Which alternative fuels do you support?

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mheslep

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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.
Oh good then! We'll just store it all in your backyard. Please define 'small'. French system alone is http://www.spectrum.ieee.org/images/feb07/images/nucf2.pdf" [Broken] tonnes of spent fuel per year.
 
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Oh good then! We'll just store it all in your backyard. Please define 'small'. French system alone is http://www.spectrum.ieee.org/images/feb07/images/nucf2.pdf" [Broken] tonnes of spent fuel per year.
This is starting to get a bit off track from the original topic. But you do the maths. How much volume does 1450 tons take up?

ALL of the swedish used nuclear fuel from 40 years of electricity production could fit into a large apartment(8000 tons, 95% beeing uranium).
If reprocessing all the transuranics could easily fit into a small room. Its remarkable that so little waste is produced considering nuclear power has provided sweden with 50% of its electricity needs for decades.

Compared it to the thousands if not tens of thousands of tons of ashes produced every single day in a fossile fuel plant. In industrial terms 1450 tons year is absolutely nothing.

I would not mind living close to a storage of nuclear waste. The extra radiation I would get from that is less than from a regular plane flight or a dental x-ray.

The biggest advantage of nuclear power is that it pays for the storage of all of its waste and contain all of its waste. Nothing is released into the environment(except miniscule ammounts of gases that are vented). No other industry can do that. When we switch to breeder reactors waste produced per kWh will be cut down to 1/50 of today.

Do you accept by the way that enrichment is NOT needed to build a bomb considering that was your main objection.
 
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mheslep

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Ok, granted its doable to make Pu from natural U in graphite reactors, and I suppose include CANDU heavy water ('enriched water') reactors too. I suspect that reactor better be shielded severely if you're trying to be covert, or its radiation signature would be long range detectable.
 

mheslep

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This is starting to get a bit off track from the original topic. ...

Compared it to the thousands if not tens of thousands of tons of ashes produced every single day in a fossile fuel plant. In industrial terms 1450 tons year is absolutely nothing.
The original post was a call for suggested alternative fuels, i.e., non-fossil. Nuclear fission was added to the list in a cavalier matter IMO, w/out consideration of the severe difficulties, especially waste and proliferation hazards. Actually, I agree nuclear fission based power production should be increased in the US, but not forever as in a energy 'problem solved' sense.

And BTW, of course plenty of the other alternatives have no waste - solar, wind, etc.
 
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The original post was a call for suggested alternative fuels, i.e., non-fossil. Nuclear fission was added to the list in a cavalier matter IMO, w/out consideration of the severe difficulties, especially waste and proliferation hazards. Actually, I agree nuclear fission based power production should be increased in the US, but not forever as in a energy 'problem solved' sense.

And BTW, of course plenty of the other alternatives have no waste - solar, wind, etc.
I think its the opposit, the waste and proliferation issues associated with civilian nuclear power are hugly exagerated by the greens. Especialy considering how small the acctualy ammount of waste realy is. The problems are mostly political not technical. So no technological leap is required to overcome the problems, all that it takes is change in policy. Thats why I praise china and india. In this particular case they are far more rational than europe and USA.

IMO nuclear power is a superior energy source with huge untapped potential. When small (100MWe) economic gen-4 plants become aviable I predict a explosion of nuclear power generation in third world countries. Electricity production, cheap desalination of water, hydrogen production ect.
Im not saying however that it is the one magic solution. But imo it is a crucial part of the future energy mixture.

Solar has plenty of waste btw. Atleast solar panels. They contain quite a bit of toxic substances. Solar thermal power doesnt share that disadvantage though. But Im not holding my breath waiting for solar and wind to replace coal. German energy department recently concluded that the huge german investments in windpower is a cost ineffective way to reduce co2 emissions.
 
