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Author: pauleckler Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 63295  
Subject: Poll: Nuclear Power Date: 12/19/2007 2:47 PM
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News reports of the new Energy Bill indicate there is now broad consensus that nuclear power is the right solution to global warming.

Apparently the groups who opposed nuclear power on environmental grounds have concluded that it is acceptable as a means to address global warming.

The electric power industry has concluded that nuclear is cheaper than clean coal with carbon sequestration and that wind and solar technologies are intermittant sources, not suitable as a reliable supply.

Do you agree that nuclear power is the right solution?
Yes. More nuke plants in my state is OK w me.
No. Nuke plants are still too risky.
Undecided. I need more information to decide.
In your pants
Other. Pleae explain

Click here to see results so far.

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Author: sykesix Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 10623 of 63295
Subject: Re: Poll: Nuclear Power Date: 12/19/2007 2:54 PM
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Here is an interesting concept from Toshiba, there are some problems not discussed in the article, but it looks intriguing:

Toshiba has developed a new class of micro size Nuclear Reactors that is designed to power individual apartment buildings or city blocks. The new reactor, which is only 20 feet by 6 feet, could change everything for small remote communities, small businesses or even a group of neighbors who are fed up with the power companies and want more control over their energy needs.

The 200 kilowatt Toshiba designed reactor is engineered to be fail-safe and totally automatic and will not overheat. Unlike traditional nuclear reactors the new micro reactor uses no control rods to initiate the reaction. The new revolutionary technology uses reservoirs of liquid lithium-6, an isotope that is effective at absorbing neutrons. The Lithium-6 reservoirs are connected to a vertical tube that fits into the reactor core. The whole whole process is self sustaining and can last for up to 40 years, producing electricity for only 5 cents per kilowatt hour, about half the cost of grid energy.

Toshiba expects to install the first reactor in Japan in 2008 and to begin marketing the new system in Europe and America in 2009.



http://www.nextenergynews.com/news1/next-energy-news-toshiba-micro-nuclear-12.17b.html

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Author: crassfool Big funky green star, 20000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 10624 of 63295
Subject: Re: Poll: Nuclear Power Date: 12/19/2007 2:56 PM
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sykesix says

The 200 kilowatt Toshiba designed reactor is engineered to be fail-safe and totally automatic and will not overheat. Unlike traditional nuclear reactors the new micro reactor uses no control rods to initiate the reaction. The new revolutionary technology uses reservoirs of liquid lithium-6, an isotope that is effective at absorbing neutrons. The Lithium-6 reservoirs are connected to a vertical tube that fits into the reactor core. The whole whole process is self sustaining and can last for up to 40 years, producing electricity for only 5 cents per kilowatt hour, about half the cost of grid energy.

As always, my question is what is the waste and where does it go?

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Author: TMFPMarti Big funky green star, 20000 posts Home Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 10625 of 63295
Subject: Re: Poll: Nuclear Power Date: 12/19/2007 2:57 PM
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Other. Definitely part of the solution, but not thesolution.

Phil

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Author: feedmeNOWhuman Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 10626 of 63295
Subject: Re: Poll: Nuclear Power Date: 12/19/2007 3:11 PM
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As always, my question is what is the waste and where does it go?



It goes to third world countries.

Duh.

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Author: markr33 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 10627 of 63295
Subject: Re: Poll: Nuclear Power Date: 12/19/2007 3:21 PM
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As always, my question is what is the waste and where does it go?

Is it really "as always". I really haven't heard many people ask what is and where the waste from burning coal goes, or where the waste from burning other hydrocarbons goes?

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Author: alan81 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 10628 of 63295
Subject: Re: Poll: Nuclear Power Date: 12/19/2007 3:26 PM
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As always, my question is what is the waste and where does it go?
Uh, the waste is a bunch of radioactive highly deadly material?
However, there are new reactor designs on the horizon that have no to very little waste. They are called pebble bed reactors, and I suspect over the next ten to twenty years this technology will become more mature. Reactor technology today is MUCH better than it was when we built up the current fleet of nuclear reactors currently in operation.

I don't think the right question is IF, but when. I think we can delay a while longer waiting for the next generation technology... then we need to deploy it in a big way.
--Alan

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Author: intercst Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Top Recommended Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 10629 of 63295
Subject: Re: Poll: Nuclear Power Date: 12/19/2007 3:44 PM
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I think nuclear power is a good idea, but I'd let the Navy run it. They have a better safety record than commercial power operators even though their reactors are in much harsher enviroments (e.g. at sea).

I am always worried about a corporate CEO skimping on maintenance and safety to increase profits and his annual bonus -- the damage might not be apparent until the CEO goes on to his well-upholstered retirement.

intercst

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Author: jgc123 Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 10630 of 63295
Subject: Re: Poll: Nuclear Power Date: 12/19/2007 3:48 PM
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I would like for us to have a clear understanding of what we are going to do with the fuel rods before we ramp up our nuclear plants:

http://library.thinkquest.org/17940/texts/nuclear_waste_storage/nuclear_waste_storage.html

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Author: joseph714 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 10631 of 63295
Subject: Re: Poll: Nuclear Power Date: 12/19/2007 5:21 PM
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I would go with the other nuclear energy source, the Sun.

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Author: markr33 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 10632 of 63295
Subject: Re: Poll: Nuclear Power Date: 12/19/2007 5:49 PM
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I would go with the other nuclear energy source, the Sun.

So would I! But only during the day, at night I want nuclear.

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Author: joseph714 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 10633 of 63295
Subject: Re: Poll: Nuclear Power Date: 12/19/2007 5:53 PM
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I would go with the other nuclear energy source, the Sun.
--------------
So would I! But only during the day, at night I want nuclear.
------------------

Funny, my battery bank that collects electrons during the day from my PV arrays seem to do just fine running all my energy needs.

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Author: markr33 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 10634 of 63295
Subject: Re: Poll: Nuclear Power Date: 12/19/2007 6:32 PM
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<<<I would go with the other nuclear energy source, the Sun.>>>

<<So would I! But only during the day, at night I want nuclear.>>

Funny, my battery bank that collects electrons during the day from my PV arrays seem to do just fine running all my energy needs.


But batteries need to be replaced, and disposed of, more often than newer-technology nuclear materials, and batteries contain some very nasty chemicals that can destroy our drinking water!!!

As always, the question is what is the waste and where does it go?

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Author: joseph714 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 10635 of 63295
Subject: Re: Poll: Nuclear Power Date: 12/19/2007 6:43 PM
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Batteries are tested & will be good to go for minimum 14 years.

I can live with that.

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Author: SeattlePioneer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 10636 of 63295
Subject: Re: Poll: Nuclear Power Date: 12/19/2007 8:16 PM
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<<Funny, my battery bank that collects electrons during the day from my PV arrays seem to do just fine running all my energy needs.

>>



Just a guess, but you'd probably have no such system if utility ratepayers and taxpayers weren't subsidizing it in a wide variety of ways.




Seattle Pioneer

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Author: crassfool Big funky green star, 20000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 10637 of 63295
Subject: Re: Poll: Nuclear Power Date: 12/19/2007 8:36 PM
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SeattlePioneer says

<<Funny, my battery bank that collects electrons during the day from my PV arrays seem to do just fine running all my energy needs. >>

Just a guess, but you'd probably have no such system if utility ratepayers and taxpayers weren't subsidizing it in a wide variety of ways.


You sure as hell won't ever have nuclear without it being very heavily subsidized. All electricity is subsidized.

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Author: sykesix Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 10638 of 63295
Subject: Re: Poll: Nuclear Power Date: 12/19/2007 9:50 PM
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But batteries need to be replaced, and disposed of, more often than newer-technology nuclear materials, and batteries contain some very nasty chemicals that can destroy our drinking water!!!

They can, but car batteries are one of the most, if not the most recycled consumer product in wide spread use today. There is no reason to assume batteries associated with PV systems wouldn't follow a similar model.

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Author: salaryguru Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Recommended Fools Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 10639 of 63295
Subject: Re: Poll: Nuclear Power Date: 12/19/2007 10:32 PM
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The problem with Nuclear isn't making plants safe, it's what do you do with the waste and how do you keep people for the next 10,000 years from stumbling across it?

Nuclear energy is very expensive if you make the plant pay for waste handling and protection of the human race for the length of time that it remains dangerous. It is cost effective only because governments subsidize the h#ll out of the waste disposal costs.

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Author: cliff666 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 10640 of 63295
Subject: Re: Poll: Nuclear Power Date: 12/19/2007 10:35 PM
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http://blog.nanosolar.com/

The age of cheap solar may be coming

cliff

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Author: alan81 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 10641 of 63295
Subject: Re: Poll: Nuclear Power Date: 12/19/2007 11:07 PM
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I think nuclear power is a good idea, but I'd let the Navy run it. They have a better safety record than commercial power operators
Both Chernobyl and TMI are enough to give anyone pause about nuclear plant safety. However, those designs are obsolete, and modern reactors are orders of magnitude safer. The current fleet of US reactors were generation II PWR reactors built in the '70's. The more modern generation III+ reactors use passive safety systems that make the plants orders of magnitude safer than what we are currently operating in the US.
The safety issue is not that relevant anymore... the real problem is nuclear waste disposal.
Here is an article on a more modern nuclear plant:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AP1000
and an even more reliable design:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economic_Simplified_Boiling_Water_Reactor
Personally, I would vote we bypass the current Generation III+ designs and wait for some of the designs that consume a higher percentage of the fuel, resulting in less waste.
--Alan

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Author: PolymerMom Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 10642 of 63295
Subject: Re: Poll: Nuclear Power Date: 12/19/2007 11:23 PM
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There has not been a nuclear power plant built since Three Mile Island (TMI) occurred in 1979. There are reasons for that. There are no insurance companies willing to underwrite a nuclear plant. The government, which used to provide insurance, terminated the program shortly after TMI.

