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Re: World Energy Use - There's No Tomorrow - Let's Fix This!

Posted: Thu May 03, 2012 9:39 pm
by AndyH
klapauzius wrote:
AndyH wrote:Maybe my problem, klapauzius, but I have a difficult time seeing how our politicians can be a solution to anything at this point - especially if we need to have anything done quickly.


We may have to side-step our political system and join the organizations and movements that are already building the parallel systems - they're working as if the 'old' systems don't exist -- they're being the change they want to see.


Nope, big mistake! Look at occupy.

Sorry - another place to agree to disagree. ;) Occupy is doing what THEY intend right now - not what the press or establishment THINK they should be doing. Humongeous difference! Look, for example, at how far and wide the 99%/1% meme has spread. Look at how many foreclosures have been stopped by local protesters camping in yards. These just two examples.

klapauzius wrote: The power to actually make things happen on a grand scale rests mostly with the political system (and whoever controls it).
Sure you can have your little initiatives here and there, but this will have a minimal impact at best.
The problem with all the whatever-root organization is that they are not coherent.
And coherent action is what is required.

An example:

Germanys anti-nuclear-power movement has been working for decades to no avail. Then the ruling coalition figures they are going to lose a vote, and nuclear power is done for (almost) good in Germany. What grassroots organizations could not accomplish over three decades was done by one single person (the chancellor, i.e. the head of the government) in mere weeks.

Wasn't it the long-term beating of the anti-nuclear drum that raised the temperature under the politicians nether regions that finally caused the movement? :shock:

Step back - farther! Look at that beautiful big picture! :lol:

There are many folks in 'agriculture' for example that are absolutely against genetically modified food or our reliance on the pesticide treadmill - and they've simply stepped off and started a parallel roadway. Some are organic, some are biodymanic, some are natural, some use permaculture processes. As the numbers of organic farms and the demand for their products grew, some of 'big ag' got involved to meet the demand. No politician caused that change. It all started with a growing bunch of BP-esque "little people." ;)

Besides - out political system is quite different from that in the Bundesrepublic.

If what you're suggesting is correct, then ML King, M Gandhi, and similar points of focus would have no power - and it's clear that's not the case.

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has!"
Margaret Mead 1901-1978

Re: World Energy Use - There's No Tomorrow - Let's Fix This!

Posted: Thu May 03, 2012 9:45 pm
by AndyH
TomT wrote:Sorry, but I find that a very sad commentary as nuclear can be an excellent source of power. France is an excellent example of that. If Germany follows through on that, I strongly suspect that it is going to come back and bite them very firmly on the ass!

If nuclear power - of any variety - is so good, why aren't businesses falling all over themselves to finance power plants? Why can't projects get funding in this country without tax payer-backed loan guarantees?

Sorry - the market has spoken and nukes are a bust.

If you and others think it's worthwhile, feel free to dig into your garages and work on the thorium or whatever system you think is the next thing and make it happen.

I'm certainly not giving nukes any of my money, though. It's had plenty of time to prove itself and overall it's failed. We don't need it to get out of our energy or climate hole.

Re: World Energy Use - There's No Tomorrow - Let's Fix This!

Posted: Thu May 03, 2012 10:06 pm
by palmermd
AndyH wrote:If nuclear power - of any variety - is so good, why aren't businesses falling all over themselves to finance power plants?


Careful what you wish for....

http://phys.org/news145561984.html

edit: scratch that...after doing another search I found that they scrapped this plan and are now working on more traditional reactors.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyperion_Power_Generation

Re: World Energy Use - There's No Tomorrow - Let's Fix This!

Posted: Thu May 03, 2012 10:12 pm
by Stoaty
AndyH wrote:If nuclear power - of any variety - is so good, why aren't businesses falling all over themselves to finance power plants? Why can't projects get funding in this country without tax payer-backed loan guarantees?

Not to mention the limitations on liability with the slack taken up by the federal government. If there is a huge accident, the fund each nuclear plant pays into annually wouldn't be big enough to cover the losses, and all of us will be on the hook for the damages. I guess nuclear is so safe that the insurance companies are climbing all over each other to provide coverage.

Re: World Energy Use - There's No Tomorrow - Let's Fix This!

