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  #201  
Old 11-03-2018, 03:28 PM
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Originally Posted by eschereal View Post
Funny you should mention tobacco. The big players were paddled firmly on the butt, yet they are still around. Have you been to a grocery store lately? They still sell cigarettes. The big players are drawing in billions in net revenue. It looks very much like no one was really put up against the wall. It was all justice theatre.

What about British Petroleum, who did a very fine job fouling the gulf? Was anyone punished for that? Exxon got their liability for fouling Prince William Sound reduced to a little more than a rounding error relative to their overall revenue, simply outlasting the plaintiffs by dragging the case on for most of two decades. And Taylor Energy only recently settled a case related to a persistent leak that is now greater in volume than Deepwater Horizon.

So far, it looks like no one is truly being put up against the wall. Perhaps ever.
Perhaps this is the thread where all post to reply to my points will only show that they miss the point.

In this case that part of : "Now, since I think we are getting better in many fronts what I expect in this case is not that drastic [as in putting the perpetrators to the wall], The people will vote the rascal deniers out of power and like the tobacco industry make the fossil fuel industry pay for the new industries that will help educate humanity to better mitigate and/or adapt to the changes." that you replied to.

Again, that is because I can be a cautious optimist; and I also posted before what you mentioned about the tobacco people, I did use it as an example of how asinine the fossil fuel industry is by denying or funding the denial of the issue among politicians. Because, no, they will not be punished as they should, but at least they will be paying a lot of costs due to the results of their past behaviors, as in paying states and government for the cancer costs of less well to do individuals and to fund advertisements against their products.

I also pointed before at the relative lack of punishment over damaging industries, but as example of how on top of a crime against our environment one should add a charge of being greedy up to the level of assholery. Because on top of that, they even deny that in reality, very little liability will fall on them. Indeed, in the end the tobacco industry had to finally just add the cost of the damage they are/were doing to the cost of doing businesses and still get a profit, oil and coal will continue to be used in other industries and for awhile while we de-carbonize our energy sources.

Last edited by GIGObuster; 11-03-2018 at 03:31 PM.
  #202  
Old 11-03-2018, 03:37 PM
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Originally Posted by RaftPeople View Post
Except for when something unexpected happens and radiation is released in to air/ground/water where it is expensive and challenging to contain:
Three Mile Island
Massively overblown.
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Some radioactive gas was released a couple of days after the accident, but not enough to cause any dose above background levels to local residents.
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Chernobyl
Actually a problem, but was due to flawed design and flawed operations. We don't build them that way anymore, and there are no one online with those faults.
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Hanford
Hanford isn't a commercial reactor, it is where we experimented with radioactive substances before we really knew anything about them. Yeah, we made a pretty good mess there, and it is still a bunch of fun stuff to clean up, but it is not due to continuing operations of a plant, it is specifically because we didn't know what we were doing at the time. We do know much better now.
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Fukushima
Fukushima really only became a problem in the first place due to safety policies that were put in place where they shut down the reactors at the detection of any earthquake. If they had still been running, it would have been fine. If the backup generators hadn't been vulnerable to flooding, things would have been fine.

And finally, if it were not for the fourth strongest earthquake ever recorded along with a giant tsunami that killed at least 15,896 people, completely destroyed 150k homes and buildings, several damaged another quarter of a million, and partially damaged nearly a million more.

It did release more radiation that it was supposed to, and that may be a problem, but everyone focused on that, rather than all the other damage and death wrought y this tragic natural event.
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(and probably others I'm not aware of)
There are a number of nuclear incidents that happen from time to time that you are probably not aware of, as they also cause no health or environmental issues, just an expensive repair and/or costly cleanup. If you were aware of them, and how they also have no effect on your health or safety, would you list them as well as reasons why nuclear is a risk to your health and safety?
  #203  
Old 11-03-2018, 04:10 PM
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Originally Posted by k9bfriender View Post
Hanford isn't a commercial reactor, it is where we experimented with radioactive substances before we really knew anything about them. Yeah, we made a pretty good mess there, and it is still a bunch of fun stuff to clean up, but it is not due to continuing operations of a plant, it is specifically because we didn't know what we were doing at the time. We do know much better now.
Hanford is not the name of a reactor, it is a large site, which does have a single 1.1GWe commercial reactor currently in operation. The biggest concern with the site is the large amount of waste material stored in drainage proximity to the major waterway of the PNW, where leakage could potentially have serious consequences for well over a million downstream residents.
  #204  
Old 11-03-2018, 04:49 PM
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Originally Posted by eschereal View Post
Hanford is not the name of a reactor, it is a large site, which does have a single 1.1GWe commercial reactor currently in operation. The biggest concern with the site is the large amount of waste material stored in drainage proximity to the major waterway of the PNW, where leakage could potentially have serious consequences for well over a million downstream residents.
My point was that the complaints about all of that is that most of that waste came from before we knew how to properly handle and secure it.