The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) Nuclear Safety Study: http://www.ucsusa.org/clean_energy/nuclear_safety/overview5.html

This link takes you to a page that provides an index of the sections of the report on Nuclear Safety. To the right of the page are links to details, using case studies of problems/failures.

Here is a link to a report that discusses risks of nuclear power: http://www.ucsusa.org/clean_energy/nuclear_safety/nuclear-plant-risk-studies-failing-the-grade.html

It begins with:

An accident at a US nuclear power plant could kill more people than were killed by the atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki.1 The financial repercussions could also be catastrophic. The 1986 accident at the Chernobyl nuclear plant cost the former Soviet Union more than three times the economical benefits accrued from the operation of every other Soviet nuclear power plant operated between 1954 and 1990.

It goes on to note that official risk analyses have problems:

Nuclear plant risk assessments are really not risk assessments because potential accident consequences are not evaluated. They merely examine accident probabilities -- only half of the risk equation.

UCS advocates a mix of energy solutions.

From: http://www.ucsusa.org/global_warming/solutions/nuclear-power-and-climate.html

It must be borne in mind that a large-scale expansion of nuclear power in the United States or worldwide under existing conditions would be accompanied by an increased risk of catastrophic events—a risk not associated with any of the non-nuclear means for reducing global warming. These catastrophic events include a massive release of radiation due to a power plant meltdown or terrorist attack, or the death of tens of thousands due to the detonation of a nuclear weapon made with materials obtained from a civilian—most likely non-U.S.—nuclear power system. Expansion of nuclear power would also produce large amounts of radioactive waste that would pose a serious hazard as long as there remain no facilities for safe long-term disposal.

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Author: SeattlePioneer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 10643 of 63295
Subject: Re: Poll: Nuclear Power Date: 12/19/2007 11:30 PM
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<<The problem with Nuclear isn't making plants safe, it's what do you do with the waste and how do you keep people for the next 10,000 years from stumbling across it?
>>



Be serious. Nuclear waste is a political problem created and maintained as a problem by environmentalists who use it as their trump card to oppose nuclear power.


Bury it. If someone wants to dig it up in 5000 years, they are welcome to it.



Seattle Pioneer

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Author: sykesix Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 10644 of 63295
Subject: Re: Poll: Nuclear Power Date: 12/19/2007 11:37 PM
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There has not been a nuclear power plant built since Three Mile Island (TMI) occurred in 1979. There are reasons for that. There are no insurance companies willing to underwrite a nuclear plant. The government, which used to provide insurance, terminated the program shortly after TMI.

There is another reason too. Time and again, utilities that invested in nuclear power wound up on the brink of bankruptcy, and sometimes beyond the brink.

Right now, utility execs are looking at the giant costs of decomissioning soon to be obsolete nuclear plants that were built in the 60's and 70's, wishing they could go back in time and slap some sense into the guys responsible for building them. Bottom line is that nuclear power is not financially attractive. It might be in the future, but it isn't right now. And given the low payback on past financial risks taken on nuclear power, few utilities companies will be willing to jump in unless the water looks great.

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Author: alan81 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 10645 of 63295
Subject: Re: Poll: Nuclear Power Date: 12/19/2007 11:38 PM
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Be serious. Nuclear waste is a political problem created and maintained as a problem by environmentalists who use it as their trump card to oppose nuclear power.


Bury it. If someone wants to dig it up in 5000 years, they are welcome to it.

I am going to assume you were serious, and consider this the most naive statement I have heard all year.
--Alan

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Author: markr33 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 10646 of 63295
Subject: Re: Poll: Nuclear Power Date: 12/19/2007 11:46 PM
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Bottom line is that nuclear power is not financially attractive.

And yet somehow France (and Belgium, Sweden, and others) finds it very financially attractive. And before we discuss government subsidies, realize that relative to many other things in France, electric power is only lightly subsidized.

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Author: salaryguru Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Recommended Fools Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 10647 of 63295
Subject: Re: Poll: Nuclear Power Date: 12/19/2007 11:47 PM
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. . .Be serious. Nuclear waste is a political problem created and maintained as a problem by environmentalists who use it as their trump card to oppose nuclear power.

Be serious. Attempts to bury nuclear waste have never contained it without significant leakage for periods of even 50 years. Try thousands of year. You don't want to believe there's a problem so you blame the facts on people you don't like -- people who care about future generation of humanity.

Of course if you are ignorant, greedy, selfish and old enough, you can ignore the waste problem. Just bury the stuff far from my home and you'll live with cheap energy. Screw the future generations. That's the neo-con trump card.

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Author: alan81 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 10648 of 63295
Subject: Re: Poll: Nuclear Power Date: 12/19/2007 11:52 PM
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The articles you link bring up two very real problems.
The first is about the potential of a terrorist attack on a nuclear power plant. Assuming a terrorist can deliver a quantity of explosives to a nuclear power plant to cause a problem, they could do the same to our cities or to a dam, resulting in catastrophic damage in all cases. This is just a problem, and has little to do with nuclear power.

The second article is about the risk of operating our current fleet of fairly old '70's vintage reactors. That risk is real. This is the design used at TMI, and we know that was very close to being a problem... The modern reactor designs are nearly a thousand times safer.
In terms of this:
There has not been a nuclear power plant built since Three Mile Island (TMI) occurred in 1979. There are reasons for that.
That is just not true, even for just the US. Diablo Canyon in California went on-line in 1984.
In terms of what is happening now, here is a decent summary:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_Power_2010_Program
--Alan

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Author: SeattlePioneer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 10649 of 63295
Subject: Re: Poll: Nuclear Power Date: 12/19/2007 11:53 PM
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<<Bury it. If someone wants to dig it up in 5000 years, they are welcome to it.
I am going to assume you were serious, and consider this the most naive statement I have heard all year.
--Alan
>>



If you want to be concerned about a problem, worry about liquid nuclear waste left over from military reactors sitting in corroding tanks on the bank of the Columbia river at Hanford, Wa.


Environmentalists were hot about doing something there, and billions were spent with very little of substance actually happening. Now the enviros have turned to other issues and it's mostly being ignored.


By contrast, burying the solid waste products of nuclear power reactors is relatively easy to do. Also, burying the waste underground is far preferable than storing it at reactor sights all around the country, the option we are using now.


Environmentalists want to preserve neclear waste as an issue to oppose nuclear power plants, and are willing to do whatever it takes to prevent that problem from being solved in a reasonable way.

That's hardly naive ---it's a history of the issue going back a third of a century.



Seattle Pioneer

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Author: SeattlePioneer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 10650 of 63295
Subject: Re: Poll: Nuclear Power Date: 12/19/2007 11:56 PM
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<<Of course if you are ignorant, greedy, selfish and old enough, you can ignore the waste problem. Just bury the stuff far from my home and you'll live with cheap energy. Screw the future generations. That's the neo-con trump card.
>>



I take it your solution is to store it all around the country in storage pools at existing nuclear power plants? That is the defacto solution offered by environmentalists.


We can do a lot better than that by burying it.



Seattle Pioneer

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Author: sykesix Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 10651 of 63295
Subject: Re: Poll: Nuclear Power Date: 12/20/2007 12:17 AM
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And yet somehow France (and Belgium, Sweden, and others) finds it very financially attractive. And before we discuss government subsidies, realize that relative to many other things in France, electric power is only lightly subsidized.

France did nuclear power it in a completely different way than we do now, or did in the past. Each reactor in the US was essentially a custom job, built by individual utilities. And it doesn't make sense for a utility to build a really big plant, nuclear or otherwise because it takes a long time for demand to catch up to capacity and sometimes it never does. It is smarter to build a medium or small plant that matches short term predictions and build another plant later if you need too.

The French used standardized designs (IIRC, about three or four different designs) and then built many large-scale plants that were exact copies of each other. The advantage of economy of scale is obvious, but there were other advantages too. For example, lessons learned could be quickly distributed across the whole system, whereas in the US, lessons learned were not shared with competitors or were specific to a single reactor facility. The French also reprocess waste, which reduces costs on the disposal end.

Bottom is the nuclear power in France is really cheap, something like $0.03/Kw hr. That might not be right, but something close to that. It is about double that in the US. My numbers might be off a bit, but you can see that at those prices it is really financially attractive in France.

Of course, there is no reason why the French approach wouldn't work here. But I don't see that happening in today's political environment.

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Author: alan81 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 10652 of 63295
Subject: Re: Poll: Nuclear Power Date: 12/20/2007 12:25 AM
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By contrast, burying the solid waste products of nuclear power reactors is relatively easy to do. Also, burying the waste underground is far preferable than storing it at reactor sights all around the country, the option we are using now.
The reason the material is being stored locally is that a LOT of effort is going into the long term storage solution. Most likely that will be vitrification/ glassification of the waste, followed by storage in some deep geologic structure.
Be careful about throwing around those stereotypes as I consider myself an environmentalist that promotes nuclear power:-)
--Alan

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Author: salaryguru Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Recommended Fools Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 10653 of 63295
Subject: Re: Poll: Nuclear Power Date: 12/20/2007 12:34 AM
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I take it your solution is to store it all around the country in storage pools at existing nuclear power plants? That is the defacto solution offered by environmentalists.

Your delusions are only yours. Don't try to pin them on me. Ignorance of the facts coupled with arrogance of conviction can make you pro-nuclear power. But making things up won't convince anyone.

The half-life of nuclear waste is longer than any society in the history of the world has ever existed -- never mind any container built by any society in history. When we look for ways to dispose of it safely, people who care about the future should be asking pretty tough questions about safety. Burial of waste in salt mines hasn't worked without leakage already. Burial at sea hasn't worked without leakage already. Maybe we should bury it in the basements of all the knucklehead knee-jerk neo-cons who think they can ignore the dangers.

