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What do you have against nuclear?
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Adam1



Joined: 01 Sep 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2008 5:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Adam1 wrote:
21st_century_caveman wrote:
Gravity plays a role by causing the huge pressure in the core, without that there could be no nuclear reactions.


I thought that all elements in the periodic table after helium were created in supernovas, pre-dating and in the vicinity of the site of the creation of our solar system.


Actually I've got that wrong. I read a brilliant book called Stellar Evolution when I was in my 20s and it described the process of how all the higher elements beyond hydrogen and helium were formed.

When an average sized star exhausts its supply of hydrogen, it starts 'burning' the helium until that has run out too, then it goes to the next element up as far as Iron (no. 56 on the periodic table). The star collapses as it goes through each of these transformations, as each stage releases less energy to withstand the force of gravity and the star contracts in size accordingly, shedding material as it collapses. Luckily, our sun's hydrogen supply is expected to last another 5 billion years.

All the elements in the universe from iron onwards were created in ancient supernovas, which are the collapses of the biggest stars. The biggest stars have much shorter lifetimes than ours: some only a few millions or 10s of millions of years. The whole process is governed by this...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Binding_energy_curve_-_common_isotopes.svg#file

I think that's correct, in a nutshell.

I'm not sure why I'm posting this. I think it must be a little displacement activity! Embarassed
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RenewableCandy



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PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2008 6:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We are all stardust.
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Adam1



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PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2008 6:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

RenewableCandy wrote:
We are all stardust.


Yes (Joni Mitchell) Smile
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Keepz



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PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2008 7:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

WolfattheDoor wrote:
(And fusion might be a great thing in principle but there is no guarantee that it will ever happen. We could spend billions of pounds and years of time researching something and end up with nothing. At least we KNOW that renewables work.)


That's a really weird argument if I might say so. We'd never have made any technological progress at all if we never undertook any research unless it was guaranteed that it would lead to a positive result.

Indeed we do know that renewables work - at the whim of the weather gods, that is.

emordnilap wrote:
And more or less sums up the whole sad, sorry picture. How long has nuclear been subsidised now? 70 years? 80? Is it even possible to calculate the zillions that ordinary people have shelled out for this dead-end technology for the best part of a century? Imagine that amount of money put into sensible technology.

Our ancestors, should we have any, will pity us.


You do accept that renewables are being subsidised, don't you? To the tune of something like a billion pounds per year in the UK? Why's that, then, if renewables are such good value?
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mikepepler
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2008 8:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

RenewableCandy wrote:
We are all stardust.

And iron is the nuclear equivalent of ash.
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kenneal - lagger
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2008 4:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

RenewableCandy wrote:
We are all stardust.


We are golden...
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Bandidoz
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2008 4:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

RenewableCandy wrote:
We are all stardust.




Please NOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!
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WolfattheDoor



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PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2008 9:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Keeper of the Flame wrote:
WolfattheDoor wrote:
(And fusion might be a great thing in principle but there is no guarantee that it will ever happen. We could spend billions of pounds and years of time researching something and end up with nothing. At least we KNOW that renewables work.)


That's a really weird argument if I might say so. We'd never have made any technological progress at all if we never undertook any research unless it was guaranteed that it would lead to a positive result.


It's not weird if you understand the situation. Oil has peaked, we face immediate problems, we have maybe fifty years to sort ourselves out. We don't have the time to research all sorts of possible ideas. Rather like during a war, you have to throw everything at the best possible answers, not on things which may never work.
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STG



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PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2008 9:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well like throw the budget of all cultural stuff on fusion...I bet we could get an operational plant (125MWe) in like 10yrs, start conceptual design of huge plants earlier and realise a demonstration 1000MWe plant in maybe 15yrs.

And maybe replace a lot of existing power plants in 25yrs...

Furthermore fusion can provide continuous power, unlike the stuff where you are betting on...
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syberberg



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PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2008 10:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What's the EROEI on fusion? How much energy is required to start the fusion reaction and how much to keep it sustained?
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emordnilap



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PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2008 12:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Keeper of the Flame wrote:
You do accept that renewables are being subsidised, don't you? To the tune of something like a billion pounds per year in the UK?
I do. And so they should be. And then I try to imagine renewables receiving the awesome sums nuclear has received this past eighty years and shake my head. It brings to mind a Shell or a BP spending 1% of its profit on 'green' technology. Crying or Very sad
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RenewableCandy



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PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2008 1:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes I would like to be paid a cool ?1 million to have an olde wind-turbine buried in my garden (Drigg, Cumbria) Very Happy

I would like to delay paying my council tax because I have a PV on the roof (Gina Dowding, Lancaster).

And I would love to live safe in the knowledge that members of HM forces would (at taxpayers' expense) come and guard my solar HW and keep away from my house any terrorists in need of a hot bath!
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RenewableCandy



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PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2008 2:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh and finally I'd get them to pay my house (and professional liability) insurance, of course.
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PS_RalphW



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PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2008 2:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:

The problem is that nuclear technical knowledge is way different and way more sophiticated then "normal" technical knowledge...



To me this is the core of the problem. It takes years if not decades of study by intelligent and highly trained engineers to get a good grasp of all the issues relating to nuclear energy. The global supply of humans with the right aptitude is limited, and after all that expensive training their shelf life is short relative to the operational life of the reactors. It is very unlikely for even one person to have a professional input to an entire nuclear 'life cycle'.
A lot of them will be required in the decommissioning phase. This means we will need to keep large numbers of engineering departments at universities pushing out single use nuclear engineers indefinitely.

The opportunity cost of training these nuclear engineers (and they will be needed in their thousands) will be HUGE. Nuclear is not a build and forget technology. Wind turbines can be maintained by jobs worths or even red necks.

In an ideal world populated by Bhuddists with the intellect of Einstein, nuclear power would be easy to maintain safely. (however, in such a world there would be little demand...)

In the real world where hard technical decisions are taken by Oxbridge BA s in classics, with family ties to nuclear lobbyists, and taking orders from religious nutcases, I think nuclear technology is best left well alone.

(I have degrees in Chemistry and IT from top notch universities. I was turned down for a job at JET 25 years ago, so I may have a chip on my shoulder Smile )
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Andy Hunt



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2008 2:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

RalphW wrote:
Quote:

The problem is that nuclear technical knowledge is way different and way more sophiticated then "normal" technical knowledge...



To me this is the core of the problem. It takes years if not decades of study by intelligent and highly trained engineers to get a good grasp of all the issues relating to nuclear energy. The global supply of humans with the right aptitude is limited, and after all that expensive training their shelf life is short relative to the operational life of the reactors. It is very unlikely for even one person to have a professional input to an entire nuclear 'life cycle'.
A lot of them will be required in the decommissioning phase. This means we will need to keep large numbers of engineering departments at universities pushing out single use nuclear engineers indefinitely.

The opportunity cost of training these nuclear engineers (and they will be needed in their thousands) will be HUGE. Nuclear is not a build and forget technology. Wind turbines can be maintained by jobs worths or even red necks.

In an ideal world populated by Bhuddists with the intellect of Einstein, nuclear power would be easy to maintain safely. (however, in such a world there would be little demand...)

In the real world where hard technical decisions are taken by Oxbridge BA s in classics, with family ties to nuclear lobbyists, and taking orders from religious nutcases, I think nuclear technology is best left well alone.

(I have degrees in Chemistry and IT from top notch universities. I was turned down for a job at JET 25 years ago, so I may have a chip on my shoulder Smile )


Laughing Great post! And some very valid points!! Very Happy
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