Which alternative fuels do you support?

  • Thread starter Mk
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Doesn't France get 80% of it's electricity from nuclear and export more of it?
What percent of their total energy usage comes from nuclear, including petro energy?
QED
70-something.

As for terrorists, come on.
 
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To defend Ivan, nuclear would not be so much a problem in this country. The problem is access to nuclear material in outside countries where the controls and transport are not as secure as over here.

The countries that need alternative fuel are mostly 3rd world countries because they are big polluters. Are you going to give them nuclear power plants? Umm, probably not.

Look at China, big time polluters. Would I want them using nuclear power? They cant even make safe consumer products, now there going to be safe with nuclear material? Yeah, right.
 
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Mk

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The countries that need alternative fuel are mostly 3rd world countries because they are big polluters.
A lot of times people that are struggling to live don't have time to be nice to the environment, that's just how it goes.
Look at China, big time polluters. Would I want them using nuclear power?
What do you think about pebble-bed?
 
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yea, I know... but it's the silence of a bio-weapon that scares me. A virus can spread fast, not show any symptoms for weeks, and be next to impossible to trace to know who the attacker was.
like resident evil:confused::confused:
 
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A lot of times people that are struggling to live don't have time to be nice to the environment, that's just how it goes.
<shrug, thats tough for them.>


What do you think about pebble-bed?
I dont know what a pebble-bed is.
 

russ_watters

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Fission for everyone? You rightfully deleted the thread from the meltdown crank last week, but what about proliferation?
Nuclear power in a country like the US is not a proliferation issue - we already have nuclear weapons. :rolleyes:
Ivan Seeking said:
Fission: Terrorism; proliferation of nuclear materials; too much regulation needed to build the plants in time; the public and will never allow it
The public is starting to wise-up to the fact that they were swindled by radical environmentalists into believing the anti-nuclear lies. Pro-nuke noise is starting to be made and I would be awfully surprised if it didn't make a big comeback in the next 20 years.

Most of the impediments are artificial, so there is no real reason why they can't be fixed.
 

russ_watters

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I dont know what a pebble-bed is.
Pebble bed is a technology where the fuel is contained in softball-sized balls in an energy density so low that it isn't possible for a runaway reaction and meltdown to occur.
 

Argentum Vulpes

EV's and bio diesel (algae/used cooking oil/waste fat feed stock) for our cars. Wind, solar, and fission for our electricity. And on a complete fuel cycle for the fission source, not the BS of a cycle that we have today, thanks for the great policy Jimmy Carter.
 
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Fission. Fortunaly India and China doesnt seem to give a rats ass about anti nuclear fanatics. I hope China build every one of the 300 reactors they are aiming to build before 2050.

No other option has so far proven to be reliable and cheap for electricity production except biomass burning, but that isnt exactly polution free. Wasting to much money on wind is a inefficient way to replace coal.
Solar in the countries where it makes sense.

For vehicles Il go with anything aslong as its not ethanol or anything else made out of crops. Biodiesel perhaps aslong as we dont have to cut down to much wood. Lithium-ion batteries if electricity production can be increased cleanly to the levels needed.
 

Chi Meson

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A mixture of different energy sources would be the best solution. So as not to rely on only one thing.
Agree. And the type of alternative source depends on the location. Whenever energy can be used with the least delivery cost, so much the better. Wave and tidal energy is there for the taking along coastal areas. (especially in places like Maine where they have HUGE tides). Photovoltaic and wind energy would be better used as a large number of smaller point sources (as opposed to huge arrays and wind farms) that are intertied to the grid (NO BATTERIES!). Solar hot water is really a no-brainer.

I'm optimistic that, as the costs of fuels increase, the demand for these sources will rise, and it will become commonplace fairly soon to see these features all over. In the Mystic (Connecticut) area, I'm seeing several million-dollar houses equipped with solar panels, and even a few wind turbines. Too bad there's a Hummer in those garages, though.
 

Mk

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Fission. Fortunaly India and China doesnt seem to give a rats ass about anti nuclear fanatics. I hope China build every one of the 300 reactors they are aiming to build before 2050.
One of my friends who lives in China said his house was heated during winter by water pipes coming from the nuclear reactor I think.
 

grant9076

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermal_depolymerization" [Broken]

It solves 2 problems simultaneously.
 
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mheslep

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Nuclear power in a country like the US is not a proliferation issue - we already have nuclear weapons. :rolleyes:
Disagree that you can dismiss that as a concern. The nuke power industry extends beyond US borders, and ramping it up means a big increase in world wide U mining along with waste storage and tracking problems.

