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John Kerry - for a Rapid switch to Solar-Hydrogen Economy

  1. Jan 31, 2004 #1
    John Kerry has been very open about his stance that the gvt should sponsor a Manhattan Project type rapid shift away from traditional energy sources and to clean ones. I do not know what his position is on nuclear technology though. There are many people who favour a shift to a nuclear-hydrogen economy; however, anyone who reads/listens to Kaku knows how absurd this idea is (unless of course we mean nuclear fusion).

  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 1, 2004 #2
    right now...I think Nuclear is better

    when you consider that Coal which produces 90% of out energy is horrably dirty and releases more toxic and radioactive waste than Nuclear power would, I think a move to Nuclear would be the next best step. we are talking about going from lots of green house gasses, to near zero if we move to nuclear hydrogen in the next 20 years. we also have the beginings of the tech to deradiate spent rods, so in the future decades, those will be almost no problem when we end up moving to fussion or Matter/Anti-matter.
  4. Feb 1, 2004 #3
    If you read more Kaku or listened to his radio show you would realise that Nuclear Fission Power is a Technological Attrocity and it is way too dangerous for our puny, irresponsible, puerile Type 0 civilisation to use in a safe manour. Solar/Wind - Hydrogen economy would make a lot more sense for the next 20 years.

    Remember that there are terrorists out there and yes they would like to get their hands on nuclear material in order to make dirty bombs or actual fission bombs if they could manage it. Or to cause a meltdown at a nuclear plant. There are also such things as nuclear accidents. Ever heard of Chernoble. Nuclear power is not economical when compared to solar and wind. The only reason that countries still use nuclear at all is because they insanely subsidise it. Capitalists do not make nuclear plants because it is too high risk, and the expected profits are always negative (positive losses).

    Nuclear technology may somehow seem sexy on the surface since it is zero emmission, but if you learn more about what nuclear technology is really all about - you would agree with me.

    listen to Kaku at this website


    I hope he can change your mind about it as he has changed mine.
  5. Feb 1, 2004 #4
    your link keeps redirecting me to google

    can you post it again?
  6. Feb 1, 2004 #5
    chyrnoble was bad

    it was bad......bad safty controls in a closed secretive society....

    so I would not point to that as an example of modern, safe, nuclear technology...though I will agree that it is expensive.....so is solar though, and it is extremely inefficent.
  7. Feb 1, 2004 #6


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    There are ways to do nuclear safely (including waste), that Dr. Kaku does not consider. They are kept out of the public eye by the anti-nuke politics, of which Dr. Kaku has chosen to be a part.
  8. Feb 1, 2004 #7

    Even if we did have a perfect nuclear safety in the West, which is a very arrogant assumption, how do you react to the terrorist threat. By the time you have payed for the insurance in case of disaster (however small the probability, it will be a huge cost of insurance since if you screw up the cost is so great) and have guaranteed the security of the thing, the cost is well over the cost of solar or wind (or some of these other ideas like ethanol and the like)

    Well, from what i have heard, Wind is supposed to be the best in terms of cost. I live here in Europe where we actually follow the Kyoto protocols and many countries here are building a lot of wind turbines. Iceland actually is entirely run on wind and geothermal power and is switching everything to Hydrogen cars so they will be able to make a lot of money selling their carbon credits.

    France is especially psycho with their many nuclear reactors and we have some here in Switzerland as well. Germany has now decided to shut down all their plants gradually. They have woken up to the fact that nuclear power just makes no sense.

    If you listened to Kaku, you would also realise that nuclear power anywhere - even in space - is a very bad idea.

  9. Feb 1, 2004 #8
    Iceland is lucky

    tehy have the geothermal energy to produce the power tehy need.

    as for safty, it is not arogance to know that a plant is meltdown proof. read up on what tehy do when they build a nuclear plant, there are dozens of safe guard systems, and as a final and ultamate safeguard, if a reactor went into melt down, it is surounded by enough moderating material that the reation would not stay super critical for more than a few seconds since the materials surrounding the reactor are made to inhibit nuclear reaction.
  10. Feb 1, 2004 #9
    Even if you are correct, that it can be done "safely" if free markets do not fund unsafe nuclear power now - why would it ever spend the extra money to make them at the level that we could all agree was safe.

    I define anything unsafe that has the potential to release nuclear material into the surrounding environment if a bomb the size of Oklahoma city went off next to the reactor or if a 747 with full fuel going at full speed crashed into the plant.
  11. Feb 1, 2004 #10
    that bomb or plane would

    be more likly to spred the spend rods in the collection pools than they would to make a reactor melt down, it is pretty much impossable.
  12. Feb 1, 2004 #11


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    We don't need to make them to the level that everyone thinks is safe because not everyone will ever agree on what safe is. They need to be made safe according to what scientists and engineers deem safe.
    So then you're saying you do consider nuclear power plants safe? They are already built to those standards.

    It is really tough to beat the safety record of the US nuclear industry. Its far safer and cleaner than the usual alternatives: coal and oil. If we had a Chernobyl-sized meltdown once a week, coal would still kill more people per year.
    That's true - they make oil plants. And that makes our situation worse.
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2004
  13. Feb 1, 2004 #12
    The coal plants you talk about are the dinosaurs of the late twentieth century...the newer coal methods are apparently greatly cleaner then ever before, and there is still lots of coal in the ground...their even looking to degassify the coal beds, extracting the gas for market sales...

