/chickens.htm

PV is great:
http://techref.massmind.org/techref/other/solar/case1.htm

Woodstoves are fantastic: One of these days I must put up some pictures and
a description of mine.

Ah, I could talk about this stuff all day.

---
James Newton, massmind.org Knowledge Archiver
RemoveMEjamesspam_OUTspamKILLspammassmind.org 1-619-652-0593 fax:1-208-279-8767
http://www.massmind.org Saving what YOU know.

2006\09\11@123749 by James Newtons Massmind

face picon face
> They are still dependant on the city for water (although a
> well could remove that) and on waste cooking oil for
> automobile fuel. I believe they heat with "natural" gas, but
> they are working on adding a wood stove so that should end
> soon. BTW, I now heat with wood and solar only.

<SNIP>

> PV is great:
> http://techref.massmind.org/techref/other/solar/case1.htm


Very important point I forgot to mention: pathtofreedom.com and I (and most
PV users) are dependant on the grid for "storage" of the power we generate
from the solar panels. Batteries are NOT cost effective and the sun has this
bad habit of going behind the planet...

Now, they use kerosene lanterns at night and don't have a TV (or many other
electric appliances) so they might be able to get by with out the grid. They
do have a refrigerator, but there are alternatives to that:
http://techref.massmind.org/techref/other/solfrig.htm

If I wanted to be totally off the grid, I would work very hard to eliminate
any appliance that needed to be run at night.

---
James Newton, massmind.org Knowledge Archiver
RemoveMEjamesTakeThisOuTspamspammassmind.org 1-619-652-0593 fax:1-208-279-8767
http://www.massmind.org Saving what YOU know.

2006\09\11@133156 by Howard Winter

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picon face
James,

On Mon, 11 Sep 2006 09:33:14 -0700, James Newtons Massmind wrote:

{Quote hidden}

I can see why you say that, but the big problem I can see with grid-tie installations like yours is that you are just as vulnerable to power cuts as
anyone else.  As I understand it, if the grid supply goes off your inverter will shut down, even if it's bright sunshine and it *could* keep your house
running.  I can understand why they do that - if they didn't, your roof would be trying to run the whole of the grid, and that might be a bit beyond its
capabilities!  And just think of the headlines: "Lake Mead flooded when SoCal homeowner's roof spins turbines backwards"!  :-)

At least with batteries you have a fallback for when it all goes dark and quiet in the neighbourhood.

Incidentally, on this side of the pond we are catching up with you a bit on the financial viability of house-level solar: you can now get a contract with
a supplier where they pay the same for electricity that you generate and feed to the grid as they charge you for usage.  I know that seems obvious
to you because it's what you have, you only have one meter and they can only charge you for the difference, but until recently we had to have two
meters and the payback was at the "generation rate" - the price the electricity companies pay the generating companies - about 1/20th of the rate
you buy it at!  It's still not net metering, you still have to have two meters (or accept their estimate of how much you've generated - yeah, right!)
and you have to read the meter every quarter, and they send a cheque for the amount they owe you, but I imagine one day they'll smooth it out a bit
more than that.

We can now also get a grant of UK£3.00 per Watt of panel installed, but to qualify you have to have it installed by an approved company, who seem
to charge the grant amount or more for doing so, so it may actually work out cheaper to DIY and forget the grant.

Not much progress to report on my shed-roof project - the Inverter/Charger that I bought seems to have had a DOA fault in the charging circuit - the
inverter seems to be working, but there's not much point if I can't charge the batteries!  I'm trying to resolve it with the supplier (in Taiwan) but
communication is terribly slow due to the time-difference.  Ah well...

Cheers,


Howard Winter
St.Albans, England


2006\09\11@140707 by Bob Axtell

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James Newtons Massmind wrote:
{Quote hidden}

A couple of wives ago, I owned 42 acres 40 miles south of Atlanta. I had
a garden and enough chickens that
I had more eggs than I used. We exchanged eggs for our neighbor's
vegetables, whose garden was MUCH larger
than mine, mine only being big enough for tomatoes and melons (but the
deer usually ate the melons). I had to put a
padlock on the henhouse door after I saw a red fox actually unlatch the
door and grab one of the chickens; never under-
estimate the intelligence of "wild" animals.