The public is starting to wise-up to the fact that they were swindled by radical environmentalists into believing the anti-nuclear lies.
Agree that the plant operation propaganda was a swindle and that pebble bed technology., for instance, makes operation and non-problem. Its the digging up the fuel and doing away w/ the waste that has no good answers in sight, IMO.
 

russ_watters

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Disagree that you can dismiss that as a concern. The nuke power industry extends beyond US borders, and ramping it up means a big increase in world wide U mining along with waste storage and tracking problems.

Agree that the plant operation propaganda was a swindle and that pebble bed technology., for instance, makes operation and non-problem. Its the digging up the fuel and doing away w/ the waste that has no good answers in sight, IMO.
Digging up or stealing raw uranium ore doesn't do a would-be terrorist or rogue state much good. They need to be able to enrich it and that is a tremendous undertaking.

Waste is also a non-issue that was turned into a major issue by liberals/environmentalists. Reprocessing could eliminate the waste issue entirely, but was outlawed in the US by Carter.
 

mheslep

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Digging up or stealing raw uranium ore doesn't do a would-be terrorist or rogue state much good. They need to be able to enrich it and that is a tremendous undertaking.
Still a bit myopic in that the a world wide commercial nuke power industry doesn't run like a national weapons program. Yes of course the raw ore is not the problem. If the demand for the enriched fuel takes off then everyone will get (is getting) into the act. Everyone will want to be in the enriched fuel for export business - India, Pakistan, China, S. Africa. Iran? You'd be looking at 100's to 1000's of tons / yr of enriched fuel floating around while only 10kg needs to slip through the cracks.

Waste is also a non-issue that was turned into a major issue by liberals/environmentalists. Reprocessing could eliminate the waste issue entirely, but was outlawed in the US by Carter.
Again look at the bigger picture. The spent fuel is only part of the problem. There are 1000's of tons of non-fuel but still high-level, mega-curie waste material created at the power plants and then even more at the reprocessing plants (Euro for instance)that are never reprocessed. Nor is there any technical means available to do so to my knowledge. The fuel is chump-change in comparison by size. Granted, the non-fuel waste is not a bomb proliferation hazard.
 

russ_watters

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Still a bit myopic in that the a world wide commercial nuke power industry doesn't run like a national weapons program. Yes of course the raw ore is not the problem. If the demand for the enriched fuel takes off then everyone will get (is getting) into the act. Everyone will want to be in the enriched fuel for export business - India, Pakistan, China, S. Africa. Iran? You'd be looking at 100's to 1000's of tons / yr of enriched fuel floating around while only 10kg needs to slip through the cracks.
I think you may be misunderstanding the issue. The fuel used in nuclear reactors is nowhere close to being enriched enough to use in bombs:

-Natural Uranium is .72% U235
-Reactor Grade Uranium is 3-5% U235
-Weapons Grade Uranium is 90% U235

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enriched_uranium
Again look at the bigger picture. The spent fuel is only part of the problem. There are 1000's of tons of non-fuel but still high-level, mega-curie waste material created at the power plants and then even more at the reprocessing plants (Euro for instance)that are never reprocessed. Nor is there any technical means available to do so to my knowledge. The fuel is chump-change in comparison by size. Granted, the non-fuel waste is not a bomb proliferation hazard.
No. This waste is far less radioactive than what was dug out of the ground. It is so benign it can be dumped in essentially ordinary landfills. It is encased to prevent it from leeching into groundwater.

http://www.ag.ohio-state.edu/~rer/ [Broken]
Low-level waste can include:

ion exchange resins and filter materials used to clean water at a nuclear power plant,
contaminated hand tools, components, piping, and other equipment from nuclear power plants and other industries,
research equipment from laboratories where radioactive materials are used,
shoe covers, lab coats, cleaning cloths, paper towels, etc., used in an area where radioactive material is present,
containers, cloth, paper, fluids, and equipment which came in contact with radioactive materials used in hospitals to diagnose or treat disease,
filters from sampling devices used to test for airborne radioactive contamination,
scintillation fluids in which filters from some sampling devices must be dissolved in order to determine the amount of radioactive material present, and
carcasses of animals treated with radioactive materials used in medical or pharmaceutical research.
And....
The radioactive particles in low-level waste emit the same types of radiation that everyone receives from nature. Most low-level waste fades away to natural background levels of radioactivity in months or years. Virtually all of it diminishes to natural levels in less than 500 years. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission requires that releases of radiation at a disposal site not exceed an annual dose to any member of the public of 25 millirem to the whole body, 75 millirem to the thyroid, or 25 millirem to any other organ. In comparison, the average American is exposed to about 360 millirem of radiation annually mostly from natural sources (such as radon) and medical sources (such as X-rays). In practice, public exposures from low-level waste facilities are far lower than the NRC limits.
http://www.nei.org/index.asp?catnum=2&catid=73 [Broken]
 
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Mk

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What happened to vitrolization and burying it?