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mheslep

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I think its the opposite, the waste and proliferation issues associated with civilian nuclear power are hugely exaggerated by the greens
Agreed, but that doesn't mean you can use it as a strawman and imply there is no problem because of the greens
Especially considering how small the actually amount of waste really is. The problems are mostly political not technical. So no technological leap is required to overcome the problems, all that it takes is change in policy. Thats why I praise china and india. In this particular case they are far more rational than europe and USA.
We're back to subjectives again. I say its not small given the lethality of the waste. High level waste is some of the deadliest stuff per gram on the planet. Also, you say no tech leap is required then below go on to say all is well as soon as we get gen 4. Which is it?
Solar has plenty of waste btw. Atleast solar panels. They contain quite a bit of toxic substances. Solar thermal power doesnt share that disadvantage though. .
Eh? Please compare fuel (U) to fuel (sunlight) and infrastructure (nuke power plants) to infrastructure (solar panels). I'll call my solar panel waste when you call your entire nuke plant waste.
 

dlgoff

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" And BTW, of course plenty of the other alternatives have no waste - solar, wind, etc."

Maybe, but where's the beef, err energy? How many wind generators do you have to put up to take the place of a 1000MW reactor generator? The energy you get from a wind generator is proportional to the cube of the wind speed. You have to start the thing spinning, so you need at least 30mph wind to even make it pay off. Not many places with this kind of sustained wind.
 

Mk

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And BTW, of course plenty of the other alternatives have no waste - solar, wind, etc.
Never forget production costs and breakeven energy.
 

mheslep

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Arg. Yeah, yeah, I never proposed solar or wind for alternative energy, read the thread. I only emphasized that its operation cycle does not produce waste.
 
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Agreed, but that doesn't mean you can use it as a strawman and imply there is no problem because of the greens
There is problems but they already have solutions! Store the waste in yucca mountain facilities or let it be in the temporatyr storages until we have built enough burners. I dont se what the problem is with the waste? How many people have ever been hurt by nuclear waste?

The biggest problem nuclear power has is not technical, its environmentalists and public opinion. Fortunaly that isnt a problem in the developing countries and thats why I have faith in nuclear power as a alternative fuel.

mheslep said:
We're back to subjectives again. I say its not small given the lethality of the waste. High level waste is some of the deadliest stuff per gram on the planet. Also, you say no tech leap is required then below go on to say all is well as soon as we get gen 4. Which is it?
Well first of all most of the gen 4 reactors are developments of reactors that already exist experimentaly. Fast reactors, pebble bed, molten salt ect. So you dont need a breakthrough. Just some solid development.

With small ammount I mean volume, the waste can easily be stored in one single location and that makes it easy to guard. It doesnt matter that it is extremely lethal since there is no plausible way that it will ever get released into the environment.

mheslep said:
Eh? Please compare fuel (U) to fuel (sunlight) and infrastructure (nuke power plants) to infrastructure (solar panels). I'll call my solar panel waste when you call your entire nuke plant waste.
Offcourse a big chunk of the plant is treated as radioactive waste. But how many solar panels do you need to replace one 1GWe reactor? How long is the lifetime of those solar panels? Its not only radioactive materials that are harmfull. The toxic substances in solar panels might not be as harmfull gram per gram as nuclear waste. But right now we(EU and america) just dump all our electronic waste in india and africa without any regard to the environment. Add millions of solarpanels to that waste and you have a environmental disaster.
 
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I guess what I want to say is that all energy production has some kind of environmental impact. Mining minerals, electronic waste, radioactive waste ect. Nuclear power just happens to have one of the smallest environmental impacts. Probably only beaten by hydropower and possibly windpower.
 

Chi Meson

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I guess what I want to say is that all energy production has some kind of environmental impact. Mining minerals, electronic waste, radioactive waste ect. Nuclear power just happens to have one of the smallest environmental impacts. Probably only beaten by hydropower and possibly windpower.
Tell that to the salmon in the Colombia river. Better hurry!

(But I do agree with your general point)
 
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Just a small note about biofuels:

There's been a big push, especially from the UK for biofuels, and its caused massive numbers palm plantations being created in malaysia and other countries. (Palm being one of the major ingredients for proposed biofuels, as well as a more and more common ingredient in foods, cosmetics etc) To make room for plantations to meet demand, they're rapidly cutting down the rainforests. Also, the plantations are run in a very inefficient way, and overall, creates more green house gasses and a greater environmental impact than the current production and use of fossil fuels.



PS- There are a lot of endangered animals because of habitat loss due to palm plantations, (orangutans esp) and a lot of american companies (ie nabisco) are taking advantage of the cheap mass production and using palm in their products. Just so ya know.
 