While Atlanta is normally warm, it has chilly winters. I designed my
house to use a heat pump for cooling as well as
heating, but used the fireplace heat exchanger (that accepted wood) when
it got too cold for the heat pump. That scheme
worked VERY well, and my heating bills were very low, since most of the
42 acres was heavily wooded, mostly oak.

Cooling was a different story, of course. I thought of solar, but the
trees were too tall and the house was always shaded.

It was a LOT of fun, healthy, and economical.

--Bob

2006\09\11@151433 by Russell McMahon

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face
> PV users) are dependant on the grid for "storage" of the power we
> generate
> from the solar panels. Batteries are NOT cost effective and the sun
> has this
> bad habit of going behind the planet...

Electrolytic hydrogen.
Gasometer storage.
Reconvert to electricity using, @@[cough]@@, Stirling or other less
efficient technology. Use balance of non reconverted energy for
heating.

For such static applications a large buried flywheel may be
acceptable.

English (and no doubt other) stately homes at one stage used a wind up
weight system to generate power, powered  usually no doubt by servant
input. Food to electricity! Such a system may be rendered practical by
modern means - electric motor energy mass storage. One Watt second =~
0.1 kg.m. So to store 1 kWh = 360,000 kg.m. eg 10m x 36 tonne. An
annoyingly large amount for about $0.20 worth of electricity. More
with inefficiencies. This could be water pumped to a reservoir -
entirely practical and actually done on large scale. Only attractive
if you have a lake and a hill to hand.

"Larnoch Castle" in Dunedin NZ has an interesting structure out-back
which is not mentioned except in most peripheral passing in guidebooks
etc. On inspection it is clear that they made Methane gas from their
own sewage. Don't know if they had a Stirling engine though :-).

BTW -James recent query about any one large Stirling engine design
that was commercially viable is arguably exampled by those built by
the original inventor :-).



       Russell.


2006\09\11@172121 by Howard Winter

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Russell,

On Tue, 12 Sep 2006 07:05:58 +1200, Russell McMahon wrote:

>...
> English (and no doubt other) stately homes at one stage used a wind up
> weight system to generate power, powered  usually no doubt by servant
> input. Food to electricity!

Where did you get this?  I've been to loads of stately homes and castles, but I've never seen any sign of weight-storage of energy except for things
like portculis and drawbridges (and clocks!), and water-wheel power, but nothing like you mention.  I've seen hydro-electric and hydraulic power at
Cragside, Armstrong's former place, but there are lakes at the top and bottom of the hill, so it's an ideal location for that.

> Such a system may be rendered practical by
> modern means - electric motor energy mass storage. One Watt second =~
> 0.1 kg.m. So to store 1 kWh = 360,000 kg.m. eg 10m x 36 tonne. An
> annoyingly large amount for about $0.20 worth of electricity. More
> with inefficiencies. This could be water pumped to a reservoir -
> entirely practical and actually done on large scale. Only attractive
> if you have a lake and a hill to hand.

Quite!

> "Larnoch Castle" in Dunedin NZ has an interesting structure out-back
> which is not mentioned except in most peripheral passing in guidebooks
> etc. On inspection it is clear that they made Methane gas from their
> own sewage. Don't know if they had a Stirling engine though :-).

(That's "Larnach", isn't it?)  I've been there but didn't spot the thing you mention - what does it look like?

Cheers,


Howard Winter
St.Albans, England


2006\09\12@102451 by Mike Hord

picon face
> > James; you're into this; are there estimates somewhere on
> > just how much land area it takes to support (energy,
> > significant quantity of food, etc) each person...
>
> That depends greatly on how you live. There is one family of 4 who get more
> than half their needs (more like 3/4) from 1/5th acre.

What about cold climates?

Here in Minnesota, nothing edible is likely to grow outdoors from,
say, October to March.  That's a solid six months that must be
prepared for- can a family really grow twice what they need on
1/4 acre?

I suppose the GOOD news is that cheap refrigeration is readily
available during that six months.

Mike H.

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