You'd be looking at 100's to 1000's of tons / yr of enriched fuel floating around while only 10kg needs to slip through the cracks.
What is anybody going to do with raw uranium ore?

A lot of people keep show rocks in their house— no danger here.
 
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I think the answer to all the world's energy problems can be solved with the use of genetic engineering. First, we develop a super-soldier formula so that when injected into arecipient, their body metabolism increases so dramatically they can run as fast as The Flash (from DC comics) Next, we make several hundred thousand small cyclinders, attach them to turbines, and put genetically engineered hamsters into these wheels. Problem solved.

Until we get to that level of technology, fission is the best bet though (while I like solar, the chemical byproducts are too toxic for massive production feasibility).
 

mheslep

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I think you may be misunderstanding the issue. The fuel used in nuclear reactors is nowhere close to being enriched enough to use in bombs:

-Natural Uranium is .72% U235
-Reactor Grade Uranium is 3-5% U235
-Weapons Grade Uranium is 90% U23
Thanks I'm well aware of the above but thats not the point. The issue is that is the control of technologies used in those enrichment facilities and the facilities themselves. As you mention up thread enrichment generally requires an enormous infrastructure, difficult to hide, but if the original premise is to grant nuke power to everyone, then you grant everyone enrichment. Then, the same technology that makes 3-5% reactor grade fuel can also be used to make weapons grade, hence the inspection concerns of Iran/N Korean who claim reactor grade for power use only. You also omit the fact that the reactor process will _produce_ Pu239 which requires no isotope separation for weapons use.
 
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Thanks I'm well aware of the above but thats not the point. The issue is that is the control of technologies used in those enrichment facilities and the facilities themselves. As you mention up thread enrichment generally requires an enormous infrastructure, difficult to hide, but if the original premise is to grant nuke power to everyone, then you grant everyone enrichment. Then, the same technology that makes 3-5% reactor grade fuel can also be used to make weapons grade, hence the inspection concerns of Iran/N Korean who claim reactor grade for power use only. You also omit the fact that the reactor process will _produce_ Pu239 which requires no isotope separation for weapons use.
The pu produced in a reactor is not pure 239. It can be used in a crude weapon but the risk of a fizzle is much higher and the yeild will not be good. Its MUCH cheaper, quicker and more efficient to build a small plutonium producing reactor if you want to build nukes. No country would build comercial reactors to produce plutonium for weapons. It doesnt make any sense.

The obvious solution to the enrichment problem is to either change the NPT so only a select few nations are allowed to operate enrichment plants or make all enrichment plants into international collaborations.

It doesnt change the fact however that if a nation is dedicated to build nuclear weapons it doesnt matter if civilian nuclear power exist or not. The knoweledge exist and that is all that is needed.
 

mheslep

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... No. This waste is far less radioactive than what was dug out of the ground. It is so benign it can be dumped in essentially ordinary landfills. It is encased to prevent it from leeching into groundwater.
I never said low level. There's substantial ILW (fuel rod cladding, chem. sludge) and the other fission products (Sr-90, Cs-137) are high level. None of that goes into a land fill.

Look, while reprocessing has come along way you just can't make the blanket statement "..Reprocessing could eliminate the waste issue entirely.." anymore than some "stop it now" crank can state nuke power is inherently bad. There remain numerous technical and economic problems (forget the political silliness). For example, everyone is just sitting on their reprocessed Pu. Lets recall that India exploded their bomb from reprocessed power reactor Pu.