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Author: cliff666 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 10654 of 63295
Subject: Re: Poll: Nuclear Power Date: 12/20/2007 12:41 AM
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The reason the material is being stored locally is that a LOT of effort is going into the long term storage solution. Most likely that will be vitrification/ glassification of the waste, followed by storage in some deep geologic structure.
Be careful about throwing around those stereotypes as I consider myself an environmentalist that promotes nuclear power:-)
--Alan

any discussion of nuclear waste should include a mention of the French nuclear porgrams.

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

Fuel cycle
France is one of the only countries in the world with an active nuclear reprocessing program, with the COGEMA La Hague site. Enrichment work, some MOX fuel fabrication, and other activities take place at the Tricastin Nuclear Power Center. Enrichment is completely domestic and is powered by 2/3rds of the output of the nuclear plant at Tricastin. Reprocessing of fuel from other countries has been done for the United States and Japan, who have expressed the desire to develop a more closed fuel cycle similar to what France has. MOX fuel fabrication services have also been sold to other countries, notably to the USA for the Megatons to Megawatts Program, using Plutonium from dismantled nuclear weapons.

While France does not mine Uranium for the front end of the fuel cycle domestically, French companies have various holdings in the Uranium market. Uranium for the French program totals 10,500 tonns per year coming from various locations such as:

Canada - 4500 tU/yr
Niger - 3200 tU/yr
Final disposal of the high level nuclear waste is planned to be done at the Meuse/Haute Marne Underground Research Laboratory deep geological repository.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meuse/Haute_Marne_Underground_Research_Laboratory

cliff

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Author: sykesix Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 10655 of 63295
Subject: Re: Poll: Nuclear Power Date: 12/20/2007 1:19 AM
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If you want to be concerned about a problem, worry about liquid nuclear waste left over from military reactors sitting in corroding tanks on the bank of the Columbia river at Hanford, Wa.


Environmentalists were hot about doing something there, and billions were spent with very little of substance actually happening. Now the enviros have turned to other issues and it's mostly being ignored.


Ignored in the sense that taxpayers only spend a few million dollars a day on the clean up.

The wierd part is that even though the costs of improper disposal are huge, some people don't seem concerned about viable, secure, long term disposal facilities.

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Author: alan81 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 10656 of 63295
Subject: Re: Poll: Nuclear Power Date: 12/20/2007 1:46 AM
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The wierd part is that even though the costs of improper disposal are huge, some people don't seem concerned about viable, secure, long term disposal facilities.
Yucca mountain is it for now.
Currently expected operational 2017.
I think the original plan was something like $1B/year in expenses to build it, and we are currently only allocating around $350M/year.
If Reid succeeds in killing it, I guess reduced spending is a good thing.
-Alan

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Subject: Re: Poll: Nuclear Power Date: 12/20/2007 4:58 AM
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salaryguru writes,

The half-life of nuclear waste is longer than any society in the history of the world has ever existed -- never mind any container built by any society in history. When we look for ways to dispose of it safely, people who care about the future should be asking pretty tough questions about safety. Burial of waste in salt mines hasn't worked without leakage already. Burial at sea hasn't worked without leakage already. Maybe we should bury it in the basements of all the knucklehead knee-jerk neo-cons who think they can ignore the dangers.

</snip>


You may be on to something there.

If we buried it at the Bush Family compound in Kennebunkport, and forced the Bush progeny to live there in perpetuity, they'd be at least some chance it would be done correctly.

intercts

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Author: Goofyhoofy Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Top Recommended Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 10658 of 63295
Subject: Re: Poll: Nuclear Power Date: 12/20/2007 8:49 AM
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The 200 kilowatt Toshiba designed reactor is engineered to be fail-safe and totally automatic and will not overheat.

It's nice to know the engineers have designed something that is perfect, and that nothing can ever go wro

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Author: COJones100 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 10659 of 63295
Subject: Re: Poll: Nuclear Power Date: 12/20/2007 9:42 AM
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I wish I understood this whole process more, and better. As I understand it, there are rocks in the earth that give off waves of energy. When they're placed next to other rocks they get quite angry and send off a lot more energy. This can be easily turned into heat, which can be turned into steam, which can be turned into electricity.

When I was a kid, they told us that a then-new submarine or aircraft carrier or something would only need to be refueled three or four times in its entire service lifetime—and they were forecasting that they might last for 100 years, with retrofits as new technologies became available.

So we dig up rocks, put 'em next to other rocks, use the heat to steam the water and use the steam to drive the power turbines. Electricity! Ta-Daaaa! After some number of years, the rocks don't have as much in 'em as before, so we swap 'em out for other rocks… and the problem then becomes what to do with the old, dead rocks? Is that about it?

How much is it that needs to be in there for a rock to be able to be used to generate power? Can we expect technology to increase the life of the rocks, using more? Or maybe there might be a market for low-powered rocks? I guess the thing I don't understand the most would be, if the rocks came from the earth, then what's wrong with returning them to the earth, if they have less energy stored within them when we're done?

Maybe I should have been paying attention all along, but I probably made up my mind and turned a deaf ear to new innovations about the time of the James Taylor/Jackson Browne concerts in the early 1970s, though I did enjoy the Fonda/Douglas movie. Can someone point me to some good sources on this stuff? I have the feeling it's about to be important, again.

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Author: Gingko100 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 10662 of 63295
Subject: Re: Poll: Nuclear Power Date: 12/20/2007 2:00 PM
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Is it really "as always". I really haven't heard many people ask what is and where the waste from burning coal goes, or where the waste from burning other hydrocarbons goes?
Really? I hear people talk about this all the time. One of my best friends is a power plant emissions engineer, and she spends vast amounts of time figuring out how to reduce coal and hydrocarbon emissions from conventional power plants.

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Author: markr33 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 10666 of 63295
Subject: Re: Poll: Nuclear Power Date: 12/20/2007 3:05 PM
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<<Is it really "as always". I really haven't heard many people ask what is and where the waste from burning coal goes, or where the waste from burning other hydrocarbons goes?>>

Really? I hear people talk about this all the time. One of my best friends is a power plant emissions engineer, and she spends vast amounts of time figuring out how to reduce coal and hydrocarbon emissions from conventional power plants.


Right after I posted this, I realized that I didn't adequately explain my thoughts. Basically, there are many people that are using the "waste" issue as their reason to bar all construction of nuclear power plants, while at the same time they aren't using the "waste" issue to bar construction of gas/oil/coal power plants. Both have waste issues, and arguably, gas/oil/coal have worse average waste issues because huge amounts of that stuff (the oil/gas/coal) needs to be carted around to be brought to where they need to be with the attendant dangers of oil spills, etc.

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Author: tenworlds Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 10668 of 63295
Subject: Re: Poll: Nuclear Power Date: 12/20/2007 3:27 PM
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The half-life of nuclear waste is longer than any society in the history of the world has ever existed -- never mind any container built by any society in history. When we look for ways to dispose of it safely, people who care about the future should be asking pretty tough questions about safety. Burial of waste in salt mines hasn't worked without leakage already. Burial at sea hasn't worked without leakage already. Maybe we should bury it in the basements of all the knucklehead knee-jerk neo-cons who think they can ignore the dangers.

You may be on to something there.
If we buried it at the Bush Family compound in Kennebunkport, and forced the Bush progeny to live there in perpetuity, they'd be at least some chance it would be done correctly.
intercts

-----

NO-O-O-O-o-o-o-o....

ple-e-e-eze, they're already a family of mutants.

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Author: Goofyhoofy Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Top Recommended Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 10669 of 63295
Subject: Re: Poll: Nuclear Power Date: 12/20/2007 3:33 PM
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Basically, there are many people that are using the "waste" issue as their reason to bar all construction of nuclear power plants, while at the same time they aren't using the "waste" issue to bar construction of gas/oil/coal power plants. Both have waste issues, and arguably, gas/oil/coal have worse average waste issues because huge amounts of that stuff (the oil/gas/coal) needs to be carted around to be brought to where they need to be with the attendant dangers of oil spills, etc.

"Waste" is a very big issue with oil, gas, and coal. Perhaps you've heard about this "global warming" thing people are talking about? That's "waste."

Of course nuclear waste is a different issue.

But neither of those is at the top of my list. Mine includes "Chernobyl" and stuff like that. I know a lot of people say "Oh that could never happen here", so I say "Thresher" and see what reaction that brings. And then there's "Three Mile Island", of course, a situation I'm fairly familiar with. I also worked with Westinghouse Nuclear boys in the Total Improvement program, and now I live amid a thousand guys who make/made their living from it in Oak Ridge, TN.

I'm happy to have nuclear power, so long as it is not located near anything important. The chances of something bad are very small, but the payoff is supremely, unbelievably, catastrophically huge. It's like playing the lottery, you probably won't win, but if you do, wowser.

So I'd like to see nukes in Arizona, Montana, North Dakota, Maine, and other places where nobody important lives, and where there's no particularly significant industry to be disrupted if anything bad happens. Add Texas to the list, at least for me.

Then put up power lines and transport the nice little electrons to the people so they can watch "American Idol" or whatever. That's my plan. And no, I'm not kidding.
 


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Author: alan81 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 10671 of 63295
Subject: Re: Poll: Nuclear Power Date: 12/20/2007 4:02 PM
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I don't think it a bad idea to wait for now. Many more modern plants are being built around the world. After ten years or so of operation we will have a much better idea of cost and risk for these plants... and oil/gas/coal will continue to supply us for a while.
The risk we run is what happened to California with electricity a few years back. Environmental controls kept enough plants from being built that the state ended up with rolling black outs. It became an emergency, and as a result over a hundred power plants were built bypassing much of the regulatory checks. Finding ourselves in a similar situation with only nuclear power as the option would be catastrophic. We need to plan carefully for the transition from our current fossil fuel base to the next thing... and it IS going to happen in the next fifty years.
I also think it irresponsible to generate more nuclear waste when we don't have the facilities available yet to store it.