We were talking about nuclear power, and "Hanford" was used as a counter. Like I said, Hanford isn't a reactor. Yes, it has one there, but that reactor, which is the sort of thing that we are discussing in this thread, is not the reason to be concerned about "Hanford". The reason that Hanford is a mess has absolutely nothing to do with future nuclear development.
  #205  
Old 11-03-2018, 06:26 PM
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The reason that Hanford is a mess has absolutely nothing to do with future nuclear development.
I disagree. Hanford is instructive in a number of ways.
  #206  
Old 11-03-2018, 06:30 PM
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I disagree. Hanford is instructive in a number of ways.
Well, instructive, yes.

Predictive, no.

Once again, in speaking of commercial nuclear power generation, the word "Hanford" was given as a concern.

Is that concern the operating commercial power plant, or is it the waste that was stored improperly decades ago when we didn't know what we were doing?

If the former, then fine, make the case that the Columbia Station Generating plant is releasing quantities of nuclear materials. If the latter, then it is an irrelevant to the problem of nuclear power generation.
  #207  
Old 11-03-2018, 07:12 PM
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My point was not to discount nuclear as an option. The point was that simply stating that nuclear power is not a problem because the companies are "required" to account for radiation and waste due to regulation, is simplistic and not really acknowledging the full scope of challenges and risks.

Let's just focus on Fukushima. You responded something along the lines of "well, if X or Y did or did not happen then we would have been ok.".

That is exactly what I'm talking about. It's challenging to create safe nuclear reactors because of the number of variables (human and nature) that need to be accounted for.
  #208  
Old 11-03-2018, 08:03 PM
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Originally Posted by RaftPeople View Post
My point was not to discount nuclear as an option. The point was that simply stating that nuclear power is not a problem because the companies are "required" to account for radiation and waste due to regulation, is simplistic and not really acknowledging the full scope of challenges and risks.
I did not say it is "not a problem because the companies are "required" to account for radiation and waste", I said that it is much more expensive than coal because the companies are "required" to account for radiation and waste.

The post was entirely about a comparison in cost structure and financial challenges based on the differing regulations. You would note that that of mine post that you responded to specifically called upon coal plants to be regulated to release less radioactivity into the atmosphere. Just because you didn't quote that part doesn't mean it wasn't there.

If the point you were trying to make is as you state in this post, that you are objecting to "simply stating that nuclear power is not a problem", then you have fundamentally misunderstood the words that I have posted, as I did no such thing.

Coal plants release more radiation into the environment during normal operations.
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In fact, the fly ash emitted by a power plant—a by-product from burning coal for electricity—carries into the surrounding environment 100 times more radiation than a nuclear power plant producing the same amount of energy.
Now, if we want to talk about non-normal operations, then coal plants also have the problem of having the wastes that they do capture from the stack held in pools that have dams that can break or be overtopped if they have a hurricane, spilling all that waste directly into the environment.

Waste pools overtop or break far, far more often than we have releases of radioactive materials from reactors.
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Let's just focus on Fukushima.
We can do that, but first, real quick, why did you bring up Three Mile? Was it because you thought that there was actually a dangerous level of radiation released? If so, did you learn something new today that you didn't know before that may change your perception of nuclear power? If not, then why did you bring it up as an example of radiation released to the environment?
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You responded something along the lines of "well, if X or Y did or did not happen then we would have been ok.".
No, I responded with a (brief) critical analysis of what went wrong, and what could have been done to prevent it. That it would have been easy to prevent this problem with just a bit of foresight means that we don't need to scrap nuclear, we just need to have a bit of foresight.

I also pointed out that the nuclear concerns were actually a very small issue compared to the 15k+ dead, and the million structures destroyed or damaged. This includes oil refineries that created quite a bit of environmental damage over much wider areas, but no one talks about that, because they only want to talk about nuclear.

Ask someone on the street how many people died in the tsunami that damaged Fukushima, then ask them how many of those deaths were related to he nuclear plant. I bet they get both quite wrong. That is the problem with nuclear, people think it is much scarier than it actually is.


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That is exactly what I'm talking about. It's challenging to create safe nuclear reactors because of the number of variables (human and nature) that need to be accounted for.
It's a challenge, to be sure, but one that I think that we can easily meet. There is also the fact that we have newer, more efficient, safer designs to try out. For one, spent nuclear fuel pools are designed to be passively cooled now, preventing what happened at Fukushima from happening again, even if they did end up losing power.