Posted: Fri May 04, 2012 12:03 am
by Nekota
AndyH wrote:
TomT wrote:Sorry, but I find that a very sad commentary as nuclear can be an excellent source of power. France is an excellent example of that. If Germany follows through on that, I strongly suspect that it is going to come back and bite them very firmly on the ass!

If nuclear power - of any variety - is so good, why aren't businesses falling all over themselves to finance power plants? Why can't projects get funding in this country without tax payer-backed loan guarantees?

Sorry - the market has spoken and nukes are a bust.

If you and others think it's worthwhile, feel free to dig into your garages and work on the thorium or whatever system you think is the next thing and make it happen.

I'm certainly not giving nukes any of my money, though. It's had plenty of time to prove itself and overall it's failed. We don't need it to get out of our energy or climate hole.


And so the 'market' is right? Currently the 'market' if full of quick turn profits which have no interest in anything longer than a quarter and high volume trading.

I spent many years getting an education in nuclear technology and never used any of my training for any forms of energy production - so I have a both a bias and knowledge of fission and mining the moon for fusion. I did not get to practice what I have a passion for but solving engineering problems and adding value by manufacturing have their own rewards. As for making your own nuclear -- you think you can posses nuclear materials in this political environment -- wow. I suspect you don't like geothermal power either once you discover what it originates from.

I expect we will need all sources of energy but when I read these knee jerk reactions - it turns me sour and I'm convinced there's not much of a future for our children because of them. I'm truly saddened that your fear or 'impressionable convictions' blinds you from seeing any contribution that nuclear can make toward getting out of this 'climate hole'. I'm no fan of burning CH4 when it could be used to make NH4 and help feed the hungry but that's another unpopular subject with the renewable crowds.

As for 'solutions' -- I start with the political side which has to be reorganized before any progress can begin.

1) Restore majority rule.
2) Line item veto or eliminate earmarks.
3) Eliminate all forms of lobbying.

And to stabilize our economic system and provide some tax revenue

4) Assess fees on computer stock trades of at least 0.1%

Re: World Energy Use - There's No Tomorrow - Let's Fix This!

Posted: Fri May 04, 2012 7:43 am
by DaveinOlyWA
AndyH wrote:
TomT wrote:Sorry, but I find that a very sad commentary as nuclear can be an excellent source of power. France is an excellent example of that. If Germany follows through on that, I strongly suspect that it is going to come back and bite them very firmly on the ass!

If nuclear power - of any variety - is so good, why aren't businesses falling all over themselves to finance power plants? Why can't projects get funding in this country without tax payer-backed loan guarantees?

Sorry - the market has spoken and nukes are a bust.

If you and others think it's worthwhile, feel free to dig into your garages and work on the thorium or whatever system you think is the next thing and make it happen.

I'm certainly not giving nukes any of my money, though. It's had plenty of time to prove itself and overall it's failed. We don't need it to get out of our energy or climate hole.


**disclaimer** post is not my recommendation; only my observation of decisions already made***

Amen to that!! lets take the cost of one large Nuclear Plant and determine how much solar we can build and what would it produce?

75% as much as Nukes?
50% as much?

what would it produce part time verses a base load Nuke? total annual Kwh?

right now, the only real drawback to replacing nukes with solar is the same old "what if the sun does not shine?" and space and Big Utility (oil, gas, coal etc)

if we took half the money it costs to bring one nuke online and put it towards upgrading the national grid to allow country wide load leveling we could provide power effectively using wind/solar/water with a sprinkling of base load plants around the country.

but that would take overcoming Trillions of dollars in companies and their well-heeled PACs

cutting red tape across hundreds of PUCs

nope, much easier to burn coal/oil/gas as fast as we can dig pump or haul it out and let the next gen figure out how to fix it

Re: World Energy Use - There's No Tomorrow - Let's Fix This!

Posted: Fri May 04, 2012 9:07 am
by klapauzius
AndyH wrote:Sorry - another place to agree to disagree. ;) Occupy is doing what THEY intend right now - not what the press or establishment THINK they should be doing. Humongeous difference! Look, for example, at how far and wide the 99%/1% meme has spread. Look at how many foreclosures have been stopped by local protesters camping in yards. These just two examples.