It seems to me the technology and government programs are aligning fairly well with our needs. In another ten or twenty years the waste disposal system will be in place. We will have even more modern generation IV designs, along with significant statistical data on generation III, and III+ designs. We will have a much better idea of what will replace the internal combustion engine as gasoline becomes scarce. I guess we could just wait for the "free market" to take care of this... certainly no disruption likely there:-) Go Ron Paul!
Hey, I had to bring politics into this somehow.
--Alan

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Author: markr33 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 10672 of 63295
Subject: Re: Poll: Nuclear Power Date: 12/20/2007 4:24 PM
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<<Basically, there are many people that are using the "waste" issue as their reason to bar all construction of nuclear power plants, while at the same time they aren't using the "waste" issue to bar construction of gas/oil/coal power plants. Both have waste issues, and arguably, gas/oil/coal have worse average waste issues because huge amounts of that stuff (the oil/gas/coal) needs to be carted around to be brought to where they need to be with the attendant dangers of oil spills, etc.>>

"Waste" is a very big issue with oil, gas, and coal. Perhaps you've heard about this "global warming" thing people are talking about? That's "waste."


Yep, but fossil fuel energy plants continue to be built regardless of this waste argument, meanwhile, almost no nuclear energy plants are being built.

Of course nuclear waste is a different issue.

Why, because it is scarier? That just means that it needs to be handled and disposed of more carefully! Certainly more carefully than simply letting it flow up the smokestack, get cleaned a bit, and then be released into the air we breathe!

But neither of those is at the top of my list. Mine includes "Chernobyl" and stuff like that. I know a lot of people say "Oh that could never happen here", so I say "Thresher" and see what reaction that brings. And then there's "Three Mile Island", of course, a situation I'm fairly familiar with. I also worked with Westinghouse Nuclear boys in the Total Improvement program, and now I live amid a thousand guys who make/made their living from it in Oak Ridge, TN.

Now you are talking about "danger", not "waste". That is a different issue and could have different analogies applied. An example of what might perhaps be a good analogy would be the use of automobiles. The use of automobiles for transportation has quite a lot of utility, so does the use of nuclear energy have quite a lot of utility. But the use of automobiles has an associated danger - that of loss of life in accidents and misuse of them. This danger can be measured many ways, primarily in loss of life (a few tens of thousands per year), but also in cost (a few tens or maybe even more billions per year). But we (as a society) have decided that those costs are "worth" the utility. Likewise, we ought to be making the same decisions with regards to the cost versus utility of the use of nuclear power.

I'm happy to have nuclear power, so long as it is not located near anything important. The chances of something bad are very small, but the payoff is supremely, unbelievably, catastrophically huge. It's like playing the lottery, you probably won't win, but if you do, wowser.

So I'd like to see nukes in Arizona, Montana, North Dakota, Maine, and other places where nobody important lives, and where there's no particularly significant industry to be disrupted if anything bad happens. Add Texas to the list, at least for me.

Then put up power lines and transport the nice little electrons to the people so they can watch "American Idol" or whatever. That's my plan. And no, I'm not kidding.


I think that would work reasonably well (other than the potential waste incurred on long transmission lines). Interestingly enough if you look at a map of all nuclear power plants in the USA*, it appears that the more desolate states tend to have no nuclear energy plants at all (TX and AZ have some).

Sometimes I think the best way to determine where to put nuclear plants would be to allow people to "bid" on them, the closer you are, the less you pay for electricity, and the further you are, the more you pay. I want one in my backyard and I want to pay 0.0001/kwh :-) Other folks may want to be 300 miles away and will have to pay 0.25/kwh or something like that.

* http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_power_in_the_United_States

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Author: alan81 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 10673 of 63295
Subject: Re: Poll: Nuclear Power Date: 12/20/2007 4:43 PM
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* http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_power_in_the_United_States
You can see why the folks in NV are a little PO'ed about us wanting to put all the nuclear waste there:-)
I think proximity to the waste should count as much or more than proximity to the plants themselves.
--Alan

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Author: sykesix Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 10675 of 63295
Subject: Re: Poll: Nuclear Power Date: 12/20/2007 5:23 PM
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The risk we run is what happened to California with electricity a few years back. Environmental controls kept enough plants from being built that the state ended up with rolling black outs. It became an emergency, and as a result over a hundred power plants were built bypassing much of the regulatory checks.

What happened to California a few years back was that the market was partially deregularted. Traders found they could make a whole lot more money when the supply was low, and therefore prices were high, so they made sure that supply stayed low by buying California power and sending it out of state, and creating artificial bottle necks in line capacity, among other complex trading schemes. Fairly decent summary on wikipedia:

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

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Author: salaryguru Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Recommended Fools Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 10676 of 63295
Subject: Re: Poll: Nuclear Power Date: 12/20/2007 5:28 PM
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. . . So I'd like to see nukes in Arizona, Montana, North Dakota, Maine, and other places where nobody important lives, and where there's no particularly significant industry to be disrupted if anything bad happens.

Thanks a lot Goofyhoofy. Arizona happens to have the 5th largest city in the U.S. right in the middle of it. That's probably bigger than anything around you, so I vote to put the Nuclear reactor and waste disposal dump in your back yard so that all of us important people living here can go on stealing Colorado's water and running our air-conditioners while the rest of America subsidizes our bills. Although I would be willing to work on a plan with you to put it all in Texas. Nothing good ever comes out of there.

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Subject: Re: Poll: Nuclear Power Date: 12/20/2007 5:35 PM
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salaryguru writes,

<<. . So I'd like to see nukes in Arizona, Montana, North Dakota, Maine, and other places where nobody important lives, and where there's no particularly significant industry to be disrupted if anything bad happens.>>

Thanks a lot Goofyhoofy. Arizona happens to have the 5th largest city in the U.S. right in the middle of it. That's probably bigger than anything around you, so I vote to put the Nuclear reactor and waste disposal dump in your back yard so that all of us important people living here can go on stealing Colorado's water and running our air-conditioners while the rest of America subsidizes our bills. Although I would be willing to work on a plan with you to put it all in Texas. Nothing good ever comes out of there.

</snip>


Why not use market forces to site the nuclear waste dump?

If we let the state that accepted the dump charge $1 million per ton per year for the waste, they might not need to tax their residents. Heck, they might even be able to pay each resident an annual dividend like Alaska does with the oil revenue.

intercst

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Author: alan81 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 10679 of 63295
Subject: Re: Poll: Nuclear Power Date: 12/20/2007 6:11 PM
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If we let the state that accepted the dump charge $1 million per ton per year for the waste
If the dump is not Yucca mountain, it is going to be at least 20 years before it becomes operational. 10 years if it is yucca mountain.
NV currently has no income tax, so I guess you would have to go with the rebate program:-)
--Alan

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Author: markr33 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 10681 of 63295
Subject: Re: Poll: Nuclear Power Date: 12/20/2007 7:08 PM
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<<* http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_power_in_the_United_States>>

You can see why the folks in NV are a little PO'ed about us wanting to put all the nuclear waste there:-)
I think proximity to the waste should count as much or more than proximity to the plants themselves.


Too bad. We are a country of 50 states and they need to cooperate. Just like the coastal states have the nuclear submarines docked, and just like some of the states have ICBM silos, NV has been determined to be the best choice (for now) for nuclear waste.

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Author: TMFPMarti Big funky green star, 20000 posts Home Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 10682 of 63295
Subject: Re: Poll: Nuclear Power Date: 12/20/2007 7:50 PM
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just like some of the states have ICBM silos

We had lots of missile silos in Kansas. AFAIK they've now all been decommissioned. At least one has been turned into a residence, and at least one was busted as a meth lab.

Good old Yankee ingenuity at work.

Phil

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Author: qazulight Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 10690 of 63295
Subject: Re: Poll: Nuclear Power Date: 12/21/2007 12:36 PM
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Add Texas to the list, at least for me.

Yep, Texas. We can then mess with the Califonian more, like Enron did a few summers ago. Of couse we could also use the plants to de-salinate and pump water up and over the Rockies and solve the Californian water supply also.

Yea, that's it thats the ticket, we love dependents.

Cheers (With and evil chuckle)
Qazulight

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Author: qazulight Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 10691 of 63295
Subject: Re: Poll: Nuclear Power Date: 12/21/2007 12:40 PM
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If we let the state that accepted the dump charge $1 million per ton per year for the waste, they might not need to tax their residents. Heck, they might even be able to pay each resident an annual dividend like Alaska does with the oil revenue.

Yea, Texas could bid on it, then use it to build the Great Wall of Texas between Texas and Mexico. That way all the illeagles would already be sterilized when they got here.


Cheers (with even more evil chuckles.)
Qazulight

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Author: Abfacken Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 10692 of 63295
Subject: Re: Poll: Nuclear Power Date: 12/21/2007 2:26 PM
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> As always, my question is what is the waste and where does it go?

we could reprocess the waste and put it back in use if it weren't banned.

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Author: Abfacken Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 10693 of 63295
Subject: Re: Poll: Nuclear Power Date: 12/21/2007 2:28 PM
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> The problem with Nuclear isn't making plants safe, it's what do you do with the waste and how do you keep people for the next 10,000 years from stumbling across it?

500 years. Reprocessing reduces the hazardous lifetime of the waste.

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Subject: Re: Poll: Nuclear Power Date: 12/21/2007 2:41 PM
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Abfacken says

we could reprocess the waste and put it back in use if it weren't banned.

You are misinformed. At best, we could reprocess a tiny fraction of the waste. A Google search for "nuclear waste reprocessing" will get you a flock of articles about why this is a very bad idea.

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Author: stevpete Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 10696 of 63295
Subject: Re: Poll: Nuclear Power Date: 12/21/2007 3:37 PM
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There has not been a nuclear power plant built since Three Mile Island (TMI) occurred in 1979. There are reasons for that.