We should be building new reactors that are safer, and taking these older ones offline that are not only showing their age, but are also showing the limits of our technology and understanding when they were built.
  #209  
Old 11-03-2018, 10:49 PM
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Originally Posted by k9bfriender View Post
Is that concern the operating commercial power plant, or is it the waste that was stored improperly decades ago when we didn't know what we were doing?

If the former, then fine, make the case that the Columbia Station Generating plant is releasing quantities of nuclear materials. If the latter, then it is an irrelevant to the problem of nuclear power generation.
When we didn't know what we were doing? Good god, man, it has been over 70 fucking years since the Manhattan Project. We have had all that time to deal with what we were supposedly ignorant about (which is probably a great deal less than you give credit for). Nothing has changed, to speak of. No one has tried any interesting strategies, like, say, vitrification. The problem of the leakage has not been solved, barely even addressed. That is pretty inexcusable, except, you know, no one lives up in that remote corner of the country, so who cares. That sounds predictive to me. Unless you figure that somehow we are suddenly going to stop being irresponsible.

I mean, I can advocate for nuclear power if I think it will be done with due diligence. But, this is America, the nation with rounded edges because we keep cutting corners. Prove to me that we can do it properly and I am on board, when the historical evidence clearly shows that that is not how things go down.
  #210  
Old 11-03-2018, 11:10 PM
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Originally Posted by k9bfriender View Post
Massively overblown.


Actually a problem, but was due to flawed design and flawed operations. We don't build them that way anymore, and there are no one online with those faults.
This kind of reaction gives the anti-nuke types ammunition. Fixing the flaw does not mean that there are no more flaws in other designs.
TMI is a good example. One problem they had was that the operators missed important information from the control boards. The response did not just fix that particular problem, but redid the entire strategy for displaying information. That's a root cause fix, not a cosmetic fix.
  #211  
Old 11-04-2018, 12:20 AM
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I did not say it is "not a problem because the companies are "required" to account for radiation and waste", I said that it is much more expensive than coal because the companies are "required" to account for radiation and waste.

The post was entirely about a comparison in cost structure and financial challenges based on the differing regulations. You would note that that of mine post that you responded to specifically called upon coal plants to be regulated to release less radioactivity into the atmosphere. Just because you didn't quote that part doesn't mean it wasn't there.

If the point you were trying to make is as you state in this post, that you are objecting to "simply stating that nuclear power is not a problem", then you have fundamentally misunderstood the words that I have posted, as I did no such thing.
You are correct. I focused on one sentence of your post as I was reading through the thread but on rereading I can see I misjudged what you were trying to communicate (I have a tendency to do that).



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It's a challenge, to be sure, but one that I think that we can easily meet. There is also the fact that we have newer, more efficient, safer designs to try out. For one, spent nuclear fuel pools are designed to be passively cooled now, preventing what happened at Fukushima from happening again, even if they did end up losing power.

We should be building new reactors that are safer, and taking these older ones offline that are not only showing their age, but are also showing the limits of our technology and understanding when they were built.
Agreed there are newer designs and possibly we can arrive at one that has the appropriate level of safety. I would disagree with the term "easily".
  #212  
Old 11-04-2018, 12:38 PM
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When we didn't know what we were doing? Good god, man, it has been over 70 fucking years since the Manhattan Project. We have had all that time to deal with what we were supposedly ignorant about (which is probably a great deal less than you give credit for). Nothing has changed, to speak of. No one has tried any interesting strategies, like, say, vitrification. The problem of the leakage has not been solved, barely even addressed. That is pretty inexcusable, except, you know, no one lives up in that remote corner of the country, so who cares. That sounds predictive to me. Unless you figure that somehow we are suddenly going to stop being irresponsible.
Those messes were made when we really didn't know what we were doing, (we didn't know what type of products would be in fission waste, we didn't know what kind of radiation they would produce, what their half lives would be, we didn't know the chemistries of actinides that are produced, and we didn't really know exactly how harmful radiation was) and we made enough of a mess that we really don't know of a good way to clean it up. The whole area is contaminated, you can't get people in around it, and electronics get damaged by radiation. It's a giant mess that will require many, many billions to clean up, and will require inventing some technologies we don't really have on the table yet.

What we did learn was how to avoid making that sort of mess again. And yeah, the fact that it is up in an area that is low population does make it a lower priority than it should be, but now you are talking pure politics, and not anything at all about the actual engineering challenges.

If you are waiting for us to stop being irresponsible before progress can be made, we will never make any progress, ever. I will say though, that IMHO, we have become *more* responsible.

