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To me, Nuclear is the best of the evils

  1. Feb 1, 2004 #1
    when you consider that Coal power generates more Radioactive waste than a fully nuclear power generated grid would, it would seem that it is a better solution.

    or even consider this....if we move to a hydrogen economy, would it not be better to have an centralised nuclear power facility that creates the hydrogen and can then store the spent fuel with out transportation?

    even then, it would seem that would be a better solution that letting radioactive particles fly through the air and polute out food everywhere.

    but then if there is a fussion breakthrough (we are so close that one breakthrough in efficency would give a net output of energy) then this becomes moot.
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 1, 2004 #2
  4. Feb 1, 2004 #3


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    I tried your link and got a page cannot be displayed message.
  5. Feb 3, 2004 #4
    Explorations Archives on KPFA

    That's because the BBCode added an extra http:// to the beginning of the URL, selfAdjoint.

    If this one doesn't work, I'll edit it:

    OK, I just previewed mine and it worked. I'm not sure why JLawrenceIV's didn't work.

  6. Feb 3, 2004 #5
    Research reactors vs power reactors (was to me, Nuclear is the best of the evils)

    It's been pointed out by Bernard Cohen and others that there is a difference between a working reactor of the non-power kind, and a working electrical power reactor unit. Nuclear fission reactors are relatively simple and inexpensive when all you need them to do is create heat and provide neutrons for experiments, as university research reactors do. Adding a steam driven turbine to that equation is a more complex enterprise than one might at first think. It's not like you can just bolt one on and tap the heat from the reactor. The reactor and the turbine have to be designed and built to work as a unit.


    *edit: fixed link*
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2004
  7. Feb 3, 2004 #6


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    Re: Research reactors vs power reactors (was to me, Nuclear is the best of the evils)

    But I believe the majority of the work on that has already been done. We already know how to hook up a steam turbine to a nuclear reactor and get electrical power to the grid. All we need to do now is replace the fiision reactor witha fusion reactor. The details of how to accomplish this have already been worked out. All that remains is to get a system that produces more power than it consumes.
  8. Feb 3, 2004 #7
    Re: Re: Research reactors vs power reactors (was to me, Nuclear is the best of the evils)

    What I am proposing here is that adapting a reactor to electrical power production is a relatively unique enterprise for any given reactor architecture, class, type, and instance, and, therefore, cannot have already been done. The recently certified third generation reactor designs such as the Westinghouse AP600/AP1000 are largely identical to the second generation reactors (the ones that are now in use across the USA and France) except for some improvements in terms of safety, simplicity, reliability, and cost effectiveness. In spite of this similarity, it took twenty years to design and test them (they test them by building scale mockups with reactor cores simulated by electrical resistance heaters -- this type of testing in the case of the AP600/AP1000 was performed at Oregon State University by Professor Jose Reyes under contract with Westinghouse).

    Again, when you attach a heat engine to a reactor, you cannot just bolt it on. It has to be designed to function as a system. It could be decades or centuries after net power is achieved in a fusion reactor before the first workable fusion-reactor-combined-with-heat-engine design is settled on. Right now, there are numerous and wildly-varying proposals for how to tap the heat from a fusion reactor. The process of selecting among these is going to be hellacious. They are all insanely complicated and, therefore, contingencies intrinsic to each heat-tapping idea are not going to show up until substantial research money has been poored into each and every one of them. We're talking about, perhaps, a Manhatten Project for every one of these heat-tapping ideas. Some or most or all of them will not work out, but we can't know that until we poor quadrillions of dollars into their R&D.

    Here's a challenge for you that might help make this concept more concrete: how would you propose to tap the power of a fusion reactor electricity could be produced with it?

  9. Feb 4, 2004 #8
    Nuclear isn't evil.

    How can a chemical reaction be evil? Stop talking nonsense. Fusion is a pipe dream. It is never going to become economically viable. Anyone who says it is just around the corner is dreaming. Your great grandparents thought the same thing. Its too complex and yields far too little energy compared to whats puts in. It doesn't even break even and it would have to do a hell of a lot better than that to become useful. Nuclear power is the most compact and promising future energy source we have. All we have to do is recycle the waste and bury any residuals until we find a use for them. There is talk that the ice caps are now melting and cold water is messing up the ocean currents. This is how ice ages start. How anyone can be against nuclear energy when it is the only viable alternative to filthy fossil fuels is utterly beyond me. Kaku should know better but then he is an idealist and daydreamer. Spending much of his time on particle studies to the point that he has totally lost his grip on cold hard reality. Nuclear power is the only option for our high energy civilisation to continue growing. Wake up people.
  10. Feb 4, 2004 #9
    ROFLMAO!!!!!! No kidding. What do you think we've been trying to do the last 50 odd years??? Make custard??? We still only get a fraction of the energy out that we put in. We would need a LOT more energy out than we put in to make it a viable energy source. Several times what we put in. IT WILL NEVER HAPPEN. Stop day dreaming. The world needs energy NOW!
  11. Feb 4, 2004 #10


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    According to the Paraimentary Office of Science and Technology, breakeven has been achieved by the JET experiment in the UK. In the last 2 decades, output from experimental fusion reactors has increased dramatically. The record-setting run at Princeton's TOKAMAC that put out 10.7 million Watts was 100 million times the power outputs being achievd in the 1970's, and there is no indication that this trend will reverse.
  12. Feb 5, 2004 #11
    Hi again Lurch,
    Why not cheapen the production of Hydrogen? Do you recall the great Media-spread terror relative to the Three-mile Island reactor incident? I remember that a huge gas bubble that persisted a fairly long time. In the case of neutron radiated water there is no contamination of the water itself but because hydrogen atoms are kicked off leaving the hydroxyl ion in solutiion, the gas in the bubble is molecular Hydrogen - I believe that was generally agreed by the scientist. Of course the OH- ions having been diffused, the re-absorption of the H to recombine to water requires a long time. There is no reason, however, not to harvest and store the hydrogen and restore the pH of the residual water with a buffer. What I'm trying to infer is that every power reactor that has an escaping neutron flux could be jacketed with water (or even ammoniated water) and the hydrogen gas be harvested. I imagine that the cost of the hydrogen per mole should be real competitive with the well known electrolysis method. Cheers, Jim
  13. Feb 5, 2004 #12
    Nuclear hydrogen initiatives

    The hydrogen produced at Three Mile Island was a result of a chemical rection between the zirconium fuel-rod cladding and the coolant water.

    There have been identified non-electrolysis methods of producing hydrogen pound-for-pound more competitively than the electrolysis method, and the zirconium reaction is not involved in any of them. The two leading competitors are the S-I cycle and the Ca-Br cycle.

    The S-I cycle seems to be consistently favored by scientific bodies.

  14. Feb 24, 2004 #13
    More efficiant distribution?

    Hello.As we all know the production of power by both the nuclear and coal methods produce unwanted byproducts but what if we actually looked at better methods for getting the power produced now to the user in a more viable fashion?The transmission of power across the line grid comes with a loss of 70%.Any company working at a 70% loss would be closed down in any economy today so why are we still working with tech designed decades ago?I know that
    room temp superconductivity is a no go for awhile at least but here MUST be a better way of distribution.This should be addressed as coal will be gone sooner than later,nuclear is unsafe
    (just think what would of happened if the Chernobly reactor core had burned through to ground water,also keep in mind that there have been well over 300 above ground nuke tests with the associated fallout already),Solar is not funded to be viable and wind/geo is in the same boat.Why cannot the brightest minds in the world attack the problem at the root?
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