But, other than the political furor of the frightened, TMI is not, validly one of thoses reasons. In spite of a failure on the part of the operators to believe their instrumentation and react as the automatic systems were attempting to do, the loss of containment was very minimal. Do you know how many people were killed, injured, maimed, sickened as a result of TMI?

Zero. None. The worst peacetime civilian nuclear "disaster" in American history was an expensive event that caused zero threat to American citizens. The panic from that event ruined the American nuclear industry. It was uncalled for and foolish. It has resulted in many thousands more lives lost or sickened in the coal and coal-burning industry. This (though not clearly perceived as such) is a HUGE black eye against the environmental activists and ploticians that made it happen.

Another poster listed Chernobyl as a reason to fear nuclear power. Actually Chernobyl is a reason to fear a design featuring a flammable core with positive reactivity, coupled with a Soviet beauracracy more concerned with saving face than saving the health and welfare of the population "served". The reasons "it could not happen here" are (1) The reactor design could not be approved by the US Nuclear Regulatory Agency, and (2) We have a different sort of government. But the second would be something to be on gaurd against.

The same poster mentioned the Thresher. I am surprised you would pull this up GoofyHoofy. Either you are seriously misinformed, a situation I have never seen you guilty of on these boards, or you are playing the uninformed crowd. I choose to believe the former. The Thresher disaster was a submarine procedures failure. It led directly to a very robust QA/QC system within the submarine force, known as SUBSAFE. Poor seawater cooling system welds led to flooding at test depth. The ship took on an unrecoverable up angle, and due to another submarine system failure, related to the high pressure aire used in an emergency ascent, the crew was unable to regain depth control. Wiki has a pretty good rundown. There was no nuclear power or nuclear waste issue here. There was possibly the lack of a wartime/military emergency procedure for rapid restart of the reactor. When I was an officer in the submarine force in the late 70's and early 80's we practiced rapid reactor restarts as a matter of drill. but the Thresher was taking on so much water that even this would not have, in all probability answered.