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I mean, I can advocate for nuclear power if I think it will be done with due diligence. But, this is America, the nation with rounded edges because we keep cutting corners. Prove to me that we can do it properly and I am on board, when the historical evidence clearly shows that that is not how things go down.
We have 100+ reactors, and the vast majority of them operate every day safely and properly, and they are all based on 70 year old technology, and many of them are actually nearly that old themselves.

I'd say that that track record alone should prove that we can do it properly, we have been doing it properly. We can also improve how we do it, in terms of efficiency of the fuel, the cost of construction, the cost of decommissioning, and of course, safety to the workers and the environment.

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Originally Posted by Voyager View Post
This kind of reaction gives the anti-nuke types ammunition. Fixing the flaw does not mean that there are no more flaws in other designs.

TMI is a good example. One problem they had was that the operators missed important information from the control boards. The response did not just fix that particular problem, but redid the entire strategy for displaying information. That's a root cause fix, not a cosmetic fix.

But that is exactly what I said. We don't make nuclear reactors like Chernobyl anymore. It really is a root cuase fix that we have completely differently designed cores than that, not a cosmetic.

Can we say that there are no flaws in the new design? Well, no, we cannot ever say that, as a flaw is something that we were not aware of when we made the design, or we wouldn't have designed it that way. Same as how you cannot guarantee that the new strategy for displaying information won't leave out some other critical piece of information that no one ever thought would be as important as it is.

But, that is why we do extensive testing before we make these things commercially available. We try to work out any flaws we can before they are baked into the design. One of the problem with the very slow rollout of nuclear power plants is that every one of them is essentially a prototype, using different procedures and technology in design, building and operation. A modular "prefab" design would decrease this complexity enormously.


Back to relate to the topic of the thread, nuclear simply needs to be an option and a part of a sustainable energy infrastructure. We really need to develop better plants and start putting them online as fast as we safely can.

I see that we have only a few options.

1. Cross our fingers and hope that MIT or Skunkworks figures out this fusion thing. I'll keep my fingers crossed, and maybe tomorrow they will announce a breakthrough that puts commercial fusion on the grid within a decade, and all our problems are solved. Yaay!

2. Keep doing what we are doing, and increase the amount of CO2 pumped into the atmosphere every year, and we'll see just how bad we can make the environment before it manages to wipe us out.

3. Cut back massively on our energy usage. Ration ourselves to a few kilowatt hours of combined energy usage a day. That is for our entire footprint, including both personal transportation and transport of goods that we consume. That is where we will be if we try to rely solely on renewables.

4. Cut back massively on our population. We can maintain our high energy lifestyles powered by fossil fuels if we have maybe 10% of the world population that we have now.

5. Develop and roll out more nuclear fission power to the grid. This can scale up to produce as much power as our power hungry civilization can demand.
  #213  
Old 11-04-2018, 12:45 PM
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You are correct. I focused on one sentence of your post as I was reading through the thread but on rereading I can see I misjudged what you were trying to communicate (I have a tendency to do that).
No problem.
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Agreed there are newer designs and possibly we can arrive at one that has the appropriate level of safety. I would disagree with the term "easily".
I did not mean easily as in "this will be easy", but easily in that we can meet the demands of these challenges by a significant, or an "easy" margin.
  #214  
Old 11-04-2018, 02:34 PM
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If you are waiting for us to stop being irresponsible before progress can be made, we will never make any progress, ever.
It depends on your definition of “progress”. As I see it, a lot of our progress involves maximizing the speed with which resources move from their source to the landfill. There are some significant negatives to that paradigm, and moving away from it would greatly reduce our overall energy demand. It seems as though such a move is likely to happen one way or the other; starting on it now would probably be better for our children than pushing us all to the edge of the cliff where there will no longer be a choice.

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We have 100+ reactors, and the vast majority of them operate every day safely and properly, and they are all based on 70 year old technology, and many of them are actually nearly that old themselves.
While you do have a valid point, you should work on your numbers. There are not a hundred operating reactors in the US, and none of them are anywhere close to 70 years old. Due to radiation damage, it is pretty rare for a reactor to last half a century.
  #215  
Old 11-04-2018, 03:15 PM
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It depends on your definition of “progress”. As I see it, a lot of our progress involves maximizing the speed with which resources move from their source to the landfill. There are some significant negatives to that paradigm, and moving away from it would greatly reduce our overall energy demand. It seems as though such a move is likely to happen one way or the other; starting on it now would probably be better for our children than pushing us all to the edge of the cliff where there will no longer be a choice.
Life exists to increase entropy. It's what we do. The trick is to do something useful in the process.