Step back - farther! Look at that beautiful big picture! :lol:

There are many folks in 'agriculture' for example that are absolutely against genetically modified food or our reliance on the pesticide treadmill - and they've simply stepped off and started a parallel roadway. Some are organic, some are biodymanic, some are natural, some use permaculture processes. As the numbers of organic farms and the demand for their products grew, some of 'big ag' got involved to meet the demand. No politician caused that change. It all started with a growing bunch of BP-esque "little people." ;)



If what you're suggesting is correct, then ML King, M Gandhi, and similar points of focus would have no power - and it's clear that's not the case.



If occupy changes anything will be seen in the next election. I would like to hope that they could accomplish something, but I am not impressed so far.

ML King and Gandhi had real political power.

The civil rights movement of the 60s was VERY coherent and the goals very few and VERY clear. The injustices (=problems) of the time were obvious for everyone and conceivable by even the most simple-minded, yet goodhearted people.
Kings influence of voters was something the political establishment recognized.
The same goes for Gandhi, the aims of the movement were in plain sight for everyone involved, and it was a COHERENT movement as well.

I am worried that today's goals are not so obvious to everyone. There will be nothing like the civil-rights movements to
protest the creeping global crisis.

Besides - out political system is quite different from that in the Bundesrepublic.


Sadly. Germany has one of the more modern constitutions/political systems in the West.

When you look at the current political situation (i.e. the last 12 years), it has becomes obvious that an almost 250 year old system conceived even before industrialization, in the age of sailing ships, has its limits in the modern world.
Reform is urgently needed...

Re: World Energy Use - There's No Tomorrow - Let's Fix This!

Posted: Fri May 04, 2012 10:12 am
by AndyH
Nekota wrote:
AndyH wrote:
TomT wrote:Sorry, but I find that a very sad commentary as nuclear can be an excellent source of power. France is an excellent example of that. If Germany follows through on that, I strongly suspect that it is going to come back and bite them very firmly on the ass!

If nuclear power - of any variety - is so good, why aren't businesses falling all over themselves to finance power plants? Why can't projects get funding in this country without tax payer-backed loan guarantees?

Sorry - the market has spoken and nukes are a bust.

If you and others think it's worthwhile, feel free to dig into your garages and work on the thorium or whatever system you think is the next thing and make it happen.

I'm certainly not giving nukes any of my money, though. It's had plenty of time to prove itself and overall it's failed. We don't need it to get out of our energy or climate hole.

And so the 'market' is right? Currently the 'market' if full of quick turn profits which have no interest in anything longer than a quarter and high volume trading.

I spent many years getting an education in nuclear technology and never used any of my training for any forms of energy production - so I have a both a bias and knowledge of fission and mining the moon for fusion. I did not get to practice what I have a passion for but solving engineering problems and adding value by manufacturing have their own rewards. As for making your own nuclear -- you think you can posses nuclear materials in this political environment -- wow. I suspect you don't like geothermal power either once you discover what it originates from.

Take it easy - I'm not suggesting anyone move into a tarpaper shack and start ordering from "nukes-r-us.com" :lol:

Nekota wrote:I expect we will need all sources of energy but when I read these knee jerk reactions - it turns me sour and I'm convinced there's not much of a future for our children because of them. I'm truly saddened that your fear or 'impressionable convictions' blinds you from seeing any contribution that nuclear can make toward getting out of this 'climate hole'. I'm no fan of burning CH4 when it could be used to make NH4 and help feed the hungry but that's another unpopular subject with the renewable crowds.

While you're certainly welcome to your opinions my friend, in future please stop short of presuming to give me mine. Thanks!

I'm not afraid of nuclear power and my view is not knee-jerk. I live a couple hundred miles away from a large plant, lived in Europe when Chernobyl blew, and come from a military background. I am well aware that nuclear power can be used safely - but the point of this thread isn't to find a way to force profit-motivated corporations to build nuclear power plants, but to take a big picture look at a number of problems and see if we can see any solutions.

As for methane-to-ammonia, can you understand why some consider converting fossil fuel to fertilizer unsustainable? Are you aware that we can produce MORE food for kids (and adults!) without injecting ammonia into the ground? (An example of how/why has already been provided in this thread...)