Just scan the summary here -
http://www.fissilematerials.org/ipfm/site_down/ipfmresearchreport03.pdf
Worldwide, about half of the plutonium being separated is simply being stockpiled at the reprocessing plants along with the associated high-level waste from reprocessing. In effect, those sites are interim spent-fuel storage sites – except that much of the spent fuel is being stored in separated form. As of 2005, the global stockpile of separated civilian plutonium had grown to 250 tons – sufficient to make more than 30,000 nuclear weapons.
and

Reprocessing makes plutonium accessible to would-be nuclear-weapon
makers – national or sub-national – because it eliminates the protection provided by the lethal gamma radiation emitted by the fission products with which the plutonium is mixed in spent fuel.
Even the French are stacking up their Pu now, afraid to ship it out of La Hague any more because of events like this
http://www.spectrum.ieee.org/feb07/4891/4
http://www.spectrum.ieee.org/feb07/4891/nucf3 [Broken]

From all this I think the most likely outcome given a decision to go 'all in' with commercial nuclear power is that a) all the waste will end up in Yucca mountain and b) only the already-nuclear capable countries could be allowed to play.

mheslep
 
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mheslep

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The pu produced in a reactor is not pure 239. It can be used in a crude weapon but the risk of a fizzle is much higher and the yield will not be good. Its MUCH cheaper, quicker and more efficient to build a small plutonium producing reactor if you want to build nukes. No country would build commercial reactors to produce plutonium for weapons. It doesn't make any sense.
If you want to sneak into the bomb business thats exactly what you do (India), after some reprocessing (as advocated up thread) to get all Pu239. Please, enough of the solve-one-part-of-the-problem and I'm done engineering in this thread. You have to do something with that spent reactor fuel.

It doesnt change the fact however that if a nation is dedicated to build nuclear weapons it doesnt matter if civilian nuclear power exist or not.
Yes it does matter. Its almost impossible to hide the signs of significant enrichment facilities, thats why Iran and N. Korea's programs are visible. Civilian projects provide cover.
 
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If you want to sneak into the bomb business thats exactly what you do (India), after some reprocessing (as advocated up thread) to get all Pu239. Please, enough of the solve-one-part-of-the-problem and I'm done engineering in this thread. You have to do something with that spent reactor fuel.
Well the simples thing to do with the plutonium is to either store it until we got enough plutonium burners aviable. Most gen 4 reactors will be more than capable of doing just that. The other option is to burry it without reprocessing. The quantities are so small that its not a big problem. There is no rush at all to "get rid" of the waste. Its not like someing is going to steal unprocessed spent nuclear fuel and it dose no harm where it currently is.

Yucca mountain and the similar swedish project KBS-3 is so slow because of political reasons, not technical or scientific.
In sweden for instance environemental organisations get money from the nuclear waste fund in order to conduct "indepedent studies" of waste disposal. They dont hide the fact that they only want to stall the final waste deposit in order to make nuclear power less economic. Thats surely a good way to spend the money:rolleyes:

mheslep said:
Yes it does matter. Its almost impossible to hide the signs of significant enrichment facilities, thats why Iran and N. Korea's programs are visible. Civilian projects provide cover.
Its not impossible to hide a plutonium producing research reactor running on natural uranium. Enrichment facilities are not neccesary to make a bomb! A civilian nuclear power infrastructure might cut down time to make a bomb with a year or two. But it wont make it impossible.

If I understand the NPT correctly enrichment facilites must be open for inspection, so the problem of enrichment is purely a problem of enforcing the NPT right? It is not a technical problem but a political one. It can hardly be used as a argument against nuclear power expansion in the countries that do not want enrichment.
 
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mheslep

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Enrichment facilities are not neccesary to make a bomb!
Eh? You need either 90% U235 or Pu239. Help me out, where do you go dig that up w/ out enrichment? Edit: I see you intended a weapons reactor to make the Pu, but that still requires enriched U (5%), so you still need enrichment.
 
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Eh? You need either 90% U235 or Pu239. Help me out, where do you go dig that up w/ out enrichment? Edit: I see you intended a weapons reactor to make the Pu, but that still requires enriched U (5%), so you still need enrichment.
It isnt a big problem to build graphite or heavy water moderated plutonium producing reactors that run on natural uranium. The small plutonium producing reactors that russia used as a modell for the development of RBMK(Chernobyl) reactors used natural uranium as fueld and was graphite moderated.

Sweden intended to use a heavy water moderated natural uranium reactor(Marviken reactor) to produce weapons grade uranium before we decided we dont want nuclear weapons.

So it is perfectly possible to produce plutonium in some hidden underground facility without the need for a huge enrichment plant. Using civilian nuclear power as a disguise for nuclear weapons production is a expensive and slow route to take that doesnt make much sense.

The main problem with civilian nuclear power from a weapons perspective seems to be if a terrorist group somehow gets there hands on reactor grade plutonium. But the ammounts are so small that its easy to store and guard it.
 
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