We may be able to reduce out individual energy demands, but there are many people in the world who are not even at a quarter of what we use now, and they would like to improve their standard of living. Even if we end up only using 10% total energy each, we will still need to develop more sources of energy to meet the growing population demand, and we obviously need to replace as much of our production that is based on fossil fuels as quickly as possible.
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While you do have a valid point, you should work on your numbers. There are not a hundred operating reactors in the US, and none of them are anywhere close to 70 years old. Due to radiation damage, it is pretty rare for a reactor to last half a century.
That's a bit sad, last I looked into it, we were at 104. I figured the number had changed, just not that it would have dropped that much.

I did say "nearly" which may be a bit of a stretch, but if I am talking about the number 70, then 50 is "nearly" there, certainly the best part of it.

Most reactors are older than 40 years.

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In the United States, many reactors were initially licensed to last 40 years, although they can apply for a 20-year extension — and, so far, 72 of the 100 existing reactors have received government permission to keep operating for 60 years.
  #216  
Old 11-04-2018, 04:17 PM
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Life exists to increase entropy.…
That is like saying fish exist to create water. Life does not have a purpose. It exists pro se (well, unless you want to ascribe to it some supernatural plan or something).
  #217  
Old 11-04-2018, 05:05 PM
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That is like saying fish exist to create water. Life does not have a purpose. It exists pro se (well, unless you want to ascribe to it some supernatural plan or something).
Not a supernatural plan, a perfectly natural plan. Fish do not create water, they exist in it. Life may exist in a world with entropy, but it also explicitly creates entropy, decreasing the order of its external environment in order to increase the order of its internal structures.

There were places on ancient Earth where you had entropy gradients that were not going anywhere on their own. Life was created in these niches, and the effect is to decrease the gradients. To say that it was an intent is to ascribe an intelligent actor to the proceedings, but to show that life is the natural consequence of the tendency for entropy gradients to be decreased is just looking at the history of life on earth, and probably the history of life other places when we get a chance to take a closer look.

It is not a purpose, it was not its intent, it just is the way that it is. Life exists only by decreasing entropy gradients.

It is a controversial view, but it is not an isolated one, that life originally arose to perform the specific task of turning carbon dioxide into methane.

Quote:
"The purpose of life," meeting co-organizer and Caltech cosmologist Sean Carroll said in his opening remarks, "is to hydrogenate carbon dioxide."
Anyway, the point is, is that we are naturally predisposed to increase the entropy and disorder in our environment for the purpose of improving ourselves. That is something that we need to curb and keep in check, as we have the ability to really increase the disorder of our environment to inhospitable levels, but it is not something that I think that we can really just stop or reverse. It is too ingrained in, not just out culture, or our species, or even in our DNA, but in the nature of life itself.
  #218  
Old 11-05-2018, 08:20 PM
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But that is exactly what I said. We don't make nuclear reactors like Chernobyl anymore. It really is a root cuase fix that we have completely differently designed cores than that, not a cosmetic.
Using another design is not a root cause fix. Understanding why the bad design got installed and probably tested and mismanaged is. Sure you are smarter than the Russians, but are you sure you're not cutting corners also?
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Can we say that there are no flaws in the new design? Well, no, we cannot ever say that, as a flaw is something that we were not aware of when we made the design, or we wouldn't have designed it that way. Same as how you cannot guarantee that the new strategy for displaying information won't leave out some other critical piece of information that no one ever thought would be as important as it is.
True, but analyzing what information is required by operators and how it will be displayed and seen rather than having a bunch of numbers to push out there will lower the risk quite a bit.
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But, that is why we do extensive testing before we make these things commercially available. We try to work out any flaws we can before they are baked into the design. One of the problem with the very slow rollout of nuclear power plants is that every one of them is essentially a prototype, using different procedures and technology in design, building and operation. A modular "prefab" design would decrease this complexity enormously.
How do you measure how good your testing is? I worked in the testing of digital chips for 35 years, and in that time being able to measure how many manufacturing defect we could detect with our tests increased quality levels tremendously. We can't measure how much we test designs nearly as well, so every microprocessor takes 3 or 4 tries to get right. And that is with running tests on their simulation models on thousands of CPUs.
I don't see how you can possibly do as well.
I'm still for nuclear power, and would be much happier if designs got more money and less pressure from profitability so corners did not have to be cut.
  #219  
Old 11-25-2018, 10:48 AM
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And, like clockwork, another report comes out detailing just how fucked we are.

https://www.vox.com/2018/11/24/18109...nal-assessment

The Trump administration rushed the release in order to bury it on Thanksgiving weekend. And of course, the white house lied about it being a "worst-case scenario". A few excerpts from the article:

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By the end of the century, warming on our current trajectory would cost the US economy upward of $500 billion a year in crop damage, lost labor, and extreme weather damages. This is almost double the economic blow of the Great Recession in the early 2000s.
Quote:
In the US, this heat is expected to more than offset any lives saved from warmer winters. “With continued warming, cold-related deaths are projected to decrease and heat-related deaths are projected to increase; in most regions, increases in heat-related deaths are expected to outpace reductions in cold-related deaths,” according to the report.
And, perhaps most importantly:

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We already have most of the tools we need to aggressively curb carbon dioxide emissions, thereby limiting the rise in global average temperatures. According to the report’s scientists, we must use them.