Since you're the pro-nuclear guy, your homework is to evaluate the cradle-to-grave impacts - positive and negative - on the fuel cycle, power plant construction (cement production releases plenty of CO2 into the atmosphere...), and spent fuel disposal. Then devise a framework whereby new plants may be financed and insured. It would be nice if we could get a useful number of plants operational within five years, please, and maybe replace 50% of current demand within 10 years? Please consider floods and droughts into the evaluation. Also, there are no such things as 'externalities' - all effects must be included. And - if you have any thoughts on how to keep project costs to within 200% of budget, that would be cool too. I eagerly await your report.

Nekota wrote:As for 'solutions' -- I start with the political side which has to be reorganized before any progress can begin.

1) Restore majority rule.
2) Line item veto or eliminate earmarks.
3) Eliminate all forms of lobbying.

And to stabilize our economic system and provide some tax revenue

4) Assess fees on computer stock trades of at least 0.1%

Another vote for a political solution - noted, thanks. Please - how will that give us an energy policy, or population incentives, or reduce our position as #1 polluter or #1 waste producer?

I don't disagree that we could use some major political restructuring, but I'm not yet convinced that it's something we can accomplish within a 10-20 year timeline.

Re: World Energy Use - There's No Tomorrow - Let's Fix This!

Posted: Fri May 04, 2012 11:17 am
by Reddy
DaveinOlyWA wrote:Amen to that!! lets take the cost of one large Nuclear Plant and determine how much solar we can build and what would it produce?

75% as much as Nukes?
50% as much?

what would it produce part time verses a base load Nuke? total annual Kwh?

Well, we may soon see. http://nuclear.energy-business-review.com/news/nrc-approves-plan-to-build-new-nuclear-power-reactors-100212
Most estimates I have heard are around $5-10B for a standard sized nuke (about 1000-1100 MW).
http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/NN_Levy_nuclear_project_moved_back_by_three_years_0205122.html
Since we haven't actually built one in the US in a while, it's hard to say how accurate the estimates will be. The previous link describes cost increases and schedule slip, which is common. For a bad case ($2.3B default and no reactors), look at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WPPSS.

Let's round it for easier comparison. About $5-10/W. Most nuke's are now baseload, with the US fleet running around 90% capacity factor.
http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/NP/Record_performance_by_US_nuclear_power_industry_in_2007_070208.html
http://www.nei.org/resourcesandstats/documentlibrary/reliableandaffordableenergy/graphicsandcharts/usnuclearindustrycapacityfactors/
http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/EE-Fukushima_impacts_global_nuclear_generation_in_2011-1304124.html
There are a number of reasons for this, which the industry likes to tout as operational/maintenance improvements. Some of it may actually be due to not really needing the power in the 1970-1980s (built nukes based on future need, takes 10 yrs to finish, since it's a step function, by definition you have 1100 MW excess power when turned on), and now we have reached the point of actually needing/using the power.

Solar has decreased significantly in past few years, I've seen panels approaching $1/W and installed systems around $4-5/W (without incentives). The lack of consistent permitting nationwide has been cited as one reason installation costs are so high. Since solar (and wind) have a capacity factor close to 30%, you get about 1/3 as many kWh as nuke per W installed. Thus, you reach parity around $2-4/W solar. In some parts of the country (CA, HI, AZ, NM, etc.) and in certain remote, costly locations, you are already at or beyond parity.

So here in the west, we don't really need more nukes, but rather more solar installations in CA to handle peak loads, more electric cars in WA to consume the night time excess, and turn off the nuke at night to reduce excess (hmmm, that won't go over very well with the industry).
http://www.mynissanleaf.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=8706
http://www.mynissanleaf.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=4099

Reddy

Re: World Energy Use - There's No Tomorrow - Let's Fix This!

Posted: Fri May 04, 2012 11:41 am
by travisty
Sorry if this was already posted but here's a link to where this video got most of its material

10 part video series of Al Bartlett from U of Colorado Boulder presentation

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F-QA2rkpBSY&list=PL6A1FD147A45EF50D&feature=plpp_play_all