Evo

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PS- There are a lot of endangered animals because of habitat loss due to palm plantations, (orangutans esp) and a lot of american companies (ie nabisco) are taking advantage of the cheap mass production and using palm in their products. Just so ya know.
Nabisco, as have most major US name brands, no longer use palm oil. The last reference I could find to them using palm oil dates back to 1989, not sure exactly when they stopped. They announced no plans to stop in 1989 but none of their products in the US seem to use it now.

You can check out ingredients of individual products here. Oops take that back!! GOLDEN Oreos contain palm oil!!! WHO EATS WHITE OREOS? That's against nature.

http://www.nabisco.com/Brands/default.aspx [Broken]

This also a list of food companies that as of 1989 had already stopped.

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=950DE2DB1630F934A25752C0A96F948260&n=Top/Reference/Times Topics/Subjects/F/Food

Not to derail biofuels, but there is a whole other problem with palm hearts (which I love), but I have switched to eating a different plant that is almost the same, but is not endagering wild palm. Another sad story from South America.
 
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Hm, sorry, you're right about Nabisco. I thought Cheez-its were made by them... they make Cheese Nips, which are in fact, Palm free.

The reason most American companies stopped was because of a huge ad campaign produced by the hydrogenated oil companies. Palm first began gaining use back in the 80's, but the negative publicity soon took it out of many products. In the UK, however, no such ad campaign occured, which is why you will find many more products with palm in them over there.
 
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http://www.channel4.com/player/v2/player.jsp?showId=4934 [Broken]
There's a video that goes through some of the issues. There are pushes being made for sustainable palm oil, which wouldn't be so detrimental to the environment. Also, the video fails to metion that when the rainforests are cut down, hundreds of endangered species lose their habitats.

Also, this is not something singular to palm oil. Where we to switch to say, soy oil instead, we would have the same issues, but in Brazil instead. Its an issue of over zealous first world countries projecting a need for alternative fuel onto third world countries, who see only an opportunity to lessen poverty.
 
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Ivan Seeking

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Just a small note about biofuels:

There's been a big push, especially from the UK for biofuels, and its caused massive numbers palm plantations being created in malaysia and other countries. (Palm being one of the major ingredients for proposed biofuels, as well as a more and more common ingredient in foods, cosmetics etc) To make room for plantations to meet demand, they're rapidly cutting down the rainforests. Also, the plantations are run in a very inefficient way, and overall, creates more green house gasses and a greater environmental impact than the current production and use of fossil fuels.



PS- There are a lot of endangered animals because of habitat loss due to palm plantations, (orangutans esp) and a lot of american companies (ie nabisco) are taking advantage of the cheap mass production and using palm in their products. Just so ya know.
The problem is that there is only one crop that can produce enough biofuel per acre-year to satisfy the need for crude oil: Algae. Any other option will require more land for fuel crops than we have land.

Here is one of latest projects that plans to convert to algae production.
http://xldairygroup.com/pressrelease.cfm?ContentKey=620

We discussed the case of corn-ethanol, and then the case of biodiesel from algae here:
https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=171576

One note of caution wrt algae production: There are some [at least one] companies claiming yields as high as 45,000 gallons of biodiesel fuel per acre-year from algae. From what I've read, this is an unrealistic claim. You will find some debunking out there addressing these claims, but in fact most people are hoping for 10,000 - 15,000 gallons per acre-year at most. So you have to be careful about who is being debunked. For a time some of the litererature out there threw me, but the more modest claims seem to be well estabished; most notably through the aquatic species program, but also through a great deal of research done since.
http://www.nrel.gov/docs/legosti/fy98/24190.pdf

I have started a company to produce biodiesel from algae and am using 7500 gallons per acre-year as a standard. Palm can produce something like 700 gallons of biodiesel per acre-year.

For members in the U.S., take note of the new, green, diesel pump, that you have seen or will see at your local fuel station. The clean, new generation of diesels cars are here or coming soon, and in one head to head comparison, they get better mileage than hybrids. The Honda Civic Hybrid gets a combined hwy/city average of 45 mpg, and the Honda Civic diesel [no hybrid] already available in Europe gets 55 mpg using the same standard. Some companies like Ford are now working on diesel hybrids.
 
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dlgoff

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" I have started a company to produce biodiesel from algae and am using 7500 gallons per acre-year as a standard."

Just curious. In the northwest?
 

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