Another objection is the spectre of terrorist attack on a nuclear power plant. These things are build stouter than the proverbial brick s__t house. The terrorists could cause far more terror attacking Grand Coolee (sic?) dam or any number of lightly protected conventional power plants. They would not be able to breach a nuclear containment building, and even if they could, the nuclear bomb it would take to do it would cause far more damage to the surrounding community than the unbroached reactor containment vessel within. Even if a well armed terrorist could break open the containment building, then break open the secondary containment, then break open the reactor vessel, then break open the reactor core, they still would not be able to cause the sort of release postulated by alarmists like the Union of Concerned (silly Folk) Scientists, who stipulate things like all of the nuclear material being liquidated and spread evenly over some horrendouly large area. In short, the 'China syndrome' is not a realistic scenario, people. It was a silly, silly movie. You ought to take stock of your thoughts, and realize that the ones founded on fear you learned in this movie are baseless.
~~~~~~~~~~

The objections to nuclear power, folks, have good society-friendly solutions. The obstacles are fear of the unknown and political momentum. Now that the not-insignificant effects of producing baseload power with coal are being (over)hyped, there is a chance that nuclear will see the light of day on our power grid. Embrace it. This is a good thing. Your air has been wrecked, and to some extent your future weather, as well, by blindly assuming that the dangers of coal were less. They never were.

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Author: cliff666 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 10699 of 63295
Subject: Re: Poll: Nuclear Power Date: 12/21/2007 4:20 PM
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stevepete: But, other than the political furor of the frightened, TMI is not, validly one of thoses reasons. In spite of a failure on the part of the operators to believe their instrumentation and react as the automatic systems were attempting to do, the loss of containment was very minimal. Do you know how many people were killed, injured, maimed, sickened as a result of TMI?

Zero. None. The worst peacetime civilian nuclear "disaster" in American history was an expensive event that caused zero threat to American citizens. The panic from that event ruined the American nuclear industry. It was uncalled for and foolish. It has resulted in many thousands more lives lost or sickened in the coal and coal-burning industry. This (though not clearly perceived as such) is a HUGE black eye against the environmental activists and ploticians that made it happen.

True on all points. To my mind there are more serious examples of operator stupidity than TMI. The Indian Point station comes to mind. They kept the station operating for more than 24 hours with a broken main feedwater line. Why? Don't want to shut down a base load unit needlessly, now do we? That was stupod, incompetent, and scary.

The Nuclear Steam System designers are highly competent. The designs have multiple redundancies to mitigate risk. The Engineering contractors that build the plants are at least competent, and they are closely monitored by the NSS suppliers and the NRC. The operators scare the daylights out of me.

cliff

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Author: Abfacken Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 10700 of 63295
Subject: Re: Poll: Nuclear Power Date: 12/21/2007 4:43 PM
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> At best, we could reprocess a tiny fraction of the waste

We can process about 95% of the total fuel - we get more energy out of the uranium, and the resultant waste is hazardous for a shorter time.

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Author: COJones100 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 10701 of 63295
Subject: Re: Poll: Nuclear Power Date: 12/21/2007 5:17 PM
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That's what I was asking about, earlier.

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Author: Abfacken Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 10702 of 63295
Subject: Re: Poll: Nuclear Power Date: 12/21/2007 5:47 PM
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> the death of tens of thousands due to the detonation of a nuclear weapon made with materials obtained from a civilian—most likely non-U.S.—nuclear power system

Yeah right. Terrorists can't make a nuke even if they get ahold of some uranium. That's the sort of thing a national government does.

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Author: PolymerMom Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 10709 of 63295
Subject: Re: Poll: Nuclear Power Date: 12/21/2007 8:47 PM
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Yeah right. Terrorists can't make a nuke even if they get ahold of some uranium. That's the sort of thing a national government does.

They don't have to make a nuclear bomb. All they need is a bomb to disperse the radioactive material.

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Author: LLevenger56 Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 10712 of 63295
Subject: Re: Poll: Nuclear Power Date: 12/21/2007 9:13 PM
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How much is it that needs to be in there for a rock to be able to be used to generate power? Can we expect technology to increase the life of the rocks, using more? Or maybe there might be a market for low-powered rocks? I guess the thing I don't understand the most would be, if the rocks came from the earth, then what's wrong with returning them to the earth, if they have less energy stored within them when we're done?

Uranium ore mined in the US is less than 1% uranium oxide, and less than 1% of that is U-235. After it's been enriched and used as fuel, U-235 decays to plutonium, which cannot be dumped back into the mines it came from. Not only is plutonium toxic and still radioactive, but also it can be recycled into weapons or fuel for another reactor. The following article explains how the "rocks" are turned into nuclear fuel and how spent fuel can be reprocessed into fuel to be used again.

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

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Author: SeattlePioneer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 10716 of 63295
Subject: Re: Poll: Nuclear Power Date: 12/21/2007 10:52 PM
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<< Your air has been wrecked, and to some extent your future weather, as well, by blindly assuming that the dangers of coal were less. They never were.
>>



Excellent post there, stevepete.


To put a point on your comment above perhaps we can say that your air has been wrecked, and to some extent your future weather as well, by ENVIRONMENTALISTS creating false panics resulting in overuse of coal and natural gas for generating electricity.



And they wonder why people are sceptical of environemntalists peddling new panics like global warming....


I seem to recall a parable about a boy who said the sky was falling.



Seattle Pioneer

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Author: 5000fingers Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 10721 of 63295
Subject: Re: Poll: Nuclear Power Date: 12/22/2007 1:40 AM
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Do you agree that nuclear power is the right solution?

It isn't "the" right solution. It is one of many possible solutions that needs to be looked at seriously, including alternative clean energies and more vigorous conservation measures.

You know, in previous generations Americans were called on to plant victory gardens, give up sugar, and donate any and all forms of rubber, scrap metal, and so forth. They made these sacrifices willingly, and as a matter of course. Nowadays a lot of people jeer when they are asked to wear a sweater indoors or perhaps not drive an SUV that they don't need to drive. We go to war and the president tells us to go shopping. So much for the right wing's useless veneer of patriotism.

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Author: SeattlePioneer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 10722 of 63295
Subject: Re: Poll: Nuclear Power Date: 12/22/2007 3:07 AM
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<<You know, in previous generations Americans were called on to plant victory gardens, give up sugar, and donate any and all forms of rubber, scrap metal, and so forth. They made these sacrifices willingly, and as a matter of course. Nowadays a lot of people jeer when they are asked to wear a sweater indoors or perhaps not drive an SUV that they don't need to drive. We go to war and the president tells us to go shopping. So much for the right wing's useless veneer of patriotism.
>>



No sign so far that Liberals and business interests are willing to give up illegal immigration to reduce population and energy growth pressure in the United States.



Seattle Pioneer

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Author: intercst Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Top Recommended Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 10723 of 63295
Subject: Re: Poll: Nuclear Power Date: 12/22/2007 11:44 AM
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5000fingers writes,

You know, in previous generations Americans were called on to plant victory gardens, give up sugar, and donate any and all forms of rubber, scrap metal, and so forth. They made these sacrifices willingly, and as a matter of course. Nowadays a lot of people jeer when they are asked to wear a sweater indoors or perhaps not drive an SUV that they don't need to drive. We go to war and the president tells us to go shopping. So much for the right wing's useless veneer of patriotism.


Hey, come on. That's the genius of right-wing patriotism. Slapping a magnetic yellow ribbon on the fender of your car gets you just as much credit as serving a year in Falujah.

intercst

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Author: pauleckler Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 10724 of 63295
Subject: Re: Poll: Nuclear Power Date: 12/22/2007 1:15 PM
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"Americans were called on to plant victory gardens, give up sugar, and donate any and all forms of rubber, scrap metal, and so forth."

I hear you 5000fingers and agree that there is much more to Global Warming programs than just nuclear power.

But coal fired power plants are the largest single source of CO2 in the US. Coming up with a good alternative, especially a cost effective one, will go a long way toward the goals. And give us the reliable electricity network we all expect.

The new Energy Bill does include incentives for some other programs. Auto gas mileage. Incandescent light bulbs. Clean coal technology. Cellulosic ethanol. etc etc. (There might be lots more there we haven't heard about yet.)

At last the govt is taking some action on Global Warming. That is positive for sure.

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Author: Goofyhoofy Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Top Recommended Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 10725 of 63295
Subject: Re: Poll: Nuclear Power Date: 12/22/2007 4:23 PM
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Do you know how many people were killed, injured, maimed, sickened as a result of TMI?

Zero. None. The worst peacetime civilian nuclear "disaster" in American history was an expensive event that caused zero threat to American citizens.


That is an amazing leap you have just made. From "no one was injured, therefore there was no threat. Of course there was a threat. It was real, we're just lucky that the worst case didn't happen. Sometimes - you know - the worst case does happen in spite of the engineers' best intentions. Pipelines rupture. Ships blow up or crack in half. Bridges fall down. Are we to assume that when something bad doesn't happen there is "zero threat"? Nonsense.

The same poster mentioned the Thresher. I am surprised you would pull this up GoofyHoofy.

Why? It was a nuclear submarine. Something went terribly, horribly wrong. The submarine ended up on the bottom of the ocean. That's your argument that engineers can design a perfect system?

Actually Chernobyl is a reason to fear a design featuring a flammable core with positive reactivity, coupled with a Soviet beauracracy more concerned with saving face than saving the health and welfare of the population "served".

Would it have helped if instead of "Chernobyl" I had said "Indian Point" or "Idaho Falls" or "Bohunice" or any of the other places where there have been nuclear accidents? There's a whole list of them, you know.

Wiki has a pretty good rundown.

Yes they do: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_and_radiation_accidents

As it turns out, I live in Knoxville, TN, and hardly a day goes by without news from Oak Ridge about the billions being spent on cleanup of the many and various radioactive processes which were carried out here years ago. I'll wager it's much the same in Hannaford.

As I say, there are things called "human error" and "design error" and "manufacture error" and "equipment failure" and "transportation accident", all of which portend significant problems when done in a congested urban area. As I have also said, I have no problem with nuclear power being done in places where there is nobody important, or nothing particularly valuable. Arizona, Montana, North Dakota, most of Texas, etc. (Oh, I guess I annoyed salaryguru by saying "Arizona." Well, there you have it. One man's wasteland is another man's castle.)

I have a big problems siting nuke plants near dense population (even though that is where the eventual product is required) because I don't believe the risk, albeit small, justifies the proximity. Put 'em in Mexico and import the power. It's OK with me. Put near Manhattan? Exceptionally stupid idea.

Incidentally, did I mention I worked for Westinghouse, and with the nuke boys in their Total Quality Program? They tried really really hard to be perfect, but of course, they're not. Nobody is. So you plan for the time when you're not, or else you put on a blindfold and pretend nothing bad every happens. I don't think that's very good policy, any more than putting a chemical plant right in the middle of an urban neighborhood would be. You remember that one, too, right?
 


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Author: TMFPMarti Big funky green star, 20000 posts Home Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 10726 of 63295
Subject: Re: Poll: Nuclear Power Date: 12/22/2007 4:50 PM
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Zero. None. The worst peacetime civilian nuclear "disaster" in American history was an expensive event that caused zero threat to American citizens.

That is an amazing leap you have just made. From "no one was injured, therefore there was no threat. Of course there was a threat. It was real, we're just lucky that the worst case didn't happen. Sometimes - you know - the worst case does happen in spite of the engineers' best intentions. Pipelines rupture. Ships blow up or crack in half. Bridges fall down. Are we to assume that when something bad doesn't happen there is "zero threat"? Nonsense.


I've not been following this thread, nor am I about to go back and read the prior 68 posts in it. Judging by what I read above, I figure we're now at the "is too, is not" stage of the flow, where everything worth saying has been said at least twice.

Ya'll have fun.

Phil

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Author: SeattlePioneer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 10727 of 63295
Subject: Re: Poll: Nuclear Power Date: 12/22/2007 6:23 PM
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<<I've not been following this thread, nor am I about to go back and read the prior 68 posts in it. Judging by what I read above, I figure we're now at the "is too, is not" stage of the flow, where everything worth saying has been said at least twice.

Ya'll have fun.

Phil
>>



If you read Goofyhoofy posts, it's worth reading to see GH make a poor reference to support his argument, and then persist in that mistake rather than admit it was a poor choice when it was pointed out to him.


Goofyhoofy usually provides very good documantation for his arguments. It's noteworthy to see that he persists in a mistake rather than admit it.




Seattle Pioneer

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Author: COJones100 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 10728 of 63295
Subject: Re: Poll: Nuclear Power Date: 12/22/2007 7:36 PM
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Thanks, Levenger. I'll have a look at that. I appreciate the link.

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Author: COJones100 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 10729 of 63295
Subject: Re: Poll: Nuclear Power Date: 12/22/2007 8:00 PM
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I seem to recall a parable about a boy who said the sky was falling.

I remember that one! He kept ratcheting up the "Tearrr Threat Level" to another higher color, whenever he got caught with his hand in the cookie jar!

Good call, Seattle Pioneer. We can all learn a lot from that story.

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Author: Goofyhoofy Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Top Recommended Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 10733 of 63295
Subject: Re: Poll: Nuclear Power Date: 12/22/2007 10:27 PM
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If you read Goofyhoofy posts, it's worth reading to see GH make a poor reference to support his argument, and then persist in that mistake rather than admit it was a poor choice when it was pointed out to him.

Chernobyl is a "poor reference" about the potential dangers of nuclear power? Yes, it's a "different design." No, it's not impossible that something similar could happen with many designs, including some in use in the US. You think "a containment building" would have kept the problem "inside"? I don't think so. (While TMI didn't "blow up", there were several instances of radiation release in a populated area. Much of what happened at TMI is still unknown and always will be because the computers were running so far behind they dumped several hours of memory to get back to "real time" readings. This, of course, is one of the many things we were told "could never happen" and that the "backups had backups" so there was nothing to worry about. Humbug.)

Chernobyl has turned a former city into a ghost town. Tens of thousands of acres are contaminated, and - even the remediation efforts, including the sarcophagus which has "enclosed" the detritus are failing and need to be continually monitored and upgraded, and likely will for a thousand years.

Or perhaps you are bothered by the fact that I mentioned the Thresher? It was merely to point out a nuclear reactor ended up on the ocean floor, another stellar case of "it couldn't happen" that happened.

This is very simple: nothing that man makes is perfect. It never will be. It therefore makes sense to plan for that ahead of time by locating nuclear plants where, in the unlikely event of serious problem, they will do the least damage.

This is not hard to understand unless you have your mind closed and are intent on blaming every possible thought of safety on "enviros" and "liberals."
 


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Author: cliff666 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 10734 of 63295
Subject: Re: Poll: Nuclear Power Date: 12/23/2007 2:12 AM
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GH: Chernobyl is a "poor reference" about the potential dangers of nuclear power? Yes, it's a "different design." No, it's not impossible that something similar could happen with many designs, including some in use in the US. You think "a containment building" would have kept the problem "inside"?

My, my, my! Calm down, Goofy. Yes, a containment building like the US reactors have would have kept Chernobyl inside. There is no need to exagerate the situation.

Or perhaps you are bothered by the fact that I mentioned the Thresher? It was merely to point out a nuclear reactor ended up on the ocean floor, another stellar case of "it couldn't happen" that happened.

Let's ask you this: What put the Thresher down? It wasn't the Nuclear Steam System. The NSS functined properly, as designed, without any release of radiation.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Thresher_%28SSN-593%29

Deep sea photography, recovered artifacts, and an evaluation of her design and operational history permitted a Court of Inquiry to conclude Thresher had probably suffered the failure of a weld in a salt water piping system, which relied heavily on silver brazing instead of welding; earlier tests using ultrasound equipment found potential problems with about 14% of the tested brazed joints, most of which were determined not to pose a risk significant enough to require a repair. High-pressure water spraying from a broken pipe joint may have shorted out one of the many electrical panels, which in turn caused a shutdown ("scram") of the reactor, with a subsequent loss of propulsion. The inability to blow the ballast tanks was later attributed to excessive moisture in Threshers high-pressure air flasks, which froze and plugged its own flowpath while passing through the valves. This was later simulated in dock-side tests on the Thresher's sister ship, USS Tinosa (SSN-606). During a test to simulate blowing ballast at or near test depth, ice formed on strainers installed in valves; the flow of air lasted only a few seconds. (Air driers were later retrofitted to the high pressure air compressors, beginning with Tinosa, to permit the emergency blow system to operate properly.)
**************
You do your case no good by exagerating and hyperventilating all over the board.

It is also true that both the Chernobyl and TMI incidents were caused by operators overriding the safety features of the systems. It wasn't the designs, It was the operators. In the case of TMI, the other safety devices prevented a major incident. At Chernobyl, the design didn't go deep enough to overcome stupidity.

So, the systems are designed safe. I once thaought they were idiot proof, but TMI and Chernobyl (and Indian Point) prove otherwise. Thresher had nothing to do with nuclear safety. So, do I trust nuclear? Not with 1970's designs, because of the operators. Well, maybe with CANDU. But with 2007 designs? I can't say. I am not as familiar with them as I am with the older designs (Yes, I worked at Stone & Webster, mainly on the LILCO Shorham plant.) But I observe that even with incredible operator stupidity the US designs combination of containment and other systems prevented a serious incident. (TMI was a blip, not a major threat to anyone, in spite of the newspaper stories.) With a proper containment, even Chernobyl would have been mitigated. Terrorism? The containment is designed to withstand a 747 crashing into the building, and dynamiting the main steam lines. The thing would shut down automatically. I won't say a Chernobyl is impossible here, but the risk is rather small. Shoot, we kill 40,000 people a year in auto accidents, every year. Are you bent about that?

France has operated her nuclear power plants safely for 30 years. They get, what, 80% of their electricity from nuclear. They have a fuel disposal site. I know of no nuclear incidents. (Of course, the French are well-known liars, I suppose.)

We don't seem to agree on this. I claim you are overly hysterical.

cliff

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Author: SeattlePioneer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 10735 of 63295
Subject: Re: Poll: Nuclear Power Date: 12/23/2007 2:25 AM
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<<I seem to recall a parable about a boy who said the sky was falling.

I remember that one! He kept ratcheting up the "Tearrr Threat Level" to another higher color, whenever he got caught with his hand in the cookie jar!

Good call, Seattle Pioneer. We can all learn a lot from that story.
>>



Heh, heh! I seem to recall a recent story that started with the sky falling, and then led to declarations of various threat levels after that.


The first such warning was, in fact, in December, 1999 when a Muslim terrorist was captured by immigration officials in Port Angeles, Wa, during the Clinton Administration. Warnings by the Clinton administration caused the mayor of Seattle to call off public New Years Eve celebrations scheduled in Seattle Center. It was later discovered that there was no actual threat directed at Seattle ---- the plot being hatched was aimed at explosives to be set off at Los Angeles International Airport.


So nice try, but no sale.




Seattle Pioneer

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Author: stevenjklein Big funky green star, 20000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 10736 of 63295
Subject: Re: Poll: Nuclear Power Date: 12/23/2007 4:49 PM
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I voted other.

I remain unconvinced that global warming is anthropogenic (human-caused).

From my perspective, your question reads like this: "Is nuclear power the right solution to a non-existent problem?"

Having said that, I don't oppose nuclear power, but I'd like to see congress get rid of all subsidies to the nuclear, coal, oil, and solar power industries. (And all other industries as well.)

If nuclear power makes economic sense per se, then private industry will build it without government subsidies.

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Author: markr33 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 10737 of 63295
Subject: Re: Poll: Nuclear Power Date: 12/23/2007 5:35 PM
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I claim you are overly hysterical.

Which is exactly what stopped nuclear power generation short in the USA for about 30 years! Had design and development been permitted to continue, just imagine how much more advanced we might be today.

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Author: COJones100 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 10738 of 63295
Subject: Re: Poll: Nuclear Power Date: 12/23/2007 6:06 PM
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So Clinton used to catch terrorists, instead of going on vacation, then? Hmm… good man.

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Author: MichaelRead Big gold star, 5000 posts Feste Award Winner! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 10739 of 63295
Subject: Re: Poll: Nuclear Power Date: 12/23/2007 11:34 PM
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France has operated her nuclear power plants safely for 30 years. They get, what, 80% of their electricity from nuclear. They have a fuel disposal site. I know of no nuclear incidents. (Of course, the French are well-known liars, I suppose.)

We don't seem to agree on this. I claim you are overly hysterical.

cliff


What fuels the hysteria is not only outdated data but the knee-jerk reaction whenever the word nuclear is used. It’s so primal: say ‘nuclear’ and the first reaction in some is to be aghast at the thought.

That reactor design has advanced, that the fail-safes are far beyond what was, that nuclear residue is considerably less than before, all cut no ice. It’s nuclear therefore it must be (fill in the horrific here).

To some it doesn’t matter that nuclear installations are smaller, far more efficient than before, and cost considerably less to build and maintain, if the description includes the word nuclear that it has to be contrary.

Point is it isn’t oil we have to worry about but peripherally: we need an increasing capacity to produce electricity and we can’t do that with the present fuels we have – not at the rate we’re consuming electrical power.

We can conserve and adapt through different and more efficient power consumption (fluorescent lamps, energy efficient appliances, and the like) yet, even with these measures, we’re going to run short.

Going nuclear (sorry to use that word since it raises hackles) is the only answer. Somehow, to get this across we have to somehow defuse the word nuclear as a pejorative and make it into a ‘hey, that’s smart’.

The country needs 100 atomic-powered generators built across the next decade. Consider this: if we had, a decade or so ago, built 100 units, we wouldn’t be in many of the situations we are in now.

MichaelR

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Author: Goofyhoofy Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Top Recommended Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 10740 of 63295
Subject: Re: Poll: Nuclear Power Date: 12/24/2007 8:26 AM
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My, my, my! Calm down, Goofy. Yes, a containment building like the US reactors have would have kept Chernobyl inside. There is no need to exagerate the situation.

I'm glad to have your assurance. Unfortunately, many engineers disagree, and I have talked with some of them.

The health of over 350,000 in the Ukraine is being monitored as a result of the accident. Had the reactor had a containment building, the severity of the accident might have been greatly reduced.
http://tinyurl.com/33kzvz

From a Canadian Report on Reactor Safety:

It is not right to say that a catastrophic accident (in a CANDU reactor) is impossible ... The worst possible accident could involve the spread of radioactive poisons over large areas, killing thousands immediately, killing others through increasing susceptibility to cancer, risking genetic defects that could affect future generations, and possibly contaminating, for further habitation, large land areas...

Accidents, mistakes and malfunctions do occur in [CANDU] nuclear plants: equipment fails; instrumentation gives improper readings; operators and maintainers make errors and fail to follow instructions; designs are inadequate; events that are considered `incredible' happen...no matter how careful we are, we must anticipate the unexpected.


From the same report, on "containment buildings":

Following the Chernobyl accident, Zygmund Domaratsky of the Atomic Energy Control Board -- the man in charge of licensing for all nuclear reactors in Canada -- said no CANDU reactor is designed to contain a meltdown, because it is such an improbable event.

Let's ask you this: What put the Thresher down? It wasn't the Nuclear Steam System. The NSS functined properly, as designed, without any release of radiation.

I didn't say "the reactor failed." I said the Thresher sunk, taking a reactor to the bottom of the ocean. My point is that spit happens. Pumps fail. Humans fail. Things go wrong. We have seen this at TMI, at Chernobyl, and at many other places, and blithely yelping "You're overreacting" is really really stupid given the magnitude of what happens when things do inevitably go wrong.

It wasn't the designs, It was the operators.

Good logic. So we needn't worry about reactors, just "operators"?

So, the systems are designed safe. I once thaought they were idiot proof,

You thought wrong. You also thought wrong about them being "designed safe." The many and various after-the-fact modifications which have been mandated demonstrate that nothing is perfect. In some ways the nuclear industry is regulated as the airline industry is: tombstone design. When something goes wrong someplace ("Wow, close call!") they let everybody else know so it is less likely to happen elsewhere.

Shoot, we kill 40,000 people a year in auto accidents, every year. Are you bent about that?

This is your rationale? I advocate safety by locating plants far from population centers. That seems prudent to me, but to you it is "hysterical." And your rationale is that 40,000 people die in auto accidents. Who is "hysterical" again?

France has operated her nuclear power plants safely for 30 years. They get, what, 80% of their electricity from nuclear. They have a fuel disposal site. I know of no nuclear incidents.

France is quite a happy instance, and an anomaly. There is a single operator using a single design. It is a government sanctioned monopoly, there is no profit motive nor advantage for cutting costs. Like AT&T in our "old" telecom days, the financial structure, motivations, operations, planning and everything else works in a quite different way than you find here in the US at present. How about you get a bunch of the conservatives who run this country and convince them to create a government program to run not merely "regulate" the nuclear industry in America - or don't you think that would likely pass muster? And if not, why would I pay attention to the history of the French system any more than you seem interested in paying attention to the history of the Soviet one?

TMI was a blip, not a major threat to anyone, in spite of the newspaper stories.

Ah. As it turns out, I ran a radio station in Pittsburgh at the time. Pittsburgh, I note, was the world corporate headquarters of Westinghouse, a rather large player in the nuclear industry. And my station was the flagship station of Westinghouse's chain, one of the largest in America. I assure you the boys at Westinghouse were terrified about TMI, both at the time and after-the-fact, and their perception differs from yours. Government officials were confused, to put it politely. Systems that "couldn't break down" broke down. Cripes, the reactor manufacturer couldn't even talk to the guys in the control room. ("Not to worry. We have backups to our backups." Oops, except we didn't think about having more than one telephone line.) And we really don't even know exactly what happened, as hours worth of important data was dumped to bring the computers and printers back to real time.

"Not a major threat." You are too funny. I guess the schoolbus careening out of control down an icy highway "wasn't a threat" as long as it came to a safe stop. Luckily.
 


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Author: pauleckler Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 10741 of 63295
Subject: Re: Poll: Nuclear Power Date: 12/24/2007 1:01 PM
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"If nuclear power makes economic sense per se, then private industry will build it without government subsidies."

Indeed, that is where we are. Private industry has concluded that if they must pay for carbon sequestration, then nuclear is more economical (unless they can get a $25/ton credit either from carbon cap and trade or for sale of carbon dioxide to uses like tertiary oil recovery).

So nuclear will probably be the next round of plants if they can get the permits. And the poll seems to suggest that opposition to those permits will be less vigorous than previously expected.

The industry will probably begin the process early in anticipation that permits if issued might be challenged in court. (Natural gas fired plants were easy to get permits and quick to build, but coal or nuclear plants are expected to need longer lead times to allow for the challenges.)

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Author: stevenjklein Big funky green star, 20000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 10742 of 63295
Subject: Re: Poll: Nuclear Power Date: 12/24/2007 1:19 PM
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I wrote: "If nuclear power makes economic sense per se, then private industry will build it without government subsidies."

You replied: "Indeed, that is where we are. Private industry has concluded that if they must pay for carbon sequestration, then nuclear is more economical…"

Ah, but forcing payments for carbon sequestration (for coal, oil, gas) is roughly equivalent to a subsidy. In terms of effect, it is absolutely equivalent to a subsidy.

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Author: 5000fingers Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 10743 of 63295
Subject: Re: Poll: Nuclear Power Date: 12/24/2007 4:11 PM
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No sign so far that Liberals and business interests are willing to give up illegal immigration to reduce population and energy growth pressure in the United States.

Oh, I get it. It's the liberals. Always the liberals.

You know, when Republicans own the White House, both houses of Congress, and a 5-4 majority on the Supreme Court, as they have enjoyed for most of the post-Clinton era, it really gets kind of ridiculous to blame the "liberals" for all the legislative ills of the world (not that that will ever stop you).

And if you think your gardener is using up one tenth the amount of energy that most rich people use (liberals and conservatives alike), I've got a bridge to nowhere in Alaska to sell you. Oh, I see somebody has already done that. Never mind. I'm sure somehow that was the liberals' fault as well.

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Author: SeattlePioneer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 10744 of 63295
Subject: Re: Poll: Nuclear Power Date: 12/24/2007 5:05 PM
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<<No sign so far that Liberals and business interests are willing to give up illegal immigration to reduce population and energy growth pressure in the United States.

Oh, I get it. It's the liberals. Always the liberals.
>>



So you missed the [art that said "and business interests"


And yes, as I've said many times, I think both political parties are complicit in rendering immigration laws a joke ---Liberal interest groups in the Democratic Party and business interests in the Republican Party.


<<You know, when Republicans own the White House, both houses of Congress, and a 5-4 majority on the Supreme Court, as they have enjoyed for most of the post-Clinton era, it really gets kind of ridiculous to blame the "liberals" for all the legislative ills of the world (not that that will ever stop you).
>>



Perhaps you haven't noticed, but I've pretty much given up on blaming Bill Clinton for the Evils of the day.



<<And if you think your gardener is using up one tenth the amount of energy that most rich people use (liberals and conservatives alike), I've got a bridge to nowhere in Alaska to sell you. Oh, I see somebody has already done that. Never mind. I'm sure somehow that was the liberals' fault as well.
>>


I do my own work and hire no illegals. I don't hire contractors who hire illegals either.


And Yes, Democrats beat up Republicans for the political crime of Abusive Earmarking and now have a majority in Congress, where they continue to increase the amount of Abusive Earmarking that goes on.


Unfortunately, with the issues of illegal immigration and political pork, Democrats and Republicans are both guilty of abuse.


Seattle Pioneer

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Author: PolymerMom Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 10746 of 63295
Subject: Re: Poll: Nuclear Power Date: 12/25/2007 12:34 AM
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Ah, but forcing payments for carbon sequestration (for coal, oil, gas) is roughly equivalent to a subsidy.

Not true! In reality it's a forcing of businesses to pay for all the impacts of a process beyond the production costs (i.e. the cleanup of natural system disruptions that the production process incurred).

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Author: cliff666 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 10747 of 63295
Subject: Re: Poll: Nuclear Power Date: 12/25/2007 1:12 AM
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My, my, my! Calm down, Goofy. Yes, a containment building like the US reactors have would have kept Chernobyl inside. There is no need to exagerate the situation.

I'm glad to have your assurance. Unfortunately, many engineers disagree, and I have talked with some of them.

I am one of them.

The health of over 350,000 in the Ukraine is being monitored as a result of the accident. Had the reactor had a containment building, the severity of the accident might have been greatly reduced.
http://tinyurl.com/33kzvz

I agree.

Following the Chernobyl accident, Zygmund Domaratsky of the Atomic Energy Control Board -- the man in charge of licensing for all nuclear reactors in Canada -- said no CANDU reactor is designed to contain a meltdown, because it is such an improbable event.

I would go further. NO reactor is (or was - I don't know much about present-day designs.) designed to contain a meltdown.

And yes, redundant communication systems seems prudent. The fact that government engineers were confused hardly comes as a surprise. And, yes, the operators deliberately disconnected some of the safety systems, for reasons known only to them. In spite ot that, the incident was contained with minor consequences.

cliff

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Author: stevenjklein Big funky green star, 20000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 10748 of 63295
Subject: Re: Poll: Nuclear Power Date: 12/25/2007 1:26 AM
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forcing of businesses to pay for all the impacts of a process beyond the production costs (i.e. the cleanup of natural system disruptions that the production process incurred).

As I wrote earlier, I am unconvinced that global warming is anthropogenic.

Everyone I know exhales carbon dioxide. Should we be forced to make payments for carbon sequestration?

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Author: markr33 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 10749 of 63295
Subject: Re: Poll: Nuclear Power Date: 12/25/2007 8:26 AM
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<<Ah, but forcing payments for carbon sequestration (for coal, oil, gas) is roughly equivalent to a subsidy.>>

Not true! In reality it's a forcing of businesses to pay for all the impacts of a process beyond the production costs (i.e. the cleanup of natural system disruptions that the production process incurred).


Do you think that reality should be applied universally? Governments, businesses, and individuals? And to whom should the payments be made?

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Author: pauleckler Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 10750 of 63295
Subject: Re: Poll: Nuclear Power Date: 12/25/2007 12:56 PM
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"Ah, but forcing payments for carbon sequestration (for coal, oil, gas) is roughly equivalent to a subsidy."

Yes, and the uncertainty of those payments is precisely the reason the utility industry now wants to build nuclear. It is clean coal that requires the subsidy.

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Author: PolymerMom Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 10760 of 63295
Subject: Re: Poll: Nuclear Power Date: 12/26/2007 9:31 PM
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Everyone I know exhales carbon dioxide. Should we be forced to make payments for carbon sequestration?

Since when are individuals a business?

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Author: PolymerMom Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 10761 of 63295
Subject: Re: Poll: Nuclear Power Date: 12/26/2007 9:33 PM
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Do you think that reality should be applied universally? Governments, businesses, and individuals? And to whom should the payments be made?

The "payment" is remediation of the condition - for example: remediating strip mining's consequences of acid runoff. It also includes changing production processes, whether it be CO2 sequestration, planting trees or some other effective remedy.

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Author: SeattlePioneer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 10762 of 63295
Subject: Re: Poll: Nuclear Power Date: 12/26/2007 9:56 PM
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<<Do you think that reality should be applied universally? Governments, businesses, and individuals? And to whom should the payments be made?

The "payment" is remediation of the condition - for example: remediating strip mining's consequences of acid runoff. It also includes changing production processes, whether it be CO2 sequestration, planting trees or some other effective remedy.
>>


Payments are also made in protection rackets and extortion. Global Warmineering sounds a lot like a politically motivated protection racket to me.




Seattle Pioneer

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Author: stevenjklein Big funky green star, 20000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 10763 of 63295
Subject: Re: Poll: Nuclear Power Date: 12/26/2007 10:24 PM
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Since when are individuals a business?

So it's okay with you if I build my own coal-fired power plant, so long as it's for personal use?

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Author: PolymerMom Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 10764 of 63295
Subject: Re: Poll: Nuclear Power Date: 12/26/2007 10:57 PM
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Payments are also made in protection rackets and extortion. Global Warmineering sounds a lot like a politically motivated protection racket to me.

Did you notice I had quoted "payment"?

I knew I should have let that thread die. With so much loaded jargon generation this is clearly not a place to discuss issues and solutions.

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Author: PolymerMom Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 10765 of 63295
Subject: Re: Poll: Nuclear Power Date: 12/26/2007 11:00 PM
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So it's okay with you if I build my own coal-fired power plant, so long as it's for personal use?

This is a joke, right!

I responded to, Everyone I know exhales carbon dioxide. Should we be forced to make payments for carbon sequestration?

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Author: Abfacken Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 10786 of 63295
Subject: Re: Poll: Nuclear Power Date: 12/31/2007 1:09 PM
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> They don't have to make a nuclear bomb. All they need is a bomb to disperse the radioactive material.

What's that got to do with breeder reactors? Nasty chemicals and radioactive stuff is already lying around. I'd rather deal with the small risk of terrorists than burn through all our uranium in 100 years.

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Subject: Re: Poll: Nuclear Power Date: 1/4/2008 9:39 AM
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What's that got to do with breeder reactors? Nasty chemicals and radioactive stuff is already lying around.

I'll say. And it's not even being paid much attention to, at least in some places:

Kerry Beal was taken aback when he discovered last March that many of his fellow security guards at the Peach Bottom nuclear power plant in Pennsylvania were taking regular naps in what they called "the ready room."

When he spoke to supervisors at his company, Wackenhut Corp., they told Beal to be a team player. When he alerted the regional office of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, regulators let the matter drop after the plant's owner, Exelon, said it found no evidence of guards asleep on the job.

So Beal videotaped the sleeping guards. The tape, eventually given to WCBS, a CBS television affiliate in New York City, showed the armed workers snoozing against walls, slumped on tabletops or with eyes closed and heads bobbing.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/01/03/AR2008010304442.html?hpid=topnews

Anybody want to guess how this comes about?

Eric Wilson, the head of Wackenhut's nuclear security operations, was not available for comment for this article, but he has pointed a finger at the nuclear plant owners like Exelon. In a slide presentation he made to watchdog groups last year, he said nuclear plant owners have pressed so hard for lower costs that "we are now 'down to the bone' " and that "the current business model does not yield consistently acceptable performance levels."

Luckily, I am assured that "safety" is never compromised, and that everything will be just peachy if we trust the nuke boys to do everything they want, because they would never do anything on the cheap.

I reiterate: that's OK with me, as long as the plant is in the middle of Nevada. Otherwise, not.

Oh, by the way. Kerry Beal? Fired.
 


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Author: SeattlePioneer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 10791 of 63295
Subject: Re: Poll: Nuclear Power Date: 1/4/2008 9:48 AM
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<<Luckily, I am assured that "safety" is never compromised, and that everything will be just peachy if we trust the nuke boys to do everything they want, because they would never do anything on the cheap.

>>



Perhaps we could get intercst out thereb to strike a blow for some "3 for 1 time" to receive the recognition it deserves.




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