    Nuclear has it's problems, storage of waste mainly, then 'by products'...it also has advantages to nuclear medicine...but I doubt that you need many to fulfill that need...
  14. Feb 2, 2004 #13
    the waste problem

    that can be solved through reprocessing and breeder reactors. there is an entire life cycle that could be utilized where you keep re using the stuff that comes out the end in a different reactor, then reprocess it, enrich it, reuses it.

    Nuclear power is a political hot potato though because the ignorant Environmentalists have an idea about the word nuclear.

    why do you think they changed the name of the test "Nuclear magnetic resonance" to " Magnetic resonance imaging"?
  15. Feb 2, 2004 #14


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    Amen on that last comment! I have often smiled at that.

    Greens use the word nuclear (or "nookyular") the same way primitive people used words like "demon" or "witch". Just evil by definition, no other evidence required.

    But I have to diagree with your suggestion of Breeder reactors, at least the traditional kind. They involve to much high actiuvity plutonium being trucked around the country. Unsafe, and a magnet for bad guys. On this one issue I agree with the enviro crowd.
  16. Feb 2, 2004 #15
    Th-232 as a future fuel

    How about a fast reactor breeding thorium 232 (which is non-fissionable) into uranium 233 (which is fissionable)?

  17. Feb 2, 2004 #16


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    Right, that sounds good. And then there's my old hobbyhorse, the Integral Fast Reactor. Who knows, even the Roy process might be feasible. But none of it will happen as long as US politics stay the way they are. Bush has made noises about unleashing nuclear power, but nothing whatever has come of it. If that's all you get from the GOP, we might as well elect "Solar Satellite" Kerry.
  18. Feb 2, 2004 #17
    Generation IV reactors and the closed fuel cycle

    My understanding, from hanging out on Jim Hoerner's "Know Nukes" discussion group, is that the Bush Administration is acting to start up nuclear power again, but with a low-key Generation IV research program through the DOE. The cornerstone of this program, though, (and it consists of development of advanced reprocessing technologies and advanced reactors to take advantage of those reprocessing technologies) is a closed fuel-cycle -- and this may explain why it is low-key.

    Since Carter banned reprocessing in 1977, once-through has been the officially-acceptable fuel cycle. But resentment to this ban seems to have slowly grown among nuclear professionals over the years who viewed it as a political move predicated on flawed risk assessments.

    However, lately there have been books and reports coming out from competent technical bodies that give well-reasoned arguments in favor of once-through. If those arguments are sound, we may be stuck with the fruits of the current GOP/DOE closed-fuel-cycle development program.

  19. Jun 16, 2004 #18

    The original post was about John Kerry, who has told Haffa that "we will drill everywhere." When pressed, Haffa mentioned Texas, Alaska, the Gulf, etc. I would not believe a single word that man says.

    Another person mentioned Kyoto, I am sure Europe follows Kyoto because it is far less strict for europe than the usa. Kyoto would have put strict limits on the us, but virtually none on china and india :eek: the two most anti-environmentalist nations ON THE PLANET. In China, there are times when the smog is so thick that you can't see more than five feet in front of you. India has literally garbage in the street and is staggeringly filthy.

    Another reason no one takes Kyoto seriously is because it seems to be the same few people who blame the usa for EVERYTHING. They wish to impose restrictions on us because they are NAZIS, national socialists to the core.

    With recent breakthroughs in Physics, Nuclear technology is the most logical. The largest criticism of nt is waste because it is radioactive for millions of years. Consider that cristicism now dead. Physicists have discovered by shooting neutrons into radioactive Iodine (128?) that has a half line of like 15 million years, they can induce a far more favorable element, Iodine (126?), which has a half life of like 15 MINUTES. There are more radioactive isotopes however, and it is only a matter of time until we find similar process for them.

    WIND, GEOTHERMAL AND SOLAR are weak energies. ONE OF THE MOST LIBERAL, SOCIALIST and supposedly environmentally friendly STATE in the USA is California and it is the only state to have power problems (Grey outs). Therefore, I would not give a socialist the time of day when it comes to power. Furthermore, if the whole U. S. attempts to convert to these clean energies, then the cost would be enormous and it would take forever to complete.

    Hey Lawrence, have you ever heard the term NIMBY? Not in my back yard, wind and all the other energies sound good, but when it comes to building them. Not even JOHN KERRY himself allowed the army corp of engineers to build a WIND FARM near his mansion in Mass.
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2004
  20. Jun 17, 2004 #19


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    Large, centralized, coal-burning plants used to produce a stored form of clean energy have the advantage that an economy of scale can be used to implement pollution control measures. Such was not the case with the old coal burning factories. However, there is no way around the CO2 that I know of. If you burn something for energy, you get CO2.

    Oh, BTW, coal burning is no where near 90% of US energy production.
    These numbers are 10 years old, but I doubt they changed that much:

    Oil 39%
    Coal 27%
    Gas 24%
    Nuclear 9%
    Other 1%

  21. Jun 17, 2004 #20


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    Based on various things I've seen around, I believe the oil is way down, probably replaced by gas. Somewhere I saw oil at something like 9%.
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