“Future impacts and risks from climate change are directly tied to decisions made in the present,” the assessment reads.

These tactics range from shifting to cleaner energy, to changing how we use land, to pulling carbon dioxide out of the air. The question is whether there is enough political will to deploy these methods at a meaningful scale.
So yeah. The latest major climate report continues to say the same shit the last few dozen have said - "HOLY SHIT GUYS, WE NEED TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT THIS NOW!"
  #220  
Old 12-14-2018, 06:27 PM
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Several decades ago, we were kind of moving in that direction. We had this “energy crisis” thing going on (as I recall, you could only buy motor fuel on odd or even days, depending on what the number at the end of your license plate was).
And not many years before that, people were just starting to take overpopulation seriously, but then the movement to address that got besmirched with the taints of racism and cultural superiority. Just imagine how much less of a threat climate change would be today, if a program to make contraception available to everyone everywhere had been successfully put through.
  #221  
Old 09-05-2019, 05:55 PM
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Elizabeth Warren has read the polls and interpreted the tea leaves; yesterday she came out decidedly against nuclear power. That makes two of the top three Democrat candidates against nuclear power. Three of the minor candidates (Castro, Gabbard, and Buttigieg) are also anti-nuke. Biden is still tepidly pro-nuke so there's still some hope but I don't want to hear any more bullshit about how the liberals are so much better on reducing CO2 than conservatives. Future generations are going to blame everybody: the conservatives for denying the problem and the liberals for denying the best solution.
  #222  
Old 09-05-2019, 07:01 PM
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Elizabeth Warren has read the polls and interpreted the tea leaves; yesterday she came out decidedly against nuclear power. That makes two of the top three Democrat candidates against nuclear power.
Meh. While I don't agree with fellow Democrats who refuse to consider shifting energy resources more towards nuclear power in response to climate change, I'm not convinced that Warren as President would actually be in that camp. I also think that, given the currently declining role of nuclear in US power generation and the slack being picked up by growth in renewables and demand reduction, candidates may be hoping that continuing trends will by early 2021 have solved a good chunk of this problem for them.
  #223  
Old 09-06-2019, 05:34 AM
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To be fair, when the best thing you can say about your party's position is "not everyone in the party is a climate denialist who is doing everything they can to increase our emissions, just the president, senate majority leader, and virtually everyone in any position of power", it makes sense to reach for bullshit whataboutisms. That is, if your goal is to minimize your own culpability, rather than actually do something. I mean, for fuck's sake, how hard is it to read this sentence:
Future generations are going to blame everybody: the conservatives for denying the problem and the liberals for denying the best solution.
...and realize that, even if we take you entirely at your word that nuclear power is undeniably and unrefutably the "best solution", these are not equivalent positions?

It's a distraction, a whataboutism to try to say, "Sure, republicans are bad on climate, but democrats are too!" Treating the question of "should we expand nuclear to solve climate change" as though it's anywhere near as crucial or as resolved as "should we do something about climate change". Which, for the record, it isn't:
Maybe yes, but maybe no, two university energy experts say. They point not only to high construction costs but also to long lead times before on-the-drawing-board “new nukes” could really go commercial. They point to the pros and cons of keeping aging nuclear power plants on the job: “If we shut them down and replace them with natural gas,” says climate change expert (and Yale Climate Connections contributor) Zeke Hausfather, “that’s a disaster from a climate perspective.”

A nuclear power representative at one point in the video recalls often being asked by eager would-be customers, “Can we have it ready in six months?” Her reply: Think a decade or more, more like at least 15 years.

Given that a new nuclear power plant getting underway today is unlikely to come online, on average, until around 2033, those seeing nukes as a silver bullet are engaging in “a complete boondoggle and a waste of money,” Stanford’s Mark Jacobson says.
A solution that won't go online until the 2030s is a bit rough given the timescales we're working with.

I will concede that opposition to nuclear power is not a good look. But let's not mince words - this is not a useful contribution to discussion about climate change. This is a right-wing wedge issue, used to try to minimize their own culpability. Don't fall for it.
  #224  
Old 09-07-2019, 04:32 AM
Deeg is offline
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Originally Posted by Kimstu View Post
Meh. While I don't agree with fellow Democrats who refuse to consider shifting energy resources more towards nuclear power in response to climate change, I'm not convinced that Warren as President would actually be in that camp. I also think that, given the currently declining role of nuclear in US power generation and the slack being picked up by growth in renewables and demand reduction, candidates may be hoping that continuing trends will by early 2021 have solved a good chunk of this problem for them.
Your response indicates that drastically reducing CO2 emissions is not important to you. Renewables will reduce carbon emissions but they won't come close to eliminating them. You also seem to think that Warren is a bit of a liar.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Budget Player Cadet View Post
To be fair, when the best thing you can say about your party's position is "not everyone in the party is a climate denialist who is doing everything they can to increase our emissions, just the president, senate majority leader, and virtually everyone in any position of power", it makes sense to reach for bullshit whataboutisms. That is, if your goal is to minimize your own culpability, rather than actually do something. I mean, for fuck's sake, how hard is it to read this sentence:
Future generations are going to blame everybody: the conservatives for denying the problem and the liberals for denying the best solution.
...and realize that, even if we take you entirely at your word that nuclear power is undeniably and unrefutably the "best solution", these are not equivalent positions?
You're right, that are not equivalent positions; in some ways the liberals are worse. They KNOW how dire GW/CC and they STILL dicker around (see Kimstu's response above). In the end, however, they lead to an equivalent result: not enough action on reducing CO2.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Budget Player Cadet View Post
It's a distraction, a whataboutism to try to say, "Sure, republicans are bad on climate, but democrats are too!" Treating the question of "should we expand nuclear to solve climate change" as though it's anywhere near as crucial or as resolved as "should we do something about climate change". Which, for the record, it isn't:
Maybe yes, but maybe no, two university energy experts say. They point not only to high construction costs but also to long lead times before on-the-drawing-board “new nukes” could really go commercial. They point to the pros and cons of keeping aging nuclear power plants on the job: “If we shut them down and replace them with natural gas,” says climate change expert (and Yale Climate Connections contributor) Zeke Hausfather, “that’s a disaster from a climate perspective.”

A nuclear power representative at one point in the video recalls often being asked by eager would-be customers, “Can we have it ready in six months?” Her reply: Think a decade or more, more like at least 15 years.

Given that a new nuclear power plant getting underway today is unlikely to come online, on average, until around 2033, those seeing nukes as a silver bullet are engaging in “a complete boondoggle and a waste of money,” Stanford’s Mark Jacobson says.
A solution that won't go online until the 2030s is a bit rough given the timescales we're working with.

I will concede that opposition to nuclear power is not a good look. But let's not mince words - this is not a useful contribution to discussion about climate change. This is a right-wing wedge issue, used to try to minimize their own culpability. Don't fall for it.
I entirely disagree. Let's got back 20 years ago, when GW first started to become a serious topic, and picture two scenarios:

1) Republicans get on board and agree to CO2 reductions but Democrats continue to oppose nuclear power.

2) Republicans deny the problem but Democrats fully support nuclear power.

In which of those two scenarios do we end up with lower CO2 emissions in 2019? I contend that it's #2 and the future looks even better with electric vehicles around the corner. We'd have multiple power plants on-line with more coming. The US would be a world leader in carbon-free energy production and we'd have a clear path to drastically reducing CO2 levels, maybe even eliminating them. Fracking never becomes a thing. Liberals are part of the problem. The best scenario, of course, would be a combination of #1 and #2.

I consider the OP dangerous and very hurtful to reducing CO2. It allows liberals to point and laugh at how dumb those knuckle-dragging conservatives are and blame them--which is exactly what you are doing--so they can avoid the hard decisions on their own side. Even now you'd rather blame inaction on Republicans instead of supporting nuclear power (it's so far away!).

Don't get me wrong; I'm not letting conservatives off the hook. Their denials are head-slapping stupid and they voted for a moron who claims GW is a Chinese hoax. However, there aren't many conservatives on the Dope for me to preach at.
  #225  
Old 09-07-2019, 04:45 AM
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So I just looked up some stats. According to this site:
Solar generation is projected to climb from 7 percent of total U.S. renewable generation in 2015 to about 36 percent by 2050, making it the fastest-growing electricity source.
I have no idea on how reliable the site is but it appears to be pro-renewable organization. They project, by 2050 (a long way away!) to have just 1/3 of US power coming from solar. World-wide:
Renewables made up 24 percent of global electricity generation in 2014. That’s expected to rise to 31 percent by 2040. Most of the increase will likely come from wind and hydropower.
31 percent is not going to solve the problem. We need nuclear power. Warren is an idiot.
  #226  
Old 09-07-2019, 05:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deeg View Post
So I just looked up some stats. According to this site:
Solar generation is projected to climb from 7 percent of total U.S. renewable generation in 2015 to about 36 percent by 2050, making it the fastest-growing electricity source.
I have no idea on how reliable the site is but it appears to be pro-renewable organization. They project, by 2050 (a long way away!) to have just 1/3 of US power coming from solar. World-wide:
Renewables made up 24 percent of global electricity generation in 2014. That’s expected to rise to 31 percent by 2040. Most of the increase will likely come from wind and hydropower.
31 percent is not going to solve the problem. We need nuclear power. Warren is an idiot.
Nuclear is about 11 percent, and in a previous discussion it is clear that since no progress has been made under the Republicans to put a tax on carbon emissions or a cap and trade system that puts a cost on using fossil fuels, private energy companies are closing nuclear powers as they find that things like natural gas are more economical.

IMHO, once the Real costs are added to the emissions the solutions will be deployed at a faster rate, and even nuclear will be a part of it, even if Warren does not approve, but I would not agree that nuclear will be absolutely needed since deployment is not as economical as one would want.
  #227  
Old 09-16-2019, 04:44 PM
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Pretty much. It's worth referencing the steps of denialism:
Expressed more fully here The Denialist Staircase:

Quote:
Global warming deniers form a sliding scale of denial which is outlined below — in general these beliefs are designed to prevent action being taken.

1. Not only deny global warming, but insist the opposite is occurring,[37] pushing the degree of denialism to the verge of the delusional.
2. Simply deny global warming is happening and maintain that no action is necessary[38] — so we don't have to change anything.
3. Global warming is happening, but it’s not caused by humanity — so we don’t have to change anything.
4. Global warming is happening, and it is in part caused by humanity, but mostly it's caused by solar activity — so we don't have to change anything.
5. Global warming is happening, and it is in part caused by humanity, but predicting future emission levels is equivalent to astrology — so we don't have to change anything, Ehrlich![39]
6. Global warming is caused by humanity, but it may be a good thing — so we don’t have to change anything.[40]
7. Global warming is happening, it is caused by humanity, it may be a bad thing, but [insert emotional appeal and/or false dichotomy about how doing anything about it would prevent the world's poor from improving their lives] — so we don't have to change anything.
8. Global warming is happening, it is caused by humanity, it may be a bad thing, but there are still more serious crises that deserve higher priority[41] — so we don't have to change anything.
9. Global warming is happening, it is caused by humanity, it is a bad thing, but it's just human sin, so outside of worthless praying, we don't have to change anything.[42]
10. Global warming is happening, it is caused by humanity, it is a bad thing, but China and India aren't doing anything — so we don’t have to change anything.[43]
11. Global warming is happening, it is caused by humanity, it is a bad thing, and maybe China and India are willing to do something, but I've heard about this new energy source/technology that's going to completely solve the problem in 10-20 years — so we don't have to change anything.
12. Global warming is happening, it is caused by humanity, it is a bad thing, but even if China and India do something it’s too late for us to do anything and it would cost us a shitload of dough — so we don’t have to change anything.
13. Global warming was happening, it was caused by humanity, it is a very bad thing and previous governments could and should have done something, but it's too late now![44]

When debating global warming, it is wise to establish beforehand which of the opinions each debater holds, referring to the list above — otherwise you can waste a lot of time proving the wrong point. It may be similar to arguing with someone about the New World Order (NWO) as you need to find out exactly where they stand before engaging with them.

Global warming deniers have raised a number of slightly more scientific arguments which are covered below.

Many of these claims are thrown into one big denialist soup. However, the problem is that many of them are also contradictory in nature.

For example, the common talking points about it being warmer during the Medieval Warm Period and low climate sensitivity (i.e. "climate is much more stable than that") contradict each other, because the existence of a Medieval Warm Period necessitates high climate sensitivity.

Another common inconsistency lies in asserting that "temperature records and proxies are notoriously inaccurate" (always to some undecidable degree beyond the statistical error scientists already factor in), while in the next breath, suddenly inventing presenting select 'reliable records' as evidence for whichever esoteric conclusion on global climate the individual denialist in question happens to be gunning for this time around.[45]

Last edited by kirkrapine; 09-16-2019 at 04:46 PM.
  #228  
Old 09-16-2019, 04:50 PM
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XKCD: Earth Temperature